Wednesday, 16 October 2013

More Free Motion Quilting

I keep sitting down and doing an hour or two on the robot quilt, yet every time I look at it I still don't seem to pass the halfway mark! I am slowly ticking off the blocks though.

First to show you is the log cabin block. I decided to do an all over pattern on this. I'm not hugely keen on all over patterns but the 'circuit board' inspired pattern does fit in with the robot theme.

I also finished the bubbles on this block having decided to keep them to the blue/grey fabric only so that the orange really pops out.

The orange sections of the orange peel block didn't take long to finish.

I really struggled to decide on how to quilt the following block. I wanted the purple to stand out. In the end I used a meander with loops on the blue (loops to tie in with the dots on the fabric) and then decided the orange needed something too so tried out a small meander.

I was glad the small meander looked ok. I find the meander quite hard to do because the idea is to make it look random and I tend to find I end up following a line by accident. I also used it on the flying geese blocks as the area to be quilted was so small, it was an obvious option!

The quilting in the background of this star block was meant to look like sky. I had seen a slightly more sky-like pattern but I wasn't confident to use it in the limited space available on this block. Since taking the picture I've also used a small meander on the purple star so that's another block ticked off.

The above picture also gives you a view of the quilting I'm doing in the sashing. I started working on this just to break it up a little as I knew it would get a bit monotonous doing it all in one chunk at the end.

Also in that picture you can see I've used the bubbles again in the block above (can you tell I love the bubbles! Do you have a favourite free motion pattern?)

 I've still to decide what pattern to use on the pink.

After a lot of google image searches for free motion patterns I was inspired by this Lollipop Flower pattern on The Free Motion Quilting Project blog. I adapted it a little to make it more alien/robot like. I also didn't feel confident making a lovely neat circle in the centre so did my best and filled it with bubbles to hide the imperfections.

Close up of the lollipops
...and close up of the 'needs practice' circle
The next block I did was one I have been terrified of starting ever since I loved the idea Sarah gave me for quilting it. The one design I really, really struggled with was wiggly squares and she suggested wiggly squares and triangles for this block. Eventually I couldn't put it off any longer. Luckily it was far easier on an actual quilt block. I think because there is a very obvious square to start with, you don't have to worry too much about thinking about size (mine were all over the place size-wise when I practiced on some plain squares)

Close up of the squares
I was hoping to show you my finished robot block. I have always known I wanted to do a meander with stars on. Unfortunately I am now unpicking it. It took me less than 10 minutes to sew it and it's taken me an hour to unpick half of it. There wasn't anything wrong with the actual sewing but I didn't like the thread colour. It was too similar to the purple fabric so the stars didn't show up and I felt it was a bit wasted. I absolutely hate unpicking and had it been any other block I'd probably have left it but I just knew I couldn't leave it on the main block of the quilt. I'd have never been happy with it.

So I think that leaves me with two half blocks , a little over half the sashing and the borders to quilt.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Barnyarns - More Thread

One thing I can say about ordering thread is that it has all arrived quickly. Both orders were placed on Thursday, the Mettler threads arrived on Monday. My Barnyarns order arrived on Saturday but we were out at the time so it had a little detour via the sorting office.

I decided to order more of the King Tut thread that I really like. The orange is for the robot quilt and I bought two other colours as there's a discount for buying three. I chose the colours based on the plans I have for my next few makes.

Isacord and King Tut thread
As you can see I also bought some Isacord thread. This is one of the threads I tried out in classes that my machine seemed to really like. It's also a cheaper thread than the King Tut. I didn't choose the colours, Barnyarns have a selection of Try Me Specials where you can order a limited number to try out a thread at lower cost but it's pot luck what colours you get (they do say if you order more than one then you won't get any the same).

Now I have to be honest, although I thought this was a fantastic idea I did wonder if I would end up with 5 awful colours (You know, the ones nobody has bought and they'd struggle to give away) so I was really, really amazed to find I received fantastic colours for all my threads.

Yes, despite my worries I also ordered trials of Masterpiece and Nature Colours. Again I'd had a little trial of these in class and my machine seemed to like them.

Masterpiece thread
Nature Colours
I'm really pleased with the selection. There isn't one I dislike and I think all of them are very useable colours.

I also picked up a Try Me Special of Bobbinfil.

I'm currently using Superior Threads Bottomline and find it's really made a difference to my quilting so I'll see what this one is like too.