Monday, March 14, 2011

A finished project!!!

So, I finished my lovely Sunshowers quilt for the Solids Challenge a week ago, brought it to the LAMQG meeting last Thursday (where we also had a wonderful talk from the amazing Jacquie of Tallgrass Prairie Studio fame) and am finally uploading my pictures of the final product! I am hopefully going to add a label eventually, and it still needs to be washed (that can't happen until Saturday... more on that later...), but it's done! I am quite in love with it, as is Two, who claimed it for his bed. I'm not sure he's going to get it, but he's wanted it the last few nights and it's hard to refuse... but anyway, pictures!

This was supposed to be a "sneak peek" but I didn't get it up...

And the front and back...

A detail of the quilting (not too close so you can't see too many of my mistakes!)...

I didn't want to quilt too much because I loved the negative space. I suppose I could have done more, but I like how it turned out. I think I need to try doing my binding the more traditional way and at least some of it by hand because if you look at it, it's pretty sloppy looking. The same with my quilting, but that might be as much a symptom of not having a walking foot as laziness.

Other exciting news! I won a group of 5 charm packs of Kona solids by Robert Kaufman from Sew, Mama, Sew! They were delivered on Friday and I literally giggled and skipped all the way from the door until I had the box open... luckily I was home alone, so no one saw me get so giddy over solid fabric!

Aren't they pretty?

Now for some griping... Sunday morning, for whatever reason, Dex decided to go ahead and start a loaf of laundry while I was showering. But that wasn't the real issue. The washer finishes filling up and starts trying to agitate. I say try not because my lovely husband put too much laundry in or something, but because the motor was making an awful grinding, whirring sound. The agitator thing wasn't moving at all, no matter how much we tried to help it (I was wondering why the last load I ran seemed so wet...). This washer is an older machine, something my husband had bought from a friend who had gotten it from someone else type of thing. It's been meeting our needs, so we just haven't replaced it. Well, a new machine is now on the way, but it won't be delivered until Saturday. A week with no washer... sigh... but I'm looking forward to getting a new, high-efficiency front-loader that hopefully won't try to eat some of my more delicate clothes like the old one did from time to time. It didn't help my morning much that I was trying to go to Mass and ended up walking in during communion when I thought I was a few minutes early. The whole daylight savings time had just not made it onto my radar...

Done with the complaints! I'm looking forward to getting some more quilting done and finding out who I get to make something for in the guild's next swap - a "Urban Home Goods" blind exchange! It should be fun!

Friday, March 4, 2011

A name!

So, I haven't really gotten any more quilting done on my solid quilt... but as I was folding it up to free the guest bed, I came up with a name! I was thinking, "Hmm, this side is really sunny, and this side is more rainy and stormy... that's it! 'Sunshowers!' I have a name!" What do you all think? Based on what you have seen, is "Sunshowers" a good name for this quilt?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

More progress!

The last couple of days have been pretty productive, especially for my Solids Challenge quilt! I decided to just go with my original black binding, and figured out a design to quilt that I'm now absolutely loving, and have it more than halfway quilted! And despite not having a walking foot, it's looking pretty good so far. I'm also trying a new-to-me technique that I'm pretty sure I read on a blog somewhere out here in the blogosphere, I just can't remember where. I used painter's tape to mark my straight lines for quilting! I've been stitching on either side of the 2" tape I have and it's been great. I should have taped first, then pinned, but that's a lesson learned for next time. Some pictures!

The back with the black binding added

The black with both front and back main fabrics

Painter's tape as quilting guide

Partially quilted back

With one set of diagonal quilted lines

So you can definitely see in these pictures that there's been a little bit of pulling without a walking foot, but I figure once it's been washed, it'll be harder to see and it's not that bad. I also realized as I was taking the last picture that I put the top and back together upside-down. I meant for the pink stripe to be on the left side with the floral on the bottom and the green stripe to be on the bottom, but that's not how it got put together. Oh, well... It still looks pretty good!

Some of you may be wondering why I already have the black binding on and why it just looks like a big border. The answer is that I "self-bind" most of my quilts, bringing that extra fabric from the back to the front, folding it under, and machine stitching it down. It's a really quick method, and pretty much the only way I've finished a quilt other than turning and tying my very first one. It might be "cheating," but I don't really know another way to do it that wouldn't take me forever. And it usually looks just fine. I'll show you what I mean when it's done, and if I can, I'll add photos of the process.

So that's that! My quilt is nearly finished, and I have a whole week until my deadline! Imagine that...