Friday, January 2, 2009

One more day, maybe? Cathedral Stars...

Morning everyone! Up bright and early today--couldn't sleep anymore after 5:00, so rolled out of bed at 5:15, made some muffins and coffee, logged in and read all the latest Quiltville posts, and am finally loggin in to update the blog with yesterdays' Cathedral Stars progress.

I started the day by sandwiching the corner pieces, so I could get the quilting rolling! I don't really know how long it took me; I just threw in a movie (umm.....I "watched" so many today, I can't remember all of them, but some titles were "Legend" (OLD Tom Cruise movie), "Ice Age," "Happy Feet," "Matrix," Devil's Advocate", "Constantine.") Hmpf.....I didn't realize how many Keanu Reeves movies I had! I also have "Lake House" (THE BEST chick flick ever, BTW).......

Anyway.....there were a few quilting "gaps" that I needed to correct from yesterday (er---Wednesday!). A few of the 4-patches didn't have the swirly quilting because I wasn't sure what I was going to do with some of them as they neared the border, but...that was solved once I laid the top corner and the middle section together and "studied" the patterns. Around lunch time, I had the top and middle sections MOSTLY complete, with only the outer black triangles to go yet. So, after lunch, I browsed through some quilting magazines to see if I could find a quilting motif. Ya know....Quiltmaker is one of the BEST magazines when it comes to sharing quilting motifs. Just about everyone of them has motifs printed that can be traced instead of JUST the "quilting placement diagram" that does us NO GOOD if we don't actually have the motifs. Duh, right?

Anyway----I found TWO that when put together worked nicely. Then the next hour consisted of figuring out how to get the design onto the fabric. In the past, I have used an X-acto knife with some of that quilter's template material. But that is SUCH a pain in the butt! Not only is it difficult to trace/cut curves with an X-acto knife, but then I had always used some quilter's pens to trace/copy those designs to the quilt top. Ugh! Tedious!

Brainstorm----I traced the patterns onto the template material. Then, I installed a size 90 needle into the machine (I NEVER use needles that big, but I had a "sample" from when I bought the machine.) And I punched holes into the template material, kinda like dot-to-dot.

I have read in a few different places about the "pounce" idea -- well, the HOMEMADE pounce ideas, anyway. In one of Grandma's quilting books, the lady suggested using cinnimon (how DO you spell that??? I keep getting the red-squigglies-of-death) or cornstarch, depending on the color of fabric. In a recent quilting magazine, a reader wrote in this little tip: "Cut a circle/square of fabric about 4 inches and fill with cornstarch; tie up together to be used as a pounce."

Well, I didn't use the fabric pounce, I simply sprinkled the powder on the template and rubbed it in the holes. Also, I only had a small bit of corn starch left, so, what else does a mother have on hand? Baby powder.

It worked beautifully! And SO MUCH quicker than any other method I had been thinking of.

So, then......once I had the corners marked, I started quilting away using the Jewel toned verigated thread. (Okay...there's another word that I have to practice spelling because I have the red squiggle yelling at me again!) However, once I had the first triangle completed, I didn't like how it looked! The yellow part of the thread stood out SO MUCH compared to the rest, and just didn't look that great to me. So.....RIP! Then....I figured RED to bring out the red from the HST, but that was just TOO BOLD! RIP!.......It would have been nice to have had a rich burgandy thread, but I only had bright red---*shudder!* So...back to my thread stash.

In the end, I chose a medium blue that blends nicely, yet is light enough to appreciate the pattern. At 9:50pm, I finally packed up for the day----off-n-on, I put in probably 10 hours today (yesterday.) WOW!

At this point, I have the top and middle section completely quilted and pieced together. I had to muscle the joined quilt under the machine to fill in some swirly quilting to keep the quilting uniform once the sections were brought together. It wasn't too bad! The bottom corner piece is ALL quilted, and will be joined to the main body today (Friday). I'll need to fill in the quilting gaps once joined, but then I'll be done with the majority of the quilting. Next---borders. I'm planning a 2" red border, followed by a pieced-border using the UMPTEEN bazillion left over 4-patches I have. I got a little gung-ho sewing them and have just about enough to make a pieced-border. I just have to whip out 4 more, I think, to finish it.

So.....there ya go.
Happy Friday!


Amanda said...

Okay, teacher hat on - cinnamon and variegated (well, in English anyway, I don't know about American!!). You have done so much, it looks terrific, I just don't know how you find the time - do you just put your family back in the box when you start quilting? Or are they just the most understanding family in the world? That's such an intricate quilting motif - do you really manage to do that using your free-motion foot? I'm awestruck.

Patchwork Penguin said...

Looks good!!! So you are quilting as you go? I've never done that. Would be curious to see how it turns out.

scraphappy said...

I've tried the template pouncing method with cornstarch and cocoa I think was the dark one. I used scrapbooking punches, but the sewing machine needle certainly would have done the job quicker. The quilting is looking great. It is so frustrating to not have the right thread when you are ready to finish something off. It makes you understand those people who keep whole quilt shops worth of supplies in thier sewing rooms. Not much longer on this one until you can cross it off the list and get started on the mystery quilt!

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