Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July's Free Motion Quilting Challenge

 This month our teacher for the Free Motion Quilting Challenge is Angela Walters, a young modern quilter whose lesson was a design she calls "Tiles" in which you divide the quilting space into smaller units and quilt each one before moving on to the next.
I had fun practicing this style until my machine began to act a little like it is in need of some TLC.  So although I wanted to do more practicing before coming up with a "final" piece, my machine is packed up and ready to visit the sewing machine spa for a little R&R.
So here are my samples for July.  I started by using the back of a plaid fabric that I thought would help me keep my lines straight.  Not so much.
And instead of using the same pattern in every "tile" as Angela did, I mixed it up and tried different ones, including some of the motifs taught by previous teachers in this challenge.

 I did quilt in the month and a heart in hand.  Okay, for a first attempt, not too bad. For this sample I used regular 60 weight thread in the needle and bobbin.

 Then I switched to Superior Rainbows thread in the needle with The Bottom Line in the bobbin.  I like this look much better.  I used a 90/14 quilting needle and did not have any problems, although I did have to decrease the top tension.  I didn't follow Angela's tile directions, just divided the space with random lines.

 For the last two samples, I did attempt Angela's swirl motif, using the Rainbows thread again. 

The Final Four

 I think that if my machine hadn't gotten tired, I would have done a few more samples and improved on my spacing and the straightness of the tile lines (or maybe not.)
This lesson was fun to do and helped me to learn a little about dividing the quilting space into manageable sized areas.
Thanks, Angela, for sharing your expertise and ideas.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The (Post)man Cometh

(Disclaimer: The following opinions are mine alone.  I have no connection to Superior Threads except that I am a satisfied customer.)

In these days of email, evite and Catalog Choice, not much comes in the mail except flimsy ads for home improvement companies and (thank goodness) the occasional print magazine and print birthday cards.   But those of us who like to shop online also get packages!

Here's a recent delivery to my house....thread from Superior threads and needles!

I treated myself to some silk thread for applique, some King Tut thread for machine quilting and some of Superior's highly touted titanium sewing machine needles.  I also bought a selection of 5 pre-wound bobbins of Masterpiece 50 weight 2 ply thread.  I thought this might be a good way to acquire different colors for applique without buying whole spools.

The Superior company also has a superior website!  You can learn a lot about threads, tension, needle-thread compatibility and more from their Reference Guides.  And there are many ways to try their threads: Deal of the Day, Thread of the Month, clubs and collections.   I've signed up for their newsletter and have enjoyed the issues I've read so far.

Superior has also begun selling fabric and you can use tools on the site to design blocks and match threads to fabrics and fabrics to fabrics.

Good products, good information and excellent service.  I know I'll be ordering again.  Check them out!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dave and I recently spent a week in Lubec, Maine, with our friends Marge, Bob and Monica, a reprise of our trip in 2011.  We took advantage of the long ride north to stop on the way up to visit with my college roommate Peg in New Gloucester, and on the way south to visit with my cousin Carole in Camden and with friends and former neighbors Mary and Xavier in Boothbay Harbor.   We had perfect weather, lots of lobster and lots of laughter.  Here are some highlights:


The view from our window

A toast to morning in Maine!

On the ferry to Eastport

At the New Friendly Restaurant in Perry

Nobody does lobster rolls like the New Friendly!

Now this is how vegetable keepers should look!

Cigars on the last evening

"We happy few"

Blueberry Land!


Dave and I hadn't seen Mary and Xavier for years, and I FORGOT TO TAKE PICTURES!   Oh, well.  there's always next year!