Quilt ADD in therapy

My photo
Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Finish Report: - "Semper Fi - Combass"

This quilt was finished in August, but it never got its own report:




That is still my favorite photo of it! It was taken outside the hospital in Grand Island, Nebraska, when Marissa and Scott and I went to visit his mother. It is 70 x 70 inches. When the quilt finally catches up with its Marine, I hope to get some great shots to add a new favorite photo.


I designed this quilt myself on my EQ6. It needed to fit what I could find in my stash that worked around a Marine Corps yardage and panel that I bought on ebay when my now son-in-law reported to Basic Training in March. He lived with us as a de-facto foster son for six months before that, and I needed a project to occupy my Mama Bear heart during the three months he was there. 


Our Guy, front of second photo from the top on the right.
Love that look of determination.
Basic Training for the U.S. Marine Corps is the single hardest and longest troop training in the world. It is physically and mentally grueling beyond what most people (and their bodies) can endure. And during that time, there is extremely limited communication with your loved one by snail mail. Which is usually greatly delayed. It is not fun on either end.


I even hung it up during construction progress as a comfort factor.
So I needed this project! The quilting was probably only half way finished when he graduated, but he still had to go to the three weeks of Combat Training after that, and now he's at the nine months of his job training school where he has to live in the barracks. 


Kyle, bottom left


So his quilt won't live with him until March or April, when he has his first Fleet assignment and he and Devon have their own housing unit.



(Still loving how beautiful their wedding was in June!)



I had fun with this design.

You definitely have to have RED for a Marine Corps quilt. Black is another good color, as is gold. It's all very distinctive from the other military forces. But they do work a lot with the classic camouflage in both forest and desert color ways. I had a few greens in my stash to work with, so that's what planned on. The star band features two kinds of stars in two different forest-family greens with fussy cuts from the Marines yardage for the centers. 



I needed cool but not-super-dense quilting on those. The side stars (above) were stitched in the ditch, and then the background just got straight lines that vaguely connote all the barbed wire Kyle had to crawl through and drag dead weight under during training. The corner stars (below) got a little tighter quilting. They have SID, curved echos inside the arms, and medium meandering in the background to add a little more nuance of camouflage fabric to the dark leafy print.




Further out, there's the gold bar band with a woven camouflage element. I had two cool fat quarters for the greens here, and piecing it template-style with a gazillion Y-seams let that be just barely enough. It took forever! But I sure am happy with the result. It's nice that the design pieces aren't broken up into 2 or 3 pieces each for faster construction. This band's joining to the quilt-in-progress ended up providing a serendipitous change to my initial design work. I cut the red band between it and the stars the tiniest bit too narrow. I didn't have enough fabric to recut that, so the problem-solve was to add a 1/4 inch strip on either side of the band work. You can see in the photo below that this is perfect! The points undoubtedly look much nicer framed completely in black rather than kissing the red like they would have done. Sometimes mistakes are actually blessings in disguise, so I've learned to take them in stride and embrace the problem-solve necessity as an opportunity for improvement or artistic expression.



Oh! Here's a detail shot of the gold bar that shows almost completely how nicely that gold thread glistens. 

I'd wanted to use a particular decorative stitch on my machine to do the edge work on the bar's quilting. It would have helped create an effect of roundness for it. But the stitch was too complicated for a metallic thread, no matter how carefully and slowly I worked it. So I resorted to the blanket stitch. Still not thrilled with how that looks like it was appliqued on, but. . . oh, well for that. Doesn't take away from the quilt's overall awesomeness!


Back to the main focal point: The center medallion, a fabric printing of the Marine Corps Seal, has trapunto work. The dimension turned out so terrific! I used a layer of quality poly batt for this, and it's cut out from the red area. The black ring has the least quilting, so it puffs the most. The rope ring and the eagle-anchor-globe have much denser quilting than that, so they lie a little lower, but still raised from the main level. I did need something dense in the closest background area, so filled that yellow with a small meander. The denseness counteracted the immediate-surrounding rippling from the trapunto center so that the rest of the quilt lies flat, even before washing and blocking.



I was super happy with the detail quilting here, following those very thin lines. The gold thread is fantastic in that accent, though you can't really see it much here. A year ago there would have been lots of wobbles in my FMQ showing there. But the thin gold line is perfectly edged with gold, and the thin black ring and all the detail work on the rope ring and the central motif run true to the mark. Very exciting moment for me! I did decide NOT to detail quilt the words in the black ring, because that would have broken its dimensionality. Much better this way.



Also, I used the gold thread to quilt his name in the red band above the seal, and "Semper Fi" below it. It glistens beautifully in this field! I needed a quilting filler between those words, so I put in a chevron for him since he graduated with an early promotion to Private First Class.



I had a really difficult time deciding what to do for the quilting in the red bands. I found the perfect free stars and feathers motif, but I had to resize it twice for the bands, and then make templates that I could center and trace. I can't do a motif like this on my domestic machine without marking and keep it evenly spaced/sized with the tiny visual field you have to work in. 



I was amazed at how nicely the corners worked on these bands. I really only needed to draw in a couple extra feathers as the stars took care of themselves, laying down in perfect spacing all on their own. However, it took me a couple painstaking drawing hours to work out nice upper and lower curls for the central band, where the name and motto break the border design apart. Some things definitely do NOT come easily for me!




The backing was made with the Marine Corps yardage. I didn't have enough to match the pictures down the center seam, so I just inserted some of the green from the front. 


This is the label I'm sewing on it today before I take it to get appraised next week:



It's finally all dry now from the washing and blocking! It's appropriate that the only place to lay it out was in the exercise bay! I'm telling you, those Marines have the best hard bodies from all their PT!! 



Thanks for letting me share this special quilt with you. It's one of my top-three favorites, and I'll really hate letting it go!



~*~*~
Linking up at:

This is my very best Q3 Finish Along piece (My goal post link)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side




UFO finish Report - Tweedle Dee

I have two finishes from 3rd quarter that I haven't given posts to yet. This one is a UFO that was finished in July. "Tweedle Dee" is the dolphin on the right end:


It's from the McKenna Ryan Sea Breeze set of minis, and is about 16" square right now. When I have finished the last three of the nine, I'll get lessons on mounting them onto art frames, so they'll be more like 13" square at that point. For now, they're getting flat-finish edges instead of traditional binding, so there won't be that bulk on the back of the frames. 

When we lived in Florida, we had fun Caribbean blues in our home. The family room was a soft, refreshing sky blue, the Florida room had more turquoise, and the kitchen had that distinctive  - - well - - Caribbean - - kind of tealy-turquoise-blue. They all played so nicely together with the light sand-colored tile flooring and the blonde kitchen cabinets. 

Our Colorado house is very woodsy, and came with woodsy colors on the walls - a pale slightly-forest green on the main and bedroom levels, and a sandy color on the walk-out "basement" level. None of our coastal/beach decor works in the woods atmosphere on the upper levels, but some of it works quite nicely downstairs. That's the home of the exercise nook, my sewing area, the pool table, a long wall with half-height cubbies housing our vast DVD collection, and Scott's Man Cave (really the opposite corner from me). 

These quilts are looking really great along that wall above the DVD shelving! It's been empty all this time - a seventeen-foot unbroken stretch of sandy paint from the door to my stash storage room to the cue stick rack. I'm so happy to see them all getting finished and the magic they're working for the room.  :)

Oh! I see I'd actually mentioned him before, but I'm not fond of his close-up picture. Mounting him on the art frame will eliminate the waves in the outer sections, so those will be gone. I'm not sure about the wrinkles in his tail area, though.

He has a trapunto layer, but that wasn't enough to fill him out completely against the stiffness of the fusible. I use a lightweight product, but these minis were made before I started "gutting" the pieces of fusible stuff before ironing it to my constructino fabrics. It really makes a huge difference in the quilt's stiffness factor.

But I do love the silver metallic thread I used on his bubbles! It adds the perfect glint that you can only see in real life.



This is one of my Q3 Finish Along pieces (My goal post link)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side









Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Flimsy Alert! ~ "How Do You Take Your Tea?"



I'm so happy with this flimsy! This was one of the items on my NETY list. The intention was to take the fabrics for it (which I'd washed in August), iron them, and cut it all out so it would be at the neatly kitted stage, ready to pull out at a future time when I could give it UFO attention.

Well, this was a kit I'd bought in something like 2011. I was driving home alone from St. Louis to Niceville, FL, and made a fun-stop in Vicksburg, MS to check out a quilt store. I remember "Stitch-n-Frame" being quite a delightful store. I got two kits there. This one, and another that's still on the NETY list (that would be "Minky Stripes"). This was named Pick-A-B #3 from the book Turning Twenty Book 7. I'd seen it made up and hanging in the store, and at the time I was really wanting to get in on the turquoise-and-red fad. 


When I pulled everything out of the bag, though, I wasn't much in love with this. I don't know if the store model was made of different fabrics, or if there's just a lot lost in the transition from real quilt to printed photo (we all know quilts frequently are MUCH more attractive than they appear in a photo). I stood there for a while trying to say to myself that I should trust that I liked the sample. But I just couldn't feel settled. So I studied the pic and considered the fat quarters and the border yardage in the kit.



I decided I just didn't want to make this with the kit's mix and exactly to the pattern. The non-symmetry of the even number of block columns bothered me. And while I love scrappy quilts, something about this rendition seemed too frenetic to me. Also, the border fabric had a much different blue than those of the FQs - it was a muted earthy aqua-y blue, while the FQs had bright turquoises and strong robin's egg colors. 

So I went shopping in my stash. I wanted a softer mix for the sashing areas, so I stuck with the not-stark white-background florals, greens, and creams that were there, and pulled these fabrics out of the kit, 



and then added the bottom row of this pic from stash to create this mix (it's a shame that the camera washes out the lighter blues - they're actually stronger than they appear here):



I decided to feature only reds in the "rounds" and make my stitchery panels be squares instead of rectangles. I did wish my reds had white-based prints in all of them to soften them a bit, but I'm on stash-only restriction, so that's what there was. Quilting strategies might help with that.




I couldn't picture what color I'd want the stitcheries done up in (which will be teacup vignettes), so I decided those would be stitched after the quilt was assembled.

Next I figured out how to change up the pattern. Going with a 3x3 block arrangement, I'd have a fantastic sofa size, which is what I preferred for this project, anyway. I didn't want the pattern of the sashing trellis work to be interrupted in the outside banding, so those red squares were changed into HST treatments. And on the four corners of that banding, I wanted to "lop" the red square into an HST with the border fabric. Also, Then I decided I wanted to drop the outer red cornerstones and then be meticulous with the floral border and go with mitered corners on a fussy cut of the fabric to keep the dominant bunches in a line together all the way around. Also, I **really** didn't want to go with the fabric waste that using the tool method for the turning twenty portions of the blocks would yield. It was significant. So I decided I'd just paper piece those using copies of the template.

I made so many changes in details that I didn't trust even careful notes would be sufficient to make my intentions clear to myself two years from now. So I decided I would just sew it all up right then and there (this past weekend). Which I did.

I'm super happy with my fabric change outs. Because of the teacups I'll stitch in [to be done in red], and the way I changed fabrics and pattern details, I renamed this quilt top "How Do You Take Your Tea?"  [I want to do plate motifs in the red rounds, and this is a reminder that when it's all finished, I want to stage a fun deck-side tea party photo op with it]



One of the turquoises is still a bit wild in the blend, but that's OK. In some lighting I'm 100% in love with this quilt top. In others, I'm 85% in love. And that's plenty good enough for me. My 21yo is completely taken with it, and Rocky Raccoon just wants to know, please, when is tea going to be served?



I was on such a roll, I even cut out the binding and sewed up the backing already! The leftovers of the border fabric that came in the kit and the yardage pieces I'd pulled in from my stash were just sufficient to do this.



I measured how much I had left in what shapes, pulled up my EQ6, and used its borders function and my calculator to find band widths that would work with what I had. 



When I was finished, I only had between 8 and 15 sq.in. of each of those fabrics left! Way to clear out some stash yardage.  :D   I did need to raid the leftovers of one FQ to get that outer band finished. And it's good that I quilt on a domestic machine, because there's only 1" clearance on each side. By experience, I know that I can do this with my carefullest pin-basting. I'm also keeping one of the kit's original FQs with the binding so I can make a teacup label with it when all is said and done. 

It was a good bit of unexpected work and a nice edit to the NETY list! For reference - the hours spent doing this equals about the amount of time spent tracing, cutting, placing, cutting, and fusing a single block from "Wind in the Whiskers" . . . 


~*~*~
Linking up at:

Finish Report - a UFO and some community service

I'm happy that I was able to get another UFO finished this month - "The Clampetts" from the Sea Breeze collection of minis:



This one worked up so nice! And here it was one of the ones I didn't really like. I didn't catch a shot that shows the trapunto work's dimension very well. The clams came out perfectly with it, and the seahorse, clown fish, and star fish all got a little trapunto as well. These minis will look so great on the art bars when I get them stretched. Three more to finish quilting, is all!


Note to myself: On these I had not gutted out the fusible before applying it to the fabrics and the quilt top, so even the large background areas have stiffness. See how the 40-wt thread just rides on top of it (that green across the bottom)? For future pieces, only use the Supreme or YLI invisible thread or 50-wt or thinner Aurifil or rayons/silks.

This is one of my Q3 Finish Along pieces (My goal post link)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side









~*~*~

My other share for this post:  

The day before yesterday I finished this community service flimsy:


I had intended to donate it to the Cinderella House that shelters women and girls that were rescued from human trafficking. But then Pat walked through and said, "Oh! I really like that one!" So did my hubby. Now I'm wondering: if it speaks that much to men, is it completely right for that charity - It must be the pin-stripe shirting in it even though it's pink (combined with the very geometric layout)?  When it's quilted, I think I'll just take it to the firehouse, instead, and see if they can use it for traumatic response comfort for somebody. But first I'm going to have some FMQ fun with it.

I had the HARDEST time getting a shot of the flimsy on its own. Navarre immediately claimed it as his when I draped it over the sofa. 





Even checking out the back:

You can probably guess that I got a ton of shots of him on it before deciding to go do a task or two and come back. But then he was just napping on it, funny boy!



~*~*~
Linking up at:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

BOMs Away - Rebellion (er - Avoidance) & Copyright Receipt



Welcome to the Link-Up for BOMs Away Mondays!
We'd love to see the BOM you're working on lately.
This week's link-up is at the bottom of the post.

I did not want to fuss with the tracing and tracing and tracing and cutting-cutting-cutting, then meticulous placement on fabric of dozens to hundreds of tiny pieces that "Wind in the Whiskers" requires right now. So I threw my BOM schedule out the window this time.

Instead, lots of good work happened with this! Which pulls an old, old kit off the NETY list. It's a flimsy now. :D


and with this community service top as the leader-ender! It's a flimsy now, too.  :)

(More on those later in the week)

And then I wanted SOMETHING to be done on at least one of the BOMs in my rotation, so I scanned in my Scott sketches and printed them out in reverse so I can trace them all. Hopefully by week's end I will have all that done and fabrics chosen from the scrap bin explosion. Then I get that cleaned up and put away until the next 3rd-Sunday. That mess on the floor next to the pool table is driving me insane, and it's the whole reason I didn't want to work on the fusible chores of today's scheduled BOM in the first place. Time to suck it up and work my way through that mental block. (It's very difficult to find the right colors, and hard to make it look like it does in my head, so I give in easily to the lure of other things to work on.)


Oh! And look what came in the mail this weekend! My notification of the copyright on my thesis! From last December. lol!!!  (Gotta love that turn-around time.)




~*~*~*~

How about you? - Have you worked on any BOMs lately?