Monday, January 19, 2009

quilting progress

Life at our house has been pretty boring as of late, but that is, as Martha would say, a good thing. For one thing, I have been able to get some sewing in. You may recall from several months ago that I had signed up for a year long "birthday block" swap. My month to receive blocks was October, and to say I am disappointed with what I received would be an understatement. Most of the blocks I received were not well made. It was very frustrating! I considered sending all the blocks back and not continuing with the swap, but I didn't want to do that to the hostess, so a couple of weeks ago I forced myself to sit down and make the November and December blocks.

This quilter asked for birdhouse blocks with a white on cream background fabric. I didn't like most of what I was seeing, so I drafted this block myself. I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

The person who is recieving blocks in January also asked for birdhouses, she will probably get the same design.
The quilter for December requested blocks done up in Mardi Gras colors. The yellow was brighter in person. Not really my cup of tea, but hopefully it goes with the rest of her blocks okay.


I decided to set a goal for myself this year to start machine quilting. The whole reason I hinted to Elliott to buy me my Janome for my birthday a couple of years ago is because my old machine couldn't free motion quilt. Now that Sophie is getting older and I have a little more time to devote to my craft of choice, I decided to get serious about learning to free motion.

I realized that my kitchen island is the perfect height and width for pin basting quilts!


Anyway, here is the "sacrifice" quilt I made for my first foray into free motion quilting. It wasn't too large, and was a great start. I did a simple medium sized meander.

It is definitely not perfect, but my goals were to not have puckering, and to get the tension right. I am happy to say there were no puckers! I think I am on the right track with the tension. It could probably be a little looser in the bobbin, but I am going to research that before I mess with the bobbin screw.

While quilting I ran out of the first thread I was using. I'm glad I did. I found a different type of thread in my bin that matched color wise, but was much thinner, and there for didn't show up as much, which I liked better.

This is an example of the first thread, a Mettler 50 weight cotton. See how it really shows on the white fabric?

This sample is the second thread, Masterpiece from Superior Threads. The thread hardly shows up in the white fabric. In fact, if you look at the white square in the bottom left corner, you can see the two threads next to each other.

Anyway, I am excited to be able to do more of my own quilting. I'm not scared anymore! I have a couple more quilts in the works that I will be able to practice on once I get them made.

12 comments:

Sally DeFord said...

love it Ginger. I am so into free motion quilting. Yours looks great. It's hard starting off but once you get the hang of it, it's so fun. Here's a link to one of my recent ones

http://stratford-deford.blogspot.com/2008/07/new-quilt-finally.html

I felt the most confident on this one but i also had to pick out a lot.

Carla said...

Great job! Like Mother, like Daughter, I guess. :)
I'm glad you're beginning to machine quilt; it's satisfying to complete the entire quilt yourself.

Mary said...

This is your first foray into free motion quilting?? Excellent job. I tell you I swear by 505 spray instead of pin basting to eliminate all puckers. I also lay my quilts out on my island. (Howver, I so need to "un-gunk" the island of stray spray afterwards.)

stephanie said...

i LOVE the birdhouse square.

Barbara said...

Ginger you are so good at this. Love your quilts. Wish I had more patience to do this.
Lov ya
Grammy

Laura said...

Wow, Ginger, I am so impressed! The birdhouse block is great. Simple, clean, very folk-artsy. You're my quiltin' hero!

Michelle said...

I love it. That is really fun. I would love to do that someday.

Margaret aka Supermom said...

I too have found the monthly block swap a tad frustrating. 2 People in group 4 just did not send. One sent total crap, and Kate remade it, and another sent something with a chunk missing so it did not stand a chance of being square! And that is the "advanced" group. Group 3 is good when it comes to actually sending the blocks, but at least a third were only 10" square not 10.5". I was/am glad I am making a charity quilt with those blocks. I will go into this open-eyed next time when it comes to which block or design I ought to request. ...Would still love to see what you got for blocks anyways...

zizzybob said...

You are not alone. My birthday month was December and I am still waiting for two blocks. One block is going in the trash as there is nothing salvagable in that polyester mess. Some are quite nice but most are no where near the requested 12 1/2" unfinished size.
What do these ladies finished quilts look like?

zizzybob said...

You are not alone. My birthday month was December and I am still waiting for two blocks. One block is going in the trash as there is nothing salvagable in that polyester mess. Some are quite nice but most are no where near the requested 12 1/2" unfinished size.
What do these ladies finished quilts look like?

The Queen said...

Cute! And the birdhouse is adorable! Sorry the ones you are getting stink!

faith said...

i love to see all of your projects. comparatively speaking, i may be little better than a novice quilter, but i have high aspirations! what a "sacrifice" quilt, though! i think the quilt is beautiful and you did a great job on the quilting.
i've commented before, but i'm bethany's sister. not a total stalker.