Saturday, February 16, 2013

Quilt finished. What's next?

I]]]Somewhere angels are singing the Hallelujah Chorus--The Zebra Quilt is Done and Delivered!!!!! Terri loved it. The people at work applauded appropriately. Now we are on to the next project. But first, I want to show me and the quilt:

Do I look happy, or what? Now, I'm off to the next project.

Some time past, I got sucked into Annie's Catalog. Annie's sells craft items and kits for quilting, knitting, etc. I'll tell you, if you are ever feeling lonely, join their newsletter by email. I get at least one every day. Anyway, I was offered the opportunity to receive their knitting magazine, Creative Knitting. I really like it. The patterns are current, nice colors (usually), and the directions aren't difficult to follow. The first month I received, there's a sweater on the front that I still have yet to start. This month, the cover is a light aqua shrug. I decided to make it for someone for Mother's Day.
The yarn is a cotton blend in light pink/lilac. Very pretty. Very feminine. I think it will be well received.

Can't decide what I'll sew next. I have an order for 2 wine bags--the cotton duck is washing even as we speak. I, also, need desperately need to sew work uniforms. I really don't look forward to fine tuning scrub pants, but that is something I seriously need. The ones I have now are getting thread bare.

The grandson is growing like a weed. Some fun baby clothes would be awesome, especially with the new embroidery machine. Face it, I need a month off from work to sew. Perhaps scheduling a sewcation is in order. Hmmmmm. It could be arranged. . . . .

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Zebra print and bows. A winning combination.

I am almost finished with the zebra quilt. It has taken me about 10 hours to do all the quilting, even with the sewing machine. I think it is beautiful, though. Yesterday, I cut a template out of thick plastic for the bows. I wanted the quilt to have interest on the border--an unexpected surprise from the quilter. I hand drew bows and printed out various sizes on the Xerox machine. Then, I cut out my paper pattern and positioned each size on the border. The medium sized one fit perfectly. I traced the pattern onto my plastic template material, and carefully cut it out. Then, I positioned the template onto the quilt border and traced around it lightly with a number 2 mechanical pencil.

Once traced, the question became:  how do I do the quilting. I wanted the bows to POP against the plain, pink border, so black thread seemed the best option. However, machine quilting would not yield the handwork quality that I wanted, so I opted to hand quilt each bow. Here's my final result:

Is that not absolutely gorgeous?!! I love it!! It took me about 20 minutes per bow, which is not a lot of time. I placed one bow at each corner and at the midpoint of each panel.

Now, the question is what to do with the spaces in between the bows. I am thinking adding ribbon shaped quilting, too, but have yet to find the perfect ribbon template. I've tried drawing one, but it's too one-dimensional. I'll get online and see if there is another template or design that I can modify to fit my need.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


So, I am quilting along today, and what do you think happened? The old, reliable Bernina 1230 died. At least I think it's dead. I had been sewing all morning and turned the machine off. When I turned it back on, the lights on the stitch selection thingy started flashing and the needle kept jumping from the middle to the left side. It wasn't pretty. Thank God, I have the new Janome. I closed up the old one, opened the new one, spent an hour familiarizing myself with the fancy touch screen, and off I went. So far, the quilt is 1/2 done. By quilting the zebra print, the pattern has interest and texture:

See how it ripples? Cool, huh? 

Here's another view. I love it!!

And the back is even better:
The textural interest is great.

I have to give quilting a rest for awhile, though. I'm rather pooped after the sewing machine ordeal. I may sit and veg out, watching Super Bowl, pre-game hype and knitting. The Pottery Barn knock-off afghan is coming along beautifully.

I hope to get it done and shipped for my daughter's birthday, February 9, but that may not happen. I need to add at least 6 more inches to fit my son-in-law's tall frame. He requested that it cover him, too. Since she is 4'11" and he is 6'2", I opted to knit to fit him. Anything fits her.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Well, it's been over two months since I blogged. Yes, the baby was born January 1, 2013. Asa is perfect, and my daughter, though totally worn out in the new mom experience, loves being a mom and is doing very well. Since Asa's arrival, my sewing has slowed down horribly. Now that we are getting used to him, I am trying to get back to normal, which means I sew whenever I can grab a free moment.

Currently, I am quilting a daybed cover for a lady at work. The backing is black minky and the front is a zebra rectangle framed with pink cotton. I sewed it together, then decided the pink didn't "pop" so I ripped it out and added a strip of the minky around the edges. I love it!! Here's a picture after I attached the minky binding:

This is a view from the wrong side as I was stretching out the quilt before spray basting the batting in place. I think being non-educated regarding "proper quilting techniques" allows me to work with what I got, including my brain. I was sewing alone and had no one to help stretch the quilt, so I pinned it to the bed. If you look close, you can see the ridges in the bedspread where the pins were pushed into the mattress pillow top.

Next, I spray basted the batting into place. I used a baby quilt sized batting and since the minky is polyester, I used polyester, medium loft batting.

Then, I sewed around 3 of the 4 sides and turned the quilt. I was surprised since I have never used spray basting before how well it stuck.I pinned the quilt layers together in preparation for the actual quilting process. I had 2 packages of quilting safety pins. I think there are 70 pins per package. Those covered about 1/4 of the pins. I bought 150 more, but that still wasn't enough. After a third trip to the store, purchasing another 70 pins, I came up about 3 pins short. However, The quilt was secure enough to begin stitching.Thank goodness I had purchased a walking foot several months earlier when I wasn't sure if I would ever consider quilting seriously.

Here I am stitching in the ditch with my walking foot. The quilting blogs tell me to use gardening gloves to hold onto the fabric since they have grippy things on the fingertips. I don't garden, so I tried using rubber gloves. They kinda, sorta worked.

So here I am quilting. Woo!! Hoo!! Tomorrow, I'll post what my quilt looks like with some actual quilting done over the zebra cotton. It's awesome!!