Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I have to Brag - Steve's Table and Rocker

My husband is a budding woodworker who has made great strides in the last year or so.  He is a little blog shy so I am going to put it here until he gets more comfortable with the process.

This is the Sculptured Rocker in mahogany he finished a couple of months ago. This was 2 trips (2 years) for class in Indianapolis plus a furniture finishing class and it is fabulous! (ignore the kitty tail in the lower left corner)

Last year Steve took a class for this side server.  Some day he will put in all of the technical info but what I know is that it is quarter sawn white oak with a mission finish and I think it is gorgeous!

February FMQ Challenge

Like most quilters I want to be able to do feathers - feathers - feathers.  Somehow even with the stencils it was always a chore.  They didn't fit, they went the wrong way, I spent as much time tracing the lines as I did quilting the lines. I have taken a class from Diane and others in the past so feathers aren't a new concept but I never really got very good at it.

Well to my surprise Diane Gaudynski's feathers are the second challenge.  OMG, they couldn't wait until month 5 or 6? OK, the only way to really do this is jump in. I went through Diane's materials. I have spent several evenings just running the pencil on paper to get the size and shape working.  There are feathers all over my house right now.  I knew that the best idea was shear repetition.

Time to commit needle to fabric - after all it is February 29th.

Last night I was at a quilting class and had my extension table with me in the trusty old pillow case.  It is worn and about to rip, plus it has no handles so kind of difficult to transport.  So here is the opportunity.  Make a quilted tote for the extension table.  Handles, straps around the bottom for support, reasonable size chunk of fabric to quilt with lots of FEATHERS

So I have a lot of it done but not all of it. I started with the blue pen and have completed enough feathers that now I am freehanding the whole thing.  I have completed some of the echo work but need to fill in better.  I am thinking little circles down the spine - but that really is overkill for a tote bag.

As with all of my quilting, practice is needed.  Figuring out the curls and balance will take some time but I can now take on the feathers.

Diane - the key comment in your description was the rounded top and the historical use of a coin to get the curve.  Now I had a true visual image that I could translate into my feathers.  Thank you for the instructions.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Free-Motion Quilting Challenge 2012

Georgia made me do it.  She put into the newsletter a note about the SewCalGals blog and the challenge to improve your machine quilting ( ).  Every month a different machine quilter provides an instruction session and a challenge to be completed.  What a great way to get people more comfortable with the machine quilting - one bite at a time.  I like the idea of smaller pieces geared to practice that I can then apply to my actual projects.

Now there is a virtue in being timely that somehow I missed growing up.  My highway to hell is paved with my good intentions and decorated with my calendars of undone or late activities.  So January is just a few days late.  I have gone through the February challenge and have started working on it so maybe I will get it done before the 29th.

January was leaves.  I have used leaves in the past but not covered an 18" x 18" section.   This has some potential to fit into a project that I want to quilt.

I invite you to join us in this activity.  This is a great way to practice and explore different techniques and designs.

February Sew-In

Every couple of months the folks I work with at Glad Creations in Minneapolis have a weekend sew-in.  I was the host this past weekend and had 7 people sewing and cutting in my quilt room all at one time.  It was great fun and very energizing to see what everyone is doing.  I have to admit that I spent more time socializing and putsing than I did in serious sewing, but we had a good time.

I was trying to finish the scrap quilt I started last summer when I was working in Fort Worth.  The pattern is called "Glory Bound" by Bonnie Blue Quilts and uses lots of 2' and 4" half square triangles.  I put a major dent in my traditional scraps with triangle paper and made a small mountain of half square blocks.  Actually I think I have almost enough half squares left over to make a second quilt.

This was an easy quilt to make but easy to get my star points rotated as I put the blocks together.  Fortunately I had it all laid out on  the design wall.  When I wasn't diverted with the conversations in the room, it went together quickly. 

I really like the secondary pattern that pops out when the blocks come together.  I will definitely make this one again.