Wednesday, February 24, 2016

doll quilt, stars and birds, oh my!

I've been staying home lately and very keeping busy.  Winter is so good for that.

First up:  A Little Doll Quilt for Diane.  (Kelly - recognise the shoofly?)

Here's the pieced back.  I "made do" with scraps of this because I knew Diane would like it.  I also like that it makes it look like a full sized quilt.
I tea dyed it to make it look vintagy and older.
Here is the before shot.  The blues are a brighter and the shirtings lighter.

Here we Sew Again - I re-pinned this quilt for machine quilting.  I started this project in 2011.  Can you believe that?  It has a long, sad story that I hope ends in redemption.
Here are the steps I take to get ready to machine quilt:

I move my ironing board to support the quilt weight.
I always start with a fresh needle.  I consult this sheet from a magazine that I keep in my thread drawer (it only took me 20 years to do this :)
Get my top and bottom thread picked out and spin some bobbins.
Clean my bobbin well really well.
I also like to use these Steady Betty bands that Susan gave me.  They help move the quilt without hurting your shoulders.  I only use the left one, and I grab with my right hand.
After having some slipping issues, I altered them to fit my hand better.  
Action shot.
I'm normally not a timer, but I thought I'd see how long it takes to quilt one fan.  They have 10 arc lines each.  Time included all starts, stops, clipping and unpinning.  Not bad!
Here is the size of a fan section.
All those starts and stops makes for lots of thread trims!  This is my second batch.  I think I'll toss this in the woods, maybe a bird with use it for nesting material.  Did I say birds?
Bird Alerts!
I saw a Raven in the yard a couple of weeks ago.  They are amazing.  I saw it swoop over the yard and pick up a snack and take it back to the branch to eat.  Yikes.
Do you see what I see?  I saw this flash in the woods and grabbed the binoculars and camera.  (boy was it dreary yesterday)
Pileated Woodpecker! (better photos on the link)   We played peek-a-boo.  This is only the second sighting of him.

He is moves very fast around a tree, then it is on to the next.  I moved from room to room to keep watching until he was gone.  These photos are with my highest zoom then enlarged on the computer so aren't great.
Today is Westering Women day!  I'm off to see it and I'll be posting my 2nd block on IG #westeringwomen and #westeringwomensewalong.   I'm also going to be posting the blocks of 2 Illinois friends here soon.

xo

29 comments:

  1. That is a gorgeous quilt and will be even better once quilted and bound! I know you will be very happy to have it finished! The little doll quilt is darling and I love seeing the birds. I have a good view from my sewing room window of birds at our feeder and my next door neighbor's feeder. I also have a Field Guide to Birds handy to look them up.

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  2. Wow, a Pileated! It is very good luck to have one on your property, at least that is what the old timers say. Not sure why, no more bugs maybe? Anyway, thanks for the bird shots. Crows and Ravens are my favorite birds. I could (and often do) watch them for hours. Thanks for the machine quilting lesson. I though I might use my new Barb-fan stencil on my next big hand quilting project, but I may have to try machine quilting the next one. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  3. That bird is amazing! We have a lot of woodpeckers around here, but not that pretty.
    I time myself sometimes when I'm getting bored of quilting and need a distraction. Love your fans, although there is a lot of stops and starts.
    Cute little quilt!!

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  4. The tea bath was a good idea--really did the trick!
    I have a similar chart I keep on a shelf below my machine. Very helpful! I can't be expected to remember everything, right?
    Never have timed myself while quilting--interesting concept. : )
    Gorgeous bird! The woodpecker that thinks my house is a tree isn't nearly that pretty.

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  5. Loved the Doll quilt. I'm going to be tea dying as appliqué center panel when I'm finished. I don't like the background fabric (too white) so though this was a great alternative. As always Yoda I love your star quilt. Thank you for showing the step by step machine quilting process with your hand bands. Great idea since I hate the gloves.
    Our bird feeders are full of cardinals and now small woodpeckers.

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  6. I just ordered your fan stencil - anxious to give it a try - I love that overall look. Do you stop and start stitching lines with a small run of tiny stitches? Do you overlap stitching lines at all when you machine stitch the fans? Awesome bird!

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  7. I see Cynthia has asked the exact questions I had re: how you choose to machine quilt your fans. I feel there's a blog post here!

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  8. My husband started feeding the birds this year--many cardinals and blue jays. We have to purchase extra food because the squirrels are frequent visitors and have huge appetites

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  9. Beautiful quilt, and you'll be so pleased to have it quilted and done! Another great post on your process. So helpful to learn! Cute little doll quilt - and what a difference in color with the dying! Lovely birds too! We've been enjoying feeding "our" hummingbirds, so much fun to watch.

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  10. What a sweet mini. It's so interesting to see the before and after with the tea dye. The pieced backing does make it look like a big quilt. Your starry quilt is a beautiful. Thank you for sharing so much information about your quilting. Having the table of needle sizes nearby is such a great idea. Love the woodpecker photos. I bet they're a fun bird to watch. Can you hear them pecking the trees?

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  11. The doll quilt is a little darling :0) cool to see the before tea and after tea pictures. Re- pin? I don't remember what happened with this quilt. It's a wonderful star quilt and with your large fan quilting it will be lovely! Such interesting woodpecker pictures - thanks!

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  12. What a great quilt! The large fans look doable maybe someday I will try them. They are large enough I think I could do them with my walking foot.

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  13. I am so happy the block worked in your doll quilt! It's perfect! Your fan quilting looks great, I bet you will get faster as it goes along and will be done in no time.
    Right now we are getting bluebirds! I just love seeing their gorgeous color on the dull winter days.

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  14. The tea dye really enhanced that little doll quilt, I love the finish! Thanks for sharing your process with machine quilting the fans. In my opinion, the start-stop, and tying off all those threads takes most of the fun out of machine quilting. I've gone back to handquilting most of my finishes except for those donation or baby quilts that will get hard use. Looking forward to seeing your Westering Women block.

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  15. The little quilt is darling, and the tea dying did enhance it as Quilting Babcia said above. Very cute! And that backing fabric is one of my favorites.

    Lucky you, looking out the window just in time to see such fabulous birds! I am pleased as punch that a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker has taken up winter residence in one of my hollies; that's about as exciting as it gets around here.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the stars all quilted up! Thanks for the action shots; I've not heard before about the hand gizmos. I think I'll be looking for them. The last three quilts I quilted, I used Machingers which can get too hot, not to mention the loss of tactile delight in touching the quilt.

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  16. Loved seeing the difference that the tea dying made with the doll quilt. The vintage version is a winner. Nice to see some of your tricks for machine quilting. Your big fan stencil looks great on the star quilt. Fun to see how fast you could finish a fan. And then, It's fun to spot a beautiful bird in your own backyard. You've had a great week.

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  17. As usual, you've been busy. It's fun to see your machine quilting set up and time. I never thought to time myself. It would be interesting to see. The little quilt is so sweet. It makes a perfect gift!

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  18. The doll quilt is super cute ! I never tryied the tea dying but I love the result !
    Good luck for the machine quilting ! Sometimes it helps a lot ...
    And the bird is soooo beautiful with his red tuft !
    Have a lovely day ! Hugs !

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  19. Love your little doll quilt and the fabric on the back :) Just think you'll have another quilt finished in no time at all. Lovely stars! Pileateds are so cool. We see them all the time upstate.

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  20. I had a pileated woodpecker pounding on my house this morning. I assume he is looking for a mate or letting the other birds know it's his territory. I love seeing them as they are so animated and fun to watch, but the machine gunning on the house is pretty annoying! The little doll quilt is adorable--have fun with your quilting!

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  21. You have been busy! Such a sweet doll quilt. The woodpecker is a striking fellow.

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  22. Always interesting to hear about your machine quilting. Someday I will get more brave with it. The little doll quilt is wonderful and the tea dye is a wonderful touch.:)

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  23. Fun to see someone doing tea dying... I love the effect!
    Hope the birds enjoy the thready treat!

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  24. Fun to see someone doing tea dying... I love the effect!
    Hope the birds enjoy the thready treat!

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  25. Here We Sew Again looks intriguing; looking forward to seeing it quilted! Lucky you to see a Raven AND Pileated Woodpecker!

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  26. Is that a toile print I spy on your ironing board cover?

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  27. Love how that sweet doll quilt turned out!
    Your star quilt top is gorgeous - wonderful to see your machine quilting process.
    Couldn't help but notice your red & white triple chain quilt on the wall - so beautiful.

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  28. The tea dye is really effective in that charming doll quilt. Interesting to see your quilting set up. Feels like we're all in the passenger seat next to you. Looking forward to hearing your story of redemption:)

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  29. That is a cute little quilt. You're making great progress on the bigger one. I think I've seen a machine quilting fan stencil that does it without lots of stops and starts, but I couldn't tell you where. Love the picture of the birds. With my eyesight I don't think I would have even spotted it!

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