Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Hexagon Quilt

Since I can't finish up quilting on my lily pad quilt I decided to work on something new. I was looking through my fabric and came across cut sets for these blocks. I have enough fabric to make maybe 10-20 more. They are only 8" across, so won't make a very big quilt.

I bought a light pearl gray and deep blue to go with them.

Using those fabrics and this layout I think I have another one I'll like. Because I don't have enough fabric for the kaleidoscope blocks I think I am going to make some of them from the blue. So I will have a mixture of the kaleidoscope blocks and solid blue blocks.

I'm linking to Esther's blog  and Freshly Pieced to share my WIP today.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I'm actually quilting...and a new machine!

 I've been working on quilting a top! I's amazing, but it's true. I took a class from Craftsy and decided to put some of that new knowledge to work. I basted this quilt with 505 Spray and Fix following the method from the class, and then quilted around the border and then within the quilt to make blocks that I can quilt.

The blocks ended up being through the hexagons which I continued to the borders, but they work.

The quilting is very simple in the stars as you can see. Just starting in one of the points and echoing in to the middle. It was very hard trying to decide what I should quilt in the octagons. I came back to this design a number of times before I decided to just go with it. You can't see the quilting on the front of the blocks at all. As you can see in the picture to the right, they just don't show it at all, but the back looks pretty cool.

The back is pieced so may not look too bad when it is finished as a quilt. My right shoulder is really sore from moving the quilt through the small harp of my Bernina. I have had some problems with it for a while and it is getting better, so this is now muscle pain. It is hard moving the quilt around in such a small space. I only have  4 1/2 inches high at the highest spot, and 6 1/2 inches at the widest spot. This quilt is about 70 x 100 so hard to move in that space.

I have been looking at mid-arm sitting machines for years, but have never been able to justify the $4,000-$6,000 they cost. I was looking and drooling again today. Thinking about how much easier it would be to quilt with more space. I found a "deal" on one of them that allowed for monthly payments of about $90 with no interest. I almost bought it but came to my senses. My husband told me to go for it, it is a small amount per month and we can certainly afford it. But $90 per month for 48 months is still more than $4,000. I just couldn't. I quilted some more, rubbed my sore shoulder some more, looked some more and found this machine from Bailey's Sewing Center in New York. I talked to my husband again, and he finally convinced me that is it going to be used, so just DO it already!

I purchased a classroom machine and the table and it was less than $2,500. I'm still a bit anxious about that much money, but I know I'll use it.  I think I got a good deal. The machine was used as a classroom machine for less than 10 hours. It will be cleaned and tuned if necessary. Shipping on both the machine and the table was free and I should get is some time in a week or two.

I decided on this one for a couple of reasons. It was much less expensive, it is modified by the folks at Bailey's from a machine that is similar to my Bernina, so I feel like I'll be able to clean and oil it; the bobbins are the same size as my current machine so it's not totally foreign.


I'm linking to Judy's blog at Patchwork Times. Go see what other's are doing.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I tried...but

I don't like paper piecing, but I thought I'd give it a try. I have put the wall hanging pieces in a box. Maybe I'll try again some time later. I tried about 4 times to get started, but I had to take it apart 3 times and decided to put it aside.

I have made the back for this quilt. I added borders, and then decided to piece the back using the bits and pieces I had left over from making the top.

This is what it looks like. It took a long time, but I think it will be fun. I'm going to try using spray basting this time to see how it works. I took Small Machine, Bit Quilts, Better Results on Craftsy and that is how the teacher, Ann Petersen, bastes her quilts.

We'll see how it works.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Next One

I said  was going to quilt a quilt before I started the next top, but there are these designs rolling around in my head, so they have to come out...and making a top is so much more interesting than quilting!

I just came back from a pilgrimage to Ireland with a group of 16 people. One of the things I did was prepare a prayer book of Celtic prayers. These are very grounded and immediate. I love a lot of them. This one in particular, this is one from the Carmina Gadelica found online.

So I designed this quilt using the free software Quilt Assistant and today I bought the browns. I'm using all solid fabrics and the finished quilt should be about 24 x 38. The fabrics I chose are close to these colors, but not exact.

I'm going to tackle the words one of two ways. Either I'm going to use a stencil I make and add them with Shiva Paint Sticks as I did on this banner. The problem I see is that I will be stenciling over seams and it might not work well. In that case I might use the method I used on this wall hanging. I used batik for the letters because the fabric is tightly woven, so won't fray, and Misty Fuse and top stitching.

Here are the fabrics I have to use, I think I'm going to like it a lot!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

...and the Top is Done

I like the way this one looks. I have no idea how I'm going to quilt it, but I really like the way it finally turned out. I didn't want black for the border. I was going to use a light blue around the gray, but I think it's done.

I like the secondary pattern of the stars. It was fun figuring out how to make the borders fit around the hexagons. It's about 67 x 84. It will be big enough for the top of the queen bed in the guest room, but not a whole lot bigger than that.

I just found "Let's Bee Social" on Sew Fresh Quilts and love the blog. She also has a link party, so I've decided to join. If you want to see some more quilts, check here.

I also decided to share on WIP Wednesday on  Freshly Pieced and you can see more quilts here.


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