Thursday, 4 July 2013

Half-and-half stars

The star quilting is progressing slowly (my book is progressing faster!) and here's one of the side half-stars completed with quilting:

As I said, I'll do all this part first, to save thread changes. But I want to get them done soon, because I want to see how the stars look once the coloured sections are quilted, too. I know what I'll be doing on Friday - far fewer odd jobs (luckily I got most out of the way on Tuesday) and far more quilting!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Finishing the stars

It's great having the Tour de France on late at night to watch while I quilt (live coverage starts at about 9.30pm, about an hour or so into the race, and goes through until the finish 1 or 2am and it has been especially enjoyable so far with an Australian winning yesterday, the Australian team winning today, and an Australian in the maillot jaune from tomorrow.

I got the quilt sandwiched this evening and spent a while playing with different threads and colours. I decided not to quilt the white sections at all - either the pieced ones or the wholecloth ones. I settled on a deep mulberry Aurifil 50wt cotton in what's basically a darker shade of the pink solid fabric for the wholecloth pink sections - pink enough to obviously match, but dark enough to be a secondary feature visible on further inspection rather than dominating.

I used a Hera marker, small ruler and the piecing lines to mark in the rest of the block (just the one so far). The Hera marker shows really nicely on dark solids, and there's no worry about removing the marks after quilting.

Then I threaded the machine with the mulberry Aurifil and a matching BottomLine thread in the bobbin and quilted the wholecloth sections of the star block. the areas which are pieced white and black will remain unquilted, but I did quilt the 'seams' between the white and black pieces.

I'm yet to decide how many blocks I'll quilt like this; I'll do the four like the one shown, and the centre one with an all-black centre, and probably the eight half-blocks, but probably not the eight plain blocks. Then I'll go back and quilt the pink solid sections using a matching pink Glide thread with the same pattern.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Solid top

A couple of evening of dedicated piecing and I've got this quilt top complete. I added a border at the last minute because I felt it wasn't quite big enough. It also helps to make it blacker, since my aim was really for black with pops of magenta and white, and the pieced top looked much less black than my design.

I'm deciding how to quilt it. My original plan called for completing the partial blocks with pink and white threads, but I'm not sure now. Maybe I'll still do that, but with deep plum and charcoal threads to get the effect without so much contrast. The background will definitely be done in black BottomLine.

I'm busily working through my day's long to-do list, and having got the top complete, I can tick this one off the list, and will set it aside to sandwich and start quilting this evening.

Monday, 1 July 2013


Last night I watched the first stage of the 100th Tour de France while I cut out my next quilt. The drama (multiple crashes and a team bus stuck at the finish line) and of course the scenery distracted me, but I got all but 96 white HSTs cut (they're done now) and tonight I made a big dent in the piecing.

Coincidentally, given my comments about rarely using solids last night, that's exactly (and only) what I'm using for this quilt. It's mostly black, with some magenta and a little white (those 96 HSTs are small!). On considering my use of solids in more depth, I realise I've used solids black a number of times (but it's kind of an exception to the rule of solids showing the quilting more; since quilting really doesn't show on black unless it's a contrast thread) and I've made several wholecloth or near-wholecloth quilts with pretty much only solids, which again don't show the difference in how the quilting contrasts on the solids compared with prints. I have mixed solids and prints in flannel quilts a few times, too - but quilting blends into flannels more anyway.

Anyway, enough rambling! Above is a peek at the new quilt starting to come together.