Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sticky Mess

I entered a giveaway offered by Laura of slice of pi quilts and won a package of quilting templates designed by urban elementz. Laura included a note and asked me to let her know what I thought about the tear-away pantograph paper. Well... since you asked...

The directions said to use spray adhesive such as 505. I had a little bit left in a can, so perfect. The tissue paper was the right length, it fit my project perfectly, and I used up the last of the spray to adhere the paper to the quilt. I didn't want it to slip around and get weird. My little quilt is 31" x 47." I used iron adhesive batting as well, so that I wouldn't have pins under the tissue paper. It quilted quickly, in less than 30 minutes. I got to practice my FMQ, which was a little trickier than I thought it would be. The pantograph kept me from spiraling into smaller curls. I recall looking at this when I entered the giveaway, thinking "well that looks easy. Who needs a pattern?" I'll tell you who: people who don't practice their FMQ.

So, next the directions said, "once quilted, rip the tear away sheets off the quilt. Note: use tweezers to remove any small bits of tear away paper that might be left under stitches."

I used my seam ripper and found it helped with slicing the paper inside the loops. There was very little ripping of tissue paper because it was stuck to the fabric very well. It took me over 3 hours to remove all of the paper in a very tedious process. I tried using tweezers and my finger nail to remove small bits of paper, but was worried that I'd disturb stitches. Side note: the fabric was sticky! Well, duh.

The paper was sticky. My hands were sticky. The whole process was sticky. It didn't want to let go into the garbage can. By the end of this process I was a teensy bit tense. I figured that I would rinse the quilt and the rest of the tissue paper under threads would dissolve. Wrong. And, the fabric was still just as sticky. So against my better judgement and usual practice for a quilt made from vintage blocks, I used spray wash all over the quilt and washed it again with detergent. Twice. Finally it was not sticky. But the tissue paper was still hanging under threads like Al Gore's chad's in Florida election booths. So I finished picking out the tissue with tweezers as I thought about how to do this differently next time.

My sister Pam, who does custom long arm quilting entirely FMQ said just practice and toss the templates. Sure, but I wanted to try this product. So other than practicing, which is for losers, I thought of using dressmaker's carbon and a tracing wheel. The templates could be reused that way, as well. The quilt would still need to be washed.

The little blocks that had seemed dingy and boring really sparkled after the triple washing. Major bonus. And the quilting, very different for me, was a nice amount for this little baby quilt.

 I used lilac and orange for the flanged binding.

Here is the backing, repro vintage red and white. And my little label with my thimble insignia.
This is one of the finishes for /finish-along-2018-round-2. It will be gifted to a niece who is expecting a baby girl in July.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Screw Your Courage to the Sticking Place

Hope's Nova Star is ready to quilt. I added prairie points within the borders for the baby's textural interest and I love the effect. It is super fun, and adorable. Just like little Nova (or Ralph, as baby's brother Aries likes to call it.)

Here is a little tidbit about the brown border/sashing. I was originally going to set the blocks without sashing, but at retreat my pal Leona suggested sashing to add definition to the stars. So I tried some grey scraps first, just to see.

Hmmm, We were on the right track but not grey. Jody suggested a very dark sash, and picked something black with tiny violet flowers. Not even worth a photo, I said NO WAY.  I had just received a care package at retreat (yes, can you even believe it? at retreat!) from Pam. It included some lovely fun camel brown Moda fabric with childhood primer text on it. I had sent that to her a while back, sharing the love, and she boomeranged it back. And as a sashing it was perfect, made my heart leap.

It pushes the neutrals, a concept Mary Mashuta wrote about where the contrast brightens the colors.  Kind of like the cheerleaders inviting a dull girl to join them in the mistaken idea that they will look better. Well, the neutral is the key, the element of interest. The neutrals are not overpowering but they are absolutely vital to the whole. Because they are true to themselves. Which is what I need to remember when I have self doubt.

In a world where you can be anything, be self confident. What does a lack of confidence come from? Comparison. And where does comparison come from? Old, very old, ancient tapes saying that we should be more like (fill in the blank) or why can't we be more like (fill in the blank.) What do you think all of the fashion magazines sell? SELF DOUBT.  Where was Mr. Rogers when I needed him? Thankfully I can figure it all out with some daily writing. Just be true to myself and screw the self doubt. Screw your courage to the sticking place, as Lady MacBeth said.

And, here is my other quilt top finish:::

The center butterfly is huge. 38.5" x 29.5" huge. The details on this big fat mama are a surprise for the recipient so I won't talk about them. The three center butterflies were sewn by my sister, Pam. We are collaborating on a get well quilt for my cousin Angie who has battled lymphoma into remission with 6 months of grueling chemotherapy. She had asked for a butterfly quilt as a commission for a wedding gift a while back. I pfffft'd and said we wouldn't accept pay. Then with her diagnosis, I told her that the only good news about cancer is that you get cuts to the front of the quilt line.

Here is the complete quilt top, all 84.5" x 84.5" of wonderful colorful loveliness of it. Lots of the fabrics are scraps of favorites from my stash. And lots of my stash is from Pam.The large upper right feller is all bird fabrics with a few of my  most favored china dishes fabric. The fabric that looks like my beloved china that I lost in the divorce. Lower left wide blue feller is tropical beach fabrics to remind Angie of her days being a beach bum in Mexico.  There are flowers, polka dots, stripes, Kaffe, Cori Dantini banners, Lots of Moda, and every color under the rainbow.

It is off in the mail to Pam for long arm quilting magic. She does the most lovely custom work.

I am linking to Let's Bee Social.