I have some photos to share! Here’s my caveat: these are home photos… when the sun actually makes an appearance here in Portland, I’ll get outside and get some decent pics. I just didn’t want to make you wait much longer 😉
Details: 4,132 1/2″ hand-pieced hexies in this quilt. Stitched from Oct. 2011 to Feb. 2013. Partially free-motion-quilted on my domestic Singer sewing machine, partially by hand using french knots.
Here’s a couple photos of the back too:
And one last photo of me and my quilt at the PMQG meeting on Thursday:
That meeting was really fun! We actually did a hexie demo and everyone got to try their hand at them… it was great, and I think we may have a few more hexie addicts soon 😉 There were a lot of amazing quilts shown (as usual!), if you’d like to see them go here. That group is just amazing when it comes to support and motivation ~ I love my guild!
I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 weeks since my last post, there is just so much going on!
Progress report: After quilting the background wood grain, it took a while to figure out how I wanted to quilt the actual dragon. The super dense quilting in the background makes the whole dragon puff out… and I LOVE that! I wanted to keep that aesthetic, but I wasn’t sure how to do that. I was going to hand quilt this part, but the layers are too thick for me and I can only get 4-5 stitches per inch. After some frustration, I came up with the idea to use French knots!
So far so good! I’m about half done with the body, then I’ll still need to do the green belly and the red scales on top, the horns and beard… then it’ll be time to bind!!!! I really hope to have this quilt completely finished by the next PMQG meeting in February so I can bring it for show and tell. While I love this quilt more than anything else I’ve ever made, I am more than thrilled by the idea of working on something new!
Since this is a Wood Dragon, I really wanted the background to look like wood. One week of free motion quilting and 4 spools of thread later….
and I finally have the background all quilted!! I was inspired by Angela Walters and her wood grain pattern she showed when she recently lectured at the PMQG. She also was encouraging when it comes to dense quilting. I LOVE how it turned out, it’s very textural and organic looking! The only major problem I had was quilting over batiks ~ there are not many in this quilt (thank goodness) but where there were batik hexies, I had to readjust my tension, and even then I was breaking thread often. Also… since I do this on my Singer, the stitch lengths are not perfect ~ but the overall effect is great!
Now to start quilting the dragon proper! I’m saving a full quilt picture for the final unveiling 😉
It’s so fun sewing on a machine again! You can finish things up so much more quickly. Here is the new quilt top I just finished:
… well, I think it’s finished. It’s supposed to be a baby sized quilt, part of me wants to make it bigger ~ but I’ll probably leave it as is.
This was my first time with a drunkards path template (purchased from Tabslot) and I think I did pretty good ~ most of the points meet up:
Next time I WILL be purchasing some spray starch. I think that will help a lot in keeping it all flat and perfect… but I’m still happy with my results!
Time to hit the store for more spray baste ~ I’m excited to get this quilted!! Not sure how I’m gonna do it yet… suggestions?
Oh man… after getting the top of the dragon quilt done, I am totally excited to try a few designs that have been floating around in my head for a while. This weekend I started a new quilt ~ and it has a lot of drunkards path blocks in it:
I used a new template I just got from Jill at Tabslot, which was way better than my old handmade cardboard template!! Even still, it took a lot of practice to get these to work for me… and I ended up making a 4.5″ template create a 4.25″ blocks. It’s not too bad, but it can be better. I may make another one of these in the near future, just to get more practice in!
When I started cutting fabrics for this project, I was in my sewing room ~ which is just an unused bedroom. It’s unused is because it sits over the porch and so the whole room (including the floor) is not insulated at all, and fairly open to the elements. So it gets really cold in the winter. Just cutting the fabrics, my hands became icicles… and it’s not even that cold out yet. I can bring a space heater up there, but I decided to set up a little table in the living room instead.
This location is close to a heat vent and next to the kitchen ~ and I can hang out with the rest of the family while watching movies at night… AND get shit done! Speaking of which, my family is the best. I’m super glad to have the support of my sewing addiction enough to encroach into the common area with my messy projects!
It’s still not the best photo… but I think the colors are correct. I’ve been waiting for a sunny day with helpers at the same time, and it just hasn’t worked out until today. Even so, it’s hard to get a good photograph of something this big and flowy. Our feet are left in for size perspective 😉
… so what do you think?? I am loving it! Is it okay to say that about your own work? Hope not ~ after a committed year of stitching, it feels pretty awesome to have it finished.
I’ve been contemplating just how I’m going to quilt this. At the last PMQG meeting, Angela Walters was there and spoke to us about free motion quilting. She was very inspiring and I loved her quilting work! She likes dense quilting… and so do I! Even though she uses a longarm, and I’m working with my basic Singer ~ I think with the right set up and practice, I can quilt this well enough. We’ll see. I need to think on that for a while before jumping in.
In the meantime, I’m starting some other projects and I’m pretty excited to start something new… and a little sad to see the end of this one!
ps: If you’d like to see the beginning of this project, go here to my old blog archives.
You may have noticed my blog moved ~ this will be my first post at GailLizette.blogspot.com. Please follow, or re-follow my sewing updates. I love getting all the feedback! There are many reasons for the changes, but that’s a story for another day.
The PMQG All Day Sew that happened last Saturday. It was great, as usual ~ I started two pillow covers for my daughter using a new technique a saw on Elizabeth Hartman’s blog: quilting as you go. I had a lot of fun trying different quilting patterns and practicing.
Here’s a pic of the 2 unfinished pillow tops:
And here are some close ups of my favorite quilted areas:
Funny story too: After the All Day Sew, I went out to the parking lot to find my car missing! I called my husband and he came and rescued me and we made a police report as soon as I got home. At 3:40 that morning we get a call from the local police saying they found the car and if we can get there in 15 minutes, they won’t have it towed…. so we jump out of bed and take a bleary-eyed drive to meet up with the police and our car. Turns out some guy had a similar key that worked in the door handle and he got it jammed in the ignition enough to get it started. So we were able to start the car and drive it home. The next day my husband was able to work the key out ~ so it was a very dramatic non-issue
A couple other updates: The dragon quilt top is completely finished! I’m waiting for a sunny day to get a good photo, but it will be soon, I promise! I showed it at the last PMQG meeting and it was warmly received and it made me feel pretty good ~ almost too good. Got so nervous in front of the group I completely forgot everything I wanted to say about it. Oh well… another time!
I also made a cute little reversible apron for the Michael Miller Stripe Challenge. It was really fun, bright fabric to work with:
Okay… I think that’s about it for now. Thanks for joining me at this new site ~ I hope to regularly blog through the next year!
Here’s the box of all the pulled paper pieces from the dragon quilt… and thread too. I’m done!! I feel like I should throw it in the air for confetti effect in celebration, but I don’t really feel like cleaning it up. So, for now, they’ll just sit in the box. It’s hard to tell how many pieces are there, so I stuck my hand in for a better visual:
If you’re wondering… this is what 3,942 1/2″ hexie pieces look like without any fabric. What a great tool ~ the quilt top is very square and lies flat… which is a great start before actually quilting! Today I’m working on the border to finish the top. Well, actually, I think I’ll be cleaning my sewing room first, then the border. Priorities!
Since I’m needing to do a Dragon Quilt update… I thought it would be fun to show the back of the quilt… the B-Side. Funny how all the work of a hand-stitched quilt gets covered up with the quilting, no one gets to see all the actual work.
So… here is where I’m at on the Dragon Quilt ~ from the backside:
I’m OVER halfway!! Actually 3 strips over the halfway-point, so each strip from here on in will get shorter and quicker to stitch.
Here’s two close-ups of the backside:
When I stitched the long strips of hexies together, I used a ladder stitch, and now, sewing the strips to each other, I’m using a whipstitch which is working very well to keep the quilt nice and flat. There are still papers inside each hexie that I will need to take out… but I don’t need to think about that quite yet! I do have a plan for that, and I think it will go quickly enough. I’ll post about it when I get there.
For now, I’m just keeping on~ I’m figuring at least 2 more months to finish the top of this quilt… then onto the actual quilting!! Ideas for quilting patterns anyone?? I’m thinking of free-motion-quilting along with some hand-quilting ~ so there are lots of options.
This project is sloooowwwly coming together… here is where I’m at today:
I still have 6 full strips to get to the halfway point… then it’s all downhill from there baby! I’m super happy with how this is turning out ~ and I’m starting to design the border for this too ~ it’s going to be very simple with a little color pop. It’s nice to see these photos for me too ~ helps put the sewing time in perspective.
If you’re interested in starting your own hexie project there is a nice hexie-quilt-along here with lots of information on how to sew these little addicting things.