Red and White

I went way back into the closet for today’s sewing project.  Do you remember this one?  I finished the top back in May of 2016.

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You can see posts about making the various blocks and putting it all together here.

Today I settled in with my walking foot and outlined all the Xs.  A lot of twisting and pushing to turn all those corners!  I did a row at a time and then paused to bury the thread ends so I could also stretch and unlink my shoulders.  I tend to have my shoulders around my ears as I sew.  I try to be conscious of it and put them down but they inevitably creep up again.

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I sewed just outside the red, following the edge wherever it led.

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It was a happy moment when I reached the last X!

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Now I’m filling in all the white background with free motion loops.  It goes much faster, though it has been a while since I did it, so my stitch lengths are pretty uneven.  This is the stage where I really wish I had access to a long arm quilting machine so I could be more intricate with the fillers.1C1CA2B4-720A-4451-B403-0F5F1DCE897B

I have built up a backlog of quilt tops so my winter goal is to get them all finished.  There are at least four more after this one.

Egg hunt

Our Easter is fairly low key.  We generally put more emphasis on Passover – our Easter celebration is about the egg hunt.

Saturday we dyed eggs.  There was only one fatality, and nothing permanently dyed that we didn’t intend.

Our eggs aren’t fancy – basic dye tablets and dunking.  The boys don’t have the attention span or artistic interest in fancier decoration options.  But we all like bright!

And the extra dye didn’t go to waste.  I used it to color some more of the gray merino/alpaca that I have so much of. (I’m currently on bobbin three of the bag I over-dyed red earlier.) The blue/purple dyes broke, but I always like that effect.

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I’m envisioning fair isle mittens or hat, mostly gray but with color bands.  More spinning to do.

In the afternoon the sunshine departed and the hail arrived. I left the sugar bingeing boys to their dad and Harry Potter movies and went to work on the purple floral quilt.  I’d already stitched along the edges of all the navy lines.  The big squares are too large to leave unquilted.  I tried some big free motion flowers in the middle – big fail.  The were off kilter and amateur looking.  I picked all that out and went with my usual loops.  I will practice the flowers for another day.

I’m always torn with the quilt backs with which color thread to use when they are pieced together with very different fabrics.  Although it looks white in the pics above, that part of the quilt is soft yellow.  The rest is a yellow green and two different purples. So what color should go in the bobbin?  I went with a purple, since that was the largest expanse, and it didn’t peek through with the navy thread on the front, but it shows up more than I like on the back.  I like my thread more unobtrusive.  On the front I’m changing thread colors depending on the fabric, but that wouldn’t work with the back given where the fabric changes fall.

I was only two and a half squares away from finishing when I ran out of the purple thread.  So close!  I ran to the store but it was closed for the holiday, so I’ll have to try again tomorrow.

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The half finished looped square where I ran out of thread.

So close to being finished

I put a lot of time in on the Night Sky quilt this weekend.  My son has been standing by my shoulder, urging me on – he wants his quilt!

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I’d almost finished quilting the tree portion before wandering off to some shinier project, so I finished that up quickly yesterday.  I used wavy lines and a green ombré thread.  If I was going to do it over, I would probably change both of those decisions.  I think a straighter line and a darker green might have been better so the lines didn’t distract from the angles of the trees. But my son says he likes it, so it will do.

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The next step was outlining the stars with a combo of echo and stitch-in-the-ditch quilting.  I love the way the outline shows up in the back, though it is less obvious since I added the background quilting.

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I quilted the sky in loops, throwing in a few five pointed stars.  I went through a multitude of bobbins – free motion quilting sucks up a lot of thread.  I had another ombré thread in blues for this part.  I had some trouble seeing where I’d already quilted with the darker thread so there is overlapping in places – my quilting skills never quite live up to the picture in my mind’s eye.

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I did the moon last, and tried out a new-to-me free motion pattern of dense circles.  I think it is called pebbles?  I think it looks like moon craters.

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I got as far as trimming the quilt before I ran out of steam.  The binding fabric is waiting to be cut and sewn – by the end of the week my son will have his new Night Sky to sleep under.

Oh, and a lot of thread ends to bury!

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