Tag Archives: jelly roll quilt

Little Updates

Hurray – It’s Friday!! When you work at home, it doesn’t really matter as much that Friday rolls around, does it? But I still love that feeing of heading into the weekend. It is probably just ingrained in me from the years of being in school, working, having kids in school – Fridays are a great day!

I am popping in with just a few things to tell you. Before we get started, you may have noticed the incredibly beautiful hatching chick in the picture above. Julia made it in first grade and it makes me smile to remember those days. Do you keep your kids Objet d’art from way back when?

Ok, the first point of discussion is about commenting on various blog posts. There has always been this glitch in commenting on certain blog posts since I use WordPress for my blog. I know about fixing the no-reply issue and I have done that a couple of times but things are always changing and once again, there are many blogs I cannot comment on directly.

Additionally, those blogs I can comment on (that are not on a WordPress platform) usually have a Captcha process to go through. I don’t mind this for the most part. Many of the blogs have it set so I usually have to click one round of objects (you know, the fire hydrant, traffic light, bus, car, cross walk or store front) but there are some blogs where I have to go through five and six rounds. To be completely honest, after the 3rd round or so, I just give up. It becomes a bother.

Instead of just reading posts and not commenting, I have started to comment directly by using a blog reader. I have used Bloglovin for years to organize the blogs I follow and to keep track of those following me via Bloglovin. A while back they added a feature where a reader can comment on a post right there. It is not heavily used but it is so convenient. It does mean the author of the post has to check Bloglovin to see those comments. I cannot figure out a setting where they will notify me if I have a post comment on Bloglovin. That would be a great feature, so maybe one day. I just wanted to let people know that they might want to check Bloglovin and see if there are comments from yours truly or others on their posts. Not the perfect solution but I am going to continue to do this and see how it goes. At least I am trying to interact and not just lurk behind the scenes.

Springtime blocks.

As for sewing, I have been working on these cute blocks. This line is called Floriography. I had purchased a stack of it at least three years ago. I began a Tula Pink quilt with it but hated the way the blocks looked. I clearly didn’t know what I was doing and it gives me a headache just to look at those blocks! So, I decided to throw in some solids from my wonderful closet of stash and make these blocks. I want to make more blocks with the darker blue and pink before I really work on the layout. I am using a pattern (tutorial really) by Cluck Cluck Sew. I had pinned it long ago and decided this is a great use for it. I am looking forward to making more of these and putting it together.

This weekend Julia selects her piggy for this year. She is pretty excited (actually, so am I!). My son and his wife are coming for a little family time and my parents are coming to dinner tomorrow night as well. I am thinking steak and shrimp for dinner with peach cobbler for dessert. This should make for a great weekend! Family time, baby pigs, and good food. What more does this girl need?

Check out my Forsythia blooms! So pretty this time of year!

I cut some to bring in the house. The blossoms always drop everywhere but it doesn’t bother me. I love the bright yellow indoors!

Through this weekend!

Remember – there is a great sale on Michael Miller Fabric over at my shop. Today and through the weekend, it is 50% off. There are some great stripes for quilt bindings and a few large scale prints that would make wonderful quilt backs. Come take a look! Have a great weekend everyone! Linking with Myra at Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday.

Day Two at the Long Arm Shop

Last week I spent several hours practicing on a long arm machine. I decided to work on a quilt top that I made last fall. Using Kaffe Fassett stripes and solids, I made a strip quilt last fall. As often happens, it was put aside and left untouched for almost a year. By the time I finished this quilt top, it was distorted and nowhere near flats. Not sure if you remember this one, but here is the first post if you want the back story. In that post I mentioned that I had put some of the strips together incorrectly and had to do a bit of seam ripping to fix it. I think I handled the strips too much and they really stretched. If you haven’t handled Kaffe Fassett shot cottons, they are very soft. This makes for a cozy quilt but using a jelly roll of this was harder than I expected. Of all my quilts, I am sure this one has the most technical flaws. But it is also one of the prettiest because of all the color.

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Fast forward eleven months, I decided to finally finish it. The colors are gorgeous and it deserves to be used. I knew it would never be a quilt to brag on but oh, it is so soft. Quilting it on my machine or the long arm was going to be problematic either way. I figured if I took it to the shop, they might be able to help me to make it as good as possible. When I showed it to the owner, he said I could choose to make it flat and out of square (by a long ways) or I could square it and there would be some big folds that I would just have to quilt down. Without much deliberation, I chose to smooth it and deal with squaring it up later. The larger goal was to practice with the long arm. He helped me load it and played with it to get it as flat as he could.

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I didn’t have much of a quilting ‘plan’ in my head with this. More important was learning to use the machine and get the feel of it. The speed picks up on the machine and it is difficult to get into a rhythm that isn’t too fast and allows me to have good control over moving the needle. I did a random stipple with a few loops here and there. It was so much fun. I loved the freedom of movement since I wasn’t dealing with the weight of the quilt. When I think back on how it felt when I was guiding the needle, I am certain I was going to fast. My concern was if I slowed down, my stitch length would shorten and be inconsistent. Plus I would just forget and my speed would increase!

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Speed was my primary problem. Second to that was judging how close I could quilt near the top and bottom bars. I found myself going too close and getting trapped in places. There is no reason to go that close; it is cleaner to stay a couple of inches away from the top bar and bottom. But I would get my speed going too fast and dang it, I would find myself trapped again!

Even laying it as flat as possible, there are a few significant puckers. It couldn’t be helped. I think using the long arm to quilt it was much more successful than my home machine would have been. I could look ahead and as I moved the quilt over the bars I gently finessed it as flat as possible.  Now, remember he said if I went for smooth and flat, it would be warped and out of square? Oh my, he was right. 🙂

When I got it home I trimmed the excess batting and backing away with scissors, just to see what I was dealing with. Then I did a few dramatic, heavy sighs and asked Ray for help. I knew he would have a solution. The issue was that if I cut it square, it would be so obvious due to the linear pattern of the stripes. Both the top and bottom green stripes would have been sliced at strange angles. Ray suggested taking some of the striped fabric and enlarging the width at the bottom of the stripes. This would give a bit of an illusion of a straight line and I would be able to keep the full width of both green stripes. (I am married to a genius.) I never even thought of it. I have quite a bit of the striped fabric left over. There was no problem cutting a piece and matching the stripe up completely.

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imageMost of the extra width is covered by the binding. It was a simple solution and I am so pleased with the result. As I said earlier, this quilt is filled with flaws. But when I look at it I am quite happy with it. The colors are lovely and the feel is so soft. Learning to use the long arm feels a bit like going backward. I am just getting some confidence with my free motion skills on my domestic machine and now I am back at square one, learning to quilt all over again!

On Thursday this week, I will be back in the shop. I am going to quilt my plus quilt.  Hopefully I will be able to control my speed a bit. I am going to try to be diligent about leaving myself space at the top and bottom bars. My plan is to do loose spirals in the negative space and straight line quilting within the pluses. I think (I hope?) that is a reasonable goal for me at this point. Any hints or tips on my long arm practice sessions are more than welcome!  Also, while I am thinking of it, do I do all of the straightline quilting and then go back and do the spirals or do I just do whatever shows up within the space of the bars and keep moving it in the one direction? Inquiring minds need to know!

Linking to all of the awesomeness that is listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

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This is a good weekend to shop Craftsy! They have some great discounts on kits and supplies for their End of Summer Clearance. Take a look. This sale begins Friday, 9/16/16 and runs through Sunday night, 9/18/16.

(I am a Craftsy affiliate.)

Quilt Top Finish

This week I have a finish to share – I made a quilt top using a jelly roll of Kaffe Fassett solids and a coordinating striped piece of yardage. Several months ago, I saw the jelly roll on Cratsy.com and was crazy about the colors. Really rich, earthy tones that were just calling out to me. I didn’t have a specific plan for it so it sat on the shelf for a while.

Meanwhile, I have been practicing my FMQ and am always in search of something to stitch. I decided to make a very simple quilt top with the jelly roll as that would allow me a really clean slate for quilting. I went to my LQS and found the coordinating yardage (she has a great selection of Kaffe Fassett in her shop.)  Then I started to play with ideas. I cut strips from the yaradage and laid them out in a few patterns with the jelly roll (actually I drew everything first on graph paper but then still had to play around with it for a while, crawling all over the living room floor.)

First try:

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In this version, I was putting the striped pieces in a random pattern. (You can see that Lady was supervising me all the while – those are her paws in the upper right corner.)

Next I tried something with a bit more order to it, increasing and decreasing the length of the striped pieces by size.

IMG_20150919_3881I decided I liked this pattern best. The stitching not a big deal. Well, it shouldn’t have been. I had all of the striped pieces sewn to the solid strips and then I spend a day or two dealing with a migraine. I thought that I was through the worst of it and started to sew the stripes together. As luck would have it, I was not thinking clearly enough and in several places, I sewed them together incorrectly, creating havoc with my simple pattern. It took a bit of time with my seam ripper to get it all fixed up.

Now that it is done, I am really happy with the curved look of the solid color stripes. Kind of like an over-sized chevron.

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I haven’t figured out what I will use as backing. I know I don’t have anything in my stash that will work so I will do some shopping for that.  Most likely I will use a solid that is used on the front. I don’t plan to put any borders on it. I do plan to finish this up soon so I am going to use it as my October goal for ALYOF. I will have it quilted and bound by end of October!

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Later today my five sisters are coming to my house for the weekend. I am beyond excited. My mom and dad live about 15 miles from me so the whole family will be together for the weekend. My husband and daughter went up to the Downieville house which means it will be just the original eight of us for the weekend!

Have a great weekend all!

Linking to Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.