Sunday, April 16, 2017

Good enough for me?

Lol. I don't understand how someone I just met labels me a perfectionist.
I am diligent, particular,  purposeful, assiduous, attention to detail,,,. I have my own method,,, whatever!
But as a person, I am much too imperfect to be a perfectionist! And certainly my stitches aren't always as precise as they could be.  However, I make them good enough for me.... Kind of...

This about stops me in my tracks. 
(Not the blue line that will disappear with a little water. It's those glaring white stitches on the black fabric!!)
An applique stitch is supposed to be invisible. By using the same color thread, a stitcher can get away with slightly off stitches. Also, a better quality thread will "sink" into the fabric and practically disappear.
I'm stitching on a black and white 7/8" stripe. I was trying to get away with using one thread to stitch both the black and the white...
That area on the ear is making me nuts!! That's how it sticks out to me in the picture above... MAGNIFIED!!

This is how most eyes will see it. A tiny bit noticeable but the eye doesn't rest on that particular spot! (It wouldn't have if I hadn't pointed it out to you!)

I am this close (**thumb and pointer finger held a fraction of an inch apart**) to taking the stitches out and redoing... 
I'm also this close to having all the applique done and moving onto the next part of this quilt. (And I'm really ready to start another project..)
So.... I think I'll just touch a fine tip Sharpie to those 4 or 5 stitches and that is going to have to be good enough for me!!

The inspiration for this quilt came from Keepsake Quilting the Zoe Zebra quilt kit.
I've waited for the kit to be restocked but haven't seen it in and it's very likely never gonna be.
So, I am making my own pattern of it...
Lol, stems and leaves were easy-peasy.  Getting the zebra the right size took two days before I went ahead and cut it out of fabric... I'm still not 100% pleased, but I gotta move on! (No perfectionist tendencies there, right!?! 😄)
I've been struggling with the flowers for this quilt too.  It's definitely a size thing going on.
Looking at the flower with the yellow center, I think I've finally got them pretty good now. I have to undo the other two, cut them down and resew.

Keepsake Zoe Zebra
My version of the Keepsake Zoe Zebra quilt.


I suppose there's a certain level of perfection, even if it's not exactly perfect...
This little quilt is turning out so cute... 😄
 that's definitely good enough for me!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Not bad for a week.

Just a quick documenting of this quilt. I needed a smaller version of the queen size black and white quilt to practice a stitching design. So I pulled fabrics from my stash and put together this very pink 40" x 50" top.

The Disappearing 9-patch method i used for the black and white felt like to much room for cutting errors on such a big block. So this time I cut each piece out separately.

Also made it easier to lay out, arrange and rearrange.


In the meantime... I received a sewing machine in the mail that I had won from Mountain Quiltfest.  It seems that my name was entered into a drawing each time I signed up for a class and my name was picked!!!



It arrived at my door step on Tuesday. I had just finished the top and backing and sandwiched it. I was sewed out for the day.

Wednesday was science fair day in Jackson with my daughter. She won first prize in her category! I'm so proud of her. 
It was an all day trip. To top the day off, the official acceptance letter into the residential school MSMS was in the mail box when we got home... (I will have a whole lot more quilting time come August..) 
...so Wednesday was a long, happy, emotional day and no sewing.

But I was ready by Thursday! And I set up the new machine which fit nicely in the drop in table...
Placed my roughly drawn quilting pattern next to the machine..

And stitched all day..


I attempted a border design I thought would be cute. But it looked messy to me so I spent an hour or two taking all those stitches out.

I also found one tangled mess on the backside caused by not bringing the bobbin thread up to the topside. 

I used a 500 yard spool of thread. Most of the quilting was done by Friday night.  I ran out of thread with just the corner border left to do.
I went with squiggly quilting in the sashing. 🤣 And it's intended to look messy! 😋
I started piecing the top on Sunday and finished the quilting on Saturday! Not too bad for a week!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Right place at the right time...


Right place at the right time.
My visits to my family in Colorado are usually done in the summer months because there are no school events and schedules to work around.
This past Christmas I realized that it had been several years (maybe 14 years) that I hadn't been home for the holidays. My Heartbeat must have recognized the longing in me eyes and he made it happen!


...We baked...  on Christmas Eve....
 
...A lot of treats!!

We also visited with my mom and dad. My Sweetling shared photos of the summer trip she and my Heartbeat took to Europe.  My Dad, diagnosed with alzheimer's several years ago, listened attentively for over an hour, until the very last picture.  
If our whole Colorado trip consisted of just that single afternoon, it would have been worth it. 
Sharing memories and making memories with my parents ❤️.

Christmas Day was hosted by my nephew and his fiance.  It was a perfect Christmas gathering with lots of good food, good company and lots of love!
Abuelita (my mom) almost got her fill of Meadow (my grand niece) cuddles. 

front to back, my daughter, my son, one of my nephews

and no holds barred  in the White Elephant gift game. 
even Grandpo (my dad) was stealing the gift of kitchen utensils that he very much wanted.

Oh, and to top it off, a Bronco's game! Which reminds me, I gave my grandnephew (he's in the blue sweater in the baking pictures above) a Bronco quilt with a fleece backing.  I was very pleased when he joyfully hugged it to himself when he saw it. There's nothing more honest than a child's expression. ❤️

In the days that followed Christmas we looked through boxes of photos.
this is me, now and then! 😄

And my mom and dad when they first met in the early '50's I believe.
 

..... So, why am I taking about Christmas in April?
One day during that visit I was helping prepare a meal with my brother Jaime.  I was telling him all about the quilt guild I've joined.  And how as soon as I got home I was going to have to get busy making a quilt for a guild challenge.
He teasingly said, "make it an oversized queen and you can give it to me when you're done with it!"
Honestly, it sounded like a good idea to me, so I agreed that would be the plan.  
Until I got home and found out that there was a size limit. For the challenge the quilt couldn't be any bigger than a 160" perimeter..... A 40" square is NOT going to make an oversized queen quilt!!
I know I could back out of making the bigger quilt. But now I love the story 🤣. I made "Ostentatious" for the challenge. And Jaime's black and white plus one color became a project to work on during downtime at the Mountain quiltfest retreat.

I decided the easiest way to go about it would be as a Disappearing 9-patch. There are plenty of tutorials already for "disappearing 9-patch", so I'm not going to write another. I am merely documenting my steps for my own benefit and future use.
Black and White fabric cut 6.5"square
White fabric cut 6.5" x 5" rectangle
Turquoise cut 5" square (to give 2" finished in the final block.)

making that cut was scary! Lol.

 

The giant block became 4 smaller blocks.
Rearrange the smaller blocks using the turquoise as corner stones.


I had to use my bed for a design board.
11 x 13 grid.
The bed was too small, I had to majorly overlap to get it all to fit. 
I finally settled in this placement. With something like 150 blocks and 13 different prints, you'd think it would be easy to lay it out without same fabrics touching... But it wasn't... I finally came to a point where I just had say "enough! Time to sew!"
 There was only enough time to sew three rows together at Pigeon Forge. I numbered the rows, stacked them up and brought them home.
At home, sewing the rows was easily done in a day.  But as I started attaching one row to the next, I was stopped dead in my tracks over two things.
  1.  I don't have a quilting plan.
2.  I have to make a decision - border or no border.... 

Answers are not appearing.
I just don't know!! What I do know is that I'm going to need practice, otherwise I will be picking out a lot of quilting until it's perfect (enough to satisfy me)
So.....
I made a "mock" quilt to practice on.  It will be a 40" x 50" finished baby girl quilt.
I couldn't resist piecing the back.
It's sandwiched and ready to quilt!

I am very new to this free-motion quilting thing. The long-arming and free-motion video tutorials make it look so easy to fill in a space with "whatever you feel like!"
When I watch, I'm thinking, "ok! I can do that! K, now tell me what I feel like!" 😂
I have a few books with quilting motifs in them... Nothing fits or seems to be "what I feel like." 

I couldn't sleep one night. So I tried sketching out some ideas. **Warning! The following images are not pretty!! If you have a sensitivity to awkward and ungraceful, I shut your eyes now and exit this blog update! You can not unsee once the damage is done. I'm sorry.
 
Just a few attempts to fill in a 6" square. I suppose they are not horrible as ideas, but they just aren't going to work for the black and white quilt.
Of course, I scoured Pinterest looking for the perfect stitching pattern. One pin sent me to the blog Sampaguita Quilts and I finally found the inspiration I needed!!
(I was running out of sketch paper and I already used the back. Don't mind the text 😋)
What I like... There's no direction on this motif. So it won't make the quilt have an obvious top or bottom. It's a continuous line and I can start stitching in any spot I desire.
It has an all over look, but I can contain it in the 6" square. And the best part... It's very much free motion, I can stretch a leaf here or a petal there, add one, minus one... Whatever!! and it won't look wrong 😁.
Now, hopefully I can get it to translate well into the quilts.... I'll keep you updated!!
I tell you, this has been quite the learning experience!! I'm determined to complete these quilts.  My brother sure is lucky to have been there in the right place at the right time!!!


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Guild challenge at Mountain Quiltfest 2017



Possum Town Quilter's entered 14 quilts for the
Mountain Quiltfest 2017 Guild Challenge.
(if you are here for the Giveaway, details of the "Ostentatious" will be at the end of this update.)
Shadows of Kilimanjaro
Made and quilted by Terry Turnage
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17

Heidi & Bella
Made and quilted by Cecelia Coggins
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17

From the Back
Made and quilted by Gwen Sesson
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17

Field of Flowers
Made and quilted by Cheri Smith
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17

Bits and Pieces
Made and quilted by Eva Marie Caraway
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17

In the Heat of the Summer
Made and quilted by Julia Graber
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17


Made and quilted by Kathy Honeycutt
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17

made and quilted by Linda Baines
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17


Curious
Made and quilted by Carol Vazques James
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17

Dotty
Made and quilted by Brenda Crownover
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17

Ribbons of Sunlight
Made and quilted by Tonya Stewart
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17

Love Scroll and Patches
Linda Goley
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17

Show Off
Made and quilted by Judy Stokes
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17

Ostentatious
Made and quilted by Naomi Hernandez Perry
Possum Town Quilters
Columbus, MS
Guild Challenge
Black/White Plus One Color
#quiltfest17