Saturday, July 18, 2009

Almost Done

Well, after all that whining, I finally got the color challenge quilt quilted. Whew! That was tough. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I was torn between meandering all over the background or straight lines diagonally across the quilt. I really wanted to do the lines, to emphasize the diagonal chains, but I was afraid that would obscure the stars. I was also afraid that my meander quilting wasn't good enough to do a whole quilt. So, I practiced a lot and finally "meandered" the quilt. (Is that a verb??) I think it looks alright, but don't look too closely. I crossed some lines here and there, and did a few sudden turns, but all in all, I'm pretty happy with it. I also ended up quilting a square in the middle of the stars, as they looked too "poofy" to me. I quilted straight lines in the border area, just to differentiate the border from the body of the quilt.

But, I had a "Doh!" moment. I practiced so much with the "good" thread that I only got about 1/2 way done and I ran out of thread. I was using the Mettler silk-finish thread, and didn't realize how little thread is on there compared to the spools I'm used to using. So, I had to go back to the fabric store for more thread. Needless to say, I bought two spools the 2nd time! And I hope I remember this the next time I'm buying this thread for quilting! I really like this thread. It works in my machine beautifully, and it shows up nicely. Kind of sits on top of the fabric instead of sinking in too much. So I will be buying more of it.

I think I need to do more quilting more often, so that it's not so stressful and I can be more comfortable with it. I'm planning on quilting a few small items around here that are waiting for quilting, now that I'm "warmed up". I was hoping to get one thing quilted every month this year, but so far that hasn't happened. My big quilts will still be going to my long-arm quilter. I just can't handle a big quilt, and she does such a wonderful job for me. (Hi, Shari!) But there's really no reason to dawdle on my small projects. We'll see how well I do at this. *grin*

I got about 3/4 of the binding sewn down the other evening sitting in a lovely air conditioned room at the local library, but now am waiting for the weather to cool off some before I work on it again. Yesterday it was at least 91* and the day before it was 89*! Way too hot to sit under a quilt stitching. The color challenge reveal is next Friday, so I have a few days to get it done.

After all that precision and exactitude, I HAD to do some liberated piecing! I'm using mostly dark blue for the backgrounds - don't know if you can tell that in the picture. And I'm using my hand-dyed fabrics for the points on the stars. I got 2 more done last night, but no photo yet. I'm not entirely certain where this is going - I'm just playing and letting it tell me where it wants to go. Much more fun than those little 4 inch stars in the color challenge!

The other day DH and I made this little woodland garden (and I use the term loosely). It's on a stump in the backyard. These are all little plants that we found in our yard: a small fern, a tiny hosta, a little violet or two. So far, it's staying alive. That's a foxglove flower in the foreground that's growing by the stump. They're wildflowers here. About a month or so ago, they were absolutely everywhere. I used to struggle to grow them in California!


Yesterday we went to the county fair. That was fun, in spite of it being hot enough to melt metal. I really enjoyed seeing all the animals - that's my favorite part of the fair! The quilt display was disappointing - not very many quilts there, and the lighting was poor. But we had a good time.
On the way home, we took a side trip to investigate a road we've never gone down. (You can see we live out in the country, as this is about 5 miles from where we live.) We found this great shot of Mount Rainier. The mountian is starting to lose its snow, but there's also glaciers there, so parts of it are white all year round. You can see there's still some snow on the shorter mountains - that fell the last time we had rain, over a month ago!

It's California weather here this summer - hot and dry. There was a grass fire near here the other evening. And no rain predicted for the next 10 days at least. My DH is very happy with the weather, but I could do with it being cooler and damper, at least once in a while! But, I've got a tan (without trying) for the first time in 3 years!

13 comments:

  1. I always get a few crossovers and a couple jerks too but I just don't let the quilt police in my house. Keep quilting and it will get a lot easier, but never easy to decide what quilting goes where.

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  2. I love to quilt my quilts, but my neck and upper back and shoulders are not usually happy about quilting. Never worry about crossing a line or quilting lines then sonething else in the same background it is your quilt, you can do anything you want to do. Thanks for sharing. Fern

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  3. Your challenge quilt looks amazing - wow! I've done that with thread too, I hate running out. Small projects done more often sounds good to me - I get so sick of large quilt after large quilt after large quilt.
    It's funny that you're so warm there, and it feels like autumn here in Michigan - only in the 60's today! Really wonderful quilting weather.
    I love love love your liberated piecing. I simply have to try that! My machine needs to go for service first, though.
    Your little woodland garden is so precious, I love it! And amazing picture of Mt. Ranier.

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  4. Glad that you were able to get your challange quilt quilted and almost bound. I can hardly wait to see the pictures of the reveal. Your liberated stars are very good looking, I like how the points standout from the background. Hope that you get some cool weather before Friday.

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  5. I love your purple quilt. I had to laugh. I was reading your description of the weather and figured out you had to be from Washington even before I saw your picture of the mountain! And yes, I'm with you, it's WAY too hot. Thankfully we had air conditioning installed a few years ago when we replaced the furnace. Best thing we ever bought.

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  6. those liberated stars are wonderful and so much fun and more meaningful to have your own handdyes in there too. eek, that's as hot as here!

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  7. I am crazy about your liberated stars. I love the way you inserted the plaid fabric. My aunt made a quilt with liberated stars and dark fabric and it worked out great.

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  8. Love that purple quilt. The person who receives it will be a lucky ducky. I think you did a great job quilting it, too. Isn't it great to have it finished? I agree with you about keeping up your quilting skills. I need to do the same.

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  10. Hi Sharon! Your purple quilt is great. I know what you mean about the precision piecing versus liberated piecing. At my elderly age of 48 I much prefer the liberated piecing, making it up as I go. It's much more fun and you can play with color in a much more free manner. Have fun!

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  11. Your challenge quilt looks fabulous and I really like your star blocks!

    Sounds like a lovely weekend.
    Cheers,
    Dionne

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  12. Love those liberated stars! And kudos on the finish :- )

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  13. Love the purple! And I can totally sympathize with running out of thread! Just when you've got great momentum going...ack!

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