Saturday, July 30, 2016

Mt. Rainier Reflecting in Tipsoo Lake

Mt. Rainier Reflecting in Tipsoo Lake

Duh.....I forgot to include the photo of the finished quilt. Please read my blog that I posted just before this one which will tell you all the trials and tribulations of creating this quilt plus details about the Northwest Quilting Expo where I will be a featured artist!

Featured Artist at the Northwest Quilt Expo and my new quilt, etc.

Mt. Rainier Reflecting in Tipsoo Lake

After much trial and error, ripping, struggling, burning holes in tulle, etc., I have finally finished this quilt! Let me tell you, I am ready to be done with it. I can't tell you how many darn things went wrong this quilt but the one that took the most time involved the machine quilting! Originally, I hand-painted the sky and the water. After machine quilting the half of the water I wanted to barf. I hated hated hated how it looked. So, even though I knew it was a thankless task, I begin ripping out the stitching. NEVER NEVER NEVER do this on hand-painted fabric. Yikes, what was I thinking? When I picked out the quilting, the original white fabric showed.
Here is a photo of what it looked like during the removal of the quilting stitches:
Here was my solution: I cut away the fabric, the backing and the batting and it ended up looking like this:
Next, I Placed the quilt on top of a piece of backing fabric with a nice folded edge (to stitch down by hand later), a piece of batting, and a piece of hand-painted fabric by Mickey Lawler that just happened to be a good substitute for the one I hand-painted. Then, I had to stitch the trees and mountain down to the new sandwich. To make sure the value was correct, I added a couple layers of colored tulle but then went on to burn a couple holes in it with my iron, necessitating the adding of foliage on the right side of the shoreline of the quilt! DUH. I guess I can blame everything on my stupid thyroid as my levels were low during most of the process. Or, I can just blame it on old age. OR WHATEVER!
I decided to face my quilt instead of doing a regular binding, but again, was foiled! After applying the facing I could not get the 1/4" seam allowance to fold to the back because the machine embroidery on the trees was to bloody thick! So, on to plan B, a regular binding!

So, what have I been doing since I finished this piece? Sewing like a mad woman. My son is getting married next weekend so his fiance and I made her Celtic themed peasant wedding dress. The overdress is made of a lovely forest green batik and we are both delighted how it turned out. I can't show it yet as it will make its' debut at the wedding.
I can, however, show you the dress I made for my granddaughter to wear. I do have to share with you, pattern sizing is the Pitts! I had to alter this dress big time to get it to fit my granddaughter. The top was too big, the waist too tight, so I let in and I let out but the darn thing turned out so cute on her. Here's a photo of the dress:
I will post photos of the wedding so you can see the wedding dress modeled and my granddaughter in her dress.

Until then.......Happy quilting


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Blocking your quilt on insulation board


I do not give up easily. So, I am attempting to post this link showing you how I blocked my latest quilt. As it is very difficult for me to get on the floor any more, and we now have bamboo flooring, I decided to try plan B.......I went to Home Depot and had them cut an insulation board in half. Using the shiny foil-type finish on top, I placed a layer of the Teflon ironing board fabric on top of that followed by a vinyl, flannel backed tablecloth, with the vinyl side down. 
Next, I pinned the quilt face-down on the apparatus, using t-pins. Using a dry iron on a medium-high setting, I took a piece of muslin, dipped it in water, and placed it on one edge of the quilt and ironed the muslin until the muslin was dry. All the moisture and the heat actually go into the quilt itself, making it one cohesive unit instead of a top, batting, and backing. I continue dipping the muslin into the water (squeeze it just enough so it isn't dripping) and go over the entire circumference of the quilt, paying attention especially to the edges where quilts often wobble. I place this sandwich under a ceiling fan to help the quilt dry. Depending on the weather, it can take one day or even three days to dry. Once the quilt is dry, square it, and then bind it. My friend Sonia Grasvik taught me the basics of blocking quilts and I just enhanced the method doing it on the insulation board.  See the link below to watch me blocking a quilt.!AmIotDz4Jbp8hQCbUx8uUwispi3M