May 30, 2012

Bamboo Batting - More Complaints

OK - in April I told you about my bamboo batting headache. The tendency to shed and come through the fabric with the thread during quilting was pretty aggravating - but I just figured that I should use that kind of batting only for projects with light fabrics, and that way the little fibers wouldn't show.

Fair enough.

But now that the Forbidden Palace quilt (which I used it on) is done, I've discovered something else I'm not pleased with. The batting isn't warm!

To be fair, the shop clerk who told me about it DID say that it makes a "cooler quilt" - but in all honesty, I want my quilts to be warm.

Oh well... this is how we learn, isn't it?

So it's back to plain old polyester batting for me. Not fancy, not elegant, but dependable.

And less costly...

May 23, 2012

Quilt 11: "Trees" - OOPS!

I had a terrifically productive day once I sat down to join all the leaf blocks in this quilt. I mean I was FLYING! But... all of a sudden.... OOPS! See it? (photo below)

Yup. A leaf on the lower left is turned the wrong way. DRAT! And I was being so CAREFUL! Well... here comes my handy "friend":

There we go - all fixed up:

Now to join the horizontal strips and add the borders....

May 16, 2012

Quilt 10: DONE! ("Forbidden Palace")

It took over a year to get this finished, but I finally did it! And here it is:

(click the photo for a larger view)

I tried different ways to lay this one out so you could see it, ended up just pinning it to my bedroom drapes. A little weird, maybe, but at least you can see the whole thing. There are 160 rectangular blocks (80 different Japanese prints), and each block is made into a kind of "snowball block" with the addition of black tips on each corner. The overall effect reminds me of a stained glass window. So why did it take so long? Oh, well, there were a couple of projects in the meantime which took my focus, but the biggest reason is just how time-consuming the quilting was. You can see how I quilted it by looking at the back:

(click the photo for a larger view)

I used my "swirly" template - it fit exactly two swirls into each rectangle on the top - so was perfect for the quilt design. I stitched with silvery grey thread (thanks to suggestion made by my quilting guru Pauline - THANKS PAULINE!) It took a long time - esp. since, with the swirls changing direction, there was no way to really build much momentum in the hand-quilting. But the results are stunning and I'm thrilled.

May 9, 2012

Quilt 11: "Trees" - Not As Easy As I Thought

I'm well into it now, finished all but the bottom two rows of blocks. When I came up with this design I thought it would be easy to piece together - but now that I'm into the bottom blocks it suddenly got harder. That's because the leaf blocks have different green backgrounds to them as I go further down to the "forest floor". At the top of the quilt, all the leaves had the same light sky blue. Now? quite different.

Here's the overall design again:
And here's a slight blow-up of the bottom blocks. There are 6 different "greens" here - and I have to keep them straight as I go along. It's tougher than you'd think.
Happily, though, I've managed to cut out the right number of blocks in the right colours and sizes.

And as I'm assembling things, I'm just taking it slow - checking, double-checking, triple checking they layouts before I stitch them together.
I'm down to the last 2 rows now and so far haven't had to rip anything out... yet.


May 2, 2012

Quilt 11: "Trees" - Top Strip of Blocks

You may remember this:

And this

And here's the design I'm aiming for:

I've got some of the blocks assembled, so now I'll lay them out and see what develops. Here's the top row

Second row:

And part of the third:

Hey! It's lookin' GOOD!