Friday, March 8, 2024

February Recap: Part 5 - A Little Finished Or Not Friday Reporting

Happy March to all who are participating in this week's "Finished Or Not Friday" session hosted by the lovely and gracious Alycia of Quilty Girl (and Quilts of Valor)! 

I have two contributions for this last report on the things I worked on in February:  one is "Not Finished" and the other is a very important "Finish" for me!  

Almost A Flimsie

In my last post I talked about attending the big Quilt Con show during a visit to my MIL in North Carolina.  Once that weekend of modern quilts and excitement was over, it was time for my MIL and I to get back to our mini quilt retreat and working on some of our own projects.  

In that post about the show, I talked about using scrap strings to make a cover for the little notebook I used to take lecture notes.  The reason I had those strings along with me on the trip was because I brought this project with me to work on.

It is Abigail Dolinger's "Scrap Vortex" design that originally appeared in McCall's Quick Quilts June/July 2019 but can also be purchased as an individual pattern.   I've long liked this design and was encouraged to finally start it in order to try to participate in Emily Baily's (of Aunt Em's Quilts) strip quilt challenge that had an early March deadline.  

I had gathered fabrics for the dark corner squares and the first two solid fabric borders but had problems finding a fabric for the third border.  Actually, I found one I really liked in my stash but of course it wasn't enough for what I needed and I couldn't find more of it.  So I was hoping to find an alternative at the show.  Luckily I did!  

The medium gray calico was the fabric I had originally hoped to use for the third fabric border but found the replacement fabric below it in the GE Designs vendor booth at the show.  I then hoped to finish the top before we left NC but only got this far with it by that time.  

Still hoping to make the challenge deadline, I continued work on it once we got back home.  Unfortunately I didn't get it done in time and I still have three sides of the last string border to add at this point.  

And of course, as often happens with scrap projects, it feels like I've still barely made a dent in the string stash!!

A Long Awaited Mystery Finish!

As I had talked about in this recap post, the big task for our little quilting retreat was to try to learn to use the computerized Pro Stitcher Lite software on the Handi Quilter Moxie long arm my MIL had purchased during the shop hop we did on our last visit back in the Fall.  You know how they say two heads are better than one?  Well it must be true because we got some done!  We stitched two of hers...

....and I got one of mine done!  

Long arming done and edges trimmed

This is a big thrill since this top, aptly named for the mystery as "An Oldie But A Goodie" is just that!  I made the top all the way back in 2014 for the last mystery hosted by the Planet Patchwork website before they shut down.  It has been sitting all this time and now it is a lovely and bound finish!!

All that's left of the pretty binding fabric.

I did learn some lessons about long arming through this process.  Loading a quilt on a frame is less time consuming than pin basting but you really do need all that excess batting and backing around the edges of the top both to help with tensioning and to provide space to test your stitch tensions and patterns.  

Setting up your desired pattern to stitch out on your top how and where you want it and learning the mechanics of advancing the quilt, basting it for each advancement and resuming a design if the stitching is interrupted or you need to change bobbins, all take practice to master.  

Bonus lesson from the Quilt Con Show:  We had checked out the Wonderfil Threads booth, particularly their DecoBob 80 and Invisifil 100 Weight threads.  Oh boy, those threads are a wonderful alternative to using monofilament thread on multi-colored tops!  

After seeing the quilted samples in the booth, I purchased two spools of 100 wt. in Beige and light Gray and a spool of the 80 wt in a medium Gray planning to try them out on the "Over/Under" quilt I had struggled with quilting using monofilament last year.   

However, I wound up using the Beige 100 wt. for this quilt and thought it stitched out beautifully over all the many colors of fabrics I used in this top.  My MIL had purchased pre-wound bobbins in the 80 wt. which they carry for all different classes of long arm machines and that was used for this quilt too.  

I used about 1-1/4 bobbins to stitch out the Baptist Fan pattern on this 47" x 60" quilt.  I definitely look forward to stocking up on more of it!  Fortunately, they gave us a list of dealers that sell it in NC and at least one of the shops usually participates in the "All Carolinas Shop Hop" in the Fall which is when we'll be returning for our next visit.  I will definitely have a wish list with me then!  

So that wraps up my doings for February and I am thrilled that it coincided with the first FONF report for March.  Now I can head back over to Alycia's to see what everyone else has going on as the Spring rains come in and prepare the way for the flowers we will see before long!

1 comment:

Vireya said...

Your Scrap Vortex quilt looks good. Congratulations on getting some long-arming done, and finishing your "Oldie but Goodie"!

I use DecoBob in the bobbin for all my quilting. I haven't tried it on top. Originally I bought some pre-wound bobbins, but now I buy those little cones and wind bobbins myself.