Sunday, April 27, 2014

summer rose placemats & "flying north" quilt

a quick pair of placemats for practice

It's been five weeks since last post. Our granddaughter Olive was born (beautiful!!), and life got very busy with family and work. I've had just a couple of home days for quilting.

My current big project (below) is taking forever because I am quilting every 3/8". Why did I think this was a good idea?

Here is the whole quilt top before starting to quilt:

The right side is tan moiré, slightly darker
than the left side of muslin.
I call this "Flying North."

I am actually enjoying the improvisational quilting. It is meditative, and I just have to forget about how much is left to do, which is about half the quilt (45" x 65" or so).

But I longed to design and finish something. So I made a set of four coasters for Lesley for her birthday next week. I didn't get photos. Today, I wanted to finish something again, so after adding a few patterns of quilting on "Flying North" I pieced and quilted a pair of placemats.

the floral fabric was a 50's tablecloth of my mom's;
I had tried to incorporate it in the last project,
which was quite a fail, though I will make it into
a picnic blanket

I learned a few things making these placemats, and so I'll probably keep them for us. I did better with the top stitching along the edge with the walking foot than the regular foot, and I need to be more precise making a straight edge. I like improvisational piecing, but I'd like the edges straighter. They are also too small for regular dinner plates. I will love using them though, they are so cheerful! I used this same aqua in Lesley's coasters, with deep blood red and green, and I'm beginning to think aqua is just the color to pull others together.

The Brother PQ1500 sewing machine is still great, though I had MAJOR issues with tension last time I  free motion quilted. I kept getting bunched up thread underneath. After reading a suggestion online to change thread, I did, and it totally solved it! From now on, only Coats & Clark Dual Duty thread for me. Maybe I should call "Flying North" "War & Piece" instead. ;-)