Sunday, April 21, 2013

Canning jars I spy

In my last post, I mentioned that I had been inspired to make heads in jars by a quilt a group of us made for a friend who was having a baby boy.  I found a picture of the front of the quilt.

This was a great quilt to make as a group.  We all used the same background, kona ash.  I requested that all the jars be 12.5 inches unfinished and that the jars not be sewn to each other.  I mixed them up and added a pit of extra to even up the rows.  The fabric for the shelves is hay stacks in charcoal from the Madrona Road line.  We all chose fun novelty fabrics for a boy.  I put the top together.  Another friend made the backing and a third quilted it.

I think this is a great option for an I-spy quilt that is a little different than the usual.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nightshade quilt

I just got this quilt, quilted and the binding sewn on the front before we moved.  It's not a WIP because I only had to sew the binding on the back.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  I had posted about my Nightshade fabric stack in August.  I didn't get it done for Halloween, but that's ok.  Since the house was staged for sale, I didn't put up any of my Halloween decorations.

I had a hard time with the design on this one.  I had originally thought about using the medallion heads in snowball blocks, but they were way too big.  I went ahead and made all the supporting fabrics into snowballs, but I just wasn't happy with them.  I off set the rows which used up the last cut that wasn't quite big enough for a full block.  It also made a nice secondary pattern of the zigzag, which I like better that the diamonds usually formed in snowball block.

However, I just didn't like it.   There just wasn't enough contrast.  Too many of my fabrics were medium value.  I put all the fabric away while I worked on other fall projects.  Then inspiration hit.  A few friends got together to make another friend a baby quilt.  The pregnant friend has a huge garden and cans a tremendous amount every year.  We thought it would be fun to make an I Spy quilt using canning jars as the format.  This also made it easy for a group to make a quilt together.  Long story short, my somewhat macabre sense of humor thought it would be hilarious to put heads in jars for a Halloween quilt.  I grabbed a few other  larger scale prints that I thought played well and made a pair of shelves with spooky jars.

The quilt is truly reversible and now that it's quilted, I even like the snowballs.  I quilted it with the jar side up.  I thought spooky jars should have spooky quilting.  I did a pattern of spider webs over the jars and some organic straight lines at the top and bottom.  I started off marking a few of the radiating lines doing them with a walking foot, but it was too hard to maneuver.  Then I bit the bullet and free motioned everything including the straight lines.  It was frustrating, but I'm glad I tackled it.  Free motion quilting really is like riding a bike, you just have to go for it and have confidence.

I hope you can see the spider web quilting in this picture.

I took my long arm quilting class on Monday.  It was AWESOME!!!  It is so much easier and smoother to move the sewing machine rather than the quilt.  Loading the quilt was a bit cumbersome, but it took less time than pic basting and was easier to get everything lined up than in spray basting.  I'm definitely going to take the next class and certified to rent the machine on my own.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Time to revive the blog!

We have had a very busy 2013.  In mid December, we finally got an offer on our house.  The stress of trying to get that house sold had really sucked my sew-jo.  Then we found out they HAD to close in a month, Jan. 14th to be precise.  With Christmas in the middle, this timeline would already have been stressful, but add in a scheduled vacation to Hawaii for which we were leaving on Jan 24th, it was crazy!  We prepacked for Hawaii and just tried to go with the flow.  Hawaii was great and I'm glad the move is over.

We've been organizing some light work on the house.  We painted the living room (medium grey) and master bedroom (blue).  We had the wobbly, totally unsafe stair railing ripped out and replaced with a waist high bookcase and stained wood pony wall.  The new curtains will be installed next week and then we are just waiting on 2 new chairs before the living room is done.  I thought about making my own curtains, for a milisecond, but common sense prevailed.  The living room window is 11 feet tall and 13 feet wide.  Can you imagine trying to muscle that much fabric through a little home sewing machine?  HAHAHAHAHA!!

I'm getting to know the quilt shops in the area and signed up for a long arm quilting class.  Our new house is in a suburb of Des Moines, so now I don't have to miss a meeting of the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild.  We couldn't be happier!

I've missed my little blog, so I'm promising to start updating it more often.  I have been working on a few projects in my new, dedicated, sewing room, but I need to get pictures.  Can I brag for a second? I only moved one WIP.  I finished everything but that king sized bed spread I've been working on for 2 years.  It is getting done before summer, I swear!