Friday, August 16, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 08/16

 Tips, Techniques and Thoughts:

Detail of this week's quilting of Companion Oysters.
This week my mind is turning to my sewing machines. My very first machine was a Viking with cams. It was an unsolicited gift from my mother-in-law. She was an avid seamstress, adept at making her own clothes and stunning clothes for all the Barbies owned by her granddaughters. She also made my wedding dress. I rarely took the Viking out of its case for the first 10 years I owned it. I made a few clothes for myself and my daughter. Then in 1988 I started quilting. That Viking was heavy a machine, a real pain to bring to classes. I looked longingly at other people's feather weights, but also at their Bernina's. The more quilts I made the more I knew I needed a sewing machine with its own cabinet. I test drove a Bernina 1260 and it just followed me home. It worked really well for piecing and just as well for free motion quilting, so long as the quilt never exceeded crib size. I know Leah Day and others assure us that even king size quilts can be free motion quilted on a home sewing machine. I just knew that it would be so much easier on an industrial machine with a large throat. The more I read about the George, the more I sensed it was what I was looking for. So, when we moved to Wisconsin and that move included in a new, large studio with room for a George, I bought the George. My George has yet to feel like an extension of my body the way the Bernina does. It tends to be a tad fussier. However, when I manage to wind the bobbin not quite to capacity, lock it into place and all key parts are lint free and well lubricated - what a workhorse that  machine is. Companion Oysters, at 42" square is being quilted on the George. I could do it on the Bernina, but I can see so much more of the quilt as I am quilting and no scrunching is necessary no matter how I turn the quilt.

You can judge for yourself how the quilting is coming, since I spent 100% of this week free motion quilting.
The backside of Companion Oysters.
Click on the image to enlarge it.


1) Companion Oysters (due August 27, 2013)


I spent some time studying how different sections of an
open oyster shell have different textures. Then, with
a heavy dose of artistic license I interpreted the textures
with my free motion quilting.

Start the free motion quilting on Companion Oysters. - Done!

I am particularly pleased with texture achieved
on the outer deep plum rim. 

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments:

Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next. - Done!

Free motion quilting feathers does not come naturally to me. It looks so simple when I watch others swoop and return around the curves, yet I get lost. So, I was grateful Leah assigned us a feather to work on this week. I added it beside the smiling faces from last week. I wanted the added challenge of coping with other motifs to work around.

Feather with pebble stem.
3) Pictorial Painting - Face Canyon - Continues to be wishful thinking.

My plans for next week are:

1) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)
a) Finish quilting Companion Oysters.
b) Square up the quilt in preparation of facing it.

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments

Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next. 

3) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon."


I am now linking up to two blogs on Friday's. The first is Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project and the second is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.


22 comments:

  1. I love, love, love the quilting that you are doing on this piece.

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    1. Thank you, Norma. That means a lot coming from someone who uses thread so effectively on her own work.

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  2. I love the filler you used on the oyster shell. Great affect.

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    1. Thank you, Pat. Once again I have taken a Leah Day design and tweaked it to suit my own purpose.

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  3. I love your companion oysters! Just WOW!!

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    1. Thank you, Maartje. Your work calls to me, too.

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  4. I'm learning from you to set goals for the coming week. That's how things get done.

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    1. "Failure to plan is planning to fail." was a motto posted at my children's middle school. It struck a chord with me. Let me know how setting weekly goals works for you.

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  5. Love the quilting you did. It makes your piece sing!

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    1. Thank you, Suzanne. Before Leah I wouldn't have had the courage to quilt so boldly. After practicing along with Leah - watch out!

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  6. Beautiful. It is really coming together!

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  7. That oysters quilt is beautiful and the quilting is just wonderful!

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  8. I always check into your blog to see what you are up to. Not quite sure what a "George" is. A longarm? A midarm? In any case you do wonderful stuff with it.

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    1. The George is a mid arm machine sold APQS. In my opinion it is more versatile than long arm because you aren't forced to quilt in a channel. Also, if you learned FMQ on a domestic machine, then you don't need to relearn how to FMQ. A long arm requires you to move the machine to quilt. The George has you maneuvering the quilt while sitting down, just as you always have. Although it is a large investment it is half the price and takes up half the space of a long arm machine.

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  9. Thanks for talking about George. I've been interested in him for a while and you are the first quilt blogger who I've read about using the George. I can't fit a long arm in my house, but I'd love to have better visibility as I stitch along with having the quilt not quite wadded up as much as I stitch. I'll be checking back to see more!

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    1. You are welcome, Amy. If you have questions, just ask. Full disclosure - I do NOT sell sewing machines, work for APQS or am in a way of an incentive to endorse the George. It works for me. I believe it is important to understand what you need and determine a realistic budget and make your own decision.

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  10. Everything is just lovely as always!

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