Monday, October 29, 2012

What Cinnamon and I have been working on

Here are some quilts I have completed for others on my Gammill longarm machine. I post them on completion on my web site: too. 
Ivy leaves in sashing. Pale green thread looks white on dark green. 
Back of quilt block detail and sashing around it. Done in a pale green thread, it looks darker on white.  
Front block detail of Elouise P's quilt. 
Charmaine L. Purple black and gray, block of the month from Quilter's Combo. For her son in law, no flowers here!
Detail of quilting with purple variegated thread on black area of quilt.
Dianne R. A block exchange with friends in civil war reproduction fabric.
The back detail of Dianne R's quilt, a leaf pattern all over.
Charmaine L. Block of the month from Quilter's Combo a couple of years ago. Quilted in small circles (sorry for the poor detail).

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A little after the fact

I am a little delayed in this topic.  A couple of weeks ago I went on a retreat, to quilt.  Until I quilted the only retreats I knew about were of the spiritual nature with women's groups from church.  Well, I retreated from my world and went about 30 minutes from home up the road to Scottsboro, Alabama for 3 days and nights of me time.  Of course my me time was spent creating a quilt for #1 son and working on my "X  block" exchange (of which I have apparently lost a whole set).

Grand Oak Retreat is an amazing place.  It is nestled up off the road (way up and off).  The first picture above is actually from the yard looking down the driveway.  Beneath those bushes is a water feature.  They have a chicken coop. I gathered the eggs one day which we had in our breakfast the following day. A first for me. I know it is not glamorous or exciting, but this city girl has always wanted chickens.  Living in a master planned community prohibits that and so I live vicariously through those who are able to. I got a kick out of Cindy telling me about her chicken adventures.  Specifically how she and and her dear hubby would chase the chickens around the yard to get them into the coop in the evening until one day they forgot and when they went outside all the chickens were already in, amazingly all by themselves.  The city humans didn't know it was instinct for the chickens to go to roost at dusk. I'm sure just one of many great stories about the place. 

This is a sunrise picture from the balcony overlooking Lake Guntersville. Yes we actually slept and got up early enough to see sunrise. This sunrise actually fizzled out though. It was the strangest thing, all glorious pinks one minute and the next, nothing. 

I had to get a picture of the wildflowers in bloom, in October.  This verified for me that it was not just my wildflowers that are blooming so late this year. I have some that are as tall as me and just now getting ready to bloom.  I have had a hard time convincing the hubster that they really aren't weeds! It is a sight, the flowers in bloom with the fall leaves covering the yard. 

Are you wondering what I worked on during the retreat? It will be revealed soon, its almost done. It is red and black and white and appropriate for an 18 year old male. I will be working on it tomorrow and hopefully get the blocks attached together and bordered. I will also be adjusting to a cold front coming through our neck of the woods. Happy Fall!

Monday, October 15, 2012

This week's lesson learned

The title should be two weeks ago lesson learned, since I actually composed it then but forgot to actually post it. Anyhoo.....

Every quilt I quilt brings me new knowledge.  My most recent one is one of my own, so the lesson was not that hard to learn :0)  So what is this new knowledge added to my small brain you ask?

There is a reason why we longarm quilters ask for an extra 4 inches of fabric and batting all around.  How did I acquire this knowledge?

Because this quilt and backing were made before I was considering a longarm machine and I seem to be really good at not buying enough backing fabric. Due to this fabric buying deficit I had to add a few pieced blocks to the backing to make it large enough, and it was just the right size top to bottom.

This becomes a problem when loaded on a longarm machine because you actually fold over the edges a bit on the backing top and bottom then start the top a few inches down on the backing.  So when I got to the bottom there was not enough fabric.  It was a pretty easy fix since the outer border was 6.25 inches wide.  I simple trimmed about an inch off and the earth started rotating again.

Other lessons learned? Just because you tell the computer to not change the ratio/size of a pattern does not mean it will not revert back and change it anyways.  Result, one section of the meander on the outer border is "stretched out."

Anything else? Oh yes. I unzipped the quilt and used a second set of leaders to load another quilt.  That went well. I completed the other quilt with only minor panic learning opportunities. When I reloaded the first quilt I forgot to change the bobbin thread back to the darker variegated thread I had been using.  Fortunately, the backing fabric is so busy you can't tell.  I also got a lot of practice in placing patterns in borders.  There are technically four borders on this quilt.

The last tip for today, keep all elements of a project together in a box or bag of some sort.  While pulling out the binding for this quilt that had been prepared a few months ago when the backing and piecing were done, I found the binding I had originally made for the Red and White quilt.  I had just finished turning the binding on it the night before. Not to mention I am not super happy with the binding I picked because reds are so hard to match.  I settled.  The binding should have been the same floral as the outer border.  Oh well.  It is still cozy to snuggle under!

Next week I am going away for three full days of quilting fun with a new group of gals.  When I get back I will have a quilt to do for someone in my StitchIts group.  I will be working on Hunter's quilt, a comfy quilt for charity, and the "X" block swap blocks while away.