2014 Projects, Part 2

To continue a review of projects from 2014, the point of this exercise is to get together a gallery page for each year I’ve done this blog.

I made “Drunk in the Garden” both to use this beautiful floral fabric that reminded me of Texas and to practice cutting and piecing gentle curves.

Drunk in the Garden, the original quilt

Drunk in the Garden, the original quilt

Despite the beautiful fabric, the overall design never looked right to me, primarily because the gold fabrics varied too much in value.  I eventually cut this quilt up and made some place mats, which were much more successful.  You can see them here, if you like.

I designed a quilt for the Michael Miller challenge and, though it sank without a trace in the challenge, I liked it.  The design was improvised based on the little scan codes made up of triangles at my local garden center:

Michael Miller challenge quilt

Packet of Posy Seeds

Also in 2014, I designed a quilt and pillow for Modern Quilts Unlimited magazine.  Here is the picture from the magazine:

quilt photo

Zippy Star Quilt and Pillow as shown in Modern Quilts Unlimited, Summer 2014

And here is the “practice” quilt I made first to work out the details:

modern quilt

Zippy Star I, which sold at the Asheville Quilt Show in September

As if one Michael Miller challenge weren’t enough, I made this quilt for another later in the year:MM-finish1

And finally, I finished this quilt, which I had been working on for years.  Literally.

Spring Sun, a design by me, using blocks paper pieced from a totally different Judy Niemeyer pattern!

Spring Sun, a design by me, using blocks paper pieced from a totally different Judy Niemeyer pattern

And that was it for 2014!  One thing that is obvious from reviewing some of these pictures is that I have improved my photography since 2014.  For which I’m thankful.

Coming up next: a report from the 2016 Vermont Quilt Festival!

 

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Projects from 2014

As part of my effort to develop galleries for this site, here is a review of my projects from the first half of 2014.

The design and tutorial for this zippered pouch came from Noodlehead.

zippered pouch

I made a series of these little zippered pouches, and they have been useful.

These next two bags were made from a book entitled Ruby Star Wrapping.  You can read my review of the book here, if you want.

I continued my interest in improvisational piecing in 2014, making this confetti block…

improv quilt block

Confetti Block, 2014

…and this entry for the Quilt Alliance annual contest:

modern art quilt

Whirlwind, my 2014 Quilt Alliance challenge quilt

I made this quilt for the Pantone Challenge.  It looks better in person than in this picture, and now is used to decorate one of the rooms at our local free clinic:

Applique quilt

Radiating Orchid, my mini-quilt for the Radiant Orchid Challenge

As always, I made a number of donation quilts for Ronald McDonald House.  I used them to try out a variety of techniques and other experiments:

I made this baby quilt because I loved the fabrics:

baby quilt

Baby Dots–Front

baby quilt

Baby Dots–back.  I may like it even more than the front!

And I participated in several swaps, including one involving these blocks.  Don’t even think about the 88 little pieces in the block on the left!!!

I’ve reached my (self-imposed) length limit for a post, so the rest of the 2014 review will be coming up next week!  Please come back 😉

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Thread Review

Note: I received no compensation for this review, either in products or payment.

I have used Superior So Fine thread for piecing and a lot of my quilting for a long time now. It comes in a wide range of colors and runs smoothly, without leaving excess lint in my machine.  I use it for hand sewing as well, on the rare occasions when I do that.soFine1

I buy a lot of thread, so I subscribe to the Superior Threads newsletter in order to get bargains when they come along.  They recently ran a special to encourage folks to try out new threads: You could get spools of several threads for half price if you let them choose the colors.

I’m all about trying new things, so I bought several.  I sewed a little sample of each and stapled it in my Superior Threads catalog so I can refer to it when I order in future.

The first thread I tried was Fantastico, a 40-weight trilobal polyester.

trilobal polyester thread

Fantastico thread sample–I didn’t balance the tension, as you can see. I just wanted to see the thread.

I’ve been interested in trilobal thread since my friend Melanie over at Catbird Quilts showed a nice piece she’d quilted with trilobal thread–it was shiny!  (The thread she used was Glide, and she uses a long-arm rather than a home machine for quilting.)

Next up was another 40-weight trilobal polyester, this one variegated:

Superior thread review

Sample swatch done with Superior Rainbows thread

I still didn’t balance the tension, but you can see the sheen more with the variegated thread.  I like this one, too!

Superior Razzle Dazzle is a thread developed by Ricky Tims and intended for couching or bobbin work.  I bought this years ago for a machine quilting class I took and I never got to use it.  So, since I was trying out threads anyway, I wound it on the bobbin, put Superior Bottom Line (a thin polyester) thread in the needle, and gave it a try:

thread review

Superior Razzle Dazzle sample

I think bigger stitches would be better, but I like this! Razzle Dazzle indeed!  I’ve never used bobbin work for quilting, but I think I can feel it coming soon.

Superior Magnifico is another decorative trilobal polyester thread, again 40 weight.  I don’t know how many colors it comes in, but there are EIGHT pages of color charts in my catalog!

Superior Threads review

Sample using Superior Magnifico

Finally, my FAVORITE, a metallic thread.  I’ve tried several metallic thread and usually had trouble with them, even in my Bernina.

metallic thread for quilting

Superior Metallic thread

Ad you can see, this one gave me no trouble.  And I did take time to balance the tension 🙂

All these threads ran smoothly with no problems. The recommended needle (#90) was printed on the end of each spool, which was very handy.  I’m happy to have tried these and expect I’ll use them soon in my home-machine quilting.

 

The Rest of the Story

Here are the other two quilts I made while doing the Gwen Marston class on iQuilt.

This first one is my version of one of her quilts, and again I made it 12″ x 12″.  I faced it, which I don’t usually do, so that was a learning experience.  I like the way it turned out.Gwen Marston iQuilt class

This second one was made of scraps from the other quilts in the series, which makes me happy.  Marston2

This started as a liberated Roman Stripe design, with a center of 4 larger blocks and a “border” of smaller blocks.  The size of the blocks worked out fine, but the pieces got more and more “liberated” so that I’m not sure it looks much like a Roman Stripe any more.  Which is fine, actually.

I quilted it using a pattern of wandering lines, all in one direction, and I like the result. After considering several threads, I used a thin medium grey polyester.  I think it blended well so that the quilting didn’t obscure the design.  Here’s my “trial” of several threads.Marston1

How do you choose your quilting thread for a project?