Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Woe of Basting

Now that I'm finally making progress on my WIPs, there's another issue to face:
to baste or not to baste?
Frankly, of the whole process, basting is the only bit about quilting that I hate. It's the main reason my WIP pile is so big. I often leave quilts behind and move onto another project when I have to make a decision about whether or how to baste them.

I have basted several of my quilts using the 2 plank method and it does work - but it's tedious and I find it tiring. My planks are 5 inches wide and laminated wooden board - this makes them heavier than usual. I found them in my local hardware store, they're actually door frames. They work well to baste evenly, but are fatiguing -especially on lager quilts.

Lately I've found that most long arm quilters don't bother with a basting service as it's too much hassle for them. This is bad news for me as I really don't know how many extra quilts I have in me to baste by myself.

A few people have asked me how much I paid to baste Oma, I actually basted Oma's Blues myself. Normally, I pay from AU $80-$150 to baste a quilt. It depends on whether I buy my batting with them there or bring my own. I personally like Tucany Collection which can be silk or wool and comes rolled up in a package. I get the King size and it's imported from the USA. Most long arm quilters don't like me bringing my own batting because it's folded - which creates issues. They prefer their own batting as it's usually on larger rolls and comes off flatter and straighter - which means fewer issues. I completely understand where they are coming from, but I'm fussy and usually prefer my own selection to what's on offer.

Right now, with so many quilts to baste, I'm wondering how to get it all done. My preference is to have my tops basted with 1 inch horizontal lines. Most quilters prefer between 2 -4 inches apart. I like it closer as it means less movement. Obviously when I baste myself, I can't get it this precise.

This brings me back to considering not completing my quilts, but leaving many of them at the 'finished top' stage. If I was to baste all the quilts I could feasibly get ready for basting from my WIP pile right now, I'd be up for a thousand dollars in basting costs.

This means I'm going to have to prioritize which quilts I actually complete and which stay as tops alone. In an ideal world, there'd be a 'community long arm machine' somewhere out there I could rent by the day and that way I could just baste my heart out and get my WIPs done.

For now, I'll just pace myself and stick with finishing what I can.

How do you tackle basting?

Friday, 18 September 2015

Quilting Oma's Blues

I can hardly believe I'm up to this point of progress. Today I'm selecting which thread colour to quilt with and then it's just a matter of getting Oma quilted.
My favourite thread is Aurifil but my Bernina 820 doesn't like it, so I'm not yet sure which machine I'll actually quilt on or what thread I'll finally settle on. 
This is my quilting sampler below, it's just a quilt sandwich that I 'scribble' on, I always warm up my machine and try out ideas from my 'quilt map' before getting started on the actual quilt, free hand.

Here I go...

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

WOW: Magnolia in Bloom

WOW = WIPs On Wednesday
Down my way the magnolia's are in bloom. Whenever I see them, I am just so delighted with how wonderful they are to look at. It reminds me that I have an important WIP to finish - my quilt Forget Me Not. I still haven't got that quilt top together, which is such a shame as I can't enjoy all the floral blocks if they aren't hanging on my wall! Here's my almost finished magnolia block, sitting around waiting to be quilted. 
I suppose this is what WOW is all about - WIP reminders. Now this quilt is on my mind whenever I look out the window. It doesn't look like I'll have a chance to get it done before this year is out, but at least it's not completely forgotten. 

I'd love to know, what triggers your own WIP reminders?

What's Your WOW?

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Oma's Blues: Part 9 is Launched

This month we are assembling all the blocks so far 
and adding the two mitred borders 5 & 6
The year is just flying by and Oma's Blues is looking like a quilt about to be finished!

I've been making this quilt and following the pattern out of turn due to my busy schedule and this means I finally caught up in August for Part 8 which was great, and now I am ahead and already working on what will be released as Part 10 next month.

I mention this because I know some of you might be confused after having seen my Border Corner Plates as I shared the progress of my making it right here on my blog. I apolagise to anyone who might not want to see future blocks out of turn, but for everyone else, you are edging ever closer to the beautiful corner plates and near completion of your quilt!

This BOM is being released for free on a monthly basis. However, quilters are able to buy the complete pattern any time they want (from the first day of release) over in my shop. So there may be other 'advanced' Oma's Blues out there. If there are, I hope you'll be confident to share your work, whatever stage you are up to. There are no 'rules' that you can only show what the current BOM month releases. All quilt images from and at any stage of progress are most welcome!

I have sold some Oma's earlier in the BOM...and I do wonder where they are?!

Happy quilting everyone, I'm really delighted to be sharing this quilt with you and to be able to share in and enjoy your progress- whatever stage you're up to. Here's where I am up to below. My quilt is currently basted and ready for quilting, can't wait to show you more as I progress.

Oma's Blues is my current FREE BOM. 
You can still join this free BOM right now - all parts are available over in my Group.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Di Ford's New Beauties!

I was on the way home from the hairdresser with my DD on Saturday when I decided to pop into Somerset Patchwork & Quilting store. It was on our way home anyway, and although I hadn't been planning on any more fabric shopping this year, I was hoping that some of Di Ford's beautiful new range would be available. Strictly just so I could have a look for myself. Well, once I'd set eyes on it, it was mine.
I went for this minty colour, it just spoke to me. I thought I would swoon for the red (and it's just as beautiful) but I feel that I have too many red projects on at the moment, and none in mint, so I opted for a whole new scheme to freshen up my ideas.
I have no idea what to do with this selection. At the moment I have it spread across a table and just lovingly look at it each time I pass. I know I didn't need more fabric, but sometimes I feel that a range comes out that must be had. I feel that way about this range.
And another thing, is it just me or are 'second prints' just not the same? I know I've purchased ranges on the second print and I've never thought they were as good as the first. What is that about?! This time around, I wasn't taking any chances.

Some stash busting rules are made to be broken, that's all I can say.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

WOW: Oma's Blues Quilting Ideas

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I'm drawing up a design plan for quilting my Oma's Blues quilt. I don't actually mark my quilts when I quilt them, I prefer freestyle quilting my own work. But with Oma, things feel more complicated. I need a plan mapped out on the styles I want to use.I wasn't sure I wanted to 'finish' Oma with quilting. I had an idea to make my quilts and leave them at the 'top' stage so I could easily cart them around to workshops and show and tells. But every time I need to set them aside, I feel I 'must' carry on and quilt them, so it looks like my quilting load will just keep increasing at this point.

What's Your WOW?

Monday, 7 September 2015

I Forgot Father's Day

With one thing and another I've been in a bit of a spin. On Saturday, my DH and I took one of those long meandering drives in the country. I really needed some fresh air and country 'switch off' time. In our house I have been trying to aim towards 3 screen free days a week. It's going really well except for the emails that back up. And another thing - I keep losing track of what day it is. So on Saturday I was blissfully unaware that it was in fact Saturday. And that the following day was in fact Sunday and not just any Sunday, but Father's Day as well. Of course I was unprepared. And when my DDs showed up, I was still in my dressing gown and hadn't even ironed the table cloth yet.

at over 3 metres length, it's a real chore to have to get it done last minute

I mean really. You know you're getting old when your own children tutt tutt at you. Luckily my DDs had gone ahead and organised Father's Day all on their own. All we had to do was be there, fully dressed. But sometimes, even that feels like too much work. I should probably be embarrassed that all 'events' now involve photographs of me, not yet dressed, running around doing something I should have done days before. Perhaps the advantage of age is that I no longer care as much as I once did about this? Is it just me? What about you? I'd love to know that I'm not alone...
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