Work-in-Progress Girl


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APQResolutions 2017

So All People Quilt runs a yearly UFO challenge designed to get people working on old and unfinished projects. And I’ve got plenty of those.

apqresolution

I haven’t been updating in a while, so I’m hoping to get back to updating at least a few times a month and some of those posts will hopefully be about me working on (and finishing?!) some of my UFOs. This list contains just twelve (of many!) and each month APQ will choose a number and that number is the project I’ll attempt to finish in that month, so here’s my twelve…

ONE
All Solids Churn Dash Quilt

Churn Dash

This project was begun as part of the Simply Solids Bee in… 2013 (?) and then again in the Stash Bee in 2014. I can’t remember how many blocks I have, either 30 or 42 and they’ll be pieced together like this, staggered with partial blocks on certain columns. I’ve got all my blocks, but need to piece them into a top, which then needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

TWO
Baby Moda Love Quilt

Moda Love

A baby quilt (or very large mini quilt?) using the Moda Love Charm Quilt pattern. It looks brown in this photo, but it’s actually a burgundy/maroon sort of background. I wanted to put a border on this – it’s only 32″ square – but wasn’t able to track down any of the prints that I thought would work best for a border (namely one of the burgundy/maroon-y ones), so it might just stay a small quilt. Needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

THREE
Blue Nine Patch Quilt

First Project Ever

This was my first project ever and has been a UFO for over 10 years. The top is pieced (the blocks by hand, even!), just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

FOUR
Blue-Orange Big Block Quilt

[No existing photo?!]

My second oldest UFO, this was in progress when I moved to Calgary almost 10 years ago. I might be wrong, but I think it’s basted and just waiting to be quilted. For all I know, the pins are rusted into place. I think I won’t like this one much when I fish it out from the closet again, but it’d be good to knock such a long-standing project off the list!

FIVE
Carolyn Friedlander Rando Patchwork Quilt

Botanics Random Patchwork

A truly dreadful photo – I should pull this one out of storage just to get a better shot of it. Needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

SIX
Charity Quilt-as-you-Go Quilt

QAYG

This quilt doesn’t look like much in photos because I’ve got so little of it done – 1/6th of the rows – and couldn’t think of a good way to photograph a single column of a quilt. It will be donated to a charity that benefits my younger sister (who is disabled). It’s following a slightly modified Herringbone quilt pattern from Maureen Cracknell’s Craftsy class, Quick Quilt As You Go. I need to finish sewing up the columns of fabric, then piece them into a top, which then gets lightly quilting to hold it and the back together.

SEVEN
Dad’s Quarter Section Quilt

Quarter section quilt

This one is further along than the picture implies – all the blocks are sewn, they just need to be pieced into rows and then a top and then to be basted and bound.

EIGHT
Doctor Who Quilt

Dr Who Quilt-in-Progress

I had big plans for the border on this quilt, so most of the quilt is pieced… just the side border needs to be finished. Maybe the answer will be to scale back the border idea,… but I like that border idea. I guess we’ll see what happens! Once the border is worked out, then it needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

NINE
Halloween Plus Quilt

Halloween Plus Quilt

I usually don’t go for holiday specific quilts, but this one is pretty subtle and in slightly unusual colours – rust, teal blue, deep purple. I don’t have a good photo of it, but the top is completed, it just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

TEN
Midnight Mystery QAL Quilt

Midnight Mystery Quiltalong

I really don’t like to finish quilts, do I? This is another, yet another, that just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

ELEVEN
Mom’s Hexi Quilt (Confetti Go Lucky)

Q1 FAL projects

This one is getting to be a pretty long standing UFO of mine, and as it’s meant to be a gift, I’d really, really like to get it done! It’s partially quilted, but there’s still a long road to go (because I had the GENIUS idea of quilting it with quarter inch spacing around all the main units.. quarter inch!!). Quilting and binding is all that’s left.

TWELVE
Plume Quilt

Fabric Friday: Tailfeathers in Lime

I seem not to have a picture of this quilt top, which is about throw sized and has been laying around for several years. I wanted to try to quilt feathers on it, but was terrified of trying. I think I’m finally ready to just give the feathers a go, whether they turn out good or bad. So basting, quilting, and binding is all that’s left.

apqresolution

So that is where that is at! Twelve projects desperately in need of finishing! All People Quilt has already revealed their pick for January, so I suppose I can reveal that Number Six – the Quilt as You Go Project is my goal for January! Just as well because it has a due date early in the year, if I’m going to donate it to my charity of choice!

I’ll also be participating in One Monthly Goal, hosted by Elm Street Quilts, and so that same project will be my goal for that linky as well!

OMGjan


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Random Thursday

Is this supposed to be a link-up or is it just really… Random Thursday? Well, here’s a few random bits and bobs:

1. Next project

002

I spent an embarrassingly long time sitting and staring at that one hexie yesterday trying to decide which way to go with it. The Paper Pieces package recommends sewing through the paper, but I want to use them multiple times and so I can’t help thinking it MUST be better for the paper not to sew through. The package does say you can keep reusing them anyway, but don’t they get all damaged in the corners where the stitches go? I don’t know. I’ve been planning today to watch a few videos on YouTube to see if I can decide which looks a more likely route for me.

2. Birdie Sling

Birdie Sling fabrics

Not sold on the denim yarn-dyed Essex Linen. I like it, a lot, but it feels too pale compared to the darker blue, maybe? (Special thanks to Michelle for her contribution to these fabrics being in my stash! :D) I thought from photos online that maybe it would be a darker blue than it is. I think a bag looks top-heavy if you put the darker fabric on top, and I could switch it so that the print fabric is on the bottom, but honestly I don’t want that much of the print on display. The bag on the pattern cover has a darker top band, but I think that large print on the bottom (with the smaller print up top) counter-acts the top-heaviness. I’ll have to think about it. I might have some Kona Nightfall fabric that would probably work (maybe?) and would definitely be darker. I don’t want to have to buy more fabric, in any case.

3. Leftover bits from something I’ve been working on.

Liberty Scraps

Liberty scraps. I’m not a big fan of Liberty (by and large I find their prints to be overly fussy, but there are a few I do like, even though they are fussy little florals), but wanted to see what the Tana Lawn was like to work with. I’m not 100% on board with the thing I made that generated these scraps (photos later – I want to be more happy with it before I share) and I wound up putting interfacing on the fabric because it was too light-weight (compared to the linen I paired it with). It also smelled a bit of bug spray – I have to assume that’s the fault of the seller, not the fabric maker, but I’ve been airing it out and can’t smell it any longer. (Also, I could smell bugspray at work the other day where no bug spray existed, so maybe I had some crossed wires in my brain…)

4. The solids Churn Dash.

Churn Dash

Just need a few more… Well, I need one more row’s worth, plus I’m waiting for 2 that will be sent to me. Love how this is coming together.

5. Some of my problem spots with the FMQ on the Star Surround project. If you have suggestions or advice for avoiding, please let me know!

008

There’s lot of little things to nit pick with this one, which I will nit-pick in other photos instead, what I took this photo for was the kind of jerkiness of it. I didn’t get a smooth loop at all on that top one, which was just me needing to stop and get my hands in a better position (but just pushing through anyway). What really bothers me is the stitches just before it goes from a straight(ish) downward line into the loop – you can see a spot where I went from vertical almost immediately to horizontal, and although I mentioned this was a spot where I’d needed to reposition my hands, I ALSO had that same issue in places (sometimes) where I did come to a complete stop, and then started again. Sometimes I could get a smooth restart and then other times I’d go off in a completely different direction than I really “should” have. I KNOW that it’s not going to show much in the grand scheme of things (which is why I didn’t pick out any of my stitches, except where there were thread breaks and the one time I had a toe catcher), but I’d still rather learn to prevent it.

011

Okay. Quarter-inch stitches vs sixteenth of an inch stitches. I know this is about the speed of my hands relative to the speed of the machine, but… how should I sew into a curve to keep my stitches smaller and more uniform? I know, practise. Yay, practise. But should I be giving it a little more gas at the beginning of the curve or easing off…? Move my hands faster as I go into that motion? I don’t know. As with all my other little issues, they seemed to hit intermittently – every time I congratulated myself for a particularly well done bit, I’d wind up doing something dumb 😀 (If I hadn’t used such garish fabrics, I’d show you my practise stitches! My best rows were the first two, before I started paying attention to what I was doing, before I remembered to turn my stitch length to zero even!, then they got progressively worse for a bit while I figured out what to do to improve things, and then they started to get better again. My one practise row of stippling is… appalling. There’s a reason I haven’t done it for realsies yet. Definitely need a whole practise sandwich just for that! But I want to go through Leah Day’s method of practising in stages – u shapes, lobster claw shapes, etc. – before joining it all up in a properly random stipple.)

009

Okay, this doesn’t show super clearly because I could not convince my camera to focus on the problem spot rather than a spot an inch above it. But that particularly long looking stitch kind of in the bottom middle of the lower loop… My machine skipped a stitch. It only happened a couple times in the whole quilt, but I seem to remember reading something somewhere about what that means, but I can’t seem to find any information on the topic now! (I tried googling FMQ skipped stitch, but that didn’t help. It’s possible I just got bored of looking for answers, though, so I should probably search it again now that I’m not so focussed on getting that quilt done done done!) A couple of my skipped stitches, I went in with a needle and thread and couched the skipped bit (didn’t want to unpick, also didn’t want to leave a loop big enough for a kid’s finger to go into), but I didn’t do it every time. (It was awkward! And I don’t know how stable that couching will be, it’s not like with embroidery where you can secure it really easily on the back.)

010

Okay. You can see a bit of this in most of my photos, but the bobbin thread is even more visible in this photo because the darker part of the variegated thread is on the bobbin thread here, with a very pale part on top. I always thought this was a tension issue, but my machine is set at almost the highest tension available. I didn’t adjust it to the higher setting because it didn’t do this all the time I was FMQing, so I wondered if something else was at work?

I don’t know. If any of you do much FMQing and have thoughts or suggestions, let me know! I know it’s not easy to diagnose when you can’t see what I do when I quilt, but I figured someone might have thoughts.

[Also, I’m linking up to Free Motion Quilting Friday at Leah Day’s The Free Motion Quilting Project. If you want to see the finished quilt which has all these flawed bits of stitching on them, you can find it here.]


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RIP My Favourite Needle

For the last year, every single embroidery project I’ve worked on has been stitched with the same needle, a Bohin No 5 Crewel needle.

Molly Mutante, finished last year in July… The Running Stitch on a Pouch… My Crewel Embroidery Needlebook… My Unfinished ABC Sampler… Every one of my Doctor Who patterns…
Molly Mutante (close) Scrappy Bits pouch #2 (mosaic) Needle-book with Crewel Embroidery Flower Daisychain ABC Sampler in progress

Anything I’ve stitched on linen or linen-cotton blend fabric or even quilting cotton if I used interfacing to stiffen it, it’s been stitched with that same No. 5 needle. It turned me into a Bohin needle apologist. I’ve got packets and packets of them in all kinds of sizes, I gave one away to someone in a swap who was looking for a good needle, I don’t ever want to use another brand of needle again, but that particular No 5 was my favourite. It felt good in my fingers and was as sharp and perfect as the day I first pulled it out of its packet, so I just kept on using it, until yesterday when it died.

Bent Needle

So that one’s gone to the little needlebook in the sky, but hey! I’ve got a whole packet of them, so I guess it’s all right if that one is gone. I bent it doing some hand-quilting on a mug rug/mini-quilt wall-hanging for the Modern Scrappy Bits Swap:

Hand Quilting

I finished up all the stitching with that bent needle, but it was kind of difficult getting it through where I wanted it to be, considering the general kink in the straightness of the thing. I suppose I pushed it too hard – multiple layers of fabric (front and back, with a lot of wadded up bits where the triangles all meet – the front is all triangles), a layer of batting and a layer of medium weight interfacing (I wanted to keep it fairly stiff so that it can be hung without the sides drooping). That needle treated me well, anyway, and it’s a shame to see it go to the little metal tin of bent pins and needles, but it was its time to go I guess.

Anyway, in other fairly ridiculous news (as regards that particular mini), I managed to feature the word BUTT right on the front of it. Or BUTTO, if you want to get technical, but it’s the BUTT that stands out so much to me:

Butto

That’s what I get for not paying too much attention to fabric placement when I stitched all those bits together. Oh well, I think my swap partner will like it regardless of the BUTT in the middle of it.