While I Wait

Idle hands and all…  so while I wait for my new sewing machine to arrive I pulled out an old friend.  A good project that has sat for quite some time as I didn’t really realize how much work it was going to be.  Still pretty though. I’m making much better time now that I decided to make my stitches bigger.  I may even finish.

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Hold on that Quilting

Working with the god-awful walking foot on my old timer Singer reminded me again how much I really want a new machine.  Not that mine is bad but with the amount of sewing I do and the new fangled thingies the new machines have… it’s time.  I could spend a lot of time, go to sewing stores, etc (everyone will tell you to do this).  OR I could use a gift certificate on Amazon and just buy what Ms. Mucho has.  YEAH, I think I’ll do that second one.

wait… click, click, click… back

Yay, new machine arrives on Monday 🙂

Radiant Orchid – Detour to Grandma’s House

She’s Done!  Well, not quite done but the quilt top is done.  While I had, of course, planned to have this baby sandwiched, quilted, and bound by today, it became pretty clear that wasn’t going to happen.  Between working, mothering, and otherwise having a non-sewing life I failed to get the batting that is a requirement for doing the quilting.  On the positive side, Oakland decided to put on a show last weekend of just how pretty it can be here and I took the opportunity to pin the quilt top to the magnolia in the front yard and get some nice pictures using a camera other than my phone.

Pantone Quilt Trees

I based my quilt on the Lovely Little Tress in the Forest Quilt but instead of a wall hanging with green trees I made a 38″x44″ radiant orchid forest using solids from Pink Chalk Fabrics.  I also arranged my trees to make a path for my special guests.

Pantone Quilt Trees

Little Red here needs to make her way through this very odd forest to her pal The Wolf.  See, Grandmother’s house loses some of it’s appeal when the forest turns purple.  Days like these call for adventure.

 

 

little red the wolf

My plan calls for the winding path to be done in the quilting. I’m pretty excited to see how it will turn out.

 

 

pantonequilttop7

 

It look me a couple of tries to get the trees to come out ‘non-wonky’ and the sharpness of the lines leaves a lot to be desired.  I’ve never made a quilt with such small piecing and I clearly need a bit of practice.  Each tree ends up being 3 1/2″ x 4″.

Working on the pattern the trees would take against the white took a good long time but was also my favorite part (other than the embroidery.  I love the embroidery). I used a LOT of tape on my wall – you can see the in progress shots here.  I also continued watching (less) bad movies. The final push saw “Robin Hood, Men in Tights”, “Penelope”, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (this was during the embroidery phase), and a couple of “Firefly” episodes. I ended strong.  We’ll see what the quilting phase brings (hint: it will be Luther episodes)

Giants Beware! Part One

Sometimes it’s great to make things BIG, GIANT, HUGE! Perhaps I’m thinking of this as I complete the little fiddly trees of my Radiant Orchid quilt and am reminded that going big can cover a lot of mistakes.

Many moons ago, the husband and I visited Buenos Aires where we ate lots of steak, drank lots of wine and I bought lots of yarn.  Big yarn, little yarn, freakin’ huge yarn.  And ever since then the yarn had sat in bags waiting for a project to come along.  Most yarn in Argentina is not sorted by the US standard thicknesses (no fingerling, DK, worsted, etc.).  Everything will require a swatch and planning – a good practice anyway.  But… I really don’t like planning and am a terrible swatch-er. However, there was one yarn I knew exactly what to do with.  A weird thick/thin almost roving-like cream wool with buttons and fabric tied in.  There is only one thing to do with yarn such as that.  You must make a scarf. Or in my case a cowl as I only brought back 2 skeins.

big yarn cowl

I knit on the biggest needles I could find in my house. Most of the knitting supplies are still in boxes as I’ve been sewing a lot more recently.  My needle case produced these US 17s.  I think going even bigger would have worked well but I’m happy with the fabric made from the 17s.  I used Molly’s Cowl as a guide but didn’t follow it to the letter.  My yarn wouldn’t show definition so it was more about size and keeping the knitting from rolling.

big yarn cowl detail

I blocked it out after finishing and added 3 buttons up the front.  I think I blocked it a bit too much as it grew a lot. It makes me look like I’m in hiding if I wear it all the way up. It is a giant of a thing.

big yarn cowl finished

Bad lighting selfie – I always look harsh when taking pictures of myself

 

 

Radiant Orchid Continues, so does my terrible movie watching

My Radiant Orchid quilt is coming along nicely.  Cutting, sewing and squaring up 60 trees was an exercise in zen.  Every little square is 3.5″ x 4″ with each needing to be cleaned up after the piecing was done. I will admit to doing this while watching both “The Host” (super terrible – not even interesting) and Ghostbusters (RIP Harold Ramis).

All blocks plus a whole lot of white ones for background

All blocks plus a whole lot of white ones for background

After all that was finished I taped them together using a ton of masking tape according to a small diagram I made in Excel.  I almost didn’t bother with this step and am so glad I did as I ended up cutting two rows out of my design.  This allowed a greater concentration of trees in the body of the quilt.  My forest was beginning to look more like a grove. Movies watched: xXx (hello, Vin Diesel’s abs).

radiantorchid2

I was going for a gradient of light to dark in my purple tones as we moved “deeper” into the forest but the balance was looking off.  Taking a black and white shot helped me to see what was going on.  I adjusted by moving a couple of lighter pieces to the top and connecting more of the trees at the bottom. Movie watched: A Fish Called Wanda (I love this movie so much)

radiantorchid3

Before calling it a night, I put together a 9×9 block just to see how the sizing was going to turn out.  I might fit into the baby quilt category in the end.  Not my intention but better that a bigger one I’m unhappy with.

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