A View of My Quilt Life

Monday, October 31, 2016

Thirteen Out of Nineteen!

Thirteen out of Nineteen - Oh My!

I was physically out of the house, travelling for thirteen of the first nineteen days of October!  Thankfully, for the first four of them, I had my machine & Flying Geese project with me.  Otherwise by now, I'd be way stressing out about getting the FG quilt done and entered by the deadline.

OH - And the deadline, which I was sooooo certain was November 1st,  is actually November 4th! Not a huge difference but that gives me at least four extra shipping days to get the cd and entry form package down to Paducah. 

All the travelling has been fun, exhausting and an adventure.   I'll be posting some select pictures from the trips later but I can tell you I was out in Los Angeles 

Coral Beach, California - Pacific Ocean

& Boston in the span of a week!   
Singing Beach, Cape Ann, Massachusetts
Bi-coastal fall adventures - one country & yet worlds apart. 

On the quilt front, my focus in the evenings and weekend home has been quilting, quilting and more quilting!  Twenty-four Bird blocks take forever to quilt out. 

Okay. maybe not forever but it sure felt like it.  Doing this on a domestic machine requires a lot of start, stop, turn, wrestle, re-position, and repeat - as in sew 2 inches,stop, turn, sew a half inch, stop, turn, swear, re-position the entire top, sew 2 inches, repeat, repeat, repeat.  I actually had a moment of thinking that it was time to seriously research a mid or long arm machine - something I've resisted for forever.

Once I had the birds all quilted I had very few ideas of how to quilt out the background.  One day I'll learn to think ahead about the whole quilting pattern, I swear.  Or I can hope. 

 Since the birds are very closely quilted, I chose not to quilt the flying geese themselves, just all the blue background around them. I will say the Tahiti blue batik is much easier on the eyes than a solid black would ever be!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Sandwich on the Floor

The new quilt got about a third of the way pinned into a sandwich 

before I ran out of pins. DRAT!!! 

While the quilt was stretched out on the floor waiting  for me to get more pins, the dining area underwent another transformation.

It makes a great workspace! 

I spent some time staring at the quilt all laid out, trying to figure out how to start the quilting on it.  Finally, I remembered a great place to start would be original version of this quilt - "Midnight Flight to the Four Winds". 

I liked the way I quilted the bird blocks so that was easy to decide to more forward on them.  The background quilting took a little more time to figure out, and even then I've only decided on the inner part of the yellow bird center.  

You know it's a serious quilt session when I bring two machines with me.  

I prefer the Singer Scholastic 6510 for machine quilting anything larger than 36 inches square.  The guts of this machine are mechanical, not computerized, so it handles the demands of machine quilting and travel on a road trip.

I'm not one for rolling or folding the quilt sandwich, I'm a puddler. 

And a yanker, a pusher, a puller - anything to get the job done.  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Laid Out

Sunday was an intense sewing day!  

I loved the total immersion into this project!  Having room to lay out the parts & pieces, without having to worry about our four legged kids 'helping' me was wonderful.  

Upper Half Assembled

It allows a certain freedom to see it all in place and work through the assembly undisturbed.

Orange Round - Barn Raised
The main vertical section.

All the parts laid out, still needing some FG runs.

By the end of the evening, I had this!

Top Done!!!

And this is all the Tahiti blue I had left from the first two pieces I purchased.

Thankfully, the last three yards I ordered showed up before I left for the Michigan House. 

Originally, the plan was to add a two inch border of the blue. Changed the plan, so now I have more than enough blue for the binding. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Slip Sliding Away

It's no secret that work has been busy for me since mid-April.  I took a grand total of 3 days off all summer. I am extremely lucky to be able to usually work from home two days a week.  We've had a new product launch mid-September that has thrown that schedule into shambles. 

I am also extremely lucky to have a great boss who understands I need my solitude sometimes to handle the workload.  So does my Wonderful DH!!   The planets aligned (Boss was taking a week off, I needed to quilt & DH is doing great!)  for me to be able to head to Michigan for FOUR whole days! 

Granted I am working three of those days but I have the advantage of the tile floor for sandwiching the flying Geese quilt, provided I got the top pieced. Also the change of scenery, quiet solitude and lack of commuting time helps balance the crazy. 

I drove out early Sunday and within 10 minutes of arriving, the truck was unloaded and the dining table was transformed into my satellite studio space.

That's Dot, the 1957 Featherweight, up on the table and ready to piece.  She's been getting quite the workout on this quilt.

As I got everything set up, I realized that I forgot to grab one of my cutting mats.  The only one I had was the mini spinner mat that stays in my red roller quilting bag.

NOT going to work for trimming up a quilt top!  I needed some groceries so I opted to drive up to Walmart, knowing I could get a mat too.

Much better! And double sided.

This gives me an extra mat for that can stay up here for the months the house is open. Of all the things to forget to bring, I'm actually glad it was the mat, as it was easily remedied.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Wing Tips

Sewing was limited to only a few evenings last week.  It was enough to give me a chance to see how the wing tip connector pieces would work.

This is the upper left corner, a little more than a quarter of the quilt, as the layout is five blocks wide by six blocks high.

A little more effort & the next upper two sections were assembled but not attached.

A family surprise 75th birthday party for my Aunt F took place on Friday evening, followed by a date day with the DH on Saturday, resulting in no stitching getting done.  Sunday was a QUILTING day, with a twist, of course! You'll see tomorrow ;)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Center Plus

With the Center done, it was time to start building out toward the next round.  

I had laid out some of the FG runs around the center.  Notice the open spaces?  

The ones toward the middle of the sides were easy - just blue squares.  The empty corner space?  Not so much.

These little 2 inch corners were the wing tips of the birds from the next round of bird blocks.  Requiring some contemplation time, I got out the graph paper, color pencils and a cider.  I wanted a connection between the birds on the diagonal line of the round.  But the first sketch had the wings elongated into each other, with no separation between the individual birds.  That seemed too strippy.

The second sketch had the wings stopping before the connecting corner, and using a square in a square block. 

 If I did that, what color would be used for the center?  I didn't want the FG color run bumping up that close to the wings. Too busy and disjointed.

 Third sketch was just right!  The wings ended but were connected. 

The FG runs ended without interfering with the wing tips. 

With that little detail worked out I was able to get the center prepped for the round of Orange Birds.

Orange Bird block joined with the center strip and the first wing extension.