Been There, Done That?

Didn’t anybody tell her?  

Didn’t anybody see? 

I sit down to sew after more than 100 days, and this is what I do? Why did no one ever tell me, “Right sides together! Always, right sides together! ”

Did someone say, “Right sides together!” ?

This is, therefore, tagged ‘Piecing Tips’. 

An Idle Time…

It is almost two and a half months since I last posted! I have been laid up with sciatica again, which means no quilting.  Just as I thought I was getting better last week, yesterday I had a relapse. Not good. I do want to finish the Dreamcatcher! 

I spent today afternoon removing foundation paper from my Just Takes 2 quilt. Now to trim the thread and iron the seams. It will be my next quilting project, so I am getting it ready! 

 

The offending threads yet to be clipped…

 
Meanwhile, my quilting friend Sobana Sundar of thequiltbug.blogspot.in held a workshop at the Tsala Studio, Bangalore to teach paper foundation piecing, using the pattern for the Evening at the Pond block from the Dreamcatcher quilt . Vatsala Kamat, who runs the Tsala Studio, is an awesome quilter! She does the most gorgeous English paper piecing and hand applique. Do pay her a visit if you happen to be in Bengluru! 

Here are some pics of the workshop. Sobana’s version of the Dreamcatcher quilt can be seen in the background! 

 

The workshop at Tsala Studio

 
 

…proud and happy!

 

Here is Sobana’s Evening at the Pond round table runner and the Round the Year Dreamcatcher quilt! She has used the Layout Option 2. Most of the fabric used by her was dyed by her!  Stunner, isn’t it? 

  
You can find the patterns for all the sixteen blocks with detailed instructions linked here!

You could start with this block, it is the simplest. Happy quilting to you. I can only browse the net and dream up new quilts to make. 

Serendipity, Endless Love And The Dreamcatcher

 

Practice piece for the centre of the Dreamcatcher quilt – pattern by Geta Grama

 
serendipity
ˌsɛr(ə)nˈdɪpɪti/
noun
the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
“a fortunate stroke of serendipity”
synonyms: chance, happy chance, accident, happy accident, fluke;

My Dreamcatcher quilt is being quilted in 5 panels, four of which are 4 blocks put together and the centre piece is a plain square. You can see what I mean here.

 

How it will all come together…

 
 I had been wondering what I was going to do in the centre square – browsed through several pins on Pinterest and googled through hundreds of images. And then, suddenly, the answer landed up in my email inbox last month! 

I have been an admirer of Geta Grama, the Romanian quilter, ever since I took up quilting some 8 years ago. She does the most fantastic FMQ and her trapunto is to die for! You will fall in love with her gorgeous patterns. Well, to cut a long story short, she has designed a whole cloth quilt pattern (Endless Love) and…believe you me…it has been quilted on Fossil Fern (by Benartex) fabric which I am using for my quilt – even the colour of the fabric is exactly the same blue I have there in the centre of my quilt! Now if that is not serendipity, what is?! 

There were two patterns in the package I bought ( with excellent, detailed instructions) and I decided to try out the simpler one on a practice piece, before I start working on the blue fabric. 

I traced the pattern (using a regular lead pencil) to a orange- yellow Fossil Fern Fabric square …

 

I taped the printed paper pattern to a sunlit window; taped the fabric square on it and traced the pattern with a pencil.

 
It took me almost two hours to do this, beginning from starching  and pressing the fabric to finish tracing it. Extremely tedious!

I used the embroidery foot R of the Husqvarna Viking Topaz 20 to quilt the rosette. The pattern is so designed that you can quilt it in one continuous go – without having to lift the foot. It was surprisingly easy. I think it took me less time to quilt it than trace it!

 

The rosette was free motion quilted

 
I was not very happy with the uneven stitch length and opted for the regular foot B to do the scallops.  I really love the fact that I could just snap off the R foot and put in the B foot, changed the machine setting from Fmq to regular and I was ready to go! I have to admit was much slower going than the free motion quilting, but the results were quite worth the one and a half hours I took over them!  In fact the designer says the entire piece can be quilted using a walking foot! I am going to do that for the blue fabric. 

 

The outer scallops were quilted with the regular B foot in my Hasina!

 
As suggested by the designer, I added some more fmq to the pattern to make the rosette and scallops stand out. Here is the final result! 

 

The extra batting has been trimmed to 1/4″ , while i decide what to do with this piece

 
 

The rays of the setting sun show off the quilting!

 
A couple of views of the back…but before that, tell me what you do when you look at the back and discover that the tension had gone off suddenly in a couple of places? Do you rip that and re-do it? I had a couple of such areas! Thankfully they were near the edge and will be hidden under the binding. 

 

The back…

 
 

Pretty, pretty!

 
At the end of this exercise, I feel confident of being able to tackle the centre. If only, but only, someone would offer to trace out the pattern for me…sigh! 

The Final Block! 

That is the wedding ring block quilted…

 

I think it is a case of overkill! Too busy – but I am going to leave it as it is

 
…which leaves me with a 9″ border in a 100″ square quilt yet to be tackled. My calculator tells me that is 3276 square inches to be done. Am dreading it because it is on dark fabric and I shall not really be able to see what I am doing if I quilt with dark thread as I was planning to! 

Winding My Way Through the Last But One! 

 

Does anything need to be done in the centre?

 
I used the walking foot to quilt those lines.  I did venture on some feathers for the four ‘petals’ but with disastrous results. 

 

Is that ugly, or what! ?!

  
Why, just why, can I not wrap my brain around feathers?  Actually, I don’t think God intends me to quilt them, so I shall stay away from them henceforth. 

The last block is the double wedding ring and then I start working on the dark blue ‘border’. 

A Quilted French Rose …

   I have been gathering some Kaffe Fasset fabrics and scrolling Pinterest and the Internet  for a suitable pattern to showcase the gorgeousness. And then, a few weeks a beautiful quilt showed up on my Pinterest! The French Rose quilt pattern by Heather French was used to make a delicious quilt in  Fasset fabrics. I wanted that for my daughter. 

The pattern is available on Amazon, but not in downloadable format nor do they ship to India!  Needing instant gratification, I had to draft my own pattern. 

 

The drafted pattern.

 
I cut out some fabric from my stash to see if the pattern would work…

 

I added an extra petal ring to the original four in the Heather French pattern

 
The Rose is about 6″ on a 10″ square. I made a sandwich with the batting and backing and straight stitched 1/4″ inside from the outer edge, using a walking foot. I zigzagged the inner edge, just to secure the ring better. 

  
In no time I was done with the flower and did some echo quilting around it. I trimmed it down to 9″ so that one width of the green fabric would suffice for the binding.  But look at what I discovered as I reached the last edge of my binding! 

 

Discovered a tear on the binding!

 
There was a tear in the binding fabric! This is how I got around that!

 

A petal stuck on the binding to hide the tear!

 
And so we were done. 

 

Before soaking overnight.

 
I soaked it in water overnight to fray the edges, but…we were not yet done! Discovered this the next morning! 

 

A stain on the washed quilt

 
A stain that wouldn’t go away. Simple enough to handle, right?  Just stick a leaf on top! 

 

A ‘falling’ leaf hides a stain in the little quilt!

 
So here it is, my little French Rose quilt – with falling leaf and petal! Sweet, isn’t it? Can’t wait to get the Dreamcatcher quilt over and done with so that I can start on this one.

   

The littleFrench Rose quilt inspired by Heather French’s pattern

Quilting the Offset Mariner’s Compass

Quilting on yet another block completed today! 

Here are some close ups of the quilting on Southward Bound, which was the seventh block of the Dreamcatcher Round the Year Quilt. 

 

‘Stitched in the ditch’ with a bit of echo quilting.

  
I used the walking foot to ‘stitch in the ditch’ all the needles and the inner circles. 

i decided against doing any more quilting on the inner circles. Any suggestions?

I debated if I needed to quilt the middle ( blue) offset circle, but decided against that. 

Getting the hang of doing free motion quilting with the machine on auto-mode.

 
I am getting the hang of free motion quilting now! I am absolutely certain that you cannot get good results ( as a beginner, at least) if you do not use good quality thread and needles. For this block, I used a Schmetz needle and Sulky threads and the difference it made was amazing! 

A picture of the back will give a better idea o the quilting on the wedges! 

 

The quilting shows up much better on the back, doesn’t it?

 
This was a block which was more difficult to draft than to put together!  Would you like to make your own 18″ block? You could make a mini quilt with a single block or even frame it! The free pattern is available here

You could do a really modern version to , like I have done, in ‘Rainbow’ colours. As soon as I finish this quilt, I will start putting together the Rainbow Dreamcatcher too!

 

The centre circle is also a smaller compass! However, the pattern is not given for this centre.

 
Here is the full block! 

 

Quilting done! On th Dreamcatcher Round the Year quilt – Block Seven Southward Bound

 
I move next to the Winding Ways Block. Mulling over how I shall tackle that!