Fixing the Burn

Tarts: burn detail
Tarts: burn detail

After finishing the quilting on the Tarts Come to Tea, I realized that I still needed to fix the burn. Ever since I wrote about it, I have been very careful not to burn any other parts of the quilt. The center of the burn, however, did not get any better. Crispy bits of fabric and batting fell out until I had a hole I could see through.

As I worked, I also thought about how to fix it. I finally settled on some machine applique.

Tarts: Patching the Back
Tarts: Patching the Back

First, I patched the back. To make the patch the correct size, I made a template out of tracing paper by doing a rubbing of the satin stitching. The satin stitching is more 3D than other parts of the quilt so my method worked pretty well.

Then I cut a piece of fabric that wouldn’t stand out. I didn’t have (or couldn’t find) any more of that coffee novelty print so I matched the background with a solid. It isn’t a perfect match, but looks ok.

Tarts: Back Patch
Tarts: Back Patch

Then I machine appliqued the piece on to the back.

It isn’t perfect, but I think it looks acceptable.  It is so annoying and disappointing that this burn is in the center of the quilt. In the picture of the cup (above), you can see the blue fabric through the quilt. That is the patch on the back.

I needed to take more care with the front of the quilt. I had two competing feelings while I did the work. First, I just wanted it done. Second, I didn’t want it to stand out so much after a quick glance that people would notice it immediately.

Tarts: 3 Cups, Patched
Tarts: 3 Cups, Patched

I am pretty happy with the patch on the front. It doesn’t scream out that there was a problem, though you can see it if you look closely. Hopefully people will enjoy the overall look of the quilt and not focus too much on the details.

Tarts Quilting Details

Tarts quilting detail
Tarts quilting detail

I know the photo I posted the other day didn’t show all of the tiny quilting lines.

In this series of photos you can better see my obsession. The first photo, left, shows the back of the upper left hand corner.

There are some parts that are not as heavily quilted as others. I was using the quilting on the front to express my vision. In this piece, the quilting is part of the design.

I struggle with the quilting being part of the design. I love piecing and never want the quilting to overshadow my piecing. In strictly geometric quilts, like Frolic! and Flying Around, this is usually not an issue when Colleen quilts for me. Her quilting fits really well into the design of the piecing. It’s different with a quilt like the Tarts Come to Tea.

Tarts quilting detail, upper left
Tarts quilting detail, upper left

In the second photo, an extension of the area covered in the first photo, you can see more of the differences in the density of the quilting.

The body of the triangular carafe is a lot less densely quilted than the the background, for example. I really struggled with how to quilt the larger tea pots, as discussed in September when I finally broke that barrier. I am not sure I did the right designs in the those larger teapots. My skills were not up to more curvilinear  or loops and swirls designs, which might have worked better in the round green kettle and the  tarty silver teapot.

Tarts: Tarty Silver Teapot - back detail
Tarts: Tarty Silver Teapot – back detail

The quilting on the Tarty Silver Teapot shows up very well on the back. I did quilt in some gentle curves, though if I had had Colleen quilt it, I might have had her try to mimic the scrollwork or leaves and vines you see on some antique teapots.

Tarts quilting detail, right middle
Tarts quilting detail, right middle

In some respects the idea that the quilting is an integral part of the design shows up in my choice of thread color. Also, as it my usual philosophy, when the quilting lines were not part of the design, I want them to disappear.

I used the same thread on the back and front when I started the quilting. I think I really should have used thread colors that matched the fabric colors on the back. I think it would have looked better, but it doesn’t really matter now. I don’t think anyone will really care and I don’t know that I will put this quilt in a show, but I like to do my best work and this doesn’t feel like my best work.

Tarts quilting detail, cake
Tarts quilting detail, cake

I am pretty pleased with how the quilting on the cake turned out. The cake is in the upper center of the quilt. I really like the way it turned out on the front. I kind of think using the stripe for the center of the cake was genius (if I do say so myself!). I like how the layers of the cake (horizontal) have been highlighted in the quilting. The quilting on the top of the cake is another plus. I love the way it looks like the pieces have been cut, or scored so they are ready to cut.

Now on to a binding and a sleeve. More coming.

 

Tarts Quilting Finished

After an amazingly long time with many stops and starts, I have finished quilting the last quilt I ever intend to quilt.* The first post I have on this quilt is from 2007. I wasn’t as diligent then about documenting my process, so the post is surprisingly spare on details. However there is an even older post on my old site (which still lives despite my efforts to eradicate it), from April 2003, that shows the bones of the quilt in existence at that time and says that I started the quilt in May 2002. Assuming that is true, this partial finish is a true accomplishment. This quilt has been in progress for 20 years. Crazy!

Tarts Come to Tea: quilting finished
Tarts Come to Tea: quilting finished

One of the reasons I don’t like to quilt is that I am obsessive about the lines being very close together to get my quilt flat as a pancake. If you look at the larger version of this photo you will see how close together my quilting ended up.

He Tried to Make it Up to Her
He Tried to Make it Up to Her

I think the piece looks pretty good, if a bit dated. Working on it has inspired me to to maybe sew a second/recreation of “He Tried to Make it Up to Her”. I have one block I can use and I think I have the templates for the others. Also, I really like the idea of using Philip Jacobs flowers for the basket of flowers in the bottom center. I don’t enjoy the thought of all the satin stitching required, but maybe I can do one block at a time.

Look for another post about the quilting. I plan to milk all that work, trust me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*I don’t like quilting – I like quiltmaking – so I don’t intend to ever start quilting a quilt again. However, ‘never’ and ‘ever’ are a long time and you never know what is going to happen so I reserve the right to change my mind.

More Tarts Quilting

Tarts quilting - October 2022
Tarts quilting – October 2022

OMG. Quilting is endless. Over the last weekend I thought I was making progress. Today I am convinced I will never finish quilting this quilt. Sigh.

I finally tackled the large teapots. I am still following the edges and hoping I don’t ruin the quilt. I feel the space it too big to leave it completely unquilted, especially with the close quilting of the backgrounds. The teapots looked baggy. So, I held my nose and dived in. I am choosing threads that match the fabric, so hopefully the quilting won’t show too much.

I think the tea kettle looks pretty good. I am not so sure about the teapot in the tea service. I think I will rip some of the quilt in the Tea Service teapot out.

If I never quilt anything again, it will be too soon.

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.

Tarts Then and Now

I am becoming slightly obsessed with this project. I wonder if I need to worry about how often I am using the word obsession or its derivatives lately?

The first record I have of the Tarts is from 2003. That is a few years before I started this blog, so the details are lost in the mists of time or hidden in my journal from that time. I had a 6 year old, so who knows what I wrote down?

You can see that some of the elements stayed, but some are gone. If I find those elements, I can bring them to the guild for the orphan blocks donation project.

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.

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?

#TBT: Early Tarts

I don’t often have something to show for Throwback Thursday. I received a box back from ScanCafe and I found an early photo of the Tarts Come to Tea. It is amazing to see how it has progressed and to realized that the quilt is still in process. Sigh.

Early Tarts Come to Tea
Early Tarts Come to Tea

I started this quilt pretty soon after TFQ and I made She Had to Have Her Latte and I was still thinking that novelty fabrics would be a good idea.

Those novelty fabrics were jettisoned at some point, but some of the elements stayed. Even some of the placement basically, stayed.

I also started out using much darker fabrics.

I do still have that vase, which I like and may make into another applique type quilt.

I am not sure how I feel about these improvisational pieces now. Clearly, I am having trouble finishing the Tarts, despite keeping it on the list.

Cupcake Block

Cupcake Block for Mark
Cupcake Block for Mark

Lynn of Country Crossroads Quilt Shop started a project to make a quilt for Mark Lipinski. The theme was cupcakes and the block to the left is the one I made for him. Lynn said that he likes pink, so pink it was. I had the pink dot out for the Swoon #6 block, so I used it for the background. The cupcake pattern is from the Tarts Come to Tea. I just made the cake part a bit taller so it looked robust.

Lynn must be a woman to be reckoned with, because I got a photo of the quilt and someone delivered the quilt to Mark in time for his birthday.

Mark Lipiniski Cupcake Quilt
Mark Lipiniski Cupcake Quilt

I was really thrilled to get a photo of the quilt from Lynn.It is a wonderful quilt. There is a block in the upper left corner that has the Facebook “Like” thumbs-up symbol. There is a really a lot of nice work in this piece.

Captain Cupcake
Captain Cupcake

Someone also made him a very cute chef’s hat. I saw a photo of Mark wearing the hat on Linda Lum deBono’s Facebook page.

Just fun.

Tarts Return

Tarts quilting Detail
Tarts quilting Detail

I rearranged my workroom yesterday and quilted on the Tarts. The quilt was calling from where it was neatly hung in the closet and begging to be worked on. Since I had no good excuse NOT to work on it, I pulled it out and quilted some blocks. I did lots of straight line quilting, because the tension on my machine needs to be adjusted. I also didn’t feel like taking the time practice.

I set a goal of doing the yellow section that I had to pick out last Fall. I surpassed that modest goal by quilting that small section, the section next to it, a cup and a piece of pie. I am pleased.

Spending Quality Time with Tarts

I got a bug in my ear a week or so ago to quilt the Tarts. They weren’t hanging in the closet quilting themselves and the label does say 2010. I hauled them out, set up the table and quilted away. I did mostly straight line quilting the background of the 3 cups blocks. I also quilted (mostly) the to go cup. I need a differented colored thread to finish that one.

FMQ Fail
FMQ Fail

Then I got cocky, practiced my free motion skills and did one small strip in free motion circles. Big time fail. I couldn’t get the tension quite right. Yes, I was using the same thread in both the bobbin and the top (different colors, but same thread. Yes, I matched my speed of moving the quilt with the speed of the machine. Fail. The bobbin thread ceased to show through the front, because all of the top thread went through to the back. The yellow you can sort of see in the photo is the top thread. Unsewing is required.

The good part is that I am back in the saddle on this project and there is hope that I will get it done in 2010.

Hideous Tarts

Tarts Come to Tea, April 2010
Tarts Come to Tea, April 2010

Ta Da!

The Tarts are ready to quilt. Don’t have a heart attack when you see the grey border. I know it is ugly fabric that does not coordinate with the bright cheerfulness of the rest of the quilt. It is a quilting border and will be removed or cut off after the quilting is done.

I worked on the last bit of applique’ over the weekend and sewed on the quilting border. Except for the basting, the Tarts are ready to quilt. I didn’t realize that this piece was acting like a creativity dam. It was stopping up my creative problem solving for other projects. As soon as I did the applique’ and put the border on, I felt like I could do anything. It was an awesome feeling.

Tea Kettle with Stars
Tea Kettle with Stars

I tried a number of slight variations in location for the stars, for about 2 minutes, and then I just appliqued them on. Mentally, I am done with the project and hope I can make it through the quilting.

Tea Kettle with Stars, detail
Tea Kettle with Stars, detail

I am pleased with the way the block looks.

Lesson: stop thinking and just do it!