Friday, August 23, 2013

3597 + 9 + 2 + 1 label

Last photo of "Determination", before it goes into the storage closet for an unnamed recipient.  Yesterday I did the binding in one day, and my hands were so cramped!  3597 pieces, which is documented on the label, but then I realized later that I hadn't counted the 9 binding strips, the 2 backing pieces and the 1 label!  So there, that's how many pieces.  Of course, the number of string units had to be averaged.  

The triangles on the border on ONE side were different than the others, so the quilting motifs had to be finessed, if that's what you call it!  I LOVE the black which is mottled, not pure black.  And I LOVE the thread, a King Tut, again a mottled/variegated black.  This was a very good idea and was visible even when eyes are tired.

New project - playing with strings, with basic, gentle machine quilting.  

 I do all my own quilting, on a DSM, a Janome 6500 MC.  This machine has been a workhorse - (knock on wood).

Sunday, August 18, 2013

"Determination", almost finished!

I've showed bits and pieces of Orca Bay, now called "Determination", over the last few months - this project went on for a long time - I'm guessing there are well over 3000 pieces in this baby!  It was started as a Mystery, from, after Christmas, January 2012.  The top went together quickly, but then I couldn't decide how to quilt it, especially wanting to emphasize the diagonal lines.  Here it is, so far.  I have the borders to finish, then the binding.  There is a LOT of quilting on this project.  The "light" is done in a pale variegated pink - a LOT of quilting, and the dark stars are quilting in dark blue, a simple continuous curving lines around the stars points and through the center.  That outer border is a black marble - less dramatic than pure black.   The Backing is a medium dark blue, and I used a variegated blue thread in the bobbin. The border went together so well - a miracle!  Thanks Bonnie Hunter!
Here is a corner and part of the quilting - a curvy loopy line/vine, that swerved into the large white triangle with a heart-chaped leaf.  I'm getting close to DONE!   

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Barn Blocks - Lady of the Lake

Planning stage - I'm GOING to paint quilt blocks on our Barn/Garage.  We call the garage "the barn" as both of us have some country background.

This design is 4 blocks of "Lady of the Lake" - many years ago, I sailed a LOT!  

2 quarts of quality Latex semi-gloss house paint and a large roll of Painter's tape = $44.00!~  Yikes! Oh Well, I'm on a ROLLLLLL!  I started Saturday, finished on Wednesday morning.  

Here is my first, and only mistake.  I admit - I did NOT listen to DH.  But I also didn't want to make holes in the barn/garage, and decided to paint my blocks on the siding -- not the best idea. 

Background is blue/periwinkle - don't you just love that word?  

You use more tape than you think - have a friend or husband hand you the tape pieces.  I needed 2 coats of each color.  You cannot tape it all at one time, but must stagger some of the lines.  The painting didn't take much time - but there were many trips back and forth.

It was impossible to paint with the sun glare. I had to paint very early and then later in the day

I needed a small makeshift scaffold to paint the higher parts.   The chair is used after weeding or watering petunias!  LOL

OK, (below) here is what happens when painting on siding.  No matter how hard I pressed the painters tape, some ooched out under it.  I tried pouncing the paint with a sponge brush instead of strokes, but it didn't help.  Oh great - my enthusiasm is waning!  I should/coulda/woulda painted it on a smooth piece of plywood and hung the sign, and made holes in the barn/garage siding.  Too late now.

I missed taping a few triangles (easier than you think!), and had to re-do several times, but the most time-consuming was "fixing" the paint ooching.  I should also have purchased a bit of barn/garage paint, as it ooched under  the taped edge, and onto the siding where I didn't want it.  Uh ohhh, none of that paint left.  DH gave me a good chisel brush, very fine, for fixing the final touch-ups. Since he was my official tape dispenser, he decided to get in the act!  Smarty pants!

 All done.  This is the view as we come and go, in and out of the barn/garage.  Happy DAY!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Rocky Road to Kansas, 5 Rows

Whew - so far, so good, but that's a LOTTA white!  I have one more row in process, making 30 blocks. Blocks are 12 inches finished.  Seems like a DARK, strong border is needed.  hmmmmm, perhaps more dark wedges paired with a medium blue???  Border ideas anyone?  Maybe there are enough wedges already?

My original plan was to keep the centers upper left dark.  But, somewhere along row 3, after closely concentrating on sewing those persnickety pointy corners, my disciplined layout was forgotten.  (Can't-See-the-Forest-for-the-Trees-Syndrome).  Some centers had dark in upper left, others had light in upper left - they did NOT look right.  My casualness said "OK, leave them that way."  Well -- every time I LOOKED at the quilt, it said "you messed up".  Eventually, I couldn't stand them laid wrong, and begrudgingly, unsewed the first 3 rows.  (Note to self, "follow your instinct." )

This is from Eleanor Burns/Quilt in a Day, and I love that she provided heavy card stock templates in her book.  That long white triangle along the side is one piece and sewn from pointy tip to the center, then pivoted, then down to the other point - no stopping.  My technique improved after 3-4 blocks, with the use of a tweezers at the pivot point, and I only had to fix a few.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Orca Bay, "Determination"

This humongous project has been LOOKING at me for many months, waiting for a message from the quilting gods for quilting advice. The finished top appears to have diagonal light, then dark rows.  The two values are so strong, the project looks very jumbled, but I'm having faith that if I quilt the dark areas in dark thread, and the light diagonal with a lot of light thread, I'm hoping the diagonal appearance will be more visible.  Oh well - here goes!  This was a mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter at, called Orca Bay, with a gazillion pieces (how many? I think about 3000!)   If you actually KNOW, I'd love to hear your count.  Look at that border!  Surprisingly, it did not take as long as I figured, and it turned out very well!
It is very thick in some places - my machine is "clunking" here and there, with a few missed stitches at thick corners. Grace and fluidity seem to have gone out the window so far.  The dark blocks are quilted one at a time.  I am starting with the strings, and can go from one to the other, until 4 are done, but then must stop and restart in the Ohio Star.  The star can be quilted without stopping.  The pink strings (above) are part of the "light" diagonal.

Below is the project before I started quilting.  I see circular patterns, but the diagonals are not so clear.  Hope this works!

I'm using cotton batting, and even though I basted the edges, that cotton is all over the place, including a lot on the black areas.  It will definitely need a lint roller when completed.