November 29, 2017

Quilt 98: "Valley of the Kings" Jelly Roll Race - DONE!

My sister Janelle and I share a passion for ancient Egypt. When I found this jelly roll online, I knew I had to get one and make a quilt for her.

"Valley of the Kings"! How perfect!
I love the prints in this - and after opening up the pack separated them into piles of like colours/patterns.  I racked my brains for months (well over a year, actually) before finally deciding on doing a "jellyroll race" quilt.   Here's a link to a video which shows how to do this kind of quilt:  Jenny's Jelly Roll Race Tutorial
The final quilt was a bit wider than I wanted and not quite as long - so I cut 2 3-inch strips from the sides:
Here's the finished quilt.  If you look at the top and the bottom, you'll see where I placed those 2 strips. 
2017 - 49" x 76"  quilted on the longarm ("Blustery Breeze" groovy boards) - bamboo batting
(doubleclick the photo to see a larger image)
And here's the backing:
I opted for deep gold for the back and quilted it with a light gold thread.  The thread shows up on the back, but pretty much fades on the front - exactly what I wanted for this quilt.

Janelle is moving this weekend into her new condo - and this quilt is a house-warming gift for her.  I can't wait to give it to her!

November 15, 2017

Australia says YES!!!

No quilt talk today.

Today is a day of great celebration here in Australia.

The issue of same-sex marriage equality has been hotly debated.  The government opted to ask Australians directly what they want - in a simple, voluntary yes-no postal poll.  And just a few minutes ago the results were officially announced:

61% said "yes".

This was only a poll, but it clearly shows that the majority of people in this country support marriage equality.

The people have spoken.  Now let's see our elected representatives get busy and make it the law!

Australia said "YES!"

November 8, 2017

Quilt 97: Scrappy Squares Table Runner - DONE!

Last year I gave my friend Lil a Christmas table runner as a gift.  She loved it and not long ago confessed that almost a year later she's still using it!  When she asked if I'd do another, how could I refuse?

I invited her to browse through my scraps box and see if there was anything she liked.  She had no trouble finding some salmon and mint scraps which would go very well with her dining room colours:
There wasn't quite enough there to make a runner the size she wanted, so I did have to buy a fat quarter piece to be sure and have enough - but for the most part, this table runner is just from scraps.  I fiddled around and finally came up with this design - on-point squares:
For the quilting, I used cream thread (which pretty much fades into the pale green edges).  Keeping it simple, I did stitch-in-the-ditch (with the help of a ruler) going around the squares.  The pale mint triangles on the edge, however, needed something a little more complex.  I've done a little bit of free-motion, and after practicing making leafy-vines on some throw-away scraps, decided that was the way to go.  In the photo below, you can see the wavy vines and leaves:
I have to admit it was nerve-wracking to quilt that design.  Once I got started, I realized the cream thread I'd chosen really does fade/blend into the pale mint fabric - so much so that it was nearly impossible to see the stitching, looking straight down.  You can see the stitching in the photo aboe because the light is casting shadow.  But looking straight down in bright light... no.  The stitching is almost invisible.  EEK!  But it turned out fine.

The photo below shows the backing (solid mint homespun) and the cream stitches are a lot easier to see here.
And here's the final runner - binding fabric is the same as the backing.
2017 - 13.5" x 71" - quilted on the longarm (free motion and ruler) - cotton batting    
I'm very encouraged with this bit of free-motion quilting.  I'll certainly be doing more of it from here out!

November 1, 2017

Echo Feet - Foot Problems

A while back I purchased a set of "echo" feet for Matilda, my Handi Quilter longarm.  These special feet help you to stitch varying widths of parallel lines - similar to what you see on Hawaiian quilts.  The set Handi Quilter offers has three sizes:

I haven't had a quilt where I could use them until now - so I opened them up and put the medium-sized foot on. 


This can't be right.  The needle should be in the center of the foot - but look at the photo below:

It's sitting way to the right of center - right up against the side of the foot.  Not good.  With echo quilting, you want your lines to be even - I'll never get there with this.

I discussed this with Howard, my Handi Quilter dealer, and he showed me that what I have to do with these feet is adjust the mechanism that holds them on the machine.  There's a small screw that has to be loosened and will allow the foot-base to swing into the position you want.  Well... it works.  I don't like it, but it works.  I can't understand why Handi Quilter's echo feet aren't aligned with the ruler foot and other feet - but that's the way it is.

At least  now I can move on and use these on a project!