Monday, September 24, 2012

It's been One Of Those Days.

In my previous entry, I had a picture of the Jordy Tote bag I just finished.   Nice picture, huh?  Wouldn't you have liked to READ about it and see more pictures??


Yes, I really DID create a webpage for it.  That's what most of today's time was spent on.  Did I *include* a link to the page on the previous entry?


Well, you can't say that I'm a complete doofus because I assure you that parts of me are missing.  And of all the things I miss, it's my mind that I miss the most. :-)

 So let's just REPEAT the picture and this time ..

INCLUDE THE LINK to the web page, huh? :-)

If you'd like to see more pictures, read about all the gory details regarding the customizations I did to the basic bag and get to the links I used to create this bag, please surf on over to The Jordy Tote Bag.  :-)

A new sewing project: the Jordy tote bag

Two items for this entry ...
1. There are now 2, count 'em TWO, tabs at the top of the blog!  I've created a new, second tab that is a page for a slide show of the quilts I've done.  I like the idea of you, The Viewer, having the ability to look at the quilts in this manner. 

There are 155 images.  Since I know I have done almost 200 quilt, this means that I'm missing a few.  ::sigh:: There's another project ... see which quilts are in the slide show and which ones are not .. then add the missing ones to the slide show.

There's no text to go with the images; it's just the pictures.  They are in no particular order.  If you want to read all the gory details, you still need to visit the website, Dread Pirate Rodgers.  From there, click on the "I love to quilt" link.  :-)

Having said that, I'm not 100% enthralled with this particular slide show.  I'll be looking around for a potential replacement.  Sometime.  :-)

2. Just because I've said that I really, *really*, REALLY need to get a whole bunch of tops quilted and finished AND just because I have a top already loaded onto Lizzie with some quilting done doesn't mean that I can't be distracted into a completely different project.  :-)

 The middle Pirate daughter requested a tote bag of a specific size.  I allowed myself to procrastinate on the quilting to make the tote bag.  It didn't take too long to make, even with the various customizations and back-tracking due to the fact that SOMEONE might have sewn something (or two somethings) incorrectly  ::ahem::

But, the tote bag is now finished and ready to be mailed.

And it's time to return to Lizzie and resume that quilting!  :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Opinions requested for border quilting

Here is what the outer border looks like:

I have two candidates for quilting this border: one is meandering feathers, the other is a combinations of elements (curved cross-hatching, ovals between the coral points and piano keys outside the ovals).

Both designs replicate elements found in the interior of the quilt, so they aren't "designs in a vacuum".

To help me make up my mind, I sewed a same-size, sample border using the same fabrics as in the quilt.  For me, both designs have the same difficulty level, i.e. one is not significantly easier or more difficult than the other.  The feathers are free-motioned after the spine has been chalked in.  The cross-hatched design involves a number of templates but is mostly continuous thread designs (there are few starts and stops).

I'm still in a quandry.  I like both of them. :-)

Sooooooooooooooooooo ... I would appreciate some outside opinions, please!   If you are so inclined, I would appreciate it if you would leave a comment saying if *you* like one design over the other or if you like them both.  There is no right or wrong answer; it's just your personal preference.

Please disregard the discrepancy in colors ... I had to photostitch the blocks together and the lighting was different.  Also, I didn't have a fabric corner for the cross-hatching design; instead I drew it  so you could see what it is supposed to look like. :-)

Here's the feathers:

And here is the curved cross-hatching design:

Thanks so much for your opinion!  :-)

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Quilting schematic: alternating continuous curves & a flower

I'm pretty sure I recently lied to all of you.

I posted an entry for a quilt I made in 2010 but only now got around to making a gallery web page for it.  The blog pointed to the gallery page:  4-patch and Straight Furrows quilt .   On that page, I showed a drawing of the continuous curve variation and a drawing of the spiral flower I quilted in alternating blocks.  Since the web page was done 2 years AFTER the quilt was finished and the quilt was given to my sister-in-law, my memories of *exactly* what I did is a little hazy.  I don't have the quilt in my possession to examine, so I was basing my blog entry on looking at pictures that I had taken at the time.

One of my quilting buddies asked for a more detailed explanation of how I did what I did.  Once I started thinking about it, I believe I didn't do what I said I did.  :-)  My apologies.  :-)

But, I've now re-thought the quilting process of alternating the continuous curve variation and a flower block and have come up with what I believe is a viable schematic.

I drew a 3x3 grid for demonstration purposes.  Your quilt probably won't be a 3x3 grid but if you understand how this quilting path works, then you can adapt it for your own quilt.

Here's the overall schematic, showing the path for the two different blocks.   At first glance, it looks complicated, but DON'T PANIC!  :-)   It's not.  It's kinda like painting the Golden Gate Bridge (a common analogy out here since everyone has first-hand knowledge of how BIG the Golden Gate Bridge is).  If you look at the entire process, you'll run away,  screaming in terror.  But, if you break it down into smaller and smaller sub-units, all those small sub-units are very doable.  Eventually all the sub-units get done and suddenly the entire thing is done!  :-)

Remember, you can stop the quilting process at any time, but if you do, I suggest you find an appropriate stopping point, such as at a corner or when you finish a block.  I don't advise stopping in the middle of a design or, heavens forbid, in the middle of a curve!   It is just about impossible to restart nicely at such points.  Make it easy on yourself.  :-)

I know you're thinking, "oh my gosh ... how the heck do I interpret that??"  Well, you don't have to!  I've made a PDF in (what I hope is) excruciating detail that tells how to do the inner motif of the continuous curve blocks and the flower design.    I explain why I'm using different colors and what that mysterious green star is for.  I have detailed diagrams and descriptions on what piece to quilt next so that you are set up properly for the next motif.

There are two different designs here: a continuous curve variation and a spiral flower.  All the continuous curve blocks can be done in one path.  All the flowers can be done in one path.  But, the diagram shows each motif being done as separate quilting runs.  (a further thought is at the end of this entry, since I thought of it after I made the PDF.)

Here's the diagram for the inner 4-petal curves in the continuous curve blocks:  

and here is the diagram for the spiral flower:

Now ... as the overall diagram is drawn, you start (and end) the continuous curve blocks in the upper left corner.  As I look further at the overall diagram, it occurs to me that *IF* you started the continuous curve in the *upper right corner of the topmost left block* (i.e. where the blue arrow is), you would also *end* there ... and then, you'd be set up perfectly to start the spiral flower motifs.  This would make the ENTIRE quilting design ONE path.  One start.  One stop.  Awesome.  

So, if you missed it earlier ... diagrams and instructions for quilting the continuous curve and spiral flower designs is available in a PDF.  Enjoy!