Monday, September 12, 2011

The Raffle Quilt Top is Done!

I have been struggling lately with having no desire to sew.  I know, obviously I have a very serious condition!  I find I do tend to take a break from sewing in the summer months.  This year was especially tough because I was sick with pneumonia for the month of July so I had no desire to do anything, much less sew.  I also like to read in the summer.  I was lucky enough to grow up near the beach.  Every week when my mother would take my brother and I grocery shopping with her, if we were good in the store, we would be allowed to take books out of the library.  Then we would go to the beach and read our books (in between throwing sand at one another and washing it off in the ocean).  So I guess that love of reading in the summer dates back to my childhood years.  Not a bad thing but this year I had the raffle quilt to finish, my niece's quilt to finish and class samples to make, all while working full time.

I managed to quilt my  niece's quilt.  Still had a problem with the thread breaking, even thought it was King Tut.  I asked a fellow quilt teacher, who is also a long-armer and she told me whenever she has a problem with a thread, she'll unthread the machine and put a line of (can't remember the name of the product now) a silicon gel along the thread and that seems to help the problem. I can try that the next time.  I can't tell you how frustrating it is to finally get into a groove and have to stop because the thread broke.  I've also been finding areas where the thread broke but then picked up again so we never realized there was a problem.  Luckily, I own the thread so I've been able to "fix" these areas.  Not the best situation but it's leaving my house and going to a non-quilter who will probably never notice.... that's what I'm telling myself any way!

I FINALLY finished the raffle quilt top!  Wow, what a project this was!  I loved most every moment of it - I had a few moments of wanting to walk away from it.  I had made one of the corner blocks only to find that I made it too big.  I had to design the sun corner block, which was intimidating to me because I wanted it to be paper pieced.  I have to say I'm pretty happy with it.  The border was very labor intensive.  I had toyed with designing an applique border of flower vines but thought the fence would probably be a better idea.  I'm happy I went with the fence but it took forever!  Now I'm working on putting a flower vine around the birdhouse post and plan to have it trail along the bottom fence.  I'm also fussy cutting some butterflies from a fabric and sewing those on.  There was one block where one of the stems didn't quite reach the sashing so I put a butterfly over that to hide it and thought a butterfly in one or two more areas would look nice and tie it all together so it didn't look like I had to fix something.
Ta dah!!  Now I have to quilt this sucker.  Haven't a clue on what I'll do yet.  I'm thinking pebbles in the sashing to make it look like a walkway (yes, I am crazy).   I'm sure I'll do some stippling in the blocks but will try to come up with other stitching to give it some interest but not take away from the quilt itself.  Have NO idea on how to quilt the fence area.  I'll have to get some ideas from friends, long-arm friends and anyone that has a suggestion.

Well, off to work - have a great day.  Hopefully, next time, I'll be able to show pictures of a 7 year old project I just found tucked away in a plastic container in my storage area over my garage.  We won't even go into the teasing I've had to listen to from my  husband.