My first project when getting home was to start quilting on my Henna whole-cloth quilt.   I had finished marking it just before we left on our trip and I was ready to get started on it…..IMG_5541

I was planning to use two battings with this and was concerned about how to get it basted properly.   Many years ago I had used spray basting with great results so I pulled out the can and started basting.  In about an hour it was ready to hit the machine!!

When I first started, things were going great but as I worked further out from the center I started having trouble with my needle getting gummed up and skipping stitches!!   I kept persevering but when it got to the point that I was having to re-start about every 6 inches, I decided that I needed to chuck it and start over!!!…….ARGH!!!!!…….IMG_6397

In thinking about this, I believe that the problem was that I over-sprayed AND, with two battings, there were THREE layers of spray!!

This is really disappointing to me, but I know of some things that I wanted to do differently so now I have the chance to do it!!

For the first tracing, I had borrowed a wonderful light box from a quilting friend, and I have now used this disaster as an excuse to purchase one for myself….it arrives from Amazon today!!!

Also, I am rethinking using the blue wash-out markers as they were pretty expensive and I wasn’t particularly happy with the crispness of the lines.  I did some research and read that many people have used “Crayola Ultra Clean Washable markers” with great results.  A package of Fine Point markers arrived yesterday…..IMG_6404

Today I started doing a product test with them and the first test was perfect.   I marked the lines…..IMG_6405

…..ironed them heavily and then washed them out….completely clean.

BUT, in reading the instructions it suggests that you should wash them out as soon as possible, so I am a bit concerned if I don’t get to the quilting just after I mark it.  To that, end, I have run another test and will let it sit for a time before I use them to mark.

I am actually having Rotator-Cuff surgery next Thursday so wont be quilting for a while so that should give some time for the test piece to “ferment”!!

I also realized (about 3/4 of the way thru marking) that, if I ironed freezer paper to the back of the fabric, it made the marking SO much easier and SO much more accurate.   I am looking forward to using this technique to make sure that my circles are true!!

Finally, I was a bit concerned that, when I squared up the project, I would end up cutting off the corner peacock’s head so I am going to give it a bit more room this time.

I need to re-think the two battings a bit as both were from my stash and I am not sure exactly what one of them was made from  (I really should mark them)!!   I am  thinking that I will use a fusible batting for the bottom one and that way I can just iron it on.   I need to do some research about which “fluffy” batting to use this time!!   I am thinking that I will do safety pin basting to finish out the project although I really hate to add the bulk to the piece that I am trying to push thru my machine!!

Anyway….it will be a better project this time!!!BAB29976D4507623


Here’s to the return of creative time…..

On Saturday, I officially declared an end to tax season.   It has been a good time and my clients were wonderful as usual, but it is truly wonderful to know that tomorrow I don’t have to sit at my desk all day long!!

Even better is the fact that my quilt guild is having a 4 day retreat starting on Tuesday and I am going!!!   It is a UFO retreat where everyone works on their own projects and I am looking forward to several days of quilting on the Aussie fabric quilt that I made back in December.

So, on Saturday, Michael helped me to move the furniture out of the way and I got organized to baste the quilt.  I use a Hobbes Heirloom Fusible Batting and love that I can baste a quilt in less than an hour, just using my iron.

The first step was to lay the batting out on the floor and iron the backing fabric to it……..


The batting sticks a little to the carpet but doesn’t seem to make much difference.

I then turned it over so that the batting side was up and ironed the quilt top to the batting….


So, in about 45 minutes, the quilt sandwich is ready to go.


Then I headed upstairs to get everything ready for the retreat.   As I said, I am going to be quilting on a large quilt, so this meant that I want to take the drop-in table for my sewing machine, the board that sits under it to bring it up to the correct height, another folding table in case I need an extra, my swivel chair (so that I can raise it to the right height),  my 16 inch square ruler and 24 inch rectangle ruler (in case I get it finished and want to square it up before I add binding),  oh yeah, I need to take the binding that I made to go with it.  I wonder if I will need an Ott light….better take one just in case.   Now, am I REALLY going to be happy just quilting for almost 3+ days….maybe I should take along a hand project, but that requires at least three more boxes of stuff…..

Anyway, after an hour of trying to figure out what I would need, my stack looked like this…..


I guess that it is good that I am driving by myself!!!

Basting Saturday (Take 2)

The other quilt that I worked on Saturday was a “White on White” quilt that I have had for a number of years but simply haven’t gotten around to doing.

The top was given to me by Elsie, who was a member of our guild. She had started hand quilting it, but hadn’t gotten very far along. I took out her hand quilting, thinking that I would use the piece to practice my machine work. ……. This was maybe 5 or 6 years ago

Then I decided that I wanted to add some trapunto to the piece, so spent quite a bit of time getting the extra batting sewed on and ready to quilt.

The piece had a pillow-top that I was not interested in, so I cut it off, practiced my quilting and then tried washing out the blue lines. Well, they did not immediately come out!!!! I contacted the company that made the piece and they told me that it was only guaranteed to come out for about 2 years. She did suggest that I try washing it in Shout and Oxi-Clean, and that seemed to help remove the lines.

The bottom line here is that I have NO idea whether the lines will wash out once I finish the quilting, but have decided that it is a good practice piece regardless.

I had planned to pin-baste this quilt, but decided that I would just use a Basting Spray and get it over with. Who knows if that will further hinder the line’s disappearing act.

I had thought I would use a variegated King Tut thread, but didn’t like the way it looked in the final analysis, so have decided to just use a beige thread and let the texture do the talking….hopefully with no interruptions from the nasty blue lines!!!!

Basting Saturday

Yesterday, I spent the day making backs and basting a couple of quilts that I have in progress.

The first one was the top that I showed a couple of weeks ago…..I am really pleased with how it turned out.

However, the back is probably the ugliest one in all of history. I decided to try Bonnie Hunter’s ( idea of cutting scrap fabrics into 10-1/2 inch squares and piecing them together to form the back.

Well, the first thing that I learned is that not all fabrics will allow you to get four 10.5 inch squares out of one width. I think that I will use 9.5 or 10 inch squares next time.

The second thing that I learned is that you need to be a bit more careful in selecting colors for these squares……I think that I had too much variety in color and print design.

As I pieced these squares into strips, I realized that I had not done a wonderful job of cutting the squares and some of the sides didn’t line up properly. SO, after I had pieced each strip, I put it on the cutting board and evened the edges up….making the square not EXACTLY square.

I knew that I didn’t want to match seams, so I sewed the ends of the strips together into a circle and then randomly cut in the middle of one of the squares. I took them out to my garage (the only place that gives me enough open floor space) and decided on a decent pattern.

My NEXT mistake came in sewing these rows together……I apparently put one (or maybe two) of the rows together backwards and ended up with a whole series of squares of the same color together. Oh well… is only the back!!!!

I used Hobbs Fusible Batting to put this quilt together. Now I have to leave it for a few weeks until I get a brilliant idea for how to quilt it……I would welcome any ideas.