Friday, May 29, 2015

An Almost Finished Quilt

With the end of May starring me in the face and several still unfinished pieces on my second quarter list for the 2015 Finish-Along with Adrianne over at On the Windy Side, I've been focusing on quilting for the past week.  The goal has been to spend at least an hour every day hand quilting this masterpiece (hopefully, I'll be sharing it's finish by the end of June) and another hour machine quilting (there are four pieces in that queue?!). 
I'm happy to report that good progress is being made on both fronts . . . . well, it was good until last evening.  There I was moving smoothly through quilting the borders on my dotty sampler from Alison's QCQAL over at Little Bunny Quilts -- on the cusp of a finish!! 
WHAM!!  George stopped dead in his tracks.   The needle broke. 
I disassembled carefully looking for all the pieces of the needle (grateful for my days as a Bernina mechanic) and found the tip lodged in a very bad place.  Out of my depth!! 
So after I'm done writing today's post, I'll be talking to a technician at APQS. 
But I can still share with you what I planned for today.  I spread out the almost finished quilt on the lawn for some close-ups of my machine quilting experiments.  Warning -- there are threads exposed in the following pictures and if you find that offensive, I apologize.  Just needed to calm down and divert myself from the panic I was feeling. 
Continuous curve quilting is my happy place -- I've been using that "design" for years.
Sometimes I experiment with "line dancing" -- sometimes it works for me (visually) but most of the time I'm not crazy about the results.  This one is okay (apparently I didn't photograph the two blocks that didn't make me happy).
 At some point, since I wasn't totally satisfied with the results of my design efforts, I decided to experiment with some of the straight line ideas I find reading blogs and looking at Instagram.
I'm liking the results and with my straight ruler and the new ruler foot, it goes smoothly.  I need lots more practice on the balance of the spacing but that will come!
I like the results but I haven't completely figured out how to travel through the transitions and it feels like more starts and stops than I enjoy.   So I started to combine the continuous curve idea and the straight lines to help with that.  This block had one start point and one stop point!!  Yea!!  It also helps blend my experimenting in with the first four blocks I quilted. 
 I love "drawing" these crazy stars -- a little oops there, better the next time! 
This quilt is designated for donation and I use these quilts to accumulate machine quilting experience and to experiment with designs and ideas.  I prefer to quilt (rather than tie) these quilts so they are more durable (most of mine go to hard working underemployed or disabled people in Appalachia and my goal is that they will bring a useful element of beauty into their homes).  
And the quilt isn't as wobbly as it appears in this photo -- remember it's laying on the lawn.
Photographing and organizing my thoughts calmed me down.  I spent the rest of the evening burying the thread tails and I'll finish the border quilting today on my Bernina.  If I stay on task, the quilt will be finished this weekend and I'll share some pics early next week.
 I'll call APQS later this morning and get George fixed -- hopefully it will be painless for both of us!!
I hope you get to score a finish this weekend!!
Mary Huey 



  1. Replies
    1. It's going to be down for a few days )-; Good thing I have plenty of other projects?!?

  2. Oh my! I sure hope George is up and running smoothly very sooth. I think you are doing a great job at "learning" and want to do the same thing, but I'm still a bit tentative about starting. I guess I need to just pull out my "tub of shame" (quilts to be quilted) and get busy like you did. Thanks for the push/swift kick. :-)

    1. "tub of shame"? I have friends who consider a quilt finished at that stage, but really it is more fun to have them completely finished!! Practice, practice, practice I remind myself!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Alison -- it was fun to make and I'll be happy to have it finished -- too nice to just malinger on the "to be quilted" shelf!!

  4. Oh what a colorful quilt. I'm sure it will brighten any place it winds up in. Hope your machine is fixed quickly. Thanks for linking to WIPs Be Gone!

  5. Loose thread offensive!!??? Don't come to my blog!! What a lovely colorful quilt that will bring much cheer to someone. I practice quilting on donation quilts too!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Cathy and for the nice compliments!

  6. I bury my threads as I go, mostly because I can never track them all down otherwise and miss some!
    Loos threads are offensive? Like visible panty line or similar? :)
    I love how the colours all link to the border print.

    1. The border was one of those happy accidents -- left over from the backing on another quilt and stored with the brights!!

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you, Dianne -- hope I can remember some of them for future quilts, but then that's part of the reason I wrote this post!!