Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sew Cal Gal's 2012 FMQ Challenge - March

Ann Fahl's work is very inspiring. such beautiful and vibrant thread work. Her quilts look so real. One of my favorite doodles on paper for years have been the Hibuscus flower which I had as a little girl in my garden. There are couple of them in my garden now too. Here is my design inspired by my doodling and Ann Fahl's march tutorial.

The table runner I started around Christmas time but never finished it. Its never too late to finish a quilt.
So, for the star I choose Leah Day's Star Flower FMQ and for the Christmas tree itself I used Leah Day's Flame Stitch FMQ. The thrid is design what I came up with inspired by this table runner itslef. It repeats a pattern of Star & Christmas tree just like the quilt itself. I really like this effect. Thank you Leah for your designs. And Thank you Ann Fahl for inspiring us and your great tutorial.

Here are my designs for my notebook. This flower is my favorite and I'm not sure for how many years I have been doodling this. This was inspired my looking at Ann Falh's flower design for filler. I have mostly tried to have 4 petals for the flowers but there is no hard and fast rule around this. Sometimes, there was room for only 3 and I did only three. But the key here is that after you make the circle in the center, you want to start the first petal close to the stem. This way the flowers will always turn out beautiful. I also had to do some travel stitching around the circle in the middle and to traverse from one flower to the other.

Stars And Christmas tree

Feather Petals
Flower Border
Flowers all over

This feather petal was inspired by a combination of Diane Gaudynski's Feather Plume tutorail and Leah Day's Swirling Petals quilting design. I had couple of intermediate designs before I finally quilted it on this toddler quilt. I really loved the effect. I wish I had chosen a less busy backing or a darker color thread for the design to be more visible for pictures. 

Christmas Table Runner:
If you like my table runner. Checkout this tutorial from Jenny Doan @Missouri Star Quilt Company on YouTube. Thank you Jenny for the great tutorial.

Thank you SewCal Gal for the opportunity.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 11

This is was the task to quilt the outline of the design on the Wholecloth. First it does seem like a easy task but it does take time and patience to travel stitch on the design. I'm not even sure how good or bad I'm with it.
Would like to see your comments on how I'm doing good or bad, I want to hear both. So that I will have space to learn and grow.

Thanks to Leah for the insight into the color of thread to be used. Since, I choose a light color fabric(pale pink Kona solid)  I didn't want to go with a dark color thread. So, I choose to use matching color thread for quilting. I do like the way it turned out.  I didn't want to break the thread too often so from the sqaures to the other hearts and feather I continue without breaking thread and filled out the hearts with micro-stippling. I still left out the inner hearts and the surrounding area since I wanted to see how Leah would tackle the micro-stippling. Can't wait for this Wednesday.

Here is the picture of the front of the Wholecloth quilt: The marking are still on I haven't ironed it yet.
Pic in natural light, you can really see the quilting

Picture with flash doesn't do a justice to the quilt

Here is the picture of the back of the Wholecloth quilt.

Wholecloth Quilt Back
1.My question this week to Leah is also on the speed what is the actual speed you do the quilting for staying on the line and microstippling? I felt for microstippling little bit more speed than staying on the line was good.

2.I just read your post completely so changing my second questions. You had mentioned that we need to break threads 16 times. My question is that instead could we travel stitch on the lines of motif if we're using the same thread for the microstippling as we did for the outline of the motif? This way I can get away with breaking the thread.
3. Did you choose to use different color of thread for microstippling for video and picture purpose? Or do you suggest to use different color thread than the one used for outline because the motifs will pop more?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 10

This week was a good break from big quilts. For the wholecloth quilt I choose Kona Solid pale pink cotton fabric, since I did not have any light box and wanted the marking process to be easy.

I taped my pattern to the cutting mat and then taped my fabric too. The Frixion pen was actually helpful and quick to mark. But looks like lot of different reviews about these.
Here is a picture of my quilt all marked:
Wholecloth Quilt marked

Homemade Starch:
I didn't get a chance to go to Joann fabrics to get some starch. So, decided to make it myself. In India, we wear lot of cotton material due to the hot weather where I grew up. So, we starch our clothes for a nice stiffness. I boiled some rice with lot of water and then filtered it out. Added some more water to dilute the starch and soaked the per-washed fabric.  Right away, ironed the fabric it and nice and stiff but not too stiff. I still need to play with the stiffness. Will have to see how my project turns out after quilting.

Here is a picture of the quilt all basted and ready to be quilted.
I used the elastics like Leah had mentioned in her post for Quilt Along Week 10.
Wholecloth quilt basted and ready to be quilted

I had too used the Frixion pens from Pilot. So, I need get the quilting done soon so that it doesn't disappear in the hot weather.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 9

Here is the sneak peak of the quilt I finished for Week 8 of Quilt along.

All bound and ready to be used

Quilt back

So, this week looks like the task is to maneuver your quilt in your sewing work space efficiently. So, I thought this would be the perfect time to share my workroom. I'm literally a closet quilter. Why I have this arrangement? I share the space with my kids, they use it as their playroom and its also my sewing room. So, I tuck all my sewing machine and other stuff which I don't want them to get into, to the closet. If the baby wakes up in the middle of my quilting. I can just close my closet and run to him :-). For now, no complains I love this arrangement.
My studio(actually my closet LOL)
 This week I got very ambitious and started piecing a queen size quilt with saw-tooth-star block. I'm not in love with my center block though. It took me a long time to make up my mind about the type of block I wanted to try. I have been using the flying-geese to make these saw-tooth-star blocks. Here is what I currently have. But don't love it though. Might change the center block to the same fabric as the star-points. Any suggestions are welcome, please leave me a comment about what you would have done with the fabric choices.

16inch square Saw-tooth-star block
For this weeks Quilt Along, I quilted this baby quilt. I not very happy with my FMQ choices though. I decided to do wavy lines around each block and then also wanted to enhance the motif of "ABC" with quilting. I have used scare amount of micro-stippling to move from one block to the other and also to quilt the motif. This was more work than I actually thought.

For the first border I used a basic spiral FMQ from Leah's website.

For the second outer border, I came up with this design inspired my feathers and Leah's "Swirling Petals" FMQ. I had couple of intermediate designs and finally came up with this and I really love the effect.
I'm not sure if you can see, this is to show the feather petals

Quilt 2

Close-up of the feather petals

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 8

This week's task was very interesting. Even though I didn't get into quilting too long ago. I already have many UFO's. To the matter of fact my very first pieced quilt was never finished. I had used a charm pack to piece the quilt with 6 rows and 6 columns. The past weekend I added an additional row and two borders. The first one is 2.5" width and 2nd one is 5.5inch width.

Here is the picture of the quilt top all finished.
Pieced Quilt Top

This is the black fabric I going was originally going to use for my backing. But I didn't have enough fabric to do so. I guess when I bought these fabrics I didn't have any idea about how much fabric would be required for the backing, borders etc. Any way I might plan to make another quilt just like this. Or use this black fabric as the center for a different quilt. I love the flowers and have been tempted to just quilt around them and make them pop on my Quilt top. I will definitely do a post on this if I do another quilt with this. I'm just so in love with this black fabric. It looks like flowers floating in water. The colors are really vibrant.
Black flowers fabric by Kitty Yashodha for Benartex

I got the quilt top all ready by Monday evening and its now Wednesday evening and still haven't got a moment to baste my quilt.
This week I'm struggling to find time to quilt. I can't wait for the baby to get back to his normal schedule of sleeping at night and taking his naps. The basting step seems to be never happening.
Its Thursday morning on March 1st, I finally got time to baste my quilt. Hopefully I should be able to finish quilting it tonight. Lets see...

Its Thursday midnight or Friday early morning ;) and I finally got to finish up my quilt. Binding is yet to be done. But thinking of doing it later and adding the picture.

Quilt Front
Quilt Back

My experience:
I wanted to share my experience with large scale stippling. I would have to say it was kind of tough. I think the last one I did with the Butterfly quilt was about 1/2inch wide. Which seemed to be a perfect size for me. This time I started with 3/4inch wide stippling but at some places you might see that its as wide as 1inch. I did do the quadrant quilting like Leah's mentions in her blogs. I following everything she is saying but I really don't have any control over either on my rows nor the direction it went. But somehow each time I managed to fully quilt one quadrant and then moved to the next adjacent one.


Also the other thing I noticed I was doing is like Leah shows in her Quilt Along - Week 9 above is that I was trying to look at my quilt too to see what I had stitched before. And that position was straining my neck. I didn't have the same problem when I did the 1/2 inch stippling. So, my conclusion is that large scale stippling is really challenging on my domestic sewing machine.