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What Did You Learn Today?

(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1157302/ but we were getting a little long in the tooth....

I learned that I often imagine things being a lot harder than they turn out to be. I have been dragging my feet for two years on this top because I was so dreading puttting it together.

I had referenced this quilt in that thread and sent out pattern kits to everyone who asked for them, but I finally got around to piecing the main part of the top, and I finished it, today! It *was* a pain in the neck but it wasn't nearly as hard as I anticipated! :)

You can see stages of the top in progress and sort of how I mixed the sizes of blocks in my flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thepolyparrot/sets/72157627457611250/ - I included one picture exported from Electric Quilt so you can see where I deviated from the plan. It was kind of like puttting together a puzzle because of the differently sized blocks.

The quilt is called "Bubbles." I used 1930's repros mixed with white on white and white on natural prints and I mixed bits of traditional layout almost willy-nilly to get a modern look. I'm going to baste it tomorrow and hopefully have it done in another week. After I quilt the main area, I will serge the edges of the quilt and put on the borders, which are in a traditional layout.

Right now, the quilt is 90" square and when it's done, it will be 103". :)



This message was edited Aug 17, 2011 8:42 PM

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Oracle , AZ(Zone 8b)

Very, very cool!!! I love it!

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

All I can say is WOW!!! What an accomplishment.....Bravo!!!

Lexington Park, MD

Double WOW. That is so amazing..It has turned out beautiful.
I did try one block. That is as far as I got.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Triple WOW...that looks stunning.
The blocks look sooooo difficult, I don`t think I could ever tackle a block/quilt like that without loosing all my hair...Beautiful work!!

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Bravo! I think many time "we" make things harder than they actually are. I know I sure do. I have seen that pattern and do believe it is in my "to do" notebook. Love the 30's prints-----but then I love anything using those prints. They just keep calling my name. Great job!!!

(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

Thank you! I spent yesterday basting it and the Civil War Double 9-Patch & Star. I'm hoping to have Bubbles quilted and ready for borders in a couple or three days.

This makeshift table saves my life - sawhorses, 2x4's and two sheets of OSB plywood split lengthwise to make them more handle-able.

I usually wait until I have a batch of quilts to baste before I set it up, because it's kind of a pain. I make sheepeyes at my magic heavy-stuff-totin' angel and he pulls it all in from the garage and sets it up. You can see, I can barely get around the sides. I get as many quilts basted and marked as possible, then *poof,* my magic heavy-stuff-totin' angel puts it all away again.

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(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

This looking down is my living room from upstairs - a tiny little path between the couches and the table - and the coffee table and my recliner are under the table.

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Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Bubble, reinvented is wonderful. I too, love the 30's prints. So fresh looking.

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Elizabeth, the Civil War quilt is fantastic. I love the colors used and the pattern with the blocks. Oh I have got to get busy.....................

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

What a wonderful guy. Have you clipped the backing and batting to the table itself? How do you baste? With thread, pins or spray???
that quilt is simply beautiful Elizabeth. Is it all scraps?

Lexington Park, MD

BEAUTIFUL .
Got to love "my magic heavy-stuff-totin' angel"

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Boy I sure wish I still had "my magic heavy-stuff totin' angel" somehow my son just doesn't fit the bill like his dad did. Could it be he is to busy doing this for his wife? LOL

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I LOVB the bubbles. I usually don't like the 30s re-pro fabrics but in this they are lovely.
I see Bubbles in my future. I bought a nifty curve piecing gizmo and never get around to using it. THis may get me motivated.

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

I think I bought that same nifty curve piecing gizmo. Got to try it with the repro fabrics.

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Help me understand, you baste with what/how? And then you hand quilt or machine quilt?

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Are you talking about the spray adhesive Barb mentioned???? That works for both hand and sewing machine quilting.

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

I want to see that "table" without a quilt on it!!! I know you have talked about it before, maybe even showed us a photo??? but when you take the quilt off, can you show us ?????

I use a few of those white fold up tables, side by side, if I need that large, or for smaller quilts I use just one table, but I am finding it is harder and harder for me to work the clamps I use to keep fabrics attached to table.....would be much easier to be able to use those clips!!!!

ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS QUILTS !!!!! yes I "yelled" so excited at the beauty!!!!

(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

Well, my magic heavy-stuff-totin' angel just left yesterday on deployment, so rather than wait two months to set it up again, I drew this sketch and hope it gives you the idea. The perspective is all off, but I think you can see how simple it is. :)

I don't usually use many clips - I use some binder clips along one edge so that I can go around to the other side and pull the backing taut.

But, I find that the OSB is so rough that it grabs the fabric and holds it for me.

Then I align one corner and two edges of the batt and pull it smooth, then the top. I start basting in the center of one side, working from the center to the left and then back to the center and working right. Then I do another "row" of basting a few inches farther away from me, again starting in the center and working left and then starting back in the center and working right.

When the area within a comfortable reach has been basted, I fold the quilt in 5-6" folds and pull the whole thing toward me, aligning the edge of the fold with the edge of the table and pulling the quilt taut on all sides.

Then I baste everything within a comfortable reach again. I use either the tagging gun, curved safety pins or straight pins with Pinmoors. :)



This message was edited Aug 21, 2011 1:06 PM

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(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

My face is beet red from all the compliments - thank you so much! :)

I finished making the borders for Bubbles and today I got my quilting space all set up and ready to go for tomorrow night.

I used a tagging gun with a fine point and very fine tags to baste these two. I have used basting spray, but I don't think I will ever use it again. I had a bunch of vintage quilt tops that I'd bought on eBay and the last time I set up my table, I did a whole batch of quilts - several of them with spray.

Unfortunately, the spray has remained sticky in two of them and quilting them is impossible. The machine skips more stitches than it hits. :( I've tried everything and only cleaning the needle every 20-30 stitches enables me to sew at all. I have the quilts hanging over the balcony (indoors) and I keep trying every few weeks to get some quilting done, but the needle still gums up right away. I have tried ironing the quilt on both sides, even, but I think they're ruined. :( I have one last trick up my sleeve but if that doesn't work, I will have to remove all the stitching and replace the batts. This basting was done with 505 and June Tailor brands, but I don't think brand makes a difference - I've tried a couple of other brands and the stickiness is unpredictable. I should have tested.

The CurveMaster foot makes an incredible difference in the speed of piecing Drunkard's Path (or any curved) blocks. I started off piecing by hand, then went to a vintage short-toed quilting foot then to the CurveMaster. I can do eight or ten blocks in the same time as one hand-pieced and I can do two or three blocks in the same time as one block with the vintage quilting foot.

The quilts are only scraps because there are so many fabrics - several hundred different fabrics in the Civil War quilt and around 80 in Bubbles. They started mainly with fat quarters, layer cakes and charm packs, with the light backgrounds in yardage. I used maybe 20 different white on white and white on natural in Bubbles and the CW double 9-patch has maybe 20 shirtings, aged muslin and Moda neutrals.

I hope I answered all the questions. :)

Oops, I'm sorry - I missed one - I do all my quilting on either my 1947 Singer Model 15 or on my 1972 Kenmore 1803. :)



This message was edited Aug 21, 2011 1:13 PM

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

What sizes are the blocks in Bubbles? I'm thinking that will be a great way to use up scraps I have here.

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

There is definately a difference is basting sprays. We only use Sullivans in the pink labeled can. About $13.00 at Hancocks. We have made 100's of quilts using it. A very small amount will hold for several months and it washes right out.

(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

Well, imhave to add a other WOW to the comments! Love those quilts!

(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

The small blocks are 3" and the large are 6" - and it would be perfect for scraps! :)

Thanks again for the nice comments.

I'm pondering the quilting, now - I'm leaning toward white thread front and back, but I have a large number of variegated 40wt equivalent polyester thread and I'm thinking that it might be pretty to do it with all these colors, too. On the other hand, the top is soooooooo scrappy looking that I think it might need the one color of quilting thread to tie it all together.

What do you think?

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

the diagram is fantastic!! thanks you sew very much ^_^

I use basting spray too, and I love it!!! have not used a pin since I tried it !! could not tell you the name off the top of my head, I get it a t Joannes, it is not the most expensive one, and not the cheapest one either....

I have sprayed a quilt, and then stitched it right away, and also sprayed a quilt and have had it sit for months, and not had any trouble.................sew sorry you are having problems with yours :(

I love variegated threads so that would probably be my choice, but all white would go very well with the "vintage" feel.....

2 month deployment ?? not anywhere "bad" I hope (((((((((((((((((( Elizabeth ))))))))))))))))))))

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Elizabeth, I vote white. Also, I'd hestitate to use polyester thread. Or are you saying it is cotton and "40wt equivalent polyester thread"? Not sure what you mean.

Lexington Park, MD

About the basting spray can I spray both sides and then hand quilt?
Is the spray strong enough so no frame is required?

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

I don't hand quilt so I'm no help here. What we do is to put 2 or 3 banquet tables together. We then use masking tape to hold the backing (right side down) taut. We next layer the batting ( Warm and Natural or Warm and White) fold back (halfway) the top and the batting, then lightly spray the backing and smooth the batting down. We then spray the batting and smooth the top down. Repeat for the other half. Be sure everything has been ironed and that selveges have been removed. Most of our quilting is done using either stitch in the ditch or serpentine stitch. I occasionally will use my embroidery machine and use a hoop. This method works well with the baby quilts for the hospital and the charity quilts that are used on twin or double beds. We haven't done any king size with this method.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I'm against polyester thread for quilting. The poly is "sharper" and can wear the fabric more than a cotton thread will. I always quilt w/100% cotton thread.
There are some pastel varigateds that would look nice. I'd avoid a varigated with bright colors or a short repeat.

Try off-white as opposed to white. It gives a softer feel.

(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

Another hard lesson learned - *again!*

Check the threading and tension often while you're quilting!

I had finished quilting the main part of Bubbles and when I flipped it over to look at the back, I had a 1' x 4' swath where the upper tension was too loose. When I got done crying, it took a full day to get all of that unsewn. ;)

It could have been a lot worse and I'm grateful that it wasn't, but it could have been avoided entirely if I had just kept watch on my upper threading. If the thread isn't seated between the disks on the tensioner, the tensioner isn't doing a dad-blamed thing to that thread. :D

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Man, I hate repeated lessons!! I am a fast learner... AND quick forgeter! LOL

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Oh Elizabeth, why does it always take longer to undo that it did to did the first time? Hope it is okay now.

Lexington Park, MD

Used the basting spray for the first time.
Well maybe should have done it out side............It got on the hardwood floors :(
But it seems to be holding up on the quilt just fine.
I am hand quilting on the go no hoop or frames.
We shall see if I like the out come.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Laura, just a small piece of advice from lesson learned...if it is a small piece that you are hand quilting it should work ok with just the spray basting...but if hand quilting a wall hanging or lap quilt use also basting pins to adition with the spray basting.

I learned the hard way that the backing still will shift oh so slightly with just the spray with each row of the shadow quilting I did on my sunflower wall hanging. I think it was because like you I did not use a hoop or frame and the handling/gathering moved the backing fabric (had backing fabric and batting 1" bigger then quilt). So at about 3/4 finished I took all the stitching out and started over with basting pins and spray basting and it worked out perfectly...no shifting at all.

But then again...maybe it will work for you without the pins...maybe it was just the way I manhandled the fabric...lol

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

I learned (day before yesterday, really) that even fairly dull rotary cutters can cut into the tip of a pinky finger and into the nail, if the cutter jumps the ruler . . . I also learned at that time that I really can keep from swearing at sudden pain when my kids are in the room. It really didn't turn out to be a deep cut at all - although it did get about 1/8 into the nail. The worst part of it today - even though I trimmed the nail as short as I could, was that the cut edges kept catching on things, bending the nail back on that half of the cut. I'm wondering if clear nail polish wouldn't help protect that a little . . .

Very nice Bubbles quilt, quilter_gal!

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

Nicole, you can also make a "patch" that will help. Wet down a tea bag and cut it to fit your entire nail. Put a layer of nail polish down, then the tea bag THEN several more layers of polish. That will help you grow it out until you can trim away the cut area after it grows out.

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

That is a great idea, Pat! I will give that a try in the morning! Thanks!

(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

OUCH! The cut sounded bad enough, but catching it on everything makes it worse! Hope it is doing better?

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

The patch Pat suggested helped alot today! Thanks Pat! I was looking at the cut today at work, and I realized how much worse it could have been. The cut was not deep at all . . . the worst damage was the cut thru the nail, and now with the patch in place, I think I'll get thru without much discomfort.

I just don't know how I could prevent this from happening again in the future, except for wearing iron gloves, and maybe a new ruler and/or rotary blade . . .

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

chain mail gloves like the knights wore?? I'm glad the patch helped. My Mom taught me that trick.

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