Friday, July 31, 2020

Bright Strippy Spiral, Finished...

...and it's a keeper. 

This started out as a Squirrel in April, and I was obsessed with playing with bright colorful strips. The palette ended up all warm colors because a totally mixed palette looked too juvenile. I'm pleased with the way these colors work together. 

After waiting * forever * for the charcoal fabric to arrive (thank you, coronavirus shipping issues), I was finally able to lay it all out and piece the top. I had tried out some layouts in EQ, and this is the one I liked best.  

Knowing now what I didn't know then, I would have made the spiral grow clockwise from the center, to make the quilting easier. Going clockwise, as you quilt your way from the center out, the distance to the right edge of the fabric lessens, whereas going counter clockwise, you end up with most of the width of the quilt all bunched up to the right of the needle. 

By pure chance, I found the most perfect backing fabric. I love it!

Someone asked in the comments of a previous post for a tutorial, and I had planned to write one. Then I learned that there's already a pattern for something very similar. I don't want to infringe on the pattern designer's rights, so I'll suggest you check out Karen Griska's Yellow Brick Road pattern. I will say, my quilt uses 4-1/2" (unfinished) squares made from 1-1/2" wide strips, 15 squares wide by 17 squares long, and my layout is oblong because of the number of squares stacked together at the center. It ended up about 60 x 68" before quilting.

I'm keeping this quilt for me. Even though it's in the 90s here with 89% humidity and a feels-like temp of 105, I'm celebrating the finish of this hot quilt. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

A Positively Peachy Little Finish

This is the one that I made using undersized FQs, with squares cut 4-3/8" instead of 4-1/2". 
The finished size after quilting, before washing, is about 37" x 45". 
Quilted with a quick meander and bound with peach stripe. 

I found a cool backing for it in my stash. I have no idea how I came to possess this Tula Pink print; 
it isn't something I would likely purchase. But it's perfect for this little quilt!

This will go in the pile for Operation Shower.


Monday, July 27, 2020

Treehouse Party

Isn't this fabric cute, with forest critters partying in the treehouses? 

Since the last baby quilt was girly, the next one should be boyish. I pulled fabrics from stash that can work with this cute print. The stripe was pure luck - It's been in my stash for years, something I picked up years ago simply because I liked the colors in it and you can always use a good stripe for a binding. For scale, the largest spots in the dotty print are a less than a quarter inch, so you can see the treehouse print is very delicate in scale but with a fairly large repeat. 

The colors in the treehouse print are subtle, but I think a modern mom would like this for a baby quilt. It certainly doesn't scream grandma.

In order to feature the cute fabric, I'll keep the proportions of the other fabrics smaller so as not to overwhelm the focus print. That's about a 9" finished square showing above. 

Stay tuned, I'm looking forward to working on this project!

Friday, July 24, 2020

My Quilt Journal

One day last week DH asked me how many quilts I've made. I told him I don't know, I'd have to look in my book. He said, "You have a book of quilts you've made?" Yes, I keep a photo and the relevant notes, pattern, documentation, etc. for each quilt. I file them in a page-protector sleeve and keep them in three-ring binders. I'm currently starting the third book. 

I showed him Volume 2. He was blown away. 

In the photo below, Volume 2 is open to a page on the right showing the baby quilt I made for my hairstylist in colors to match her nursery decor. On the left is documentation related to my Dancing Plus quilt including the EQ layout and the demo block I made to show the girls in the bee how to achieve the dancing effect. 

Partially visible in the top photo is the Snake QOV that Cherie, Kevin, Dar and I made. The templates are in the sleeve; the one for the white portion is sticking up. Some of the sleeves have fabric swatches in them, if there was an inspiration fabric or something special about the fabric. I rarely use a commercial pattern, but when I did, the patterns or printed tutorials are in the relevant sleeves. For patterns I've written, all of my notes, cutting counts, yardage estimates, etc. are included. Some sleeves are fatter than others. 

For quilts that have been gifted I've often received thank you notes, and those are in the sleeve with the quilt photo as well. I've had a couple of show quilts appraised, and the appraisals also are in the sleeves. Donation quilts (and tops) have a note in the file where the quilt was donated and when, and sometimes an acknowledgment from the organization.  

It's just a handy place to keep all the stuff related to each quilt. Overkill? Maybe. I just keep them for my own personal records. I've given as gifts and donated a lot of quilts I've forgotten about so it's nice to see them again. 

DH wants to know if there's anywhere these books should be donated to after I'm gone. He thinks they're worth preserving. 

Oh, and DH's original question that prompted this post? According to my list, I'm up to about 170 lifetime quilts (and tops) now. I've been quilting since about 1995, although several of the very earliest quilts are not documented. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Quilting the Bright Strippy Spiral

As a refresher, here's what the bright strippy spiral flimsy looks like. 

The plan for the quilting is to stipple over the bright strippy parts and quilt straight lines in the black. I started by stitching in the ditch all around the spiral. 

Notice that the spiral goes counter-clockwise from the center in the photo above? If I had known when I was laying out the quilt what I know now, I would have made the spiral go clockwise. When you sew clockwise starting from the center of the quilt, you get closer to the edge of the quilt with each round. Counter clockwise, you end up with more and more of the bulk of the quilt to the right of the needle, stuffed into the machine's throat. So, if you want to make a spiral quilt and you quilt on a domestic machine, be sure to lay out your spiral so it goes clockwise. 

After stitching in the ditch, I stitched parallel to the spiral seams in the black, using the width of the foot as a guide. Two rounds so far. I'll come back and stitch some more after the strippy parts are quilted, to even out the fullness. 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that backing! It couldn't be more perfect if I had used it as the inspiration for the palette! But if you follow my blog you know that I had completely made the top before shopping for the backing. 

After the SID and straight line work in the black, I switched over to FMQ and stippled over the strippy parts. I knew this quilt needed a lot of quilting over all those seams to hold them together over time and use. I wanted a medium color thread that would blend in with many of the strips but couldn't find one in a thread that my machine likes so I ended up with a brick color. It blends with the darker strips but contrasts with the lighter ones. 

Next I'll switch back to walking foot quilting and do some more straight lines in the black. One complete round around the entire spiral makes a line on each side of the black, so what's showing here is two complete rounds. I know I'll need at least one, probably 2 more rounds. I want a gap of about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in the center of the black, to disguise any unevenness in my stitching that isn't perfectly parallel. 

It's slow going, and also hot wrangling this quilt around under the needle, but this quilt is so worth it! I'll keep at it and before too long it'll be finished. 

Linking up with Mid Week Makers at Quilt Fabrication

Friday, July 17, 2020

Positively Peachy Top

Just a quick finish this week, the baby quilt flimsy I made from undersized fat quarters. It came out to 38-1/2" by 45-3/4". Still a good size for a baby quilt and no one would ever know that some of the FQs measured only 17-1/2". 

A lousy photo - wind, sun on the camera, Murphy in the way (I cropped him out). I'll get a better photo once this is quilted and finished. 

In other quilty news, I've been working on quilting my Bright Strippy Spiral this week. For those of you who've asked for a tutorial, I had planned to post one, but then I learned that there is a pattern much like my quilt. Google Karen Griska's Yellow Brick Road quilt pattern. This was not the inspiration for my spiral quilt, but it is similar to my result. So as not to infringe on her pattern, I won't post a tutorial. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Unacceptable Comments from Unwanted Followers

Does anyone know how to contact Bloglovin' to report unwanted followers and unacceptable comments? I've been getting new followers - at least one a week - and per their profiles they're not interested in quilting. The followers seem to be on the Bloglovin' platform. 

I've also been getting a lot of comments of an unacceptable nature. Many of the comments are for months-old posts. Yesterday's comment started with "LET'S F***"  (spelled out in all caps) and today's comment is just as bad but more descriptive. I've reported the issue to Blogger several times and included screen shots of the offending comments. 

I have comment moderation on so I can prevent this trash from showing in the comments that my readers can see, but I still have to deal with it. I don't want this stuff coming into my email. I don't like having to take extra steps to mark it spam and delete it. 

I searched Bloglovin' and cannot find a Contact Us feature. If anyone knows how to contact them, please let me know. At the very least, I would like to be able to approve a potential follower before they're allowed to follow my blog. Even better, I would like for Bloglovin' to filter the profiles of potential followers and filter out anything of a sexual nature. 

Any advice you can give would be welcome. Thanks. 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Backing and Basting

I found the most perfect backing for my bright strippy spiral top, a Phillip Jacobs print: 

So now I'm working on basting it. 

My plan is to stitch in the ditch all around the spiral, stipple over the strippy parts, and come back and do something with the walking foot in the black. 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Little Birds Baby Quilt

This was a fast finish! This little quilt features high contrast and simple shapes - just what newborns are most likely to see, plus a cute print for mom to appreciate. 
Little Birds baby quilt, 40 x 40"

Backed with grey Grunge and quilted with simple diagonal crosshatch quilting using light grey thread. 

And now I have another baby quilt to add to the pile that will go to Operation Shower when I get a chance to pass them along. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020