Thursday, August 14, 2014

Quilt Quest 2013 - The Big Finish

Yes, yes, I know.  Monday was a big tease.  You'll get over it.  This is the big finish for my Quilters' Quest quilt from 2013.  The pattern is from Capital Quilts.
All that quilting took ages and ages to finish.  Feathers and swirls.  Ruler-work and free-motion.  All of it is in there.  I love every stitch of it.  It spent two weeks on the long arm frame with me working on it after work.  Did I mention it took ages?
Over the weekend, we went camping and I had some time to finish the binding and take some pictures of the (mostly) finished quilt.
The binding was made using four fat quarters from Jinny Beyer Studios.  I bought this fabric during the Quilters' Quest Shop Hop.  It is scrappy and wonderful.
I love the back almost as much as the front.  No forgotten orphan blocks, just a plain purple fabric.  I'm torn between wishing I'd used a busier background and the fact that you can see the quilting.
I did get a couple pictures at one of the local state parks but it was before I finished the binding.  Now I have to come up with a name for this beauty and get a label stitched on.
If you're over in my part of the country come November, you should totally check out the Quilters' Quest Shop Hop.  It's fun and you can go on an adventure to new quilt shops.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tool Tip Tuesday: Fiskars

A few months ago, I changed the blade in my Fiskars rotary cutter.  This was the first time I changed the blade in this particular rotary cutter (this one is in my kit for going to classes and to Quilts for Kids) .  The blade then developed an unsatisfactory wobble that made it next to impossible to use safely.  Changing the blade didn't help.  Tightening the thumb screw didn't help.  I was very unhappy about it so I purchased a new one.  While reading the packaging, I saw that the manufacturer warranty is pretty good.  I wanted a replacement rotary cutter so I hopped over to their website to file a claim.
They want some information from you when you file a claim.  They asked for a picture, where I purchased it and when I purchased it.  As you know, if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, I buy stuff all the time.  Even if I did have a box full of receipts finding a specific receipt would be next to impossible.  So, I submitted the claim with just the picture.  Yes, that picture above.  That is my proof that I own the rotary cutter in question.
A few weeks later, I received a replacement rotary cutter in the mail. That's it, no questions asked.

I know there are other rotary cutters out there.  I know people have their favorites.  I'm just going to say that Fiskars will keep my business because they've earned it.  The first rotary cutter I ever purchased is the one still on my cutting table.  I've had it for over a decade.  I'm not even sure when I bought it. This new rotary cutter is back in my to-go kit waiting for another class or retreat or Quilts for Kids.

Do you have a favorite cutting tool?  Or a tool that you've had for years and refuse to give up?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Quilt Quest 2013 - The Build Up

Last year I participated in my very first shop hop.  I was so excited to go to all the shops, buy all the fun fabrics, pick up the free patterns and get my passport stamped.  I spent hundreds of dollars.  That shop hop was the Quilters' Quest 2013 Shop Hop.  Ten days to get to ten shops.  I managed it in three days.  It was a long weekend.  I loved every bit of it.
Ultimately, I picked the great quilt from Capital Quilts as my favorite.  I bought the setting kit and started working on the over 300 half-square triangle blocks needed to make this quilt.  I will admit, I played with layout a little.
Step one in any project:  Make a mess.  Since this one started with stacks of 5" charms I had to make all those HST blocks and then square them up.  Not my best squaring as this was long before I got my Tucker Trimmer.
Layout was back-breaking work.  Some day I will stop crawling around on my floor and get a design wall.
I did the layout and sewing in sections.  It took days.  I let the finished top sit and sit until I was ready to quilt it.  I'm still not sure how I feel about my choice for backing fabric, but there's no changing it now.
I couldn't decide on a single color for quilting, so I just grabbed a bunch that I thought would work.  I didn't get all of these into the quilting, but I did give it a good try.  I'll get an official count of the number of thread colors I used at some point.
I tried to use different motifs throughout the quilt.
I'm not going to say I didn't repeat any, because I totally did.
I'm just saying that I quilted it differently as much as I could.
The number of thread changes was another thing I didn't keep track of.
The different areas challenged me to keep things different and maintain some continuity.  I worked on the quilting for this quilt over the course of two weeks.  I didn't quilt every day, but if I did quilt it was for two or more hours.  I'll keep better track, next time.  For now, I'm going to guess that I put in something like 10-15 hours quilting it.  It may not be perfect, but it looks great and I did it.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thread Thursday - Another Thread Club Shipment

Look!  More thread!
I know, no one is surprised.
Another awesome 3-pack of my Magnifico Thread of the Month Club membership.  I love this thread.  I added the Frosted Donut to the shipment because I've been meaning to try out this wonderful selection of pre-wound bobbins.  I should go sew before more thread shows up!

For the record, I post these because I actually use and love this thread. I am not compensated for these posts in any way.  I'm just not all that famous.