More Tarts Progress

After finishing The Lobster project, I had to decide what to work on next. The Tarts have been on the side burner (not the back burner!) for a few weeks, so I spent a whole afternoon machine quilting parts of it. I finished a checkerboard and I quilted one whole large corner block. I felt so exhilarated. I really felt like I had crossed some kind of barrier to finishing. I feel like I am nearing the end.

Tarts - Tea Kettle quilted
Tarts – Tea Kettle quilted

Don’t get me wrong! I do NOT feel exhilarated by machine quilting itself. I feel exhilarated because I am making progress. I am nearing a point where I can put the binding on and call it done….finally.

I am really running up against my limitations as a machine quilter with this project. I want to do some free motion quilting, but I am not good enough. Any but the most gentle curves are too difficult and not satisfying using my pseudo walking foot method. I would need a lot of practice for the kind of FMQ I want and I am unwilling to do the work.

Tarts: Lime Green Round Teapot quilted
Tarts: Lime Green Round Teapot quilted

I crossed another barrier by quilting the lime green round tea pot.

Up until this point I had only quilted backgrounds, not wanting to ruin the teapots and tea kettles. I might be over that fear after quilting this one.

You can see some gentle curves in this quilting. That is about the extent of what I can do with the machine quilting method I am using.

And there is some bad news.

Tarts: burn
Tarts: burn

I burned the quilt. Well, really the quilt got burned. I don’t know exactly how, but I think the quilt was shoved up against the light I have behind my machine for too long. The burn is worse on the back, but does go through to the front. It might look ok in the grand scheme of things, but I’ll have to consider what to do.

Despite the burn, I like the style of this quilt and am thinking of recreating the quilt, “He Tried to Make it up to Her”. I have been thinking about all the different kinds of fusible I have. After contemplating the feelings around the Tarts, it occurred to me I could remake ‘He Tried’ and then have Colleen quilt it. something to think about.

Continuous Tarts Quilting

Tarts: Bottom Center (Latte glass and silverware)
Tarts: Bottom Center (Latte glass and silverware)

As you can see from other posts I am not continuously quilting on the Tarts, but it is a project I try to work on every day.

I was pretty excited about how the frame went after my first post, so I worked quite a bit on it. The bloom, however, is off the rose, as mentioned in my last post. Still, I am soldiering on.

Tarts: Latte glass quilting
Tarts: Latte glass quilting

My latest efforts are some smallish blocks on the center bottom, a latte glass and some silverware. I thought I could do some straight-line curves around the latte glass. I wasn’t happy with it and I ripped it out and went back to straight-line quilting the background.

I like dense quilting and I like my quilts flat so straight lines are working best for me.

More Tarts Quilting

I am done with the novelty of quilting. The bloom is off the rose.

Tarts: Pink corner background quilted
Tarts: Pink corner background quilted

Still I am quilting. It took me all day to quilt one corner background of the Tarts. The quilting looks good, but it was tedious and took a long time. No, I am not doing free motion quilting; I am doing straight-line quilting, which is the type of quilting I can sew successfully and, thus, be happy with.

Am I tempted to rip out the quilting and take it to Colleen?

Yes.

I am going to hang in there. I have made so much progress after years of no progress that it would be stupid to rip it out. Still, I am tempted. Quilting is terrible.

The Tarts Return…Yet Again

The Tarts Come to Tea - July 2022
The Tarts Come to Tea – July 2022

Yes, after YEARS of having this project on my to do list, I have pulled it out of the project box and started to finish the quilting. First, I am obsessed at the moment with crossing things off my to do list. Frankly, I am sick of looking at the same items month after month. Second, I need the project box for something else.

Now that you are back in your chair a second time after being gobsmacked on to the floor, you read that right. I am machine quilting a real quilt. It isn’t a king sized quilt or anything, but it is also not fabric for a bag or a tablerunner. It is real quilting on a quilt.

Tarts: quilting center right
Tarts: quilting center right

I started working on it last Friday. I started with the frame of one of the blocks. I thought some straight line quilting would get be back in the groove.

The good thing about that red frame is that the quilting would not show if I used red thread.

You are probably remembering the Cha Cha Cha table runner. Yes, I quilted that myself, as well as some fabric for bags this year, so it’s not like it has been 20 years since I actually quilted anything. It has been about 10 years since I worked on this project. Recently, I have decided that UFOs are a bad thing for me and I want to eradicate them, as much as possible from my workroom.

I had the box of thread I used for the other, already quilted Tarts blocks, so I picked out the red (Maderia rayon I used to use for embroidery) and got busy.

Tarts: quilting finished center right
Tarts: quilting finished center right

I was pretty pleased with how the process worked. I was a little nervous about doing the frame before the center, but it ended up all working out.

I was particularly pleased that the quilting made the frame flat. It seemed really puffy when I started (first photo, above). I know that I need to work from the center out and I am doing that, mostly. I started with the frame, because I didn’t want the quilting to show while I worked out stitch length, etc.

Tarts: quilted frame detail (center right)
Tarts: quilted frame detail (center right)

I think the stitching looks ok. It is not Colleen’s stitching, but it is not terrible either.

Onward. Maybe I’ll finally finish this quilt, but one thing at a time.

APfE v.2 Started

I bought the supplies for the ByAnnie A Place for Everything Bag when I was waiting for the La Pass BOM to start. A lot of people in the group decided to make the bag to keep their project in. I thought it was a good idea and bought the supplies.

I thought I would make it over Labor Day weekend, but didn’t get around to it. I have been strategizing and finally decided that cutting all the pieces that needed to be quilted and quilting them first would really help with making the bag once I had time to sit down and do it.

I spent a good portion of time on Saturday picking out fabric. At first I was sure I would use Brocade Peony fabric, but I just wasn’t feeling the love. I searched through a lot of fabric and, finally, I chose a Philip Jacobs Chrysanthemum print because it was different. It is darker than I usually like, but had some pink and turquoise in it, so I can those colors as accents.

APfE v.2 quilted pieces
APfE v.2 quilted pieces

Sunday, I quilted almost all day. Well, I cut out pieces for the bag and quilted. I know it doesn’t look like a lot of work, but the quilting really took forever. I got more done than I thought I would, but I still have a lot to do.

I plan on making as many of the smaller pieces as I can, and, of course, cutting out the regular,non-quilted pieces so when I do have time to put the bag together,  I won’t have to stop to make handles or zipper tabs or whatever.

I am really pleased with what I got done on Sunday.

Thinking about Machine Quilting

Tarts Come to Tea Teapot
Tarts Come to Tea Teapot

Yesterday, I taught a class on machine applique. In the course of the discussion, I brought out Down the Drain to show different examples of satin stitching. I also showed The Tarts Come to Tea.

This brought up the idea of quilting, which I tried to gloss over, but my intelligent students wanted to know why they had never seen the Tarts and I had to admit that I hadn’t completed the quilting.

I felt silly admitting that the quilt was partially quilted and languishing in a project box. Will I get back to it? Maybe. They didn’t think it was weird or out of date looking, so it might be time to get back to the quilting. I quilted Down the Drain and survived the process, so perhaps it is time to get back to it?

Machine Quilting on Zoom

We had a guild meeting on Saturday. Our speaker was Christina Cameli. She is a machine quilter and I wasn’t that excited, but I really loved the presentation and her.

She had the guild send photos of several people’s quilts. People sent quilts where they needed help with the quilting. I was amazed and impressed with her suggestions.

I liked her because she was very calm and listened to the people engaged with her. The presentation seemed to be about the quilt and not about her. She used Adobe Draw to write/draw on the images. This was an effective way to show what she was thinking.

I really liked her suggestions for Gerre’s quilt. Christina asked what Gerre was thinking and what kind of quilting she enjoyed, such as FMQ, walking foot, straight line, etc. This is a quilt Gerre started in the Jen Carlton Bailly class. I love the bold prints she used. Christina suggested putting leaves and flowers in the curved pieces. I thought that was brilliant and Gerre liked the idea, too. I thought the idea was really innovative, but fit in with the spirit of the design.

Melinda R's scrapbuster quilt
Melinda R’s scrapbuster quilt

Melinda showed a scrapbuster quilt. Melinda talked a little about her thoughts. Christina shared that she felt like the brown vertical strips were bars and she suggested wavy lines to soften them. I thought the brown lines were quite dominant so this suggestion was a good idea. I couldn’t get over the thought that this was the back of a quilt and not the front. Of course, it isn’t my quilt, so my opinion means nothing.

Maria's Radiate quilt
Maria’s Radiate quilt

I am not sure how Maria felt about these suggestions. I am not a fan, though I think the vertical lines in the upper left are effective.

Pati's Graphic Black & White
Pati’s Graphic Black & White

Pati had a bold, graphic quilt to show. I thought the lines following the stair step piecing what what I would do. I really like the diagonal lines Christina suggested. They are unexpected, after seeing the stair step quilting, but fit in with the implied diagonal on the checkerboards.

Christina really thought outside of the box, but not in a weird way. The quilting designs she suggested were in line with what the quilt needed.Ii was very impressed.

You can find Christina on Instagram at @afewscraps.  I was impressed with the four books she has written, the multiple online classes and television demos before I knew she was also a nurse-midwife and the single mom of two kids. I am even more impressed with her now. Her books are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Jawbreaker Quilted

Journey 2 Nebula icon
Journey 2 Nebula icon

I spent some time earlier this week quilting the Jawbreaker. I made good progress on it, but it took me longer than Lucky Charm. Finally, after a second session, I finished it. i swear I have quilted more this year than in a long time. All the projects are small, but I am still quilting them.

Jawbreaker Quilted
Jawbreaker Quilted

Jawbreaker is evenly quilted, but has less quilting than Lucky Charm. I used the Rotary Even Foot and that worked pretty well. I just did straight line quilting – nothing fancy.

Jawbreaker quilted - detail
Jawbreaker quilted – detail

One thing that made me a little crazy is that the light green thread I used shredded periodically.

Jawbreaker thread shredding
Jawbreaker thread shredding

It didn’t shred all the time, but I noticed it at least twice and I found it strange. I very seldom have this issue with Aurifil. In the photo, you can see that the  charcoal was fine, but the light green was shredded.

 

Red Text Table Runner Quilted

Journey 2 Nebula icon
Journey 2 Nebula icon

I really don’t want these Journey2Nebula projects hanging around clogging up my UFO list. Since the next project started yesterday, I sat down on Sunday an did some simple quilting on the Red Text table runner. It will be for my buffet (if I didn’t mention that before) and I would like to get it done so I can use it for a little while before I need to set up the decor for Thanksgiving.

Red Text Table Runner - quilted
Red Text Table Runner – quilted

I quilted most of it while talking on the phone to the YM. I used the Rotary Even foot rather than my usual clear applique foot. I wasn’t happy with it for other uses, but thought it worked pretty well for quilting straight lines. I definitely didn’t have to worry about the layers shifting. I also liked it because it was quiet. Unlike the walking foot, this foot didn’t clang and make a ton of noise while I was sewing.

I don’t like quilting that much, but it was a good task to do to stay off my foot.

I also made the binding, but it was a little too big, so I need to adjust it then hand stitch the binding to the back of the table runner. I am excited to have it finished!

Quilting the Blue Strip Donation Quilt

Blue Strip on the longarm
Blue Strip on the longarm

I went to retrieve a piece of fabric that  Tim quilted for me. I will be making bags for our dining room table leaves. Because making quilts and never showing them in person is not fun, I brought some of the donation tops I have made since March. Tim has a number of my donation quilts to quilt. I told him I just wanted to show him the quilts, but he insisted on keeping a couple of them to quilt. Tim kept the Traffic Jam quilt, the Plaid donation quilt and this one.

 

Blue Strip  quilting detail
Blue Strip quilting detail

I didn’t argue with him, but I insisted on helping him load one of the quilts, the first Blue Strip donation quilt on the longarm. I made this back in March. Since then it has been languishing in my ‘going to guild’ bag. I was just about to ask if anyone wanted to quilt some quilts. I will still do that for the 2 Spiky 16 patches I have, but I have many fewer to try to pawn off.

Blue Strip on the longarm
Blue Strip on the longarm

If I help him get a quilt on the machine, he quilts it relatively quickly. It is also good practice for me, so we pinned this piece to his leaders, he tested the stitch length and did a bit of the quilting to test out the machine and the pattern. I am pretty excited that these quilts are out of my bag. I told Tim I would be back to help him get another quilt on the machine.

 

Bat Quilting

I got back to the Bat Tablerunner over the weekend. Yes, I quilted.

Bat Tablerunner, quilting in progress
Bat Tablerunner, quilting in progress

I quilted for about an hour on Sunday evening. I felt really good about the work I did. I feel like I accomplished something. The quilting was simple, but it looks nice. I felt energized and was ready for another session on Monday. I quilted for about 4 hours on Monday night while DH watched the football game.

I suffered yesterday as 4 hours of machine quilting was a bit much. I knew I was going overboard, but I really want to get this piece done before Saturday’s meeting. I need to break up my work, though so I am not in pain.

Bat Tablerunner, quilting in progress
Bat Tablerunner, quilting in progress

I was able to finish the background on Monday and make a start on the bats. I know I just need to do what I can do and hope that I can be done by Saturday.

Finished Quilting: Christmas Mat

Christmas mat quilted
Christmas mat quilted

As mentioned the other day, I finished longarming the Christmas Mat.

I am pleased with the design and pleased that all I have to do is bind. Friend Julie thinks that a red binding would work. I agree, which means rummaging around in the my reds to find the right one.

Now I have two things to which I need to make and apply binding.

Christmas mat detail
Christmas mat detail

Longarming Again

Last year I bought fabric to make a Christmas mat. The intention is that we will lay this mat on the floor and put our Christmas tree on it.

HQ Amara
HQ Amara

I was supposed to work on it and finish it last year, but stuff happened and I didn’t do it. I was able to use a friend’s longarm last week and I got the thing quilted. It isn’t finished.

My friend has a new HQ Amara on a large frame. I was excited, but also apprehensive as it has been a long time since I longarmed anything.

Quilting the Christmas Mat
Quilting the Christmas Mat

My intention was to free motion, but I ended up decided on a computerized pattern. Since the fabric is just one length of yardage – no piecing it didn’t seem necessary to spend a bunch of time on it. I thought choosing a computerized pattern would make the process go faster. Overall it took us about 2.5 hours to quilt a 41 x 44 inch sandwich. My friend is still learning and the software isn’t as intuitive as I expected it to be*.

Quilting the Christmas Mat
Quilting the Christmas Mat

We both worked on it and I was finally getting the hang of moving the quilt from a finished line of quilting back to the right to start the next line (no, it doesn’t do it itself) when we finished. I was glad to finish, because it was exhausting. I am VERY grateful to my friend for helping me quilt the thing and also for just getting another project quilted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*SIL n.2 and I have discussed how longarm computer software manufacturers don’t have the market to make really great software. If longarm software sold as much as something like Microsoft Word, then there would be more development, but the market just isn’t that large. It is a shame, but business is business.

 

Sealife Quilt-let

Sealife quilt-let
Sealife quilt-let

This Sealife quilt-let started as a piece of fabric I bought at PIQF. Perhaps I bought it last year?

I bought this piece of fabric to make a quilt for my friend’s grandchild. Since I was giving his granddaughter the BAMaQG Color Round Robin, I couldn’t very well leave her older brother out. I wasn’t up for a full on boy quilt and this piece of fabric seemed to be a good compromise.

I call this a quilt-let, because there is no piecing. I don’t know if there is another name for this type of work, so quilt-let it is.

Sealife quilt-let back
Sealife quilt-let back

After basting it in my hotel room on Friday night, I spent most of Saturday quilting the piece using some flannel for the back. I used the lines on the fabric to guide my quilting.

I have to make a binding and sew that on. I didn’t bring fabric to do that so that is a task for another day.

I am not sure this project was on any of my project lists, which means I can’t cross it off. Still, the fabric has been laying around my workroom and now it will be finished so and off to its new home.

Stars Return

You might remember me talking about the first star donation top. I don’t always get to see the finished product, but last week at the BAM meeting, I got to see it finished.

Star Donation Quilt
Star Donation Quilt

Erin quilted it. She doesn’t make a lot of her own quilts, so she quilts a massive number of charity quilts.

The setting looks pretty boring compared to Stars #2 and Stars #3, but I had to make it in order to get to those two. Erin’s quilting makes it look a lot better!

I was thrilled to collaborate with Erin and look forward to seeing what she does next.