Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Patriotic Quilt continued....

So the excess batting is all trimmed away and the quilt is loaded.

I have a marathon quilt session in store for me this weekend.  I have the music cranked up and the wine poured.  Doesn't get much better than this....

Yes, that's a Harry Potter book on tape next to the wine.  It's the little things... : )

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Patriotic Quilt Progress

So I've been working on my friend's Patriotic Quilt and the trapunto words in the border are starting to take shape.  They were too subtle and the font was pretty thin for the quilting design I chose so I'm going to have to outline the words in some way.

I couldn't wait to see how it looked without the water soluble thread outlining it so the "O" is darker because it's wet.   Overall, I'm loving it.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Patriotic Quilt

So I completed the quilting on the patriotic quilt and outlined the trapunto words in red thread.  I'm not very happy with it though because the words are really hard to see.  Fortunately I only outlined a couple of letters in the red because I ripped it out.  I hate ripping out stitching.

I then tried a 40 weight cream colored thread for outlining the words.

Much better!  I love the quilt now. I did the binding in red fabric and reluctantly gave it back to my friend.  She cried when she saw it.  I'm so glad I went to all the trouble to do the trapunto.  It took the quilt to the next level.  She decided not to give it to her son because she loved it so much.

Patriotic Quilt

My friend approached me about a quilt top she needed quilted.  She started it when her oldest son was a baby.  This was a quilt that was taught in the one and only quilt class she has eve taken.  Her son was graduating and she wanted to finish it for him

The quilt was well done with the exception of the borders.  With the number of blocks she made it would fit a double bed.  Her son's bed is now a queen size and someone convinced her to turn the quilt sideways and add extra large borders on the long ends of the quilt in order to attempt to make it fit a queen.  It was not a pleasing look.... at all....

She gave the quilt to me and told me to do whatever I thought would look best.  She really didn't like the borders either.  In my usual style, I kept it in my studio for a time contemplating what to do.  I wanted the quilt to really reflect my friend's likes and personality.  She is a fellow Christian and very patriotic.  So I had a plan.  First, I whacked off the weird borders and made them all the same width.  Then I found a font that I liked and printed out the phrase "One Nation Under God."  I took the quilt to my place of work which has these amazing light tables.

I traced this phrase on both of the long ends of the borders.  Isn't this table amazing!!!  It really made this job easy.

I then used water soluble thread to stitch on the batting and cut away the excess batting in order to make the trapunto.  The plan is to have the words by somewhat subtle in the borders and just have them raised up as trapunto.

I'm pretty excited about it and can't wait to see how it quilts up.  I'll post more as progress is made.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Red Snappers Purchased and Installed

I made the plunge this week and puchased some Red Snappers for my long arm.  I am so tired of pinning quilts onto the longarm.  It's time consuming and I keep pricking my fingers.  I've been contemplating a quilt loading system for about a year now and decided on the Red Snappers based on reading reviews from others.  It was also much easier to determine the size needed and I loved her videos on how to install and use the Red Snappers.

I've also been contemplating buying new leaders for my Ulimate I longarm for about a year now.  After loading a quilt I would find that one edge of the quilt would be taught while the other edge of the quilt would sag a bit.  The canvas seems to be a loose weave which allows quite bit of play.   To top it off they are not the same width.  So finding the center point is an issue.  After writing out all the issues with my leaders I don't know why I haven't changed them yet.  Anyways, I decided that I would keep them for now and see if I could square them up when I installed the Red Snappers.  You have to sew a sleeve to hold the rod and I figured I could make one end of the sleeve slightly larger on the side that sags.  In the process of doing this I found that the leader used for the quilt top was the one off of square.  Which is perfect because I'm considering taking that one off and floating my tops anyways.  As for the different width leaders, I sewed tape measures on the two leaders according to the directions on the Red Snapper web page.  I think this will really help me ensure the quilt is on the leaders and frame square.

Now it's time to get sewing and finish a quilt top so I can try out those Red Snappers!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

#7 54 40 or Fight Quilt Block Ornament

Here is block #7 Fifty Four Forty or Fight.  This block was so easy to make.  I had it done in  about 1/2 and hour.

The name of the block is quite unusual though.  It caused me to look up 54 40 or fight on Google and I learned a little bit of history with it.  54 40 or fight was a campaign slogan for Polk in 1844 and it referred to the dispute over the Oregon Territory.  There were many claims to this land and it was at the forefront of Polk's campaign. 

I think it's interesting that a quilt block came out of it.  Imagine if today the only way we could express our opinions were to create quilt blocks.  Not that we don't but it is amazing that just a short time ago we weren't even allowed to vote.  The equality and freedoms that have come about in the last century is truly amazing.  There are so many opportunities that I take for granted that were not there even in my mother's generation.  Think about it... I'm the head of a department of about 25 people.  Many chemists both men and women and I have the opportunity to be a laboratory manager.  Not due to my gender but because of my abilities. 

It's amazing how much our culture has changed in the last 50 years.  In fact, many times as I'm watching TV I think about how if we showed some of the commercials we have today and aired them 50 or even 30 years ago there would be such an outrage.  I don't know if you've noticed but men are made out to be idiots compared to women in today's commercials and many sitcoms.  As I watch these commercials I think about what it would look like if the roles or lines were reversed.  Women would be campaigning with picket signs at the networks front steps and the products lines would probably go bankrupt.  We women didn't appreciate the way we were treated back then but I think we've swung the pendulum too far the other way.  Just for kicks you should listen to the old time radio network on satellite radio and listen to how women play the part of a ditz who can't make decisions without a man.  It's eery how much it sounds like today's sitcoms but the man is the ditz who can't make a decision without a woman.  I think women just wanted equality and respect but I think we need to remember the golden rule and treat others as we want to be treated. 

One of the best lessons I ever received was from my boss, my current lab manager.  I was meeting with him to discuss a personnel issue in my department.  I had a chemist who was really not dealing with others appropriately but it was all subtle stuff that is difficult to address and I was expressing my extreme frustration.  My boss just sat back and quietly asked me how my interactions and corrections with this chemist would change if the thought I kept in my head was that God loves this person just as much as He loves me and He died for this person just like He died for me.   Wow!  I wasn't looking at this person with love and respect.  It was just with frustration. Don't get me wrong, the behaviors this person was exhibiting were still wrong and had to be addressed.  But it had to be done with respect and love.  It revolutionized the way I managed my department. 

Wow!  Amazing the turn my thoughts take with just one quilt block.  

#6 Card Tricks Quilt Block Ornament

Here is block #6 - Card tricks.  I'm not very happy with this.  I love the pattern but I didn't do a very good job with it.  You can see that the bottom right hand side card is a little off. And of course I attached the hanger so that it's really obvious.  I believe this ornament will either live near the back of the tree or high up so you can't look too closely.  

Actually I think I'll tell people that I did that intentionally in order to make it look even more "handmade" or to follow the example set by the Amish.  I meant to put a mistake in it.  Yeah right! 

Try this one out. It's actually really fun.