Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sew Many Seams

One of the reasons that I'm often having issues with quilting my Jane Stickle quilt is that there are so many seams to deal with. Some of the blocks have 50 pieces or more in them! The photo gives you a bit of an idea of what part of the top looked like on the back before I loaded it on my HQ16 for quilting. Click on the photo for a larger view.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rows 5 and 6 Completed

Here are some closeup shots of the quilting I've done on rows 5 and 6 of my Jane Stickle quilt. Click on the photos to enlarge.

Again, it's fairly minimal quilting.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Embellishing with Beads

Cindy Yost French presented a program to my local guild this month and also held a workshop on beading. Those in the workshop made scissors cases embellished with lovely beads. I didn't take the workshop (mainly because I have way too many other projects that I'm working on), but I did have a chance to sneak in and take a few photos (some of you may have already seen these on my guild's blog and facebook page). Remember, you can click on the photos for a larger view.

The quilt in the upper right is a journal quilt made by Cindy. You can read details about how she made it on her blog.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spring Cleaning

It's a good idea to do this once in a while...

You'll be surprised how much lint is hidden away in your machine, especially if you use cotton thread and flannel fabric.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Something New To Try

Lucky me -- I recently won a copy of Laura Wasilowski's latest book, "Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts", directly from Laura herself. She presented a program and workshop to my guild last June, but I was away on vacation, so I missed what I hear was an absolutely delightful visit. I'm hoping to try a project using Laura's techniques and tips soon -- but I don't really want to try something new until I get my Jane Stickle quilt finished!

If you don't know much about Laura, check out her blog and website to be really inspired. I love her love of color!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Modern BOM Block 11

I haven't touched my sewing machine in ages because of all the quilting I've been doing on my Jane Stickle quilt and was starting to suffer from sewing withdrawal, so I decided to make the next block in the Sew, Mama, Sew series of Modern Block-of-the-Month.

This is block number 11. To see the others I've already made, click on the "SMS BOM" link on my blog sidebar.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rows 3 and 4 Completed

More progress on my Jane Stickle quilt...
Click the photos to enlarge....

You can see that I used the rulers a lot for many of the blocks in these photos. (I just noticed that it looks like I missed one row of quilting in the yellow asterisk block above -- I guess I'll have to fix that later).

I think I got a bit carried away with the ruler work in the light turquoise block above...but I like the way it looks.

I'm happy with my decision to do (mostly) minimal quilting -- I think you can see how it gives the blocks some nice texture.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Helping Hands

As I mentioned in recent posts, my free-motion quilting skills are less than perfect in teeny tiny areas, so I'm trying to quilt most of the blocks and triangles in my Jane Stickle quilt using these two rulers. They make the quilting much easier to control.

The top ruler is a basic straight ruler -- I use it for stitching in the ditch and other straight lines as needed. The other one is called a VersaTool, which I use for short straight lines and for small curves. And it has the perfect name -- it really is quite versatile.

For those who are not familiar with using rulers in frame quilting, you can't use your regular garden-variety cutting rulers for this task. They're not thick enough. The rulers used in machine quilting are made of sturdy acrylic and are 1/4-inch thick.

I would be tearing my hair out right now if I had to quilt this monstrosity without these. More quilting pictures later this week.

Friday, May 11, 2012


(click on photos to enlarge)

The top two rows of blocks are now quilted. There are way too many seams and my experience in free motion in teeny tiny blocks is limited, so I'm going for minimal quilting -- just enough to give the blocks some dimension. A bit wonky in spots, but finished is better than perfect. Perfection is over-rated, anyway...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

One Down, Sixteen To Go

I've finished quilting the top row of triangles on my Jane Stickle quilt...

(click  on the photo for a larger view}

 My HQ16 is only set up at 8 feet, so I can't quite get to the side triangles as I advance the quilt. But that's not a problem. When I'm finished with quilting all of the rows, I'll turn and re-load the quilt and do the side triangles at that time. That's how I come up with the figure of "17" -- 13 rows of blocks and 4 rows of triangles.

I haven't decided how to quilt the scalloped border (I'll cut that later), so I'm leaving it empty for now. Once I settle on a design, it should be easy to come back to.

I'm quilting the triangles and blocks individually, so this will take me a while. Even though a pantograph or overall meandering would be much quicker and make for fewer mistakes, the look wouldn't be quite right. So, I'll slowly continue with the custom quilting, flaws and all.

For those who are new to my blog, you can see my progress on this quilt (for almost four years!) by clicking on the "Dear Jane" label on my blog sidebar.

Monday, May 7, 2012

For a BFF

A very good friend of mine is having a birthday soon, so I whipped up this gift card wallet to hold a couple of  goodies for her.

Here's what it looks like inside....

I basically used this tutorial here, but changed it so that it only holds two cards, not four. But I think the next time I make one of these, I'll use this tutorial instead. Or this one. The reason for that is because I don't like the fact that the gift cards risk falling out if the wallet is held upside down. The other two tutorials have the cards facing the center, not any of the open sides.

But I'm pleased with how this turned out and I hope my BFF is, too.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Modern BOM Block 10

This is my version of block number 10 of Sew, Mama, Sew's Modern Block-of-the-Month Sew-Along.

Now I'm caught up. Only two more blocks to go -- one in May and one in June. And it's a good thing that there are only two blocks left; my fabric supply is running out. Remember, I'm using leftover fabrics from my son's high school graduation/going off to college quilt. You can see pictures of that quilt here.