Tag Archives: Quilt

Orca Bay and Small Stuff

A little of this.  A little of that.

See these two misplaced orange string blocks?

They are not misplaced any longer.  I’ve ripped and resewed and now they follow the diagonal black blocks.  I’m so happy that I only had to rework two of these little guys!

My sister created this beautiful bead necklace for me! (She loves me!)

In return, I am altering two blouses for her.  Yes, I volunteered…she didn’t ask for anything.  Yes…I hate mending and alterations!  I can think of lots of things I’d rather do.  I have a couple of clothing items that have been sitting in the sewing studio for months.  They are mine…so I can let them sit there if I want.  And I am.

One of the quilt guilds that I attend is asking members to create name tags.  And a friend gave me an introduction to beading.  So I thought I’d combine the two.

I found a leftover scrap from a quilt project to use for my tag (Oh yes, I love orange!).

Then I had to make things difficult for myself.  Why did I think such a simple thing should be complicated with beadwork?  I hope my name is somewhat readable when I’m through with this thing.

What’s the small stuff that you are working on? 

Orca Bay Mystery Quilt Part 5

Since I am not at home where I can finish sewing my version of Bonnie Hunter’s Orca Bay Mystery Quilt, I drew the design in EQ7This gave me much needed practice with EQ7, and a clear vision of the quilt.

In reading Yahoo Quiltville posts and link-ups, I’ve noticed that there has been some discussion on layouts.  One indeed must be careful about positioning the many blocks.  It is very easy to turn a block the wrong way.

I’ve only used color here to bring out the design of the quilt.  There are many terrific color combinations posted by Orca Bay participants.

The first layout shows Bonnie’s direction; the blue (red for Bonnie’s version) string triangle blocks all point to the light Ohio star blocks. 

In both layouts, the orange string blocks follow the diagonal lines of the layout and create a wonderful secondary design element.

The blue string blocks in Layout 2 all point to the dark Ohio stars.  This one change creates a dramatic difference in how the quilt looks.

There is no right or wrong; just personal preference.  You decide.

I just discovered that I forgot to turn a couple of orange blocks in Layout 1.  Like I said…it is easy to turn a block the wrong way in this quilt.  LOL!
For Bonnie Hunter’s Orca Bay mystery quilt – Part 1, click here.
For Bonnie Hunter’s Orca Bay mystery quilt – Part 2, click here.    
For Bonnie Hunter’s Orca Bay mystery quilt – Part 3, click here.
For Bonnie Hunter’s Orca Bay mystery quilt – Part 4, click here.

Make It Work

I’m back from a terrific road trip with Hubby and ready to sew! 

Having said that, what should have been a pleasant hour on a rainy afternoon machine quilting a simple doll quilt, turned into a discouraging several hours of sewing and ripping.  My beloved Bernina (a 1530 acquired in 1997…for those who want to know these things) was skipping stitches like crazy.  I tried switching needles, switching threads, switching tensions all to know avail.  She has really had a meltdown and needs to make a trip to the hospital.

With Tim Gunn’s words in my head, “Make it work!”, I got out my lonely little Janome Gem Gold and got reacquainted.  With the help of some quilting books (they make a nice extension table) and the Supreme Slider, she did a great job! 

 I am quilting with Aurifil 40 wt. #4665 in the top and WonderFil Invisfil 100 wt. #103 in the bobbin (and they work together just fine).

Front side…No skipped stitches!

Back side…great tension!

I’m glad I started with the doll quilt because the baby quilt will be a real challenge with this tiny machine.  There is just not that much space to work with.

Teeny arm space…too teeny for machine quilting!

The doll quilt and baby quilt aren’t going to make it on the runway, but they have a higher calling and they will be ready.  

Make it work!

Machine Quilting

I am sneaking in some time (slacking off from garden and kp duties if you really want to know) to work on the baby and doll quilts.  I’ve pin basted, so it is on to machine quilting.

I am using my beloved machingers quilting gloves, denim sharp needles (in this case a 70/10 will do), and a Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washer.

Yes, I know I could use a new pair of gloves. But hey…you can see how well I like them by how worn they are!

Since I am going to begin by stitching in the ditch, I don’t need decorative thread.  I’ve chosen 100 wt. WonderFil Invisifil 103 for the bobbin and Sulky Premium monofilament for the top.  These are fine threads that won’t add weight to the quilt and will virtually disappear in ditch quilting.

I stitch in the ditch for two reasons.

  • I can remove safety pins while stitching, which in turn, removes some of the weight of the quilt, and removes obstacles when I get around to free-motion quilting.
  • Since I am quilting on a domestic machine, as opposed to a long-arm, I feel the need to stabilize my quilt sandwich for free-motion quilting.

I am using a walking foot to evenly feed the layers as I stitch.

I like to begin by bringing up the tails.  This is habit from free-motion quilting, and it isn’t absolutely necessary for ditch quilting.  But it does make it convenient to cut off the tails later.  I lower the stitch length to zero and gradually increase it to the length that I prefer, about a 3 on my machine…you may prefer a different length.  There are no quilt police to say that I am wrong and you are right.  (Lucky for me!)

Here’s how the stitching looks on the front of the doll quilt:

And on the back of the doll quilt:

And then I realized how silly I was for using the monofilament at all (You never do silly things, do you?), so I switched to the WonderFil Invisifil for both the top and bobbin threads to work on the baby quilt.   And I was silly, just in case you were asking yourself this ever since I gave my thread choices, because the Invisifil thread is so fine that it is all that is needed.  Duh!

So here is how the baby quilt looks after stitching with Invisifil thread:

Oopsies…missed the ditch a little bit!

Had I had my thinking cap on (which is almost always missplaced these days), I would’ve switched to black Invisfil for the bobbin thread.  Why?  Because the backing on the baby quilt is black.  Lucky for me, it worked out anyway.

Baby Quilt

A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on. ~Carl Sandburg

Remember these?:

I have sewn snowball blocks:

And sewn the quilt top: 

I wasn’t so sure that I was going to like it when I bought the fabrics, but I love it!

I even got creative and sewed the leftover triangles from the snowball blocks into squares.  They were so cute!

So these cute little squares became the inspiration for a doll quilt for older sister:

I’m using this for the backing:

What are you working on?  Writing a novel?  Redecorating a room?  Building an ark?  I’d love to hear from you!