Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Caribbean Blue Ombre Quilt - Update

Mother Nature was much more cooperative today and I was able to take some outdoor pictures of my latest quilt.  No edits on these, other than a little cropping.  The colors are pretty good for a change.  (Although the slight rippling along the top edge of the quilt bugs me - the quilt is flat - that's just where I pinned it to the styrofoam panel.)

Click here and here for all the details about this quilt.  Today's post is just pics.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tasting Table Tuesday - A Finished Ombre Quilt

Last week I shared the beginnings of my Ombre Quilt.  I finished it yesterday, and attempted a photo-shoot today.

It was so cold and windy, I just knew I wouldn't have any luck with pictures outdoors, so I had to make do with the brightest spot I could find inside, and that still wasn't very bright.

It's hard to get the colors to look true, but this is the closest I could get.  It really is the most gorgeous shade of aqua/turquoise - honest!

That's why I'm naming this quilt Caribbean Blue.

(click here to see the aqua and all the other colors in the Ombre line on Moda's website.  They take much better pictures than I do!)

It still amazes me that this entire quilt top is made from one individual fabric!  The gradient effect is magical.

To begin the quilting process, I threaded my Juki with Smoke MonoPoly and stitched-in-the-ditch of each seam to help stabilize the quilt sandwich.  This really helped keep the layers from shifting, since all the quilting was in one direction.

Then I switched to Real Orange So Fine #50 thread, and stitched parallel lines 1/2" apart, diagonally across the quilt (with my walking foot), curving the lines as they crossed each sphere to further enhance the 3D effect.  It isn't the "spinning" effect I had hoped for, but I still love the dimension it gives.

Since I used Elmer's Washable School Glue to baste the circles in place, and a Water Soluble Blue Marker to mark the quilting lines, I had no choice but to soak the quilt when I finished the quilting.  I have washed my quilts after binding, but never before binding.  I blocked it onto a styrofoam board and left it on my screened porch to dry.

It turned out so square and flat, that I'm now sold on blocking!  Yes, it takes a little more time, and I doubt I'll do it to every quilt I make, but it's definitely worth doing for wall quilts that will hang for display.

I used Kona Caribbean for the binding, and added some Bright Orange Batik Piping as a "zinger".

The backing was a piece I picked up from my local quilt shop, called "Modern Roses" by Stephanie Ryan for Moda.  It's a perfect compliment to the front, don't you think?

Until next Tuesday...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tasting Table Tuesday - An Ombre Quilt

I started collecting Ombre fabrics quite a while ago.  Their subtle gradation of color is so appealing to me.  I have been hesitant to cut into any of them though, because I just couldn't decide what to do with them.

A few weeks ago, a friend showed me a picture of a quilt that just blew my mind.  It looked like it had three dimensional spheres on it.  I couldn't get that quilt out of my mind, so I ordered the pattern.  It's called Orbital View by Mary Lou Hallenbeck of H.D.Designs (here is a link to the shop I bought it from).

The pattern calls for 4 different colors of ombre fabrics.  I had this gorgeous piece of Aqua Ombre by V and Co. and opted to just use the one color.

I used the pattern to make my blocks, but altered the layout as well.  Here is my variation of the Orbital View Quilt, with the blocks all laid out on the floor, ready to assemble.

Every time I look at this, I'm amazed that the entire quilt contains just ONE fabric!  The color gradation does all the work.

I can't wait to get this all sewn together so I can start quilting it.  My plan is to quilt it so the spheres look like they're spinning.  Hope it works!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

IKEA TIVED Sewing Machine Light

Who would have thought that IKEA would have the perfect light for quilters!
Not me, that's for sure!

I love my JUKI TL-2010Q.
But one downfall is the light.  There is one tiny light that is located slightly to the left of the needle, so there is always a shadow to the right of the foot.  It's not a real problem for general sewing and piecing, but it's a real pain when I'm trying to Stitch-In-The-Ditch with my walking foot.  I need to have a good view of the seam I'm trying to stitch in, and that darned shadow blocks my view.

A couple of years ago I found a clamp-on LED Grill Light that worked great.  (You can read my blog post about it by clicking here.)  While the light itself does a good job, the downfall is that it runs on batteries.  With fresh batteries, the lighting was perfect - but as the batteries wore out, the light got continually dimmer and dimmer.  The light never stayed consistent.  Not to mention the small fortune I was shelling out for batteries!

So I went on a search for something similar that was electric.
I found several options, but the flexible gooseneck was always too short.  I needed to be able to position the lamp out of the way. where it wouldn't obstruct the movement of my quilt.

After much searching, I finally found one.
Let me introduce you to the TIVED lamp from IKEA.

Here is a little demonstration of just how much light this gives off.

First, with no lights on the sewing machine - just my standard room lighting...
(isn't that scrap of Kaffe Fassett just gorgeous?)

 Next, with just the standard issue light that came installed on the JUKI.  See how most of the light falls to the left of the needle?

 And this is with the IKEA light added.  Isn't that a HUGE difference?  And because the lamp is on a flexible gooseneck, I can position it anywhere I need, based on what I'm doing.  Ripping out stitches?  No problem - just swing it over and point the spot right on my work.  Left, right, front, back - so much adjustment makes it perfect for practically any brand of machine.

Plus it has the added bonus of being an LED light so it gives of very little heat.  I can wrap my hand comfortably around the conical metal shade when the light is on, and it's just slightly warm to the touch.

 I have mine mounted to the front right corner of my table using the sturdy clamp that came with it.  And see that knurled piece just above the clamp?  I can loosen that and raise the lamp post up or down as I like, then re-tighten to secure it in place.  So there is LOTS of adjustment in this lamp.  (It also came with a mounting plate that allows it to be screwed to the wall, if that works better in your space.)

It also has an ON/OFF switch conveniently located on the cord, several inches from the end of the lamp post.  It's the white rectangle you see under my table.  I could even fasten the switch to the table with double-sided tape if I want to.  The cord is probably 5-6' long (I forgot to measure, sorry) so I had no problem plugging it in to an outlet on the wall.

I'm sure you're now wondering - How Much???  The lamp was $34.99 and since I don't live near an IKEA, I had to order on-line, but with tax and shipping included it was still under $50.

If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer.