Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A PICNIC kind of day

Yesterday I was having what I call a PICNIC kind of day. What is a picnic kind of day you ask? Well if you are reading this post you have a computer and if you have a computer I know from personal experience that you've had problems with said computer. I know that I have and more often than not the problem is a user problem rather than a computer problem which means Problem In Chair Not In Computer! My sewing machine and I were not seeing eye to eye and my top thread was shredding as I was free motion quilting and I hadn't changed anything since I last quilted. I tried everything short of replacing the bobbin case. New needles, fresh bobbin, rethread top and bobbon, adjust tension, adjusted the pressure food, adjusted my speed. EVERYTHING and all to no avail. I took a good long break and when I came back to it was able to quilt relatively problem-free. There are some things my machine doesn't like and one of them is quilting next to applique work and quilting over seam allowances. Very frustrating to say the least! But I got some quilting done in spite of my problems!

I've been debating how to quilt the center strip. Ideally one should be able to quilt a feather in any direction but I'm not there yet. I find it easiest to stitch the spine starting from the tip of the feather down to the base and then I quilt the plumes starting at the bottom and working to the top. When I get there I stitch along the spine until I get to the base and then quilt the plumes on the other side of the feather. This means that when I stitched my feathers in the outer columns they go in opposite directions. Am I bothered? Heck as like BUT my problem was how do I deal with the center of the quilt? I decide the solution was to stitch an interlocking feather. Here is the start of the feather. There would be a curl in the block at the top and the block and the bottom and then the spines would run parallel through the two middle blocks. The feathers would intersect just below the curl at either end. This is the beginning of the curl.

And the feather is stitched so now it is simply a matter of filling in on the empty spaces with my doodling!

With a very thin Frixion pen I drew the spine of the feather and then quilted all the plumes free-hand. If you look closely you will notice that the plumes are not uniform but if you look at the whole it looks just fine (well it looks just fine to me and really that is the only person I need to please!).

I echo quilting two rounds inside the swirl and filled it with the doodling. I still need to echo quilt the outside edge of the plumes and where necessary add the doodling!

If my machine continues to cooperate filling in the spaces will go fairly quickly. Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me! I'm using a variety of swirls and pearls and what not to fill the space. I've even tried some McTavishing. If you are interested in learning this wonderful technique Amy  of Amy's Free Montion Quilting Adventures has some great videos to go with her McTavishing quilt along that is going on right now. You can see installment #4 here. All of her work is done on a domestic sewing machine and her blog is chock a block with useful information suitable for all skill levels! Do check out her blog - it will be time well spent!

Aside from my sewing woes there was a bright spot in my day....I received a lovely package in the mail from Lia of LiasHandmades. I admired  her quilt as you go notebook cover that started out as an experiment. You can read about it here. The next thing I knew she made one for me! She also tucked in some candy squares and a pencil! Who's still a lucky girl? Me!

The notebook she tucked inside the cover is ideal for a quilter because it has plain pages for sketching, graph paper for designing and lined pages for note-taking! I simply adore the cover and book!

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H (the lucky girl)


  1. those swirls are just divine x

  2. I"m very impressed...what a beautiful quilt!


  3. Thanks for the shout out and I think the quilting is fabulous!

  4. You are a lucky girl. Picnic issues aside, the quilting is coming along beautifully. I really like your filler stitching.