Jul 25 11
I fused up another center block option this weekend as I’m not sure that my original background fabric choice was a good one. Don’t ya just hate it when you’ve put in a bunch of time on something and then realize that maybe it wasn’t the world’s greatest idea to begin with?! Oh well, I’m sure both blocks will get used at some point. I’m away from my design wall now but I’ll post some pictures soon once I can arrange all the blocks up there and can get an idea of how things look together. For now, here’s the original center block that I made:
Today was the first day I’ve been able to work on the free motion embroidery of the other blocks on this quilt, and it’s been really hard not to work on them! I’ve been on a type of self-imposed exile. A few weeks back, I began quilting this quilt:
…and truthfully, the quilting was somewhat disappointing to me. The more I worked on it, the more disappointed I became! I like the quilt well enough, but the quilting added nothing to the overall design. Here’s an example:
I quilted these feathers spinning off the center in curves that mimicked the applique feather curves. Unfortunately, my thread choice was so subtle that you couldn’t even see those curves! I tried to save it by hyperquilting the feathers in a more contrasting thread:
…and although that shows well in this closeup photo, it’s still barely noticeable when you look at the whole quilt. I thought things would get better once the background was quilted:
…but you can see that even on the lighter blocks, the curves of the feathers barely show up!! Arghh! Suffice it to say, the further I got into this quilt, the more I was tearing my hair out! It got to the point where it was just painful to work on it, so I had to ban all other quilting/free motion embroidery work until I finished the darn thing! But…I am happy to say that it is now completely quilted and bound and I can move on to fun stuff! I’ll get a photo of the whole quilt once I can access my design wall again and you’ll see what I mean.
And now for something exciting, at least to me! Many years ago, I won an embroidery machine but it has never been used as I had no idea how to use it and really didn’t have much time to put into learning. I love quilting so much that I just couldn’t justify taking the little time I had for quilting and using some of it to master that darn machine! I’ve been admiring some of the beautiful machine embroidered applique work that folks have been doing, and decided late last year that I needed to learn how to use this machine. My plans were thwarted when my wrist got messed up last winter, but last week, I was checking out this blog post by Sew Cal Gal, and I was just mesmerized! Actually, I returned to her site many times a day and drooled over those photos (make sure you click on them to enlarge them), and then I realized that I really did need to learn how to do this! Long story short, but I finally had my first lesson on how to use my embroidery machine and each day, I’ve been embroidering a design to learn the basics of how to use this thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love free motion embroidery and free motion quilting and these are my first loves, but I’m thinking that I can be embroidering applique blocks on one machine while I’m doing freehand work on another machine and maybe I can get more quilts finished faster this way. I then went online and purchased Sarah Vedeler’s CD to embroider the applique hearts and this is going to be my lesson to teach me how to do this. I won’t be able to start on this for a few weeks but I cannot wait to give it a try! In the meantime, if you’re looking for some eye candy, scroll through these posts on Sarah’s site so you can appreciate the detail in her embroidery closeups…you may get hooked just like me!