Sunshine Photo Op

These past few weeks have fall in the air. The evenings are cool. Dew on the lawn. Lots of cooler weather and rain. Seasonably perfect, but cool for Texas.

Slowly in the last month I have seen the sun almost disappear from my work commute, and when I travel home after a 10 hour day the sun is low in the sky. I miss the Sun, I feel like dracula when I come out of work into the sunshine. My eyes squint almost shut, sun reflecting off my white skin almost blindingly!

Today, I did not work a full eight hours and got to bask in the sun a little more than usual. It feels so good to walk among it’s rays. It energizes the tires and worries of my day.

The photo opportunity of Sew Quester happened today. I have not gazed upon this quilt in a few weeks. I finished binding it almost 3 weeks ago. But the weather or my work schedule (or unkempt lawn) kept me from taking photos.

I have never really gazed upon this in the sun. I really hesitated liking the brown. But in the true light of the sun, the brown has grown on me and I love how it transformed itself right before my eyes. One of my children has already asked for the quilt. My children never ask for quilts while I am making them, they are very disinterested. Perhaps this is a sign of interest. We will see where this goes.

I got out the ladder and stood on the very top and leaned over, blindly not looking in the window of my camera, finger hovering over the capture button. This is as good as I could get. You have seen the close up of the blue area. And capturing a good closeup of the brown area, well, that thread match was so good, it would show nothing.

A description of feathers in the stars, orange peels in the 4 patches, pebbles in the brown border, with teal stitches of pebbles making the square complete. A wavy grid in the muslin area. Hearts and feathers in the corners with some hashtag inside.

A completion. I needed to be able to say and do a completion. I have only had two completions this year. This year has been funny you know. You would think I would be able to sew like everyone else due to covid. But I am essential and have had very little time off. I worked nights for a while. This year if it were to get a star rating, would only be one star. I would not recommend.

But at the same time, this year I got this free pattern of the quilt above, and took all the fabric in my stash and made something useful and beautiful. We all know how hard it is to gather everything from our stash and pull something together so large. We are always looking for that just right fabric. And all the quilt shops were closed.

Luckily I had purchased a large bolt of muslin back in Nov. So I also made the backing for this. And a whole cloth quilt revealed itself. But I used colored thread in most of it.

Now you can see the brown and blue pebbles. The rest kind of washes out in the sun. That is ok.

Here are some other pictures I have taken during it’s construction.

There was a birth of a kitten (firecracker). There was a death of a cat (Dummy and my longarm room-mate). The death of my Dad’s cat at the time did not bother my, but the garage is kinda lonely now. I have no one with their back towards me, ignoring me, waiting for me to leave their domain.

A meager offering as I have done very little sewing or tatting. I do not see my slow pace picking up anytime soon. I am a little depressed because I cannot do my hobby without totally exhausting myself. Perhaps tired is better than blue….

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!


Developing your stitches

Funny, when you take a picture these days, you have instant results. It used to be, you would have to get your film developed. And it would be revealed you chopped someone’s head out of the picture, or forgot to aim correctly and totally missed whoever was on the far right. And you paid for all the blurrs, and horrible photography.

In our quilting hobby, sometimes it is hard to develop the pattern for your stitches. You may start stitching something and find out it auditions horribly with the quilt. And Rip it, Rip it, Rip it. Or leave it and give it to someone who will find it more of a treasure than you, LOL. Either way, the quilting can make or break the quilt.

And if you load it on the longarm and nothing comes to you, it is rather intimidating. the quilt top practically harrasses you to the point of walking away, still without a clue how you will proceed.

Pinterest and Youtube are my favorite places to pull ideas from. It may be I find just the right thing, or it becomes an amalgamation of many things that I see and like. But coming up with the right pattern for your quilt is the hardest part of the whole job.

You can quilt it to death, and make the quilt stiff and rather drafty. I am a utilitarian type person so if I choose to get artsy with my quilting, beauty takes the warmth right out of the quilt. It drapes about as good as a cardboard box. And your beauty is questioned. The utilitarian portion of your work becomes for naught.

The last couple of times I have quilted, I have had uneven tension. I change out colors of threads made by the same maker, and BAM and major tension problem. And I recall this happening on Sew Quester about 1/3 of the way through the quilt. Changed out colors, and it was way off. Not sure at the time what happened, but I now know what I think it is/was. My cheapo batting. Yeah, I buy it at Joanns. I wait for it to go on sale and stock up.

This batting gets the job done, but really when you do heavy quilting, the quilt becomes heavy in those spots, it looses it softness, and creates a drape problem. I have only ever used this one batting, I thought that batting was batting. And tonight I watched a video that will probably change my current batting relationship. It is very well explained, and worth your time to watch the ever so important unanswered questions about batting. Heirloom batting vs. Tuscany batting. I am thinking I probably need to venture out of the batting box that I am in now LOL (no baseball pun intended!)

Eye opening! So the info disclosed probably would have changed my results in every quilt I have ever made. They could be quilted to death, and remain soft and warm. Who knew?!

I have actually had a great week of no overtime, and have utilized some of that down time to quilt, and piece, and bind.

Did you catch my last post? I did have a finish from the longarm position of things. I am rather proud of how the minimalist quilting really did the right job and accentuated the piecing well.

The binding is stitched to the quilt. And in the coming week I will be hand stitching it down. I have almost 2 sides complete.

I also managed to get two very complicated 365 blocks worked. The one block took all day long. It was nice to have my stitching rhythm back.

And I loaded a panel onto the longarm and got that one quilted. I have the fabric ready to cut for the binding and will work this in as I can while my schedule returns to overtime.

This panel was from spoonflower. I think this goes by many names. We always played it and it was called Tripoli. I have heard it called Michigan Rummy. Either way it is a game of chance of how the cards fall and how you scheme and play either representing yourself or as part of a team. If you play this using pennies, it cheaply entertains. If you win, you get a gob of pennies. If you lose, you get rid of those pennies that always seem to collect in your coin purse.

When I loaded this, I had not a clue what I wanted to do. So I started on the feather border, hoping something would come to me. I whipped out my rulers and did some diamonds on one and hearts on another. And come to the conclusion, I would put a different motif in each division. Not necessarily card playing related, but that helps the theme of it!

And the spot for Kitty, I could not resist stitching a kitties face. Yeah and because this was loaded and I had to quilt this sideways, (easier said than done) kitty is wonky. This kitty looks like it is kinda droopy on one side. Poor unsymetrical kitty. But once it washes up, that will shrink away and probably really not be noticed.

In this one, I mimicked Jack’s hair. I like it!

This will be gifted to my Dad and Mom. It will match Mom’s kitchen, and it is something that will bring back fond memories of all the nights entertainment in the past, and to make new memories in the future.

I placed a wide backing order for the dream big opal panel. The panel that is 108 by 108 in the dream big flower, bed size. Mom also wants me to quilt her star quilt that she sewed while having a broken shoulder. Not sure which one of these projects will make it to the longarm first. Either way it will eventually happen. So when I am not quilting in the coming months due to overtime making me such a sloth in the evenings, Overtime doily, here I come!

Well it is late, and I am working tomorrow. I really appreciate all my subscribers and readers, you make this worth my while! Thank you for reading my blog!

Sew Quester is Quilted!

I have not touched the longarm since the end of May. Working overtime really cut into my energy, therefore my hobby suffered. I could not remember how much I had left. And I also remembered that I had bought new bobbins and there was some thread that was giving me tension problems.

I tackled the tension problems rather quickly this morning. And quilt-a-t-de I did!

It is now quilted! And not looking at it for months, and unrolling it off the long arm, I oooo’ed and aaawwww’ed over that center. When you don’t gaze upon something everyday, you somewhat forget.

And I was going for a whole cloth quilt on the back side. There are ribbons in the sashing, feathers in the stars, and orange peels in the 4 patches. I looks great on the back. Not to much quilting, just right!

I will be finding time to bind this, this week. I have so few quilt finishes this year with frolic taking up a gob of time, and then the 365 everything has kind of slowed in the finish dept.

I do have a project panel to load. And will get to that hopefully this week too. The highs in Texas are only supposed to be in the 70s. For this time of year, it is a rarity. Is the weatherman right? Chances are he is not, but I will remain optimistic!

Well, thank you for hanging in there with me to finally see this, and thanks for reading my blog!

Overtime doily paused…

I have done a bit of tatting in the evenings. Very relaxing….working overtime drains my time and energy. So no quilting up to today.

I have a bunch of ends that I have not sewn in.

I have also tatted these motifs.

I need to sew the tan ends in one these.

And I came across a long lost box of scraps. So my little tubs runneth over! These scraps are in so many of my quilts already.

2 1/2 inch tubs on the top. Not enough tubs for the 2 inchers, and one small tub of 1 1/2 inchers. These will turn into a nice scrappy quilt one day.

And since I am not working over labor day weekend, I aim to get some 365 quilt blocks constructed, as well as a visit with my longarm. And boy am I excited! I have not used my longarm in over 2 months! Time forbaded, but not now! Sew Quester quilt here I come! I think I have just a couple weeks more of large blocks and I can sew some more around the medallion. I have fallen so dang far behind. I hear 3 1/2 inch dark blocks are around the corner so those will be quicker and help me catch up!

Well, that sums it up, pushing pause on the overtime doily, to resume next weekend. Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog!