Quilter's Academy - Volume 2 - Sophomore Year

Vol 3 - Junior Year

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Small progression and some NHP's

Hello!  I know it's been a while and I apologise for that.  A great holiday in Western Australia, followed by a bit of a medical issue - nothing drastic but unable to sew.  After that my computer decided to kill the hard drive which caused quite a kerfuffle.  But all those are excuses, the real reason for my not blogging is that I've been working on some Non Harriet Projects which now aren't secret anymore.

This one is almost finished, with just some quilting to go.  It's been ditch-stitched and I want to do some stencil work in the blocks.  Hopefully, I'll get to that soon.

I put up some pics a while back (May actually) of the quilt I was making for grandson Harvey's birthday in September.  It was put on the back burner while I made the rush quilt for my brother, then the holiday rahda rahda rahda.......  Poor Harvey has been very patient but he finally received his birthday quilt this week.

 Can you believe I forgot to take a photo of the finished quilt before I posted it?!!  This is the quilt before I washed it - it still has chalk markings and the aliens don't have any eyes. 

Harvey with his quilt

Earlier this year my sister Kaye visited New York City and brought me back some fabulous fabric featuring New York art deco buildings.  I made myself a queen size quilt - using the deco fabric as the feature surrounded by complimentary fabrics sewn into nine patches.  I had some of the deco fabric left over and made this up into a smaller lap quilt for my sister.  I had to use different complementary fabrics, as I had no leftovers from the first one.

Kaye's Quilt - New York Art Deco II

Hmmm - Kaye's quilt turned out nicer than mine.  So now I'm in the process of unpicking the queen sized New York Art Deco so I can re-do it using nicer fabrics and a better layout.  *sigh*.  I'll work at it on and off but don't expect to see the finished quilt on the blog for a while yet.

Quilting this top became a bit of a headache.  I decided to make a semi circle on the lower right of the quilt, and fill this with a Baptist Fan design.  Radiating out from the circle I wanted straight lines.  A bit like a sunrise and very suitable for an Art Deco quilt.  Quilting the rays were no problem, but I had lots of issues with the scallops in the Baptist Fans.

I used a stencil and chalk marked inside the circle, taking out all the pins first.  Mistake!  The batting is a wool/poly and likes to shift around inside the quilt, it's not clingy like cotton batting is.  Anyway I ended up with large puckers inside the circle and had to unpick the quilting.

For the second attempt it made sense to quilt this top from the back as I found the design was really hard to follow over the busy print.  After stencilling I pinned the life out of it!

My next mistake was the thread.  I chose a beautiful variegated black/grey King Tut cotton. The fabric was printed in black/white/grey so it seemed a good choice. 

The design quilted in this thread looks quite odd, because the stitches suddenly disappear when sewn over a matching colour in the print, making the design look disjointed.  Because I was quilting from the back I didn't discover this effect right away and had no desire to unpick the work a second time.  So Kaye is stuck with quirky quilting - maybe she won't notice!  I forgot to take a pic, but it's something to think about next time I consider quilting with variegated thread. 

Finally, I really need to work on my starts/stops as they remain messy.  Usually the messiness is confined to the back, but this time, the little lumps and jumps landed on the front - yay for a busy print!  I have a quilting workshop coming up next year, so hopefully will get some expert help on this issue.

I've made a start on this one and am hoping to have it assembled by the weekend (today is Wednesday).  It's gone through a few fabric changes in the process and I'll blog about that another time.

Fabric selection attempt 2

DID YOU KNOW.................?

Where did mother-of-pearl buttons come from?  I found out when I visited a pearl museum in Broome, Western Australia.



  1. I love your quilts and the great tips you give us. Since you have been to Broome (I will likely never get there), and posted that wonderful photo, you may enjoy (as I did) reading The White Divers of Broome by John Bailey. I had a hard time finding it here in The States, but it was worth tracking down. Karmen

  2. Glad you were able to post. I love following your progress. I'm going through Sophomore level and you've given me inspiration to continue. I was following a class, but I found that the process was too rushed and I didn't really enjoy making the quilts because I realized I enjoy the process. Thanks.

  3. Hi Karmen - thanks for the book tip, I'll try to hunt it down.

    Hi Mom - you have it exactly right - if you don't enjoy the process, why make quilts? Frustration and challenges are all part of the process too but so is the satisfaction of a completed project. :)

  4. So glad to see you back. Harvey is a cutie, and looks like he loves his quilt!

    I really like the art deco quilt.

    Cheers, K

  5. Hey Leslie, so glad to have you back. I have been checking regularly. We have Volume 4 done and going to the printer soon. I am taking a year off - also health issues, so everyone can catch up before Volume 5 comes out in 2014.
    As for the lock off problem - some of it is the heavy thread you are using. When using King Tut or any three ply thread except Presencia, you need to take the tails, tie them off and weave them back into the quilt with a needle. This is why many of us do not use heavier thread - its either messy starts and stops or an amazing amount of time tying off. As always, you are doing amazing work!!
    Merry Christmas

  6. I found your blog and love it! I too started Harriet & Carrie's "Freshman Year" and am blogging about it on WordPress. I'm going to go back through your first entries to see what I have in store! Hope you are recovering and will be back up and sewing soon!

  7. Re "The design quilted in this thread looks quite odd, because the stitches suddenly disappear when sewn over a matching colour in the print, making the design look disjointed."
    I would only worry about this if you are making the quilt for a fellow quilter - no one else will notice.
    And a quilter will understand and be sympathetic.
    Hugz Helen