Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Gouldian Finches - a finish!


Gouldian Finches, paper pieced

At New Year's, I knew that there was no better way to get me back into the quilting grove than to join a swap.  The trouble was, that I hadn't really seen any swaps in my Instagram feed for a while.  I guess that is what happens when you are out of the loop for a couple of years, the players change and new people that I didn't follow had replaced them.  Luckily, I did find a swap and joined the Quilters for Koalas swap hosted by @shoppershaz_swaphost (who hosts quite a few swaps in case you are interested).  This particular swap was to benefit the wildlife affected by the fires in Australia and had an animal theme (preferably Australian animals).

Based on my partner's inspiration mosaic, it seemed she preferred paper pieced designs and liked birds in particular, so I went about trying to find something special for her.  Now, when I signed up for the swap, one of the questions the form asks you is your level of experience.  Instead of "beginner" or "expert", one of the choices was "Not much intimidates me", which is true for me, not necessarily because I am an expert, but more because I'll try anything, so that's what I put.  Why, oh why, did I take that as a personal challenge though???  I decided to create my own paper pieced pattern for my partner.......

I started with a beautiful photo by David Clode.  Then I traced the image, got my ruler out to straighten all the lines, etc. and eventually came up with a paper pieced pattern with zillions of little pieces.  Ok maybe not zillions, but probably close to a hundred per bird - zero stars, would not recommend.

Untitled

Then I got to work.  I lucked out on the bird on the left.  I found the perfect piece to use as his eye, so instead of having 15 little seams there, I ended up fussy cutting what used to be the handle of a pair of scissors.  It worked perfectly.

Untitled

Unfortunately, the bird on the right had a different eye, so I had to do a bunch of tiny seams there.

I also have a confession to make.  I had some difficulty quilting it!  It's been YEARS since I've quilted anything on my domestic machine and I'm embarrased to say that I am out of practice.  Plus, I didn't make things easier on myself by doing that jigsaw puzzle low volume background.  It created a ton of bulky seams that my machine was spectacularly finicky about.  As a result, the quality of the stitching is much lower than I would like.  I considered ripping it all out and starting over, but then realized that given those seams it was unlikely that I would do much better the second time around.  Hopefully, my partner will admire it from at least arm's length.  Fingers crossed that she likes it!!




Friday, January 3, 2020

One Block Wonder Updates

I made progress on my Fall OBW.


OBW in progress.

I got it all pieced together and started on the borders, only to run out of the solid black I was using, so I had to order more and am currently waiting on it to arrive.

In the meantime, I started on another (which I secretly like a whole lot more).


Another OBW in progress.


I've sewn together all the strips of partial hexagons, now I need to sew the strips together.  The good news is that I have all the border fabric I need to finish it up when I get to that stage, so hopefully, I will be able to finish this one up before the end of winter.

I am really loving this technique of using panels together with the OBW techniques!

Oh!  And thank you, Marlene, for the tip about the OBW Facebook group.  I did join up and I love seeing what everyone else is doing there.

I've also decided to join up with the APQ UFO Challenge.  I am supposed to work on Project #2 on my list which is my Van Gogh Cafe quilt.  I probably should have looked to see which number was chosen for January before I made my list.  That is the project that I am the least finished with on my list.  I only have the basic outline completed.  But, I guess it will be good for me to be encouraged to work on it.  After all, progress is progress.


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Has it really been over two years since I've blogged?

Wow!  Yes, yes it has.

What happened?  Well, I got majorly burnt out.  Two years ago, I was preparing to be the featured quilter in our local quilt show and I was quilting, quilting, quilting to have enough to showcase.  Some of the projects I finished were intense!  Like this Aviatrix quilt:

Aviatrix quilting, nearly done


I burned the midnight oil, the candles at both ends, burned rubber, etc., and completely burned myself out.  I could barely look at my studio and sewing machine afterward.  Taking a break turned into a year-long hiatus before I made a few feeble attempts at getting back into things.  At that point, I took a couple of classes to try to jump-start my inspiration and motivation, but only managed to finish one of the projects from one of the classes and almost completed another.

Painted Quilt - food still life

Then I thought, "Hey!  Maybe making a quilt for someone else will get back my mojo."  So, I took on this quilt:

Untitled

I enjoyed making it, but I still didn't feel like I wanted to quilt regularly again - until now.

What fabulous project has woken me from my motivational hibernation, you ask?  Would you believe it is a One Block Wonder?  Yep, I'm going back to one of the first quilt design techniques I tried as a newish quilter.  My quilt guild formed a One Block Wonder group last month and I couldn't resist.  I went out and bought enough fabric to make 4 quilts and I've already cut up my first one!

By the way, can you imagine not even buying fabric for 2 years?  My husband probably thought he got an unexpected raise from all the extra money in our accounts.

This time around, I'm experimenting with using a panel for my OBW.  I got some fabulous tips and inspiration from Jackie O'Brien's website If These Threads Could Talk - gallery   OH My!  If you have time, please do check out her gallery.  She is an instructor of the technique and is very generous with her tips, some of which I wish I read before I started cutting my first panel.

Here is a pic of my initial progress.  I am so excited to see how it turns out! 

OBW in process

Thanks for stopping by!

Jen