Friday, November 6, 2015

A Pleasant Diversion

The first month of the final quarter of the year, and I got off track in my goals list.  However, that's how it usually goes in my world, and more often than not, I'm okay with the diversions.  I love this little quilt!  I named it Rosewater, as the pink centres sort of float on the tile-look blocks, which, for some reason, make me think of tile at the bottom of a pool, the kind you throw pennies in...which, if you live in Canada, you no longer have any to throw in...  Also, rose water is a lovely light scent...
The sun on Monday, well, that we've had all week, was perfect for showing up the quilting

I wanted to make something a little pink in October in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness month.  I also bought Christa Watson's first book, Machine Quilting With Style for the guild, and I had the idea to make a project out of each book I bought for the library.  I picked this one as I could make a small version (the original is 6X6 blocks, I believe), just right for me to take to the yoga classes I teach.  I like to sit on a small quilt on my mat. ;-)  I also thought it perfect to show some of the pretty pink fabrics I've added to my stash over the past year and a bit.
The back, the last of a lovely pink with orange dots flannel from my daughter Brianne's quilt--oh man that texure is gorgeous, no?
What's that? The label looks a little, um cut off?  I added a few white hairs to my head when I trimmed up the quilt after taking it off the Avanté:
Might've said a very bad word or two...
I didn't have a lot of the flannel, but it fit pretty perfectly with a couple inches all around to spare.  I guess I had the batting and top a lot closer to the top edge of the backing when I set it up on the longarm, which would explain the 3.5" left at the bottom.  Noooo.  However, no one died, and it's not for anyone but me, and all I did was cut off the pretty floral frame, so I was not about to unpick the quilting here and try to blend in new quilting after putting on a new label.

Anyhow, back to the quilting.  I did a couple of designs from Angela Walters, an echoed set of "L" lines that all point towards the centre block in each of the four corner blocks, and a sort of floral one in the four white-framed blocks. In the very centre block I just FMQ-ed around that flower. It looks really cool on the back:
I've still not figured out a good way to turn corners with ribbon candy.  I did ribbon candy in the black frames and swirls with hooks in the white frames, which I still need more practice on; they do not come naturally to me for some reason.

I've wanted to take a photo of a finished quilt on this bench since they put it here this summer:

The white is Kona Snow and the blackish-grey is a Magret and Slusser Watercolor Inspirations fabric I've had forever, and used in a quilted jacket I made circa 2002/3.  It's a wonderful fabric with lots of shaded movement.

No shade that day, and look! The moon was high in the sky!  I always love days when you see it in the blue sky.

I also have wanted a photo of a finished quilt by this statue opposite and just over from the bench:
Perfect mums for this quilt, no?
If you noticed a few dog pawprints beside those of my flip flops in the sand of the first pic, good eyes!
He was hoping I'd brought a ball for him to chase, but no such luck
One last photo. That is a bird blind in the lake, (there are several) in case you're wondering.
Oh, as you can see, I just did a couple of straight lines in the grey lattice of the quilt to enhance the woven, or connected look.  I know when I showed you the flimsy, I said I had a thought of how to piece this quilt in components, rather than blocks, so you wouldn't have to worry so much about lining up the grey lattice pieces.  I'd thought to make them as one strip, and sew the black and white pieces on either side of that strip.  Yet you'd still have to be sure the line between the black and the white fabrics lined up exactly opposite to the same line on the opposite side of the grey the moral is careful piecing no matter how you dissect it! (and all of that was clear as mud, right?!)

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Pearl Grey by Christa Watson
Size:  33X33"
Fabric: fabrics from my stash
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on my Avanté -- 52 518 stitches :-)
Threads: Aurifil grey 2625, white 2024, Isacord pink 2560 (interesting: did you know that Mettler Poly Sheen is one and the same as Isacord?  Isacord is the American name. Found that out at my LQS)

...on pressing seams open or to one side.  I am not a fan, as many of you know, of pressing seams open in quilting, for a few reasons.  The main one is that the strength of the seam is lessened, since over time the thread is going to disintegrate, break down, if you're using cotton, which I do.  If your seams are pressed to one side, you have the extra layer of fabric to help stabilize the seam.  I found, however, on this little quilt, that ditch-stitching, which I always do, is lost in that pressed-open seam, so you again lose stability.  If you stitch in the ditch of a seam where they are pressed to one side, you are stitching ON fabric, right beside the layer of pressed seams.  As far as flatness, my quilts are nice and flat, never lumpy where I've pressed to one side, and the seams are easier to butt up against each other without the need to pin.  The other thing that I find ironic, is that a lot of quilters are saying press open so the quilt is nice and flat (and this is the case in this quilt) yet they will use a poofy batting...

Now don't get me wrong, since using Pellon Legacy 100% polyester in a few of the wheelchair quilts, as well as 100% wool in my friend John's quilt, and seeing how wonderful it is for showing the definition and texture in quilting, I am wanting to use it in one of my own quilts.  As far as the seams dilemma, do what you like to do, press for ease of construction as well, twirl open the seams in, say, a 4-patch unit, press open if there are lots of seams coming to one area, but bottom line, to each her own, right?

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and TGIFF.


  1. Hi Rocco!!! Such a sweet boy :) And how dare you not have a ball to chase?? ;)

    Love, love love this quilt!! The front is great, the back is great, seriously can't decide which I like better - and you know me and pink ;) Ribbon candy - I have the exact same dilemma when turning corners - cannot get them right. . . hmmm, need to look in my FMQing books for the answer to that! I'll let you know when I figure it out!

    Oh and your your pictures are stunning!

  2. This quilt is beautiful! I'm sorry about your label, but at least it is on the back. Looking at your pictures, I like the looks when you had one big loop out in the corners. If you don't like how open it is, maybe you could echo inside just at the corner?

  3. This quilt is wonderful. I really like how you chose to quilt it. It's funny that you should mention hooked swirls. I was just plotting to try some of those on my tree skirt, but I can't seem to get thyem to flow well on paper, so I'm not sure I'm ready to try to quilt them. I need more practice, I thiknk.

    I prefer to press my seams to one side, for all the reasons you stated, especially the issue of striching in the ditch not stitching on the top at all if your seams are open. But, as you also stated, to each their own! No quilt police here either :)

  4. I love the texture of this quilt. And it's so pretty on the beach in the AMAZING fall weather! I have been a long time press-to-the-side quilter. I have a harder time lining seams up to my satisfaction when I press open, and yes, I've also noticed that if I quilt in the ditch, the stitches disappear completely in the seam. Lately, though, I've tried to be more intentional in how I choose to press seams. For example, when I make pieced pictures, I can make some elements stand out more by purposely pressing all surrounding seams under them and then stitching in the ditch and stippling around them. I've figured out a way to vary how I press seams when I foundation piece with paper depending on my needs. If I'm going to hand quilt across a lot of seams I might press open more. I haven't done a lot of matchstick quilting, but perhaps that would be a situation that would go well with pressing open. But my preference is mostly to press to the side--I'm just most comfortable with that method.

  5. Absolutely breathtaking, that quilt!!!!

    Love Rocco so much!!!

    What the 'eck's a bird blind when it's at 'ome? As our Mum would say LOL

  6. What a cute little finish! If there is a label on the back of a client's quilt, sometimes I load the quilt upside down. Then I never have to worry about the label running off the quilt. Your quilting really enhances this quilt!

  7. It's OK that you started a new project, especially since it turned out so gorgeous! As for pressing I feel the same as you do, sometimes open is necessary but I rather press to one side. Your hooks look just fine to me and the more you do the more you get comfortable with them, you already know how that goes!!

  8. Fantastic photos as always . The label thing is the sort of thing I'd do ! I love the block

  9. What an adorable quilt. I prefer to press my seams to the side for the reasons you mentioned.

  10. Your Pearl Grey is absolutely gorgeous! You seem to have the most wonderful stash of fabrics to raid from. I really like the center flower print. Too bad about the lovely label. I seem to make one big whoops with each quilt lately. This inspires me to get going on my batik String of Pearls. I have had it cut out and kitted for over 2 years. It used to be a quilt along on Christa's page, and of course I did not print out the instructions. I had to buy the pattern last night. I was upping the size to 64 blocks and thankfully she rewrote her pattern and upsized to that size. Here is hoping my math was right. Love your ribbon candy quilting!

  11. This is such a pretty quilt. I don't like to press seams open because I always burn my fingers lol.

  12. This quilt and blog posting really touched my heart. Maybe it was the imperfection of the label yet perfection of the photos including the scenery and dog. I think I'm homesick for western NY and Niagara Falls, family, and just being together. Thank you so much for all you share. I think you've mentioned a daughter in CA. Please think of visiting her in January and going to the ROAD quilt show.

  13. Gorgeous quilt, lovely quilting, GREAT pictures! Rocco is adorable, too. I usually press my seams to one side, for all the reasons you mention. And you might try Hobbs 80/20 or a new product from Warm & Natural, a 50/50 blend, for more definition with the feel of cotton. The 80/20 still shrinks up a bit like cotton, but the W&N doesn't give you quite the crinkly feel after washing.

  14. I'm a press to the side too unless someone asks for open in bee blocks. I struggle to getpoints to match up too pressing open - just prefer to the side really! Beautiful quilting really shows through on the photos!

  15. And another great quilt! I love how you quilted it. So many fun textures. I cannot get enough! How to turn corners with the ribbon candy?? I always find myself banging my head on the wall with that one. I have a cheater way of dealing with them when the space is big enough. I'm sure Rocco enjoyed all that great sunshine. He's so darn handsome :)

  16. Oh, I love this little quilt! The fabrics you used work together beautifully - its just so serene! The texture is fabulous, I just want to touch it - over and over again! :)