Waterwheel Quilt Finished!

Actually, the Waterwheel quilt I made and used to teach my friend, Amber, quilting has been done and gone since September.  Amber did a great job quilting it, especially as doing so was her first time quilting.  She took to it like a fish to water and I think the results are wonderful.  We ended up giving the quilt to our friend, Kate, for her birthday.  I think she liked it.  The quilt got many oohs and ahhs at the party and I felt really good about that.  This is a pattern I will revisit someday.  It was very easy to do, but looks complicated.  Amber and I did manage to photograph it before presenting it to Kate:

The whole quilt measures about 85 inches square, as I recall.  It has been awhile since I thought about it.  Here is a detail of a corner:

I did the quilt in a sample of all my fabric with flowers and Amber quilted it with leaves and vines and blooming flowers.  It is a decidedly feminine quilt and I think I did a good job with it.  I suffered quilter’s block though and could not get the darn thing quilted.  Serendipitously, Amber was wanting to learn how.  She had made several quilts, but only tied them.  I figured this would be a great quilt with which to learn, because the blocks are quite busy and will hide the learner’s mistakes nicely.  Plus, there is plenty of border with which to play and experiment, too.  This quilt took too long to finish – I sort of stopped working on it.  I am so glad my friend was there to actually do the quilting.  Getting this quilt done enabled me to clear my head and begin a new project, about which I will write in another post.

Waterwheel Quilt Update

That waterwheel quilt I made sat on my work table for months unquilted.  I just wasn’t motivated to quilt it.  It came out fine – looks good and I let it sit there.  I promised myself I would not start another quilt until this one was done.  Then my best friend moved back to Saint Louis.  She has made a few tied quilts, but hadn’t done actual quilting.  Her machine is capable of quilting, but it isn’t designed to fit into a table and she didn’t have the darning foot.

I brought over to her house one of my old Kenmores with table and set it all up for her.  The waterwheel became the perfect learn to quilt quilt.  I had a little practice piece with which I showed her how to meander and I gave her my notebook of quilting ideas.  I told her she could quilt it anyway she wanted – that mistakes have to be made to learn and that whatever she did would be totally fine.

So far, Amber has done the center in meander and is working on leafy vines for the green border.  It looks great.  She has taken to quilting like a fish to water.  No broken needles or anything!  I am so happy I could facilitate her learning this and that both of us got into quilting.  It is so cool.

You may remember this quilt was basted with the dissolving thread and not pins.  I wanted to see how thread basting worked and if using the dissolving thread could be quilted without removal.  It can’t.  Amber is having to remove sections of thread as she quilts.  I tried it too and I had no better luck.  The thread gets caught on the darning foot.  Amber says she likes snipping out the thread better than removing pins, but I am still undecided.

So now that the waterwheel quilt is being quilted, my mind has started thinking about what to make next.  Amber has a 10 year old son who is teaching me to play guitar.  I am thinking I should make him a quilt.  I have a box of 8×10 samples of fabric with the Warner Brothers cartoon characters on them.  They should make a nice quilt for a kid.

I am also still knitting dishclothes.  I am trying to use up the bits of cotton yarn I have.  So all in all, my crafting block seems to be lifting and it is too hot to be outside – time to make stuff!

Fell into Facebook

I haven’t posted in awhile because I joined Facebook. It is a time sucking vortex at first. I had to learn a bunch of stuff – it is much different from blogland, but one’s wall is like a mini-blog. Joining Facebook reconnected me with a bunch of folks, which started a bunch of email conversations, which uses more time, but is so worth doing. But that means I haven’t been crafting and I sure haven’t.

I have, since last posting, helped a friend refurbish a Craigslist find of a sewing machine. I have 2 similar machines and a 3rd for parts. I thought we’d have to swap out the tension mechanism, but when we took hers apart, we found an odd extra bit that was causing the problem. We actually did have to harvest the presser foot pressure thingy for her machine. After that we cleaned and oiled it. It is working beautifully. I am jealous, as her’s is a cam’d machine and can do bunches of stitches. It is a really nice machine and worth more than what she paid.

Four days ago, due I think, to weather, I stopped being able to freely access the internet at home. The last time this happened was a Vista problem; this time suddenly where I was getting 3 bars, I could only sometimes barely get one. My reception of all the networks went down, so I attributed it to weather. Two days into not being able to get my mail had me at the nearest Starbucks, ordering AT&T’s Basic DSL, no contract, $20/month internet service. The $75 modem arrives Monday and hopefully I am geeky enough to install it myself. If not, my computer go to friend will stop by on his way home from work. I think this is the least expensive way to get online. I just hope the connection is as fast or faster than what I am used to using.

I have promised myself that BEFORE I start anything else, I will get that floral waterwheel quilt quilted. You may remember it from months ago – it was the test quilt for thread basting, and I still haven’t quilted it. So that is the next crafty thing. Part of why it has been put off is that I have no idea how I want to quilt it – I think I will just do basic meander to get it done – maybe something different in the borders.

I will post again after I get my home internet access sorted.

Double Four Patch Update

Well, I have all the blocks sewn together and a few ironed and up on the design wall.  It looks good.  I will get some photos up tomorrow.  Right now I am too tired to do much of anything. In addition to sewing these blocks today, I also basted about half of the waterwheel quilt.  It’s 9 PM, time to stop for the night.

Daily Needle 12/5/09

The waterwheel quilt is ready to be basted.  It is about 90 inches square.  My largest tables are only 42×72 or 30×84.  I am committed to trying Sharon Schamber’s thread basting method.  Heretofore, I have used safety pins to bast.  I intend to try all methods I come across that look better than the safety pins, and Sharon’s is the first I am trying.  The video is in 2 parts and takes about 18 minutes to watch, but I think it is worth it.  Her method involves rolling the top and back each on a board.  I think it is still gonna be a pain basting a 90 inch square quilt, but I’m gonna try.  She recommends wool batt, which I am also going to try eventually, but not on this quilt.  I have 2 cotton batts already, so the next 2 quilts, one of which is the waterwheel, get those.  I have enuff floral fabric prepared to make another full size quilt, I think.  And any leftovers will be made into kitty quilts for clowder house.

Waterwheel quilt

Well, I have one more seam on the back and then I am finished peicing it.  Yeah!  I took like 4 days to get that back done.  I really did not like working with the polyester fabric.  The back is made up of old fabric sample squares, some cotton, some polyester.  This is the first time i have sewed 100% polyester and it sucks.  Dulled my needle, kept shifting around (even with all the starch i use), wouldn’t iron flat.  Never again will i use 100% polyester on anything.  I liked sewing nylon more. I do not anticipate quilting this with my usual pleasure.  I hope it will quilt.

12/5 – got some pix of the top and back:

The last quilt of 2009. About 85" square,