Quilt ADD in therapy

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Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love any and every style that makes me smile. Traditional? Awesome, especially with historic or family story connections. Modern? Fun! Free! Cheery! Paper piecing? How cool can you get?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Two UFOs Shot Down!!

Yay!!!!  I've finished two UFO minis this week, and it's exciting for me beyond just finishing something that was put together in 2011.

I ain't skeered of no stinkin' McKenna Ryan quilts anymore! In fact, I'm rather puffed up with pleasure at the leap forward.

Koo Koo Puff

Her designs have lots of little fused pieces that are semi-insane to cut out and put together. In many places there are multiple layers which are quite thick with fabric and fusible. The thought of doing the actual stitching on these has frankly freaked me out, both in terms of the level of FMQ skill needed and the difficulty of working through all those finicky layers.

This month I made myself Get Over It and finally got to work on the ones I like least out of the mini collection for "Sea Breeze." This has a series of nine 17"-square scenes, and they will be stretch-mounted on canvas frames to be wall art.

The Snooty Sisters

"The Snooty Sisters" were up first. I decided I wanted to further complicate this project by doing trapunto on the marine figures. No big deal: pull out scraps of my wool batting, pin it behind that portion of the quilt, and do the applique stitching for the trapunto layer. (I'm going to work up a tutorial for that with later companion minis.) Well, my Sapphire has a very sensitive tension system, and that fusible stuff really threw it for a loop. Literally.  Loops and nasty nests on the back like this one:

ALL OVER THE PLACE, no matter how I tried to compensate for it. I was bad. After taking out and redoing about 400 of them, I left all the ones you see here and just pulled everything tight to the back as well as I could and tied them securely.

It was all going to be hidden away, anyhow, and this was meant for my own studio, not any competition or commission. Still, I was pulling my hair out at the thought of 8 more of these, and was ready to chuck the whole set back into deep storage for another 4 years!

But then I saw a very timely conversation on Margaret Gunn's Facebook page where somebody offered the tip of applying a drop of Sewer's Aid directly to the machine needle periodically. BRILLIANT! Problem solved!!  Remarkably, when I did the trapunto/applique stitching on "Koo Koo Puff," not a single nest! And I was so excited on that one that I forgot to snap a picture and rushed right into the next step of relayering it with the full batting and its backing. So you don't get to see the beautiful sight of a perfectly clean backside with smooth, happy stitching along all the layering batt.

So, I got both of these quilted up. I kept things pretty simple (but with my own twists), because I like the look in the pattern pictures of them finished that way on the frames. 

I threw in some bubble doodles in silver hologram thread for the seahorses. It's super sparkly in real life:

No binding was necessary, or even desirable - I just finished the edges with zig-zag stitching because it's all going to be hidden away when I take the whole set over to be mounted. (7 more to finish, first.) For now, I've pinned them up by my ironing station.

I really love the effect achieved with the trapunto! Can you see the dimension the figures have? 

Especially this guy! He is COOL with all his poof! (What else could I do with a puffer, fish, I ask?) I went all out and gave him two trapunto layers, in fact. The first one lies under his face and one more "ring", and the other lies under his whole silhouette. It worked perfectly without creating a shelf in the exterior hand of the quilt:

It did cause the outer strips that have no quilting to ruffle up a bit, but those pull out flat very easily, so they won't show when it's mounted. If this much puff was put into a non-mounted project, those outer areas would need fairly dense fill-quilting to tame them.

It was cheaper to buy the 9 unassembled frames from an online art supply store than to get 2 ready-to-go frames from Michaels. Now, if I could just find what I did with the connecting hardware. . . 

So, the verdict is that even with stiffer fused figures, the technique works marvelously. I used washable Tuscany wool batting scraps for the first run, and Hobbs 80/20 cotton/poly for the full bottom layer.

That makes 2 of these UFOs finished for February, which I'll be reporting to Aunt Marti for her UFO Parade at 52 Quilts.

And I'll probably get 3 or 4 done up in March. After this set, I still have a full-sized Christmas flimsy and a beach flimsy of her designs that have been waiting for years, as well, to be finished. And if you follow me, you know I'm working on yet another in my BOMs lineup. But I'm not so freaked about them now.

Linking up at:

Sunday, February 22, 2015

BOMs Away - Wind in the Whiskers

Welcome to the Link-Up for BOMs Away Mondays! 
We'd love to see the BOM you're working on lately. 
This week's link-up is at the bottom of the post.

The two little pictures on this post represent hours and hours of work today! Who would have thought??

We're basically snowed in, so with a couple of breaks for shoveling duties and one for a "Family Date" to push a car up the hill because there's too much snow down below for it to be left down there, it was a perfect day to work on quilt stuff with various movies being run in the house. Nice to sit with folks and watch something entertaining while you're meticulously cutting. . . cutting. . . cutting. . .    :)

Most of these pieces are double-sided and will hang on a clothesline that will span the mid-section of the panel. When the block is joined to its neighbors, a large tree will be added to the right, and branches will hang across the top. The blossoms and chickadee will get added in with those. Next month I do want to make up the tiny mini quilt that the hearts and kitties are for before pulling out the Block 2 pattern to trace its pieces. The nice thing is that this block was the most involved, so everything else from here is less demanding. Still an astounding amount of work remains, so I'm really glad I'm doing this as a BOM and not as a straight-through project!

P.S. I got good news about my cancer stuff. It remains an unidentifiable lymphoma, but there was only the one spot. It is not showing up anywhere else on the PET/CT studies, and my bone marrow was clean and happy. So - I just have one radiation appointment and a 6-month follow-up so the oncologist can check the size of one neck lymph node that registers large by touch but shows nothing of concern on the PET. I am a very happy camper!

Oh!! And yesterday we had our latest belt test for Taekwondo - raging blizzard and all. 

Two of us got our blue belts and will start in the next-higher class division. I'm a bit apprehensive about keeping up with their workout level, but looking forward to being with some friends again who are a belt ahead of me. I'm really glad our family has been doing this activity together, as I'm very certain the high level of regular exercise has played a large role in helping my body fight the cancer. With an autoimmune condition, this could have been a very different portrait right now. Thank you so very, very much to everybody who sent out prayers and healing energy to me!!

How about you? Did you get any work done on your BOMs this week?