Thursday, June 27, 2013

More quilting on the background dogs

I've finished (almost) all the quilting on the background!  I showed a couple pictures of the fills on Wednesday and here are a few pictures of the dog outlines all quilted in.  I say almost finished only because I just realized that Missy's left ear crosses over a background section and I should have had my radiating lines and switched colors.  ARGH.  Too bad because I just blocked it this morning.  I guess I'll just have to rip out carefully.

Next up (after fixing the ear), squaring and facing, then figuring out how to attach the thread painted portraits.

Linking up with Leah and Nina-Marie!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dog Background

I'm not sure if I ever explained what I was going to do with the three thread painted dog portraits once I finished them.  I decided to mount them (process still to be determined) on a larger quilted background piece.  On that background piece, I decided to bobbin quilt outline drawings of the dogs, just a little offset.

So after layering, basting, and lining up my drawings on the back, I started the bobbin quilting around the first two dogs.  The thread I'm using in the bobbin is Halo by Superior.  My mom lent me a spool.  So far it's running absolutely great in the bobbin (knock on wood).

Here's where the dogs are so far; I think I need to go back and work on Missy's left ear and Bullet's jawline.  It's kind of hard to tell from the back as you're sewing how it's going to look.  The fabric is actually navy, the last (out-of-focus-cellphone)-picture shows more or less how it's going to be arranged in the end.

Linking up with Nina-Marie as always.  I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kind People.

My mom juse sent me her quilt to be donated to victims of the recent tornadoes in our area.  It's for the Moore Loves campaign run by the OKC MQG.  The quilt is super scrappy and made using the block tutorial here.  I love all the bright colors and hope it makes a small child feel like someone is thinking about him!

I also wanted to say thanks to all the quilters out there (who don't even know me in person or via blog) who've called to make sure I was ok after all the tornadoes.  And as an even more lovely example, I got quilts back from a show in Albuquerque NM just last week and included was a fabulous fat quarter of some yummy dragon print fabric.  Attached was a note saying that a lady visiting the show had dropped of the fabric for me because she saw where I was from and wanted me to know she was thinking about everyone affected by the storms.  So sweet!  Thanks to all the caring people out there!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Progress on the Orchard Quilt

Lately I've been working on the orchard quilt, last seen here.   Having finally settled on an arrangement for the trees, I fused them down and began quilting in the extra branches.  It was quite a bit of thread work through all three layers to get all those extra branches in, as all of the skinny and most of the medium thickness branches are thread, not fabric. There are a bunch of unfortunate knots/birds nests on the back that are really frustrating but that I can't really pick out because they're on top of a bunch of other thread work.  I did discover that when coming back through with the snow colored thread on the branches, that I could sew over the brown branches and then color over it with brown/black/purple marker if needed (those were the colors with which I quilted the trees).  Saved me quite a few stops and starts.

Unfortunately, I realized (after doing all the work on the trees), that I definitely should have quilted the background first.  FIRST FIRST FIRST.  You guys cannot imagine, I had to stop and start my thread (and then BURY THEM ALL) for every little tiny section of background that shows between tree branches.  

Then when I started quilting the background snow, I got a whole section quilted and my thread broke.  I turned it over and was horrified to see a giant disaster.  I had to rip out the whole section.  I was so frustrated and only after much tribulation realized I'd been using the wrong bobbin.  ARGH.  Not as in the wrong color/thread bobbin, but as in a bobbin that goes to a different sewing machine all together.......

But anyway, it's coming along nicely now.  I'm switching back to the dog portraits for a while, but the next steps on this will be to put in the shadows for the trees, quilt the sky in the inset, and add a frolicking dog in the foreground snow.

Linking up with Lee and Nina-Marie as always!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Charity Quilt for Tornado Victims

The OKC Modern Quilt Guild is gathering quilts to give to Tornado victims in their "Moore Love" drive.  The devastation here is enormous and if you can, I encourage you to participate.

OKC Modern Quilt Guild

I decided to make a quilt using Jeni's large star tutorial.  After sewing it all together I realized it's been a long time since I made a quilt that big (it's 72" square).  It's a good thing I didn't plan a king sized bed quilt!  I love the colors, pink and green always make me thing of watermelon, and I hope that it makes someone feel cozy and remembered.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

First try at Machine Embroidery

Since I was thinking about buying the embroidery unit for my Bernina 450, when I was home over memorial day I thought I'd play around a bit with my mom's embroidery system.  She has a Bernina 180, which is a bit old but works great.

To start off though, I wanted to work with my mom a bit to learn some of the things she's learned.  There's actually quite a bit to your selection of stabilizer/interfacing, how to hoop, etc.  She's really gotten into designing and digitizing her own patterns which is where the creative aspect comes in for us, but obviously I started out with purchased designs.     The awesome Urban Threads was having a 50% off sale, so  I embroidered a onesie with this adorable robokitty (sorry I don't have a picture of it).  I also embroidered two firebirds on the back of my hoodie.  I love this design and was pleased to be able to get them lined up fairly well (although I probably could have used a 4th layer of stabilizer).

When I got home I went to the local Bernina store (Emily is great up there BTW) and bought the embroidery module for my machine.  I went through the manual and everything, but am having lots of problems with my initial test embroideries.  Any time there is satin stitch (either in letters or on a design), the bobbin thread pulls up terribly from the back (look at the white all over the designs and letters).  It got a bit better but didn't go away when I tightened the bobbin tension (as tight as I could!) and loosened the top (third picture with red bird).  Interestingly it doesn't happen on fill stitches (non satin stitch bird in fourth picture).

In case you can't read it, underneath the bird it says "This is a bird.  She lives by our door and poops on our porch.  We are happy to have her anyway."  I wanted to test letters but couldn't think of anything clever to say....

The last two pictures are some key fobs I made after doing more embroidery tests, as you can see the bobbin thread is still pulling to the front!  Any suggestions?  It's really frustrating me.

Linking up with Lee and Nina-Marie as ever!

Monday, June 3, 2013

SAQA blog for KS/MO/OK region

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  We weathered the next round of storms safely, although everything is still very wet and there was a bunch of damage in nearby areas.

I actually got a lot of sewing done this weekend, thanks to having no internet and (finally) no outside obligations so I'll be sharing some of that in the next couple of days.

A couple of items of business though, first, I'm the moderator for the new regional SAQA blog (Kansas/Oklahoma/Missouri).  SAQA is a great organization for art quilters and I'm excited that our region is becoming more active.  We're going to be featuring one regional artist every week and today I've just put up a short interview with the wonderful Charlotte Hickman.  Check it out if you're interested.

Second, several people have been having difficulty getting e-mails about new posts since I moved this blog over from the old address (several months ago).  I removed the e-mail subscription option and replaced it with a new one.  For those of you following by e-mail can you sign up again please and would someone be kind enough to let me know it's working?  Very sorry for the headache!

And, because a quilt blog shouldn't be picture-less, I'll leave you with this shot of the Pumpkin-dog.  I finished quilting her over the weekend.