Wednesday, 30 September 2015

WOW: Forced Pause :(

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
Well, I have to admit I'm rather frustrated and somewhat annoyed. By now, my quilt Oma's Blues should have been finished. Would have been finished - except for one thing. Let's just say that due to technical difficulties, my favorite state of the art sewing machine is currently indisposed. I'm going to leave it at that for now because I am rather upset about the whole thing...

Here I have Oma's Blues on top and Love Entwined 2 beneath, both waiting for my attention...
so much for my schedule :(  Hopefully you've managed to be more productive than I have since last week. How's your WIP pile going? I went to the supermarket and suddenly it's time for Christmas everywhere so my mind has turned to thoughts of wondering what I can get done before the end of 2015.
What's Your WOW ?

Friday, 25 September 2015

Tree of Life: Variations on a theme

I've cut up my panel. Now it's time to play...
 and re-frame and maybe even introduce something new
I've grafted a branch
 re-located some birds
 and settled on a new background that is very close to the original in tone
I find that no matter how busy I am, there's always room for another WIP.

Do you have this panel? What are your plans for it?

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

WOW: Pinterest Fail

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

I found a recipe on Pinterest whilst I was admiring some other stuff on there. A lot of people are down on Pinterest but I like it because endlessly pinning things is easier and cheaper than buying them. I actually think I buy less since I started Pinterest boards. I wonder if that's true for anyone else? Anyway, my DH was complaining that I never bake. And this is true, I rarely do. But then I found a recipe that promised to be fail proof, so between my quilting and preparing dinner, it seemed effortless enough to whip up something for my long suffering DH and I trusted Pinterest instead of opening one of my hundreds of cook books.
And this is what happened. 
And it's still sitting in my kitchen, just like this. Because it isn't just dry or a bit bad. It's inedible. 
I told my DDs about it and they informed my that just anyone can post anything and that if I actually hung around on Pinterest long enough, I'd be curing people with coconut oil and losing 10kgs per week in home body wraps. So that's my baking fail sitting right there.

I'll definitely stick to quilting for the rest of the day...

Have you made anything from Pinterest? How did it go?

What's YOUR WOW?

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Love Entwined 2: the Hand Sewn Top

After months of countless handwork, I wanted a post to document my completely hand sewn applique top before I quilted it. Hand sewing has definitely bonded me to this quilt in unexpected ways. We all know what a mysterious background it has and the constant wondering of the woman who designed it in the 1800's is always there, lurking n the background. And, true enough, each time I took up my top to sew a little more, there was always a brief thought of her, the unknown woman, as I set about completing her extraordinary motifs in the pattern. 
looking at it now, I can barely believe I did all this work!
I can tell just by looking at it, what time I did the work
The small neat stitches were made during the day, the larger looser stitches were made during the night, I have two stitch speeds, daytime and nighttime :)
now all that's left is to quilt it...
The original Love Entwined Coverlet was designed to revive interest in the lost original - a cause many quilters around the world took up - managing to finding the original and reigniting interest in it's origins by taking part in the pattern. Thanks to this effort, this design is no longer forgotten and by the looks of things, will be around for many more years. 
This second version LE2 is a focus on the original centre panel but as a wall hanging and is therefore much more achievable for many more quilters.

This pattern is currently not available, however I may make it available for publication in a magazine next year, depending on their interest to run it. My hopes are to have it published so that it may be professionally photographed - something I am unable to do myself.

I'll keep you posted..

Monday, 21 September 2015

Basting Love Entwined 2

Love Entwined 2 has been finished for weeks. The problem is, I haven't known what to do with it. As a coverlet, I don't want to quilt it. As a wall hanging, I know I'm going to have to.
Yesterday I basted it, all the while wondering what would enhance it's beauty without taking over from the design? LE2 is all about keeping in line with the original heirloom design and I've been thinking about how to quilt in line with that. I don't think I'm going to quilt my original Love Entwined Coverlet, but as this one will be hanging, I'm just going to have to move on from my indecision. Really, it should have been quilted and completed by now. And could have been. If only I wasn't so emotionally attached to this whole project.

All my Oma progress these last few weeks was me busying myself so I wouldn't have to make a decision on LE2! Ridiculous! 

So, how to quilt such a crowded applique coverlet without detracting from the hand sewn applique beauty?

Any ideas???

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...
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