Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Latest Quilt Finished.

   I was able to get the back pieced and the quilt sandwiched by Saturday afternoon.  I quilted it on Sunday and Monday, finishing the binding yesterday.  Here it is.



    I did simple straight line cross hatch quilting on this one.  I tried to free motion quilt it with my new Janome 7700 but it didn't turn out very well.  I did two blocks before I decided to remove that quilting and use my walking foot to straight line quilt it.

    I need to practice free motion quilting on this machine so I can get the speed of my sewing coordinated with the movement of the quilt under the needle.   The next time I try to free motion quilt with this machine, I think I'll do a simple stipple and see how goes.

   I've already cut 5" squares of pretty floral fabric for my next quilt top.  It will be a simple design with the floral squares framed by green fabric strips.  I haven't started sewing it yet.  I'm taking a break for a few days to look at my to do list and get some other things done around the house.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Further Adventures In Making The Disappearing Hourglass Quilt

   The top is finished:

   I'm really happy with the quilt top and how the disappearing hourglass blocks look with the sashing and the cornerstones.  The dimensions are 68 1/2" x 68 1/2" square.  I love the way the black sections create circles in a secondary pattern that you can see when you squint at the pictures.  Those black circles remind me of the pictures on Viewmaster cards like this:

   As you can see or can't see, the blue starry fabric is barely noticeable in my cornerstones.  The print was super small and the blue and yellow colors are hard to see.  I can't wait to see if that fabric makes a bigger impact on the binding.

    I have a bunch of blocks leftover.  I have two rows of 5 blocks each sashed and six blocks that are loose.  I originally made 41 of these blocks but I never considered how big the blocks were going to finish at while I was making the darn things.  I ended up using 5 rows of 5 blocks for this quilt top because that's the largest size quilt I want to try to quilt myself on my domestic sewing machine.  I'm a hobby quilter, I don't make anything larger than a generous lap size quilt.

     I'm working on the back of this quilt now.  I'm expecting solid royal blue fabric to be delivered today and I'll be using one of the leftover rows in the center of the back.  I have to put some sashing and cornerstones on the row and then I'll piece the back with it.  This quilt should be sandwiched and ready to quilt by Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Disappearing Hourglass Blocks Done And The Rest Of The Quilt Is Planned

  I have 41 black and white disappearing hourglass blocks done.  All pressed and ready to sash and set into a finished top.  I'm planning a top with 5 blocks x 7 blocks.  The rest of the blocks will go into the back.

   I also finally decided on the material for the back.  I bought a solid light royal blue by American Made Brand.

    That material will go nicely with the blue starry material I'm using for the binding and cornerstones.

   This top and back will be fun to put together.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Preliminary Review of my Janome Memory Craft 7700 QCP, Magnolia


 I took Magnolia out the same day my company left last week.  I rearranged all my furniture so I could put my sewing studio back into the living room, and I put her in a nice spot right in front of the windows.  I love sewing in the living room, there is lots of light and lots of room.

   This is a preliminary review because I have only been piecing my disappearing hourglass blocks with her.  I haven't done any speciality sewing or used any of the various feet that came with her other than the 1/4" patchwork foot that I need for my piecing.  I haven't even used the knee lift yet, I keep forgetting to put it on.  I love the big acrylic table I bought for her.  It gives me lots of space to set my pieces up for sewing.

    I have to say I love the size of the machine and the sturdy feel when I'm sewing.  She's a big one.    The machine is super easy to thread.  I used the needle threader a couple of times, but I don't use it every time I have to thread the machine because I find them to be too time consuming.  Her straight stitch is perfect.  I did adjust the presser foot pressure because I found my fabric wasn't feeding through like the presser foot was too tight for my cotton seams.  I lowered it to 5 from 7.  The manual says 7 is normal.  It may be because the machine is new and I have to break it in,  Bobbin winding is easy.  The drop in bobbin is under a clear cover, but there is a glare on the cover and I'm using black  thread so it's hard for me to see how much thread is left on the bobbin before I run out unless I lift the cover up.   Other than that, I am enjoying the lighting on the machine, there are lights in the throat area and over the needle.

   I plan to quilt my current quilt project with this machine so I'll let you know how the dual feed foot works.    

Quilt Decisions

    It always amazes me when I start a quilt how many options I have once the blocks are made.  With my disappearing hourglass I thought I wanted to just make as many blocks as I had fabric for and sew them all together into a quilt top without any border or sashing, but last night I decided to sash these blocks and put four patch cornerstones in the sashing.

    I went outside my comfort zone with my idea for the cornerstones, I normally would have gone with a solid grey or black, but I was thinking of a baby blue when I did my fabric search this morning.  I stumbled on this Laurel Burch fabric with stars in it and bought it for the cornerstones and the binding.  The sashing will be white.

    Here's a picture of the fabric I purchased and also a picture of a mock up of the sashing with the blue cornerstone using a similar fabric I had in my stash.

   I have about 30 more blocks to make so progress is slow but I should have the rest of the blocks made by the time I receive my fabric for the sashing and the cornerstones. 

   I have one more decision to make on this quilt and that is what to do for the back.  I've done some fabric searches for backing fabric but I can't commit to anything.  I'ms going to wait until this top is completely finished before I do another search for backing fabric.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My Day Out

   My daughter and I went out yesterday and took a drive to the coast.  We stopped on a little island to take some pictures, then we headed to a little town called Apalachicola that we love.  We shopped, had lunch, and bought some fresh seafood before heading home.  We always have a great time when we go out together.  Here are some pictures from our adventure.

  The other night while I was watching TV, my cats were hanging out with me.  Merlin was on the back of the couch and Taffy was curled up in my bag sleeping.  Silly cats.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Progress on the Black and White Disappearing Hourglass

      I managed to get some quilting done this past weekend while I had company staying with me.  They are late sleepers, so I had plenty of time in the morning to play with my fabric.  I now have all my half square triangles sewn and I'm in the process of ironing them and trimming dog ears for the next step, making the hourglass blocks.    I have six completed blocks and another 35 to finish.  I haven't decided how I am going to set these blocks or what fabric I'm using for the back.  I'm thinking about placing some sashing in between the blocks.  I do have the batting for this quilt, at least that is something I don't have to think about.

     My company leaves today and I have a few things to do to get settled back into my bedroom, and after that I'm planning on getting Magnolia fired up (my new Janome 7700) to see how she does piecing hourglass blocks.  I want to test it with the cotton quilting thread I bought at JoAnn's that I'm using on this project.  I hope she is not going to be fussy about what thread I use on her.  I'll let you know how that experiment goes.