Showing posts with label free motion quilting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free motion quilting. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

27 Quilt Finishes in 2017

Quilting Mandalas: 
New Work from Old

I labored and debated when titling this post. It's packed with so many big ideas while trying to be subtle. Yes, I know 27 finishes is not so subtle. But I'm excited--newly inspired, and self-directed for the New Year. But first, more about last year.

Worthwhile Working Vacation

It's hard to work on vacation, but last weekend I forced myself. It was foggy and cold in Florida even for a northerner, and the wind was fierce. After a chilly swim I stayed in, and worked on Pink Doxies' webpage. 

I pinned to Pinterest. I cleaned up picture files. I added quilt photos to the 2017 Quilts page at the top of this page in the header. And finally I counted the quilt pictures there. Missing one I had not photographed, I had 27 quilt finishes in 2017. There were additional finished wall hangings, completed quilt tops, and several dozen quilts happily laid out for MCC. I longarm quilted for customers and friends. I hand quilted several of my finishes, and have others presently in process. I dyed 25+ yards of fabric, and I had fun with an abundance of creative energy!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Allison Glass Friday Finish

I sat down with a timer set for half an hour, determined
to finish the quilting. When the alarm rang, I had to run.
Back in the afternoon, I put on some soothing music,
and as you would have guessed, it started to be fun.
There was a moment of disappointment when I ran
out of empty space to quilt. After all that drama!

The light makes the back appear as if there is a lot of
bunching, but there's not. The are one or two little places
near the edge where it's not 'perfect'. If I was marketing 
this quilting, I would tear it out, and fix it. 

I changed my sandwiching process this time. I taped my
backing down to the concrete floor first. The ironed
batting was next, and also held with its own tape. Then 
the top, and also taped. All layers were taut. I used
large saftey pins, and not even quilter's pins at that,
to hold everything securely. I pinned about 5-6" apart.
This was much more successful than spray basting
on this size quilt, but I know I still need to use more
pins toward the edges next time.

My machine sits on top of a table, and I believe having
it countersunk would be a vast improvement in the 
ability to move the quilt around. I might have to ask 
for help with that one.

I was very happy with the stitching by the end.

 The late afternoon sun threw some heavy shadows,
but there aren't really big wrinkles there.

Two of the girls have had to break it in already. It passed.

Today I'm going to a friend's house for a fabric swap.
It reminds me of when I was little trading Barbie clothes.
I'm taking some fabrics that aren't my favorites in colors
she's looking for, and hoping she has some odd things
I'm looking for. 

Doesn't that sound like fun? That way you not only shop your own stash, but someone else's, too. Frugal and effective.

Today's Tips
Today's tips for navigating on the new Pink Doxie page. 

Use your keyboard letters j and k to move between posts. If you simply use your keyboard letter j, it will take you to a previous post. Tapping the letter k will take you to the next.

Any of the pictures are clickable, and will take you to that post.

Stop back tomorrow for the Pet Project Show. The linky will
open at midnight tonight EST, and run through midnight on
Monday night. Show us your pet project of the week.

Until then...
Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Allison Glass Quilt & the Inner Brat

Friend to me: "How's the quilt going?"
Me to friend: "It's going."

That's how I'm feeling about this one. 

I'm very thankful to have it well underway, but the
tiniest displeased with the FMQ. I really wanted a 
large looping design on it, but it isn't physically
possibly with my sit-down Janome. All I can manage 
are smaller loops, and you should see how I'm 
hunched down in my chair to see under the machine 
arm. I'm spoiled by my one episode using a long arm. 
It's awful. I should be working on it. It would
only take a few hours to get the whole quilt done.

But have you ever had your Inner Child, the bratty one, 
throw a hissy fit while your logical self says to suck it
up, and get it done? My daughter say this is definitely a 
First World Problem, and she's right. Time to discipline 
that unruly voice, and to say with gratitude I'm 
sincerely thankful for all the blessings in my life. 
I am thankful.

My backing is creatively pieced, and looks a bit
like it fell out of the 80's, but most of it is excess.
There should be just the smallest border around
the edges of the backing. The center is a pale
grey in the same tightly woven fabric as the front.

You can see I've left plenty of room. I learned my 
lesson on the "Chicago, 2007" QST quilt when I 
shorted the length by an inch, and had to add fabric 
after the quilting was finished.

I quilted this with an Iris thread in a citrus green. I love
working with colored threads, and my supply is starting to 
move across the palette. Defy rules that state your thread should always be one shade darker than your background. These days, all but the most traditional quilters are comfortable saying the lines are blurred on 'what works' for them. The only area I stay away from purchasing is varigated. It's not that I haven't been happy with my quilts done in varigated thread, but once you've purchased them, they are definitely harder to match with another 
quilt top.

I'm about 1/3 or more done with this, and it would
make sense to get it finished today. The problem is
that awful Moda company sold a pattern called
Modern Building Blocks, and it's not my fault it
sucked me in. 

We will have to have a talk about 
that sometime soon--after I quiet my Inner Child.

Until then...
Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
My Quilt Infatuation
Quilting Jet Girl

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Graphic Patchwork and Comments Always Appreciated

My last post, The Lowly Nine Patch Goes Mod
was about cutting into my Allison Glass 
FQ bundle. I had taken most of the bundle 
plus half a dozen Kona solids, and made 
patch blocks with them. They're bright, 
little wild, and this is a quilt I'd love to have.
These square were first intended to go
into that quilt, but it became too busy.
So I separated them into 2 quilts.

I had finally decided on this grey background,
and was headed for bed when I got a couple 
comments on my email about the grey. I laid 
there thinking, "Maybe they're right." I couldn't 
go over to check it out either. It was the middle 
of the night! One drawback of not being in the 
downstairs any longer.

This morning I looked at it with fresh eyes,
then packed it up to get some other folks'
opinions. We tried lighter backgrounds,
and they were okay, but they weren't 
powerful. I texted friends for their take 
on it. I looked at some of the sites that the 
posters suggested, but I hesitated because this 
was supposed to be a quickie quilt. I didn't 
want to put that much extra time into a quilt I 
intended to sell. There is a line where all the 
extra time spent cutting, piecing and sewing will 
eat up even more than you can recoup. So I went 
back to my original Plan A you see above.

I still like it the best.

I just want you all to know that I value your
opinions when you give them, and I consider
them seriously because I think it helps 
me grow as a quilter--even if it doesn't
change my mind in the end. So, thank you,
and feel welcome to keep leaving me advice
and suggestions. I'm never offended.

After that little top was sewn up, I pulled
out the triangle quilt from my UFO pile. I've
been SO frustrated with this hot mess. I
tried redoing the backing and batting twice
already, and it was still a wreck.

I started by tearing the whole thing apart
--again. I squared the backing first, then
 I trimmed the side of the backing adding 
it to the top to give it more length. FMQ 
will take up backing, and I was pushing it here. 
I steamed it with a vertical iron because 
it was still sticky with 505, and taped it to my
ping pong table. Then I laid the top on it with
the batting which was also still sticky with 505.
I recalled how Late Night Quilter had posted
a tutorial on how to use your long ruler to
smooth out backing, but I think that was 
without 505. I will tell you it worked like
magic, even with all the stickiness! My hero!
Just lift, smooth, and reset. Check the back,
and repeat until it looks good.

It took several tries before I had things smooth
enough to satisfy me, and then I just used
regular large safey pins to pin it together. To 
save my table surface, I slid my rotary cutter 
mat underneath the area I was working with.

The wind has been howling today, so I put
on some low music, and quilted away. This quilt
reminds me of ocean water, so I did waves.

I didn't have the exact color of thread I
might have chosen if I had shopped for it,
but this pale blue was fine. It's the first
time I've quilted with Iris Ultra.

It shows up pretty next to the teal backing.
I hope to have it all done for a Friday
Finish to show you.

Last week we started a new blog hop
called Creative Space Tag. I tagged
Maryse at Maryse Makes Things, and 
she's on the ball! Pop in to see the
bright and beautiful room she works in.

Do you want to be involved in our 
creative space hop? It doesn't matter
if you work in your kitchen, your
bedroom... darn, I know someone 
who relocates to a porch when the
weather warms up. 

Be proud of it! 

Show us how you make it work 
for you, and inspire those people who 
say they have nowhere to sew. 

Send me an email, and I'll add
you to our growing list. You'll
have advance notice if you need it.

We had a treat from Mother Nature last night.
This rainbow was up close and gorgeous.

Can you see the double
off to the right?

Within a few minutes, this was all that was left.
Glorious color!

Until we visit again~
May all your days feel like they
end with a rainbow.

Come on, Doxie Girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
My Quilt Infatuation
who also featured me today!
Thank you, Kelly.
Quilty Thankful Thursday
Freshly Pieced
A Quilting Life
Sew Fresh Quilts

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Giveaway--Variable Star Within a Star Pillow

I needed something to practice quilting on,
and have been spending lots of time looking
at block tutorials. Caroline at Sew Can She 
has a treasure trove of projects, but I 
especially love the block tutorials and tips. 
This block is the Variable Star, part of her 
Classic Quilt Block series, and I sewed 
it as she did with a block within a 
block, within a block. I'm so thankful for
her wonderful resources she shares.

I experimented with my own color palette,
and, of course, it has some pink. *Should I
repeat this again, I would be more aware
that the second star would stand out better 
with more contrast in the fabric patterns. The 
colors are very similar. Perhaps that subtley does
work as the middle star, but it appears 
a little muddied to me when the others
are so much better defined.

I rarely do this, but that color issue was 

bugging me. I went down all ready to tear out 
the middle colors, but hadn't remembered 
I'd already sewn it together. 
I must have been in the zone!

I made the decision to keep it as it was, and

just see if there would be a way to help
define the floral star points from the chevron
background by highlighting it with a
FMQ pattern somehow. I pushed on.

I outlined the daisies to keep it simple,
and added directional lines to the 
chevron fabric to pull your eye in.
It's more defined than it was before 
quilting--not entirely 'fixed', but I 
do like it! I pebbled the dark grey 
with my Aurifil bright pink, and it 
added texture AND color!

Another thing I tried was adding piping

in the same Riley Blake floral. It helps
the eye focus on the repeated daisy centers.
The back is a simple gingham.
and a long, covered zipper to remove
the insert for laundering.

If you're curious, the prominent 

fabrics are here in the selvages 
I saved, and it will have a tag 
this afternoon, I promise.

This is the Giveaway prize for the 
month, and also a finish for Adrianne's 
Q2 On the Windy Side.
The details are all in the post HERE. I
will mail the pillow without the insert
to the winner anywhere in the world.

Follow the directions in the link 
above, and let me know
the details in an email~ with any

You have through April 30th at midnight,
and the winner will be announced on
Saturday, May 2, 2015 with the Pink Doxie
Pet Project Show.

*Please, please be sure to list your email
address if you are a No Reply Sender.
If you are unsure, just list your email
in your message. I try very hard to respond 
to all my comments, but there are times
I cannot as you may have no listed email
on your profile. An email from me is not 
crucial, but I wouldn't want you to 
miss out if you're the winner, though!

Linking up today with~
On the Windy Side
Blossom Heart Quilts
Late Night Quilter Tips and Tutorials
 Freemotion by the River
Show and Tell Tuesday
Quilt Story Fabric Tuesday
Sew Fresh Quilts
Quilting Jet Girl
My Quilt Infatuation
Thank you all for hosting your
link parties!

Time to work.
Come on, Doxie Girls.
Let's go sew.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Musings

 Last week I made the trip back to my favorite 
local quilt shop, Miller's Dry Goods. My mind and 
eyes were tuned into a different fabric selection, 
and I wasn't disappointed. I was looking for, and found, 
some highly patterned, and colorful floral pieces. 

My latest inspiration comes from a book I've
highlighted here several times, and is one
of my favorite go-to reads--

This incredibly scrap-inspired quilt is the work
of Katie Pedersen, who blogs as Sew Katie Did.
I just love it!

I've been on a HST kick this year, and have written
about my frustration using pre-cuts when making 
them. The feedback I received was full of ideas, 
but two names kept coming up. One was Bloc-Loc 
for their squaring-up rulers. When I decided on this 
concept as my next project, and realized the extent 
of workI contacted Bloc-Loc. We talked about my 
ideas,and they were gracious to send me a ruler 
to use as a demo here on Pink Doxies.

I was sent a 6.5" squaring up ruler. Bloc-Loc's suggestion
in their directions say to use one inch up, so a 7.5" 
square to start. I didn't have anything that large in
my scraps to use so I hit my stash--hard!
I have over 50 fabrics cut into squares or strips
at this point--

...and another 140 or so to go!
I went after pieces that I've never used 
before first, and filled in with others.

My trusty He-Man Ruler has been very helpful. My 
tendency with plastic rulers is to lose contact
with the edge right at the end, and it causes a 
swerve or divot in my strip. The heavier ruler
with the gripping foam underneath it helps
hold the fabric in place all the way to the end.

This is the idea of a finished block. I am already
willing to say I am notably impressed with the 
accuracy and ease of the Bloc-Loc ruler,
but floored by the increased speed I can work.
So far, SO Wonderful, Bloc-Loc!

 Also on my list of daily lessons to grow my skills is
to visit the Leah Day Free Motion Quilting Project.
Every single day I do something. There is a vast 
improvement in my skills even from the first 
video until now. It's FREE, and I'm so grateful
for all the resources packed in there.

I keep practicing so I can link up with
Thursday's when she hosts a link up party.

blogbutton photo peacockfmq025_zpse5bceb10.jpg

 My days are going in all directions, it seems,
but I feel I'm moving forward like the coming
of spring is. There are so many new things to
learn when you're trying to grow.

I'd love to hear what things you're working on
or how you're trying to grow your skills.
Please take a minute and let me know 
today in the comments.

I'm so honored to be 
featured today on~

Sew Cute Tuesday

and also at

Quilt Story

I'm linking up today with~

Time for work!
Come on, Doxie Girls.
Let's go sew.