Postcard from Sweden Update 3

Over the weekend I finished up both of my Postcard tops.  The big one is nice, but I have to say that the mini is my absolute favorite!  I have been staring at them, trying to figure out how on earth to quilt them.  I think I am going to stitch along the diagonal lines on the mini.  I still have no idea what to do on the regular sized one.  I feel like it needs something more geometric, which means ruler work.  For me, that means it will take forever and be a bit choppy since I'm still trying to get a feel for my machine in Precise mode.
The mini quilt ended up at 18 x 22, or around the size of a fat quarter.  The squares are 1.5" finished.  That sounds tiny, but it was so easy to work with and it all fit together really nicely.  It was much easier to line up than the full size quilt.  I need to give both tops another good pressing. I think my iron is dying.  It hasn't felt like it's getting very hot lately.  I've had it more than a year. The previous one (same model) lasted just over a year before it literally had a melt down and became unsafe.  So it may be time.
I've also been considering how to quilt a few more tops.  I realized that I had two different rows reversed on the purple and green one I showed last week.  I will need to do a little surgery (selective seam ripping) on those areas to get them into the correct positions.  I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to quilt it once it's fixed and I still need backing fabric.  I decided on a pantograph, Spiral Feather, for my Fig Tree 2016 mystery quilt.  I need to buy backing for it.  I haven't decided on anything for the Paradiso #1 quilt yet.

I have narrowed down my choices for Pixie Noel Winter Wonderland to either Easy Orange Peel or Traditional Baptist Fan pantograph.  I still had five blocks left to do, so I've been working on finishing those this week while I mull over how to quilt the Postcard quilts.  You can see I have one tree block finished and two more are in progress.

I also got two sets of burp cloths sewn.  Several of my husband's coworkers are expecting their first children, and these are part of their shower gifts.  You can look at my burp cloth tutorial for the method and materials I use.
My current goals are to get more tops quilted and then make myself some shirts.  I think the fabric for them has been sitting there over a year.  I'm desperate for some new tops and I am hard to fit. What are you working on?

Funny Things #36

After a super long hiatus of Funny Things, here is a funny picture I took this week.

Quilting, Snow, and Legos

We finished up spring break with a trip to the Brickworld Lego show.  This is basically a bunch of people's Lego collections on display.  There are also vendors, of course.  My son's favorite display is the M-Tron Space Mining display.  The size of the display grew significantly from last year.  Besides wondering whether they keep it set up, and, if so, where, we were pondering just how much money they must have invested in all the parts.  As we were speculating the worth of the collection, I got to thinking about how quilting as a hobby could be comparable.  Do you know how much money you have invested in your machines, notions, stash, patterns, etc.?

Space Conga? 
Chewy!  What are you doing here?
Here is a brief video of part of the set up.  Make sure your volume is off, since it's just background noise.

Another favorite was the Space series.  My husband had several of these sets growing up and my son has found instructions and rebuilt a few of them.

I thought this farming display was cool.

My personal favorite is the droid factory.  I was hoping they would have it on display again.  It has so many details.  It's just fascinating in person. Here is a brief video of it.  Turn your sound off, please.

Oh, Grumpy kitty.
In other news, we got a ton of snow yesterday.  I'm guessing 4-6 inches.  The roads are okay, so no school delay or closure.  It's supposed to be 50 degrees tomorrow.  While the snow looks pretty, it is spring and it can just go away.  I want my spring flowers back.
Yesterday at dinner time.
Today at breakfast.
I haven't really progressed at all on my Postcard quilt.  I pressed the row I had made last week and cut the next row, but haven't sewn it yet.

I've been trying to figure out how I want to quilt it when it's done.  Since it's all solids, whatever I do will really show.  Eek!  Any suggestions you have are welcomed.

And, because Postcard isn't on my UFO Challenge list for guild, I was looking over the list to see what else I might be able to get done.  I have two candidates selected for quilting:  Paradiso #1 and this purple/green flower top that I made prior to 2006.  Honestly, I'm not sure how I'm going to quilt either of them.  But I am determined to get them done!
Also, our next program at guild is EPP.  I'm not interested in doing the project that will be presented, but the cover image of the last Make Modern magazine caught my eye.  I had ordered a whole bunch of blues as color samples and between those and my leftovers from the Postcards quilt I have almost enough to do the project.  I wanted one more dark, so I ordered Kona Prussian yesterday.  Fingers crossed it fits into my progression.  
Kona cotton colors from left to right:  Royal, Pacific, Malibu, Water, Niagara, and Lake.
I will leave you with this random fact, as photographed on the bathroom mirror at the state fairgrounds.

Postcard from Sweden QAL Update 2

I've made some pretty good progress on my regular size Postcard quilt.  I finally got my fabric order I was waiting on and decided to replace all the "delft" color with "stratosphere".  I am much happier with the color flow now.  I have 10 rows fully sewn together and two more rows made. That means only three more to go!

My best tips are to use non-white thread to sew it together and to pay attention to which way you press the seams so that they nest from half-square triangle to HST and also row to row.

I have 12 rows of the mini put together, but none are joined yet.  Eleven are pictured since I haven't pressed row 12 yet.
I will be using gray Carolyn Friedlander wide back fabric for both backings.  Not sure what the quilting type will be yet.  My free motion quilting skills could best be described as emerging.  I really like how Kelly of Jeli Quilts did the loose lines on hers, but mine never look like that.  More like wonky sine curves.  

I was really hoping to be a bit further along, but it is spring break for my kids, so my husband took a few days off work and we've been trying to do some activities with them.  Saturday we took them to an amateur ice skating show (basically anyone who takes lessons through a few local clubs).  There were tots through college age kids.  It was interesting.

Monday I had my first daffodil bloom of the season.  Last year's first blooms were March 1, so we're behind a bit.
Yesterday my daughter had an eye appointment in Indianapolis so we went to a few specialty stores in the vicinity--LEGO and IKEA included.  I was sad that the American Girl pop-up shop was gone since I really would like to get my hands on the NASA shirt without paying shipping.  I did get a bent prong on my ring repaired while we waited at a jewelry store, so I guess that's something. We came home to a dusting of snow!!  I do not like that!

We read in yesterday's paper that there were American white pelicans migrating through a local birding hot spot, so we left bright and early in the 24 degree chill to go see them.  We did find them, and it was pretty cool.  My bigger lens on my good camera isn't powerful enough to get a good, close-up picture.  There were three big clumps of the birds.

We drove around a little and watched a juvenile bald eagle trying (?) to catch a duck an American coot.  (edit 3/15/18--do a Google image search for the coot.  Their feet are crazy looking!) While we were watching he was not successful, but it was so fascinating to watch.
Someone who lives within the area had this lovely display of flamingos too.  😁
I have added a finish from my UFO list.  This dragonfly baby quilt is probably 15 years old.  I did have to purchase a new backing for it, but used the old backing as binding.  I tried out continuous curve and ruler work on this one.  The Juki's "ruler foot" is just the basic foot that comes on the machine and you cannot get a ruler under the part that attaches to the shank without modifying the foot.  My husband gave it a go, but it's not quite there yet, so I had a hard time being accurate with the ruler. Also, I used precise mode as instructed in class.  I didn't like it.  It randomly shut off and was kind of jerky.  But I'm not good enough with a ruler to go with cruise mode yet.
A tip that I learned from Dorie Hruska's (Forever Quilting) Facebook page is that if you have wavy borders you can use bead board stitching on them and they will flatten out.  It works!

IHQS and Postcard Quilt

Last week I attended the IHQS.  I go every year.  This year was a little different for me because I found myself really thinking about the quilting on each quilt and how it either enhanced or detracted from the overall image.  There were some really, really outstanding examples of custom quilting.  There were some quilts that had pantographs and some were light custom.  Some of the pantographs were appropriate for the quilt and there was one that I felt really detracted from the piecing.    The other thing I noticed is that one person had a handful of entries in the show and claimed well-known designers' patterns as being this person's design.  That did not sit well with me.  I totally preferred the entrant who noted that it was someone else's pattern but she couldn't find it in order to give proper credit.  I walked away from the show feeling really thoughtful.  And, for the first time ever, I did not buy a single thing from the vendors.

Side note:  I noticed a lot of people getting free Olfa cutters and mats on Instagram.  And before that were the scissors from Warm Crochet.  There are apparently quilt influencers on social media who receive all sorts of stuff for free and then promote it.  I'm not sure why I didn't think about it before.  The influencer revelation has really got me thinking a lot about marketing lately.  Heavy thoughts.

Here are the IHQS quilts that stood out the most for me.  Please, enjoy.  And to see many more quilts from the show, visit the IHQS site where there are much nicer photos.
This is actually the back of the quilt!
Eternal Beauty by Sherry Reynolds, Laramie, WY

This quilt by pieced Kathie Beltz and quilted by Mara Novak was just outstanding!
I can't believe it didn't get a ribbon.

This one was part of a polka dot challenge quilt series.  I thought it was fun.
The next group of quilts were part of a special exhibit.  Again, these are the ones that spoke to me.


As I walked through this part of the exhibit, I heard a lot of attendees talking about credit cards and loans, which seemed odd. I had to double back to see what all the buzz was about.  I learned something.  Boy, did I learn something.  I was completely shocked that it took until 1974 for this to happen.  

Moving on to lighter things, we walked through a very large antique mall over the weekend and I had to laugh when I saw this Lizzie McGuire cookie jar. 
And here is a status update on my Postcard from Sweden quilt.  I've got just over half the rows mostly pieced.  Why mostly pieced?  Well, I'm not sure I like the delft color and ordered a little different, brighter color to try out as a replacement.  I ordered from a new-to-me place last week and am still waiting for my order to arrive.  It's finally in transit, so hopefully it will get here soon. 

Once I make the final color decision, I will finish piecing these rows, join them together, and then move on to the bottom portion of the quilt.  (I am running out of room on my design wall.  I can fit two more rows on there right now.  Those two rows are waiting to be pressed at the moment.)

You will notice that I have mini rows too.  I chose the 5" finished HSTs for my main quilt.  That's the larger size given in the pattern.  I also cut 2.5" squares for my mini quilt and am trimming them down to 2", which I suppose gives 1.5" finished squares.
Until next week.