Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Work on Wednesday 25th May

Hi Everyone,
Has been a real Autumn week, temps have dropped and we are getting showers every day but not as bad as the forecasters have been predicting. I guess it had to come as we have had summer like weather right up to now and next month is the start of winter proper.
Have been really enjoying my sewing room this week, Frog Song is finally finished, I have loved making it as frogs are not really my thing but the challenge of making a quilt my girlfriend will hopefully love was a real incentive to try something different.
Had some indecision about what colour binding to use, thought a dark green or a mahogany brown initially but whatever I tried seemed to have no definition and gave no finishing point to the quilt.
I had used a light yellow mottled with brown for the backing, the only fabric I could find in a wide backing that seemed to work colourwise.

When I tried it as a binding.

At least I think so, it's not in your face, the colour tones in and it gives an ending to the quilt.

During the last week of stitching my mind kept straying to Love Entwined. I have had the roughly cut pieces for fussy cutting sitting on my bench ever since I started the final borders but everytime I started work on her again I never felt the passion I used to have. This time seems very different, once again I am spending every spare minute doing  more. That first afternoon I finished the second border
then spent a while getting my head around resorting my fussy cuts and  exactly what went where for the third border.
It was only little things but when I chose my fussy cut pieces for these borders I didn't have enough identical pieces for all four borders so there are slight differences between borders 1,3 and 2,4

Look closely and you can see that the center Fleur de Lis has a black highlight  the other two have white. Borders 1 and 3 both have two with black and borders 2 and 4 are all white

This is the other difference, borders 1 and 3 have the gold topped one on the left, 2 and 4 have the blue top which is also the reverse angle and a fraction larger.
The top photo shows how far I got in just 3 days, my zig zag and both swags inplace and stitched.
Discovered I had to make more zig zags before I started this border but now I am only a couple short for the corner squares. Tuesday afternoon I spent preparing the rest of the pieces for this border.

All set out on my ironing bench and ready to go

First half in place and ready for stitching today.
The only thing is it is a beautiful sunny morning after days of cloud and rain and in order to sew I will have to block out the beautiful warm sunlight that streams into my sewing room in the mornings at this time of year.

Fabulous in the cold of winter if I am measuring or cutting but the sun is straight into my eyes when sewing so it is close the venetians enough to direct the sun away and turn on the lights for a couple of hours.
Hope you have enjoyed this update on my LE progress and if you think I might be able to help if you are machine stitching your LE just ask me.

Linking now to Esther's WOW enjoy your week everyone.
Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Frog Song on Wednesday 18th May

Hi Everyone,
Hope you have all had a great week, I have been in my sewing room at every opportunity working on Frog Song and yes it's nearly finished - only the binding to go.
I only realised how lucky I was to decide on  2" as my spacing for stitching as my cross hatch in the center progressed - I hadn't measured to check how it would work out before I started stitching!!
I only had to lose or add a tiny fraction of an inch on a couple of rows to get a perfect result at the edges.

I practiced my FM for ages before plucking up the courage to make a start on the quilt itself, deciding to start in the most obvious place for any problems to show, the center panel.

I was so happy and surprised that I didn't have any problems.
My Bernina does have a stitch regulator foot for free motion, I have always struggled with it but this time after my practice session I used a different mode to what I have used previously and it was suddenly much easiera nd I was amazed how quickly my blocks were quilted.

How different my frogs look now they pop off the background.
Having reached this stage I stood back and took a good look and realised that my cross hatching of the center made the corner areas with only stitching one way now looked like unfinished hatching so yesterday I added the crosswise stitching to the corners.

I like this much better.

The day was beautiful first thing but and now rain has set in so it's the ideal day to sew on my binding.
Linking now to Esther's WOW

Enjoy your week everyone.
Cheers Jenny

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Frog Song 11th May

Hi Everyone,

Frog Song has progressed well this week, my time away was obviously very good for me.
After finishing The Creeper I went back to Bumblebee as had not been happy with how it looked,
I used the wrong shade of thread (too light) when I was edge stitching and the feet especially stand out far more than I lwanted. Considered unpicking but the risk of damaging the background fabric stopped me from doing this. Decided to try colouring the thread and see if that would help.

It did and I am much happier so back to my frogs for the outer corners.




Top finished it's time to quilt it. Decided to use cotton batting and found a lovely blotchy soft yellow for the backing fabric. Measuring up I discovered that adding the extra half inch onto all my blocks from my scale drawing had made my top quite a bit larger than I had planned, forgot to do the maths!!
Had allowed for a wide outer border so trimmed this down to get a better size for a throw rug, it is now 73" by 51" a couple inches longer than my friend had wanted and bang on for the width.
Now have all the ditch stitching done and have stitched around all the frogs. Am not good at free motion stitching so have gone with straight lines 1/2 inch apart on th borders overlapping to cross hatch in the corners and have followed my 60 degree angles for diagonal lines 2" apart acoss the outer background.

I think if this is going to be used as a throw this will keep it lovely and soft. 
Only these bottom corners stitched so far and I am very happy with how Swampy and Stretch are just showing against the leaves.My plan is to continue the straight lines through the center panel but to stitch in both directions so I get a cross hatch in that area. The block backgrounds I will do free motion with the only design I am comfortable with, stippling,  My friend has gone to Vietnam on holiday for 3 weeks so my plan is to have this finished and sent off for her to arrive home too.

Linking now to Esther's WOW and then straight back to my sewing room.
Enjoy your Wednesday everyone
Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

WOW 4th May Progress on Frog Song

Hi Everyone,
Has been a month since I blogged as have been away for most of April. Now back home and into quilting mode again.
Over Easter I concentrated on completing my two side panels for Frog Song.
I discovered when cutting my centre panel I had enough fabric to make full triangles for the side panels although there would have to be a seam I would need to match as well as possible.
Found a new place to hang my top for photo's - the lounge wall that is being stripped of wallpaper so no complaints about pin holes.

My fabric matching is not perfect but am happy with how the pattern flows across the background. But the sharp points on the central shape are just not right to me, my first plan where I had blocked them off on my scale drawing had been the right one. How often does this happen to you?
Out came my unpicker so I could remove those points.

My side panels are 11 1/2" wide finished so I cut 6" from the cental seam and added a triangle of block fabric, feel the center panel is now balanced and I decided to add frogs to it.

The Sentry

Bumble Bee

Much smaller than my other frogs they are just nestling in the leaves.

Not sure if I need top and bottom frogs in that panel yet, will wait till my borders are on as am thinking there might be frogs in each outer corner.
Decided yes there will be.

The Creeper.
Nicely camoflauged amongst the leaves he has worked out well as I don't want these corner frogs to be focal points just to be there waiting to be found.

He just about disappears into the background.
Now need to go through my fabrics to find others that will blend as well with my background.
Linking now to Esther's WOW and feeling happy my quilt top is very close to being finished.
Enjoy your Wednesday everyone,
Cheers Jenny