Monday, May 16, 2011

The Weakest Link

For me, it is my quilting.
I have utmost confidence--even a little vanity--about my ability to choose fabrics and colors and to assemble them together in a pleasing way (well, pleasing to me). But things bog down after I sandwich together top, batting and backing. I would have to say that my quilting is merely utilitarian and mostly pretty boring. With practice and a willingness to experiment (though just a bit!), I would say it has gotten a *little* better, but I have much room for improvement.
My opalescent quilt that I made in 2007 was the first time that I combined machine with hand quilting. As you see, my stitches are pretty big. This was also the first time that I used variegated thread and I really liked the results.

opalescent quilting

So that led to a second quilt with machine quilting in the ditch combined with hand quilting. As you see, a formula is developing!

quarter log quilting

Then I went a little nuts and decided to do a whole quilt by hand. This quilt has been 'under construction' for about 2 to 3 years now--though I am getting very close to being finished! (My history has always been that things come to a screeching crawl or stop when I get to the hand work.) Again with the variegated thread.

hand quilting

The little quilt I made for the HMQG Project Park challenge was quilted by machine. Nothing innovative here, just overall quilting following the pattern of the patchwork. But look, no ditch stitching!

project park quilting

I made a little sister to the opalescent quilt. I was going to follow The Recipe, but some of the hand-dyed fabrics are done with sheeting and hand stitching through them was like sewing through stainless steel, so I opted to do it all by machine. But again--in the ditch with element outlining. I am starting to even bore myself!

little opal quilting

The galaxy quilt that I just finished is all outline quilting. The "edge-y" thing with this one--I did TWO outlines! WOW! And the trouble with doing outline quilting with the machine is that there is lots of twisting and turning of the quilt, lots of stuffing the whole quilt through the little arm of the machine, and aching shoulders when you are done.

close up

Now my current project: the mustard, blue and grey circle skirt circle quilt. And what am I doing? Well, machine quilting in the ditch, of course! I think I want to add something more, but I am not sure what. Outline the box-y elements and black lines? Add some areas of 'grid' like the background of the main fabric? Or just let the fabrics speak for themselves? I am open for suggestions. Please.

circle quilting

Friday, May 13, 2011

Help me Obi-Wan, you're my only hope.

As I quilted this, the Star Wars scene where Luke Skywalker is being taught by Obi-Wan Kenobi to 'trust the force' by having him sword fight a bobbing orb--blind-folded!--kept coming to my mind.

Black machine quilting on black fabric--I felt blind-folded and had also to 'trust the force'! It was pretty grueling! And not something to just work on for a while, until I came to a good stopping place, and take a break. There were no stopping places! It is One Long, Continual Line! Well, except for a shorter bit in the middle, but the outer quilting line is all one. The only breaks were when I ran out of bobbin thread.

I am being dramatic; it really wasn't *that* bad. But I do feel I earned this one.


Saturday, May 07, 2011

It seemed like a good idea at the time....

black machine quilting on a largely black quilt. Well, I *think* it will be a dramatic quilt, that is if I don't loose my eye-sight in the process. The good news is that because it is SO VERY HARD TO SEE, it is very forgiving and the quilting mistakes are hard to see as well.

what was i thinking 

 (Please ignore the cat hair.)