15 in ’15 Third Quarter Check-in

Three-fourths of the year is over!  Time to report progress on the goals I set at the beginning of the year.

√ 15 fused quilt blocks
I am still making fused blocks of scrappy squares.  I bought a bunch of batik charm squares at a local quilt show, and made a reversible table runner.  I fused the squares down, and stitched up the grid lines.  I put that fused panel onto a piece of batting and added borders, stitching through the top and the batting, with no backing material.

The two sides of the table runner before being joined together.

The two sides of the table runner before being joined together.  The top one is Spring, the bottom one is Summer.

I did another panel the same way, and you can see both in the picture above.  Then I turned the two panels, right sides together, batting on the outsides, stitched up the sides to make a tube, and turned it right-side out.  I folded in the ends and stitched them together.  It came together into a nice puffy table runner that has some body to it.

This is the Spring side.

This is the Spring side.  It’s meant to be a table runner, but it actually wouldn’t be a bad chair pad either.

This is the Summer side.

This is the Summer side.

⇔ 14 fabrics finished up.
I have still only used up 4 of the 14 that I planned.

⇔ 13 technique try-outs
Still at four for the year.

⇓ 12 practice art quiltets
Still only one for the year.

√ 11 quilt video segments watched
This quarter I have watched more than half of a Craftsy quilting class with Cindy Needham.  I have learned some really good tips, and I have also found that I don’t find it distracting to sew and have the video on at the same time.   I don’t really need to watch the screen if it is just about good practices or tips, and if there is a technique I’m unfamiliar with, I can always go back and watch it again.

⇑ 10 new supplies sampled
Two more new materials this quarter, and the results are promising.  I really admire the work of  Doreen at Treadlemusic (you can see one of my favorite pieces here), and I decided to try the threads she often recommends.  However I got it wrong – she often uses Glide for the top thread, but I bought Fil-tec Clear-Glide pre-wound bobbins.

It was a fortuitous mistake though, because they have made an amazing difference in my free-motion quilting, and even my straight stitching.  I have used them with 40 weight and 50 weight cotton, and even 100 weight polyester for the top thread, and everything just flows.  Getting the quilt lines where I want them is almost as easy as drawing on paper with a marker.

I have tried so many different kinds of thread, needles, and machine settings, and I just couldn’t get my quilting to go smoothly.  I was seriously thinking of getting a new machine.  To think that all along, my troubles may have just come from my bobbin! is eye-opening.

I also tried the Pilot Frixion pens for marking, and I like them.  In the Cindy Needham class I am watching on Craftsy, she was saying that the old tried-and-true disappearing ink markers seem like their ink is disappearing faster these days – she said that sometimes you mark a quilt and then go back months or even weeks later, and the ink has disappeared.   With our Gulf Coast humidity, those markings disappear within minutes!  so the Frixion is a welcome alternative.

⇔ 9 new dye plants sampled
No new dye plants this quarter.

√ 8 small quilts
I completed this goal.  The four small quilts I wrote about here are all bound and dispersed to new owners.  And I have my new table runner to add to this too!  Gold star for me!

⇓ 7 layers of surface design on cloth
Still nothing here.

√ 6 sessions of sharing textiles

⇔ 5 fiber field trips
Two more this quarter – two small local quilt shows.  I didn’t see anything that really grabbed me in the exhibits, but I did buy new threads to try (including the Glide bobbins), and I also bought lots of fabric from the fund-raising booths that the quilt guilds had, and I plan to use it for free-motion-quilting practice.

With one more field trip, I will be able to check this one off.  And I think there is some other little quilt festival coming up in Houston soon.

4 warps
Still only one.

√ 3 tops (clothing, not quilts)
I finished three sleeveless tops.  They are very very plain, but I love them!  Two are batiks and one is made from an old linen scrap that I had.  I made the linen one according to the pattern, but tried it on and adjusted the fit several times while making it, and then I used those same adjustments for the other two.  It is wonderful to wear something that doesn’t keep twisting and shifting uncomfortably.  And in our humidity, anything with polyester or spandex feels like you are wearing a plastic bag, so the crisp cotton and the absorbent linen are great.  I may turn all of my old linen tablecloths into tops.

⇔ 2 big quilts
I am still working on Pixilated.  I decided it needed to be hand-quilted.  For a while I was getting some done on it every night, but lately I have not been getting to it.

× 1 show
I gave up on this one early in the year.

So! Five goals completed, and one written off.  I think I will get three more completed, and the other six may just have to wait until next year.  Or who knows?  This fall I may go into goal-achieving overdrive.