Nov 30, 2014

and still there is learning

1. Threading a needle. Basic. Tying a knot in the thread - there's a hack for that. It blew my mind, I tell you!

It goes like this ... you hold the end of the thread against the needle and then wrap it (from the non-end) around the needle 5 times. Then you slide the whole thing down the needle and down all the thread, to the end, where you'll have a beautiful knot ready for hand stitching. There's a YouTube video if you search "knotting thread needle".

2. When you're burying quilting thread ends, you can pull up any threads left on the bottom so that you're doing all the burying on the top. If you're bringing up your bobbin thread at the start on a quilt line, you may just have threads on the bottom where you ended a line. Just pull on the top thread and watch for a hint of the bottom one, poke it with a pin and pull it up. Bam.

3. When you're burying those ends, you can do more than one at a time when they're right next to each other.

4. When you're quilting, you don't need to alternate direction on parallel lines unless you like the slight herringbone look.

And here's the front of this 29x37 inch stroller quilt - my second quilt.  :-D 

I hope the wee baby likes it when he's born.


Nov 15, 2014

more learnings...

1. When quilting, easing is necessary or you get weird foldy bits from excess fabric in one spot or another. Kind of like gathers. If you follow the three-foot rule and don't look too closely, you won't see that sort of thing.

2. One regular and one extended episode of Sons of Anarchy are not enough to bind a 55inch square quilt by hand.

3. Corners are really tricky. It's best to watch a person in person or on video because verbal instructions are difficult.

4. Modern quilting, as a concept, is not an easy thing to grasp. I'm catching on, though. It's a little bit of turning the traditional askew.

5. Whereas I had no second quilt ideas when I was initially sewing this one up, I now have cut and/or planned a Christmas table runner, a baby quilt, a Christmas swap item and a quilt for my niece. And so it begins.

6. I had no real stash to speak of, but I've started picking up odds and ends that appeal to me. And so it begins.


Nov 2, 2014

a sandwich

Yeah, so the delicious sandwich has been safety-pinned together and all is right with the world. It's about 55 inches square, so a good snuggle size, and it has four groups of four green sea turtles (honu in Hawaiian) who will forever stare at each other playfully. When we swam with them on Maui, we saw one smack another with his flipper, but these guys aren't close enough to each other to fight. They also have happy looks frozen on their faces because they aren't real. Duh.

I also have all of the binding pieced together and ready to roll. Aside from about 20 squares of 2.5", there is hardly any fabric left. It was a good calculation on a clean budget with no stash enhancement. I have fabric lined up for two more projects, so don't worry about me.

Now I have to do some practice with quilting. I've never done that before, whereas I have sewn a fair bit in my life. The difficulty I see is getting used to a walking foot, being super-precise in the ditch, and warming up to the idea of free-hand wandering.

Practice, practice, practice is what they say, so we will give it a whirl and see how it goes.