Monday, September 30, 2013

FINIS! (finally!!!)

OR:  why my next several quilting projects will be MUCH smaller.

This began as a "Mystery Quilt" retreat at my local quilt shop, Needle Me This.   Intended to teach quilting skills, it didn't take long for me to learn something about myself:  I don't like working on a project and not knowing my goal.  For me, "Mystery Quilting" is a bad idea.   This is no fault of the teachers or their excellent written instructions.  The step-by-step guide, augmented with sketches, was well-written, and did not miss any needed steps.  I  followed along, and achieved the desired results.  I just felt uneasy the whole time, not knowing if I was on the right track, or not.  Had their been a picture of the finished project, I would had caught on quicker, and enjoyed myself more.  That would, however, have defeated the purpose of the "mystery".  So, I learned something useful about myself.  Mission accomplished!

This quilt began with cutting fabric into 5 in squares, and those squares being sewn into a 4-patch of precise order.

Each of 120 4-patches was then sub-cut, and re-arranged, then re-sewn to make a pinwheel.

Then, each (of 120) pinwheels was sub-cut into 9 tiny squares, some of which were re-arranged, then re-sewn to make  a diamond, surrounded by bars.

Then, the newly re-designed squares were sewn together in a precise arrangement to make  a larger 4-patch which featured diamonds and crossed lines that resemble an Argyle plaid.

Fascinating as this was, I was starting to lose interest in the whole project.  Plus, looking at those tiny squares, diamonds, and bars was making me bleary-eyed.  And this process was to be continued until it was Queen-sized???  Not by this quilting queen!

So, I decided to let my creative juices flow!  With feedback from hubby, and daughter, I quit sub-cutting the pinwheel-squares (having made 120 of them assembly-line style), and sewed them together for a boarder.  then I added strips of batiks whose colors went with those all ready used, and repeated this process until I had pieced a Queen/King sized top. [reducing a process that may well have taken months, into 3 days]

                                     Ta da!!!

How do you like it?  As soon as the backing fabric (a cream and cafe-au-lait batik) I have ordered arrives, it is off to a friend with a long-arm quilter, to be quilted, then I shall bind it, and be completely done.  For now, I feel that most of my work is done, so I am finished.  Whew!!

One more thing:  I didn't realize it, until it was done, and hung for the pictures, but there is a major flaw in it.  At least, it is obvious to me.  No one else I have asked can find it, so I am disinclined to rip out 1000+ stitches and re-do it.  But, I am wondering if someone else might see it??

Ergo, I propose a contest:   to the first one of my eagle-eyed readers who finds, and can describe to me the flaw, I will give one whole piece of fabric from my stash of his/her choosing.  (from among the considerable array of choices I will make available). 

And now, I am off to cut out some clothes to make!!

Friday, September 27, 2013


Well, shoot!

I opened the blog tonight to post about a completely different project than this, but discovered that I had started telling you about, and seeking opinions of, a blouse that I have now finished, and worn several times.

Mea Culpa.

So:  the V8815.
It turned out great!   I lengthened the hem about 4 inches, as it fell at a most unflattering [read:  FAT] point of my body that I prefer a garment to skim over  .  .  .  and I decided to do a tone-on-tone machine-embroidery CB embellishment.

Here's how I did it:

After serging the edges of the CB seam allowance (set my Baby Lock to "B", which is a narrow-ish ["D" is for rolled hems, by comparison], tight stitch), I pressed under  3/4 in., then threaded matching rayon embroidery floss in the needle of my Pfaff, and ultra fine gauge machine-embroidery polyester bobbin thread in the bobbin.  I selected a heart-trellis design, and stitched each side 1/4 in. from the folded edge, with the hearts facing in opposite directions.
Then it got really fun!   I needed to stitch these two back pieces together, so, after marking 6 in. from neck edge (for keyhole opening), and 6 in. from hem (for ease of movement, and to mirror neck opening), I abutted the two folded, embroidered edges together and connected them with an X-design fagotting stitch.

So easy!   So pretty!

Of course, the whole project started with this necklace, and my desire to have a 'backdrop' for it.

What do you think??