Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

More on the Joy of Quilting

Don't you just love how God sends us some beautiful flowers just when we think there won't be any more flowers until spring?  Goes to show what we know.  :)  What does this have to do with the joy of quilting?  Well just look at that and try not to smile, I dare you.
 And don't you just hate when you don't think to take a picture of flowers until it's dark?

 Following the rules from my last post I'm machine quilting a wall quilt for Christmas that grew from the 30" x 40" I had planned to 42" x 70" when I wasn't looking.  How in the world does that happen you ask?
Well I saw this Christmas Tree quilt on the internet...twice...in two different places.  Which meant it was like lightening struck.  I had to make it.  I had no pattern but how hard could it be?  It was all made of circles and I had a circle die for my Accuquilt Go!  I looked really hard at the ones I saw and they had 4 different sizes of circles.  My die had 3 sizes...about 2", 3", and 5".  So I looked around for something to make another size circle and found a saucer - 7 1/4"  This was my first "joy of quilting" moment with this quilt.  I should have looked for a smaller circle, like 1", but that just sounds so little.  First I ironed Steam a Seam 2 to the back of some red fabrics.  This step is important...don't wait until after you cut the circles unless you've got the fine motor dexterity of a monkey.  Trust me on that.  I counted all their circles and I cut out that number.  When I started pinning them to my design board I came up with this:
Great shape, right?  Right.  But that bottom row is about 2" from each side of the width of fabric for the background!  And height...it still needs a star and a pot...well lets just say it's going to be a little large for my front door, which is where I planned to hang it.

The next thing I had to do is to find a star for the top and a pot for the tree to sit in.  Well the pot wasn't hard.  I cut a square and then angled the sides.  Done!  But the star.  I searched my books for a star that was big enough and couldn't come up with one. "Joy of quilting number two" - I did find one I liked but it was too small.  Did I tell you I used to teach algebra?  Surely I could figure that out!  I dug out some graph paper and used the Pythagorean Theorem, a side-angle-side geometric rule, and Fibonacci numbers....just kidding ya'll.



I drew the small star on the graph paper, added an inch on all sides with my trusty ruler and yippee! a perfect size star to use as my template.  Again I say, iron your Steam a Seam 2 to the back of your fabric before you cut out your star.  You'll be sorry if you don't.  Really sorry.  That was my "joy of quilting" number three.


Okay, all right!  I have all my pieces pinned to the design board when I realize they have to be transferred to the background fabric.  This picture is after I did that but the moment when I realized that I didn't put the background fabric up first was my "joy of quilting" moment number four.  I spent a good half hour arranging all those and I knew there was no way to replicate it when I moved them.  I took a picture on my IPad and tried to do it from there but the patterns of all those fabrics didn't show up very good so I just crossed my fingers and moved them.  And moved them.  And moved them.  Finally I had them arranged where I wanted them and I moved to the ironing board to press them on.

This step went beautifully except for the "joy of quilting" moment number five when I forgot to press and ironed instead.  A couple of the circles didn't appreciate that enthusiasm and curled their edges on me.  Nasty.  But all in all that went rather quickly and I proceeded to sandwiching.  We won't talk about that because I can't count that high.  But finally we made it to the machine.

How in the world do you manage all that quilt!  It just wads up all around.  I've tried rolling but I'm not too good at rolling.  One time I remember some friends and I tried rolling a boy's yard but we got caught.  Maybe I'm intimidated by the whole idea of it.  Scarred by the memory, if you will.

I decided to stipple.  I love stippling.  And no, the fact that it's the only free motion quilting I can do had no impact on my decision.

I've stippled for five hours and I'm half way through.  I don't like stippling nearly as much as I used to.  I'll be back later to show you the finished product.  Maybe 2012.  or 13.

22 comments:

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Oh That is just so pretty; and love the story behind it..lol. Shows we are all normal,eh. It is delightful to look at...and the quilting so far; is gorgeous...I like the look of stippling myself.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

I love the clean crispness of the red cirles on white. Beautiful!

Linda said...

Very nice quilt! Can't wait to see it finished!

Pokey said...

Oh, you had me smiling all the way through, I love the reminders of the "joy of quilting"! That beautifully finished tree is one of the many reasons we keep quilting, though. Thanks for the smile and the inspiration ~
:-}pokey

Gmama Jane said...

You are on a roll with the "comedy"!! I'm just so relieved to know that fine seamstresses like yourself have the same sort of "joy of quilting" moments like me. It used ti intimidate me and I'd quit but I don't do that anymore. I plow on through reminding myself of a point you made in your last post...Quilts need character and each mistake is simply an excuse for a story or to hope no one looks that closely. Your theory is very *freeing* in that I don't plan on abandoning anymore projects...I'll simply remind myself I'm creating character and its just one of many"joy of quilting" moments.
BTW, the TREE is soooo cute. Dare I try that???
Blessings
Gmama Jane

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Super fun quilt and thank you for sharing the adventures.

Dannelle said...

It that what we call it, "The Joy of Quilting"? I shall remember how joyous I am after the next seam ripping session! Love the quilt- Door hanging you say? It will sure get everyone's attention when they enter!

Denise :) said...

Hahaha!! I loved this post so much...because I could relate on so many levels!! It's darling and I hope you do go ahead and finish it -- get all of your joy of quilting out of the way. LOL! :)

Carol said...

How festive that door decoration is, Marlene, and what a story behind it! lol I love your rules of quilting all making it "joyful"! ;-)

Carol (NJ)

Snoodles said...

Giggle! This sounds so familiar! I was having some of those "joy"-full moments last night....I guess we learn from them, right? I enjoyed your post so much - love the humor, and LOVE the quiltie! You have joy-fully created a beautiful decoration for Christmas!

Michelle said...

Love it so far! I can't wait to see the finished product. I love your sense of humor. We quilted today. Why didn't you come quilt with us?

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

You are on a funny roll, lady! Another great post!

Marge said...

Beautiful! I may have to try it. Steam a Seam? I've never used it. Will Joann have it?

Guess I'll have to work on the FMQ, also. Don't like stippling..... going to practice loop de loos...maybe I can perfect them!

Teresa said...

It looks wonderful, and I do love your joy fo quilting.

FabricFascination said...

This is so cute, I can see why you had to make it.

Carolyn said...

What a fun post and what an adorable quilt!! I have faith in you that you'll have it done for this year. I can feel it! It really looks great. Thanks for sharing your talent AND your humor with us. :) BTW, I was never very good in Algebra. LOL

Madame Samm said...

Wow Marlene I really like this...you are making this machine quilting look easy ....you know I really like Christmas trees. Our theme for dec banner just saying lol... Nov.16 deadline

Sheila said...

Great post , really enjoyed your little tale of this very cute project .It will be lovely when you finish !

Barb said...

Love the catcus and wow...your quilt is just joyful!!

Garden of Egan said...

I love it! Hurry and finish!
What color are you going to do for the trim?

I'm not a great quilter, but I can see by coming here I could learn.

Mrs.Pickles said...

What a lovely quilt! I just love the red on white!

Grammy Staffy said...

You are amazing my dear. I am so proud of you. You are indeed a quilting artist. I can't wait to see the finished product.

I think of you often with love.
Hugs, Lura