Thursday, March 26, 2009

Slow Going & A First!

Not much knitting or quilting has been going on this week. We're ramping up for vacation and that entails doing those things that need to be done. C and J will be taking care of the pups and we'll check in with them daily. Even when we board the pups, we call frequently to check on them.

I have picked up the stitches and am working on the ribbing for Ava's sweater. Can I say that I hate picking up stitches? I never seem to get the correct number or it looks a little wonky. As you can see from the pic below, the ribbing is done in a solid color yarn. The collar will be as well.
A while back, I decided to make a table runner (actually 3 of them) from the scraps from my first quilt. It's actual a pattern specific to using what you cut off from your blocks. It's from Terri Atkinson's book Happy Hour (you know, two for the price of one!). I laid out my backing on the garage floor and used 505 to create my quilt sandwich. I have to say I'm going to have to find somewhere else to do this. I did not like all the bending over and there was a bit of stickiness left on the concrete. I'd love to hear where other quilters do their spray basting.
Then it was on to my first free motion quilting on something other than a 14" block of muslin! I can't tell you how much anxiety I had. There are most definitely some bad spots here where I got a bit angular/pointy instead of the nice flowing curves of stippling. I certainly expected that. It was, however, easier than I thought to get good coverage of the project with the quilting. I have dubbed this project "Only a Mother Would Love" because let's face it, it's not great. So when I'm done, I'll ship it off to Mom who will treasure it! The binding is about 4/5 done on one side.
Lessons Learned:
1. I need to BREATHE!
2. It's ok to stop the needle in needle down position and just think for a minute
3. Look ahead.
4. Relax!
5. Really take seriously those blogs that say have a glass of wine first!


Ruth's Place said...

Looks great to me!

I did a class in machine quilting and the instructor announced to the class that she had "the class retard over here" those were her exact words.

I haven't been game to try any machine quilting on any of my projects since.

Candace said...

You've got it right on all your "lessons learned" Jackie - and I would add, it takes a LOT of practice on the quilting - I've been doing it a very long time and still feel I'm "practicing" - LOL! Also, I tried using the spray baste for about a year, but got irritated with the spray going everywhere, too. I finally went back to pinning - as much as I detest it, it doesn't make such a mess.

Zlaty said...

Your Free motion quilting looks great Jackie! I am still learning it and I am having fun with it!

Have a great week!

Happy sewing and knitting!


Susan said...

I think it looks great, Jackie!

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed! I could never machine quilt like that. It looks fabulous. The solid color trim is going to make the sweater even more special.

Marge Gordon said...

Lessons Learned:
1. I need to BREATHE!
Yes breathing helps, a lot!
2. It's ok to stop the needle in needle down position and just think for a minute
Sure is
3. Look ahead.
Always, not where the needle is, but where it is going to
4. Relax!
Yep, that helps too.
5. Really take seriously those blogs that say have a glass of wine first!
Well this one I am not sure about, LOL!

And as to where I spray baste, I use my deck bench. And as long as the flies don’t start sticking to it, I know that’s working for me. (Little squirt from the hose gets rid of any left over sticky.)

Marie said...

Love the sweater. Your table runner is great. As for the 505 it is sticky so I use 2 fold up tables and put a piece of plyboard over it and I can do any size I need too. Your free motion is great-- I have been quilting for years and believe me yours is really good your Mom will love it.

ranette said...

Very nice table runner and I think the quilting looks great!

Enjoy your trip...I'm jealous though! :o)

Debbie said...

The sweater and table runner look wonderful.

Have a wonderful time on your vacation.Lookign forward to your trip report :)

Leslie said...

Packing and trip planning, knitting and mach quilting too, wow! BTW, I pin my backing taut to the carpet of the living room, then place newspaper around the perimeter. That 505 is great! I find it doesn't take nearly as much as I think to get the layers to stick. Good work!

Abby said...

I love hearing stories from free-motion first-timers. I'm still toying around with the idea and it totally freaks me out! I love the glass of wine idea. Will definitely try that!

amber johnson said...

That is a beautiful table runner. I love those colors!