Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #7 and Week #9

Directions for Quilt Along #7 - Connecting Quilted Pieces
Directions for Quilt Along #9 - Moving the Quilt

I still have more practice to do on everything, but I thought I would post what I have been working on...  I code all my posts about this projects with the Leah2012 label.
Showing how I was doing the initial quilting.
I worked on moving the quilt with the black sandwich.  I just realized I didn't take photo as each quandrant was done, but this shows the initial legs of the quilting.  This was my first time and realized after I finished that I hadn't lined the legs of the initial quilting up to the center.  It made it easier for me though to fill in the quantrants (I've had a cold but each day I could when I felt better I did a quantrant.  It was nice to have a small one to start with! I relooked at the videos after working some, and realized that I had internalized 'start and center and work outward' and little incorrectly.  Clearly on the diagram once you finish a quantrant you are supposed to loop around and start the next one from the outside in.  The initial leg stitching takes care of the anchoring of the quilt (and I did that sort of as the diagram suggested).

Okay, so I finished my fourth sandwich - and even though I had a million stops and starts and and unknown number of hidden threads in it - it finished very nicely.
This is the side I quilted on
so it's the front.
So I worked on trimming the edges of my fugly sandwiches and getting them ready to join.  I decide to use Leah's method (cut strips 1 and 1.5 inch) and then also to use the method shown in the quilter's edge (cut strips  2.5 and 4.5 inch and batting 1.5 inch).  I was going to try the curvy method Leah used for her Winter Wonderland quilt, but with this cold and coughing, I wasn't up to trying the curves on the front with out a curvy ruler.  (I misremembered and thought she cut the quilt but it's the top joining that is cut in curve and manipulated on the join!)  So it actually might be easier than I thought it would be to do!

This is the better looking side - still not pretty...
But great practice!
After I did the join where the batting was added, I had to spend time deciding on a design to quilt in the space.  I decided on Cave Points - it looked manageable - and it was.  It looks a little spartan the way I did it - but this is a fugly practice piece and I have a cold so that is what I did.

Originally posted 3-16-12 8pm


Update Saturday 2 pm:  I finished putting the binding on!  
Binding on - I just used 3 inch strips I already had and
put a different color on each side.
I used 3 inch strips that I already had and made each side a different color.  

First I sewed on with 1/4 inch seam, I pressed the seam out so it was smooth on the quilt side.  Then I folded the material in half and pressed before sewing.  

The long sides were easy as I just cut at the quilt edge.  
Binding on the plain side

I will add photos to this same post once I'm finished,
but I'm linking to Leah's site now....(I'm #15).
The shorter sides I sewed with about 2 inches hanging on each side.  Then I cut the sides in so there was a point in the material, folded and sewed.  I had different results on each corner.  One was pretty good and didn't need anything.  One I sewed the last .5 inches by hand, the last two I tried to force the machine to do but there was too much bulk, so I added a few stitches to hopefully secure - then for all I use the Leah Day clover needle to hide the ends.  The quilt is in the wash machine right now! Oh and I used my Leah Day 1/4 inch presser foot as my walking foot is not working right - the only wave I see was caused by the dense quilting - I could see it before I added the binding so of course it's still there.  I did not measure anything - I just sewed the lengths on.

I remembered that the black fabric wasn't cotton - it's something my son bought for a Halloween costume he didn't make - so we'll see how that washes up too.  I wasn't thinking when I used it for the last sandwich.

I remembered as I was sewing that I have only put a binding on one other time.  It was for the first quilt I finished....  A very pretty baby quilt that I gave to my manager who had her baby around a year after I had A.  It was a scrap quilt with little bunny rabbit with flopping ears - sort of built like Eddie did her flower ladies.  I had all the same background so the little bunnies stood out.  For the ears I pressed a pleat in so the ears would stand up - but they were loose from the quilt back so they would flop.  I don't have a photo - can't ask her now as her daughter must be around 23 years old now!  I don't remember how I connected the sandwich together, must have been stitch in the ditch of some part of the blocks.  Boy there was a big wave in that binding - it was very stiff.  I didn't wash it before giving to her as I wanted it too look new.  We moved shortly after that and I didn't work there anymore - just emailed her last year or year before to say hello as she is still working at UCSD Staff Development.

We are leaving on a little trip, but I really wanted to get this practice sandwich washed so I could see how the hidden threads end up!


Update 3-17-12 4:15pm

It's all in one piece!  Looks as great as it ever can (given the fugly fabric).  The hidden threads stayed hidden.  There is nice crinkle in the fabric - feels soft.  I'm delighted as this means what I have been doing is okay!  This is my fifth finish but only the second quilt that I have gotten to keep - actually I gave it to my husband for now - will be a small but good lap quilt!
The washed quilt - pretty flat on the floor!

The washed quilt - plain fabric side - flat on floor

The artistically folded washed practice quilt
I am doing this as part of Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Project.  The directions to this (and much more) are there for you to learn.  To help support the project I have purchased some of my supplies from the Day Styles Design Quilt Shop.

If I had to pick three things that really changed things for me I would pick the table for the sewing machine, the pinmore's for basting, and the cheater needles.  Having the sewing machine at the right height makes such a difference.  The pinmore's really make basting and sewing so much easier - once I finish the projects I have safety pin basted I think I'll never use them again.  I feel quite smart each time I take that needle off the pin place and hide the threads...  Here is the link to her video on the how to hide threads...

But really the bobbin washers and the gloves make things go much smoother too.  I rarely even have to think about my bobbin now, and putting those gloves on made me feel so much more relaxed but also so much more in control of the fabric. 

I have a long way to go, but truly appreciate the time that Leah Day has devoted to all her training and instructional posts and videos.  If you want to kick up your quilting more than a notch, please go to Leah's site and take time to watch the videos.  And buy some supplies from her as a thank you!

I am coding my entries regarding this challenge with Leah2012 so clicking on that will display those posts with the most recent on the top.

I did Week #10 a few days ago - scroll down to see or click here.

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