Monday, March 3, 2008

Quilt Wrestling...AKA Machine Quilting

What an enjoyable weekend! Finally, the weather guys got it right. Both Saturday and Sunday were warm and sunny. It was soul filling to spend some time outside in the sunshine, walking in the woods and enjoying nature. I found many signs that spring is just around the corner. The forsythia bushes are plump and just waiting for a few warm days strung together. For now, we're back in a chill, but those warm days are on the way. Had a lovely dinner with my parents and my oldest son was able to come out and join us as well. Had a family movie night and watched the latest Harry Potter movie.
It was a weekend of quilting and sewing too. I had a chance to try machine quilting for the very first time on my mom's Bernina. I think I've said before...I have sewing machine envy. That is one slick machine. I started with this Hop, Skip and a Jump quilt that has been in the closet since January. It's small, and I figured a good candidate for my first attempt. I grid quilted it alternating between two inches and three inches apart. I know the pictures aren't great, but you get the idea. (Click on the pics and you can get a closer view!)
I like the pattern that the grid formed. It wasn't too difficult. I had a few problems. In a couple of places the stitches got very small. It must have been something I was doing. I got out the seam ripper and did them over. I also had time to get the binding attached. I just have to hand sew it onto the back and this one can be added to the completed list. YEAH! I chose a Denyse Schmidt print for the back. I think it's a nice surprise.
The next quilt I tried machine quilting was the Disappearing Nine Patch. This one is much larger than the first one and here's where the quilt wrestling started.
Here are a couple of pictures of the quilting so far. Can you see it? I did 5 out of the 12 blocks. There was so much turning of the quilt that I found this very difficult. Maybe this is the kind of quilting that is better done with a free motion method. Right now I'm not sure if I'm liking it. I think it needs more, but I'm not sure what to add. I tried to quilt so as to emphasize the figure eight shapes that are formed when the nine patch is arranged this way. I think I have to reserve judgment until it is completed. I will say, my back is sore. It was hard to relax being both unfamiliar with the sewing machine and machine quilting in general.
Since I'm back with my own sewing machine today, I spent some time on a new project. A couple of weeks ago my hubby and I went to a great antique shop in the River Market in Kansas City. He found two bags of vintage fabric squares for a dollar a bag. Needless to say, I made the purchase. Most of the fabric was feedsack, but there were about 50 two inches squares of shirting stripes. So what can be done with that? Here's what I've done so far.
I had a lot of fun crazy piecing with these. I have an idea...I won't share what I'm going to do with these....wait a few days and see what I come up with. I think they are so FUN! Have a great week everyone!


Jen said...

Those crazy stripe blocks are great!

Becky said...

I love the blocks. I would never have thought to do something like that. Can't wait to see what the quilt looks like once you are done with the blocks. Good luck with the quilt wrestling. That's exactly why I was paying someone to do mine. Far too frustrating and I got tired of cussing every bad word I knew. Seems like it just wasn't right to be screaming at something I enjoyed making.

de vliegende koe said...

I loves the scrappy pieced blocks. Using stripes gives an amazing result!

Sarah C said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my monkeys quilt. I purchased some backing fabric yesterday now I will wait patiently for delivery!
I love your stipe blocks they look great - I think I will be saving all my hubbies worn business shirts (he might come home one day to find them all stitched up on his bed LOL).
I will keep an eye out for the finished product. :)

bettyninja said...

These blocks are so cool. Thanks for posting these photos of the crazy stripe blocks!