Thursday, August 30, 2012

August Goals --- The Results

Here is my promised report on my August goals.

Amish Bars: Finished
After a set-back involving changing my mind about how to quilt the border, I did get it done, washed and dried.
I have been wanting to quilt a feathered vine border on something. It's is seen often  on Amish quilts.

Black quilting thread 

The colors are off on this close-up. True colors are shown in the full view.

I used Gwen Marston's book Quilting with Style, to learn how to draw my own feathers. This book is a 'must-have' for any hand quilter. Directions and diagrams are extensive and easy to follow. I finally got my 'vine' down, drew some feathers and started quilting. It was tedious. I didn't like the look. On a mere 3" border they were too small - they didn't seem in scale with the rest of the quilting.

So. I've always said I learn from every single project and this is what I learned on this one:
Do the lovely graceful feathered vine on a wide border!  It really needs some space to show off! and ...don't be afraid to rip to get it the way you want it.

But no time wasted - I did learn to create my own feather designs for future projects. I am confident now that I can size them to my needs and I won't need a stencil.

I used a drafting compass to poke holes for marking
I also did the exercises in the book for making various cables and decided to use a double cable.

I am happy with the results. The scale of the quilting design fits better with the piece. Barb, in PA, thanks for your advice to use black thread to quilt it.

I mark all homemade stencils and save for later use.

Scottie Top - finished:

39.5" x 45"
The rectangular blocks which I chose to 'off-set' meant I had partial blocks along the sides. I appliqued 'half' dogs; the 'heads'  on the right side and the tails on the left so they could continue to march across the quilt in formation!.

For the borders I auditioned options from my stash ( I really try to use what I have unless absolutely nothing works...which is hard to imagine) What chaos that produces!

I had a plaid, printed on the bias, that I thought would work but after staring at it for a few days laid out on the floor I just didn't like it. It was a too dominant and a bit 'drab' for this perky quilt. I ended up pairing a narrow red inner border with a small black and white check. I like the overall look. It doesn't take attention away from the little dogs.

I will quilt this one by hand in an overall plaid with rust thread.
ps. this little Scottie shape was also from one of Gwen's books...I enlarged it.

Medallion - Aargh.  Not finished:
This is one I avoided all month. I got it out and reviewed where the heck I was when I put it away last spring.  I just couldn't think. Is there such a thing as "Quilter's Block"? Like Writer's Block? I couldn't resolve the last few rounds. I have the  sharp points for my outer border mostly made but getting them to fit all the while trying to have the quilt come out to the size I want just boggled my brain. Too much math! I did work on it - I guess that's good. I hope to show you the finished top sometime in September. I'm learning on this one, too and resisting just doing any ol' thing just to get it done.

Playing with Denim - minimal time spent:
Well, I forced this - I wanted to try making coasters in that clothesline method. I've done one small mat with it and it's kind of fun.....and our woven coasters get soaked through when it's humid and the glass 'sweats'....I thought this might be a solution; a thicker more absorbent version.  So I did get out the clothesline and cut some strips...does that count?
Lots of ideas
Good directions


Spring Song II

This was not on my list but I did complete another little bird quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiatave and I  am putting the binding on a 3rd one. I've gone bird crazy. More on those soon.

In case you're wondering, I posted before September 1 because I will have no more sewing days in August. I'm heading to the Minnesota State Fair and then 'up north' for the long weekend.

I hope you have a relaxing and safe Labor Day week-end!


  1. Beautiful hand quilting, Jean.
    Cute Scottie quilt, and your little bird is very sweet.

  2. The bar quilt looks great. And that scottie dog top is adorable.


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