Monday, October 15, 2012

More UFO's and a Lesson Learned

First I'll show my progress on two UFO's. I spent a few hours in my sewing room (OK a bit more than a few) and I managed to get 2 UFO's ready for basting!
Here is the Farmers Wife quilt I finished putting together. My plan is to use this quilt for machine quiting practice. It measures 47" x 54". A great lap size!
This UFO has been pieced except for the borders for about 4 years. I made it from leftover fabrics from a quilt kit. I finally got around to finding fabrics that worked for the border and finished piecing it this week. This will be machine quilting practice too! I think this one will get donated.
It measures 45" x 57".
Yes it has been a while since I practiced machine quilting and yes I learned a lesson...several in fact!
1. Practice as often as possible...that means more than once every 2 months.
2. When you try a new free motion quilting pattern, really try it out on much as it takes to figure it out. Don't wing it because you won't be happy.
3. After you have it figured out on paper, figure it out on a practice quilt sandwich before going to the real quilt.
4.Go with your instinct
5. I'm not sure I like clear thread. It is too hard for my 'old' eyes to see where I have been.
So what quilt made me learn ALL these lessons?
I obviously did not practice on paper enough (i.e. half a sheet is not enough).
My new rule is at least 2 sheets.
So , my first thought was that I was going to do a diagonal grid with an off white thread. How could I have gotten so far off track????
Really, it isn't THAT bad but I can't help but think I'm going to regret not starting over. It is only a little quilt but do I really want to spend my time tearing out stitches???
I found the perfect binding too, but I won't do anything until I am sure.
Finally, I cut up all my scraps of batting into machine quilting practice sizes. I cut as much as I could 15" square and what was left I cut 12" square. I got a good stack to start practicing. Now all I need is some muslin.
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

So Glad I Have a Blog!

A blog is a wonderful way to document your UFO's! These next couple of UFO's I have actually blogged about so I know for sure without even looking they are not too many years old! But I thought I should look perhaps at when I did blog about them....
The first little UFO is this adorable Dresden Plate that I have been finishing. I started it about 3 years ago before I even had a blog! Then it sat until just recently when I decided to finish the quilting. I had actually started quilting it, and I remember that I was quilting it without a hoop and with a long needle at the table. I decided to continue the method but I sat in my rocking chair instead. I have to say that my stitches were way better at the table. Maybe I had a bit more control and I learned that I really do prefer quilting in a hoop. That is so cute!!!!
Each little block is just 3-1/2" square. My intention was all along to do a scalloped border. Here is my tip for scalloped borders. I never cut them before quilting. All I do is mark on the desired edge of the quilt. Then I know where my quilting lines should end. When the quilting is done, I baste just inside the line (maybe 1/8"). Then  you just need to trim on the line. This will keep your edge together nicely while putting on the binding and you don't have to worry about weird edges while quilting.
Now it's ready for binding!
Remember my Farmers Wife blocks I started back in October 2010. I found them in the bottom of a container last weekend. I had 23 blocks in all. That's enough to make a lap sized quilt. I dug around in my fabrics and found just enough blue and brown to get it done. Here it is in progress...
The missing row is sitting beside my sewing machine!
While I was searching for old posts on these UFO's I realized I should really get better at using labels on my posts. I never did find the post for the Dresden Plate but I'm sure it's there somewhere!
And finally, winter is coming so I thought I had better get these scarves finished. All they needed was blocking.
The top scarf is Strangling Vine . It was a fabulous knit! The only change I made was that I cast on 33 stitches instead of 42. I used Knit Picks Palette yarn for this one.
The bottom scarf is Saroyan. It was fast, fun and beautiful. Very girly!!! This scarf is made from Knitpicks Sugarbunny. Angora is so soft. I often don't make swatches (I know...bad , bad, bad of me) , and this is a case I should have. Although it is beautiful and great the way it is, if I was to knit it again with Sugarbunny, I would go down a needle size.
Back to my UFO's - it is so satisfying to get a few of these done! I wonder what I will find next?
Happy Stitching!