Sorry, it's been a while since I've updated my blog.  Life has been good, and busy!  I managed to fit in some sewing over the long weekend.  I ran out of quilting thread for my triangle quilt (see previous post) and had a really hard time locating the exact YLI thread I need to finish up this quilt.  I finally found an online source for both threads (I'm using two different colors) and am waiting for my order to arrive.

Meanwhile, I used the break as excuse to embark on a new quilting project.

The pattern, which is from the first Material Obsession book, calls for 34 Ohio stars.  Each one is made from a different print from my stash. 

Just when I was getting thoroughly sick and tired of making so many stars I moved on to the the next step which involves joining stars to make 8 sets of flower bunches and embellishing them with embroidery stems and hand applique leaves.  I'm enjoying this step as I can work on the couch and the stitching and the leaves are fairly large and not too fussy.

I also made myself a new coaster.

I'm pretty happy with it, but how it holds up, only time will tell.  I find that my home sewn kitchenwares made with quilting-weight cotton tend to be on the flimsy side.  I like my potholders to be thick and sturdy and able to withstand high heat.  I always add a layer thermal treated fabric in with two layers of batting, which I also used here, but this time I used a waffle-weave cotton towel for the backing.

 I'm hoping this will add the "heft" I'm looking for.

I think it looks pretty "snazzy" with my french press.

Here's my daughter on Thanksgiving, snuggling with my sister's newest dog.  He's 4 pounds (full-grown) of cute!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Quilting - second go around

Remember this quilt?

I started quilting it months ago but hated my quilting so much, it ended up on the WIP pile.  This weekend, I unfolded the quilt, assessed the situation and started quilting new meandering feathers on the half I hadn't quilted.  I should mention that I first straight lined quilted around the triangles but the quilt still needed something.

Now I have half a quilt with feathers (pictured from the back):

with my trusty paperweight ...

Now I have the enviable task of taking the crappy quilting.  So far, I've managed to remove just a few blocks worth of ugly feathers.  It's super slow going.  I also ran out of thread and an hunting around for a source on the internet.  I'm using two different kinds of YLI variegated 40 wt. quilting thread I had picked up at a quilt show a few years ago.   I found the thread at various websites, but not the two of them together in one place.  ***sigh**

Generally when I start free-motion quilting, I warm up on a small scrap to check my stitches.  Just take a couple of scraps and sandwich it with a scrap of batting - the same kind that you are using in your quilt, and quilt away.  Here are my doodles from the other day:

I had to adjust my tension up quite a bit to get my stitches looking good on the back.  The tension is affected by various factors such as the type thread, needle, fabric, batting, etc., so don't skip this step.   

At the same time, I'm warming up, playing with the designs I'm considering, and auditioning thread colors.  Now I have these fun little scraps floating around the house ... I suppose I could make them into coasters.  The leaf scrap was a little piece I had in my scrap bin from practicing needle-turn applique.