Quilting with Friends

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This morning I was quilting the Gardener's Journal quilt. Eliza and I were having a good old time. And then, as I reached for my scissors to cut some thread ends, I somehow miraculously managed to catch the hand embroidery with the blade while simultaneously cutting. And, snip! Just like that. Crrrap!

Now...congratulate me for my restraint because I didn't say anything worse than that. After all, furry children were present.

But I'm here to tell you that I couldn't do that again if someone paid me a million dollars and gave me three years in which to do it. (Although, for a million dollars, I'd be willing to try.) Anyway...what to do? I tugged at the end a little to see how much was going to come loose. It seemed just the top two leaves were going to give me trouble, and so I just buried the thread ends the way I bury the thread ends when I'm quilting.

It was a little tricky doing those two lazy daisy stitches when I couldn't go through to the back of the fabric, but I got 'er done...to my supreme surprise.

There. Good as new.

"So...whatcha doin?"

"I can purrobably help with this."

"Let me check and see what kinds of purroblems you're having."

"Well, fur one thing, your tension needs adjustment."

"Here...let me just take care of that."

He was quite interested in how the machine was threaded, and that take-up lever had him mystified. Then it gave him a nice little "thwack" on his chinny-chin-chin.

That set him back some. We had a good long talk about keeping paws out from under the needle.

I've taken kind of a long break from this because I haven't been sure what to do with this block. I started by quilting some sort of wood grain stuff into the trunk of the tree.

I put some grass under her feet, and did a tiny stipple on the dog to give him some fur. Then I did a sort of floral motif in her dress, thinking it would be as if she were wearing a dress with a large floral print. 

"How are you going to quilt the cat? You might want to put your glasses on furst."

Smitty is ever so helpful. I gave the cat some stripes, although they're hard to see here. Then, I really didn't know what to do with the tree, so I gave it this weeping willow sort of thing.

I put some cross-hatching in her hat and in the basket, and then I quilted a little wood grain swirl on the table top. Then I tried a sort of chevron around the border. That went a little better than expected. I kind of like that motif. It can be stacked close together to make a Christmas tree. And then I called it good.

Then I moved onto the bird bath, which was equally vexing. I decided to make the birds splash some water, and I stippled a little bit in the water itself to give it some waves. Then I did a little vine around the stand.

I filled in quite a bit of the little patchwork today too, and by that time, I was getting kind of tired of the whole thing. 

Also today I've been going through the process of making labels for two of my quilts. I'm using the Bubble Jet Set stuff I blogged about a while back. It makes the inks in my ink jet printer waterproof. It isn't a difficult process, but it does take some time for the fabric to dry. Anyway...I had two 5 x 7 labels ready to print. The first one jammed in the printer, which gave me quite a scare. That was my fault because I hadn't remembered to narrow the paper guides when I loaded it into the printer. So, I got that all taken care of, but ruined one of my two labels in the process. Now I'm back to treating more fabric with the Bubble Jet stuff. When that dries, I can make my second label.

Nevertheless, I did get a label made for the Blooming Sunflower quilt. Aside from printing them on my ink jet printer, I'm doing them a little differently than I usually do. I decided to fuse them to the quilt, as I've done with this one:

That would probably be enough in most cases because the fusing medium will prevent any fraying. This one is being entered into a show, however, and I don't want that label to be easily removed. In this case, I'm going to blanket stitch around it with some gold embroidery floss. It'll look better, and it will require scissors to remove it.

So that's all I've done today. I was thinking I might make some fudge, but then I got so involved with the quilting that the whole morning and part of the afternoon got away from me. It is ever thus.

19 comments from clever and witty friends:

crazy quilter said...

Oh that Mr Smitty is such a good helper!i know that cat fur makes the Quilting so much better, well , softer anyway. You are really a wonderful machine Quilter. I love how the garden is coming along. Get r done so she can go in the show as well. It would be ashame to leave her out of the fun. Have a great day! How is Gracie ? I haven't seen much of her, bet she is by the fire keeping warm.

Createology said...

I love seeing your kitty helping you sew. Makes me think of my BooBoo who did those things with me and my machine. Lovely quilt! Sharing Joy and Jingles...

Betty said...

Just catching up with you after the holiday festivities. Looks like you and family had a great celebration. I'm amazed at all the quilting you have accomplished lately!
Smitty is a good quilting inspector and helper! He seems to be very informed on the technical stuff.
I am missing my black kitty helper, Cayden. He went to the rainbow bridge suddenly, unexpectedly a few weeks ago. My Greyson and Vincent aren't interested much in my quilting. They are sweet boys, but they don't hold my quilts in place while I sew on binding or talk to me all the time like Cayden did.

Beverly Wood said...

What a great helper you have. Love the quilting on your embroidered blocks.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I am amazed that he gets close to the machine. Mine stay away from them while running, especially when I am FMQ. When I stop - they settle in for a nice little 'nest' nap in the folds. Love the label for the sunflower piece - stitching it down is a good idea if going into a show.

Dana Gaffney said...

The odds were with you on that little mishap, maybe you should have bought a lottery ticket right away. Smitty looks beautiful on those blues and aqua, I think he's found his colors.

liniecat said...

I still think you should be entering pics like these where Smitty is in close attendance and your purfect commenatry to magazines.
Im convinced theres a stitchy mag out there that would see this as a great monthly diary/column/page catty catch up. Smitty could become quite famous, no sorry,even more famous!
Youd be both so enjoyed by readers

beaquilter said...

what a cute post and sorry about your block!

Ann Bassett said...

I love the quilting you are doing on your Gardners quilt. I enjoyed Smitty's pictures with the machine. He is ever so helpful. I would never let my kitties get so close to my machine because they would take over and I'd never get any sewing done. Can't wait to see more quilting.

Quiltsmiles said...

Nice save with that lazy daisy stitches you fixed and quick thinking.
Your quilting designs are purrrrrfect for your Gardeners Quilt.

Mary said...

Crazy kitty getting too close to the take up lever! I love the quilting you are putting on there. I tried fusing a label on one of my first quilts and it came off in the wash. Good thing you are taking it down. Yes, the frigid temps keep me inside quilting too!!!

LynCC said...

Great pics with Smitty in there. Must really slow work down sometimes. :) I just adore the colors in this quilt - love seeing it every time. Your strategies with the willow tree and birdbath blocks are fabulous!!!!

Jacque said...

Love the photos of sweet Smitty...cats are purrfectly wonderful quilting companions! :)

Cath said...

I do love that Smitty cat.....he is so very helpful! I always fuse my labels onto quilts using heavy duty heat & bond and I cut around the labels with Pinking shears. I think it is a more finished off look and no stringing happens. Heaven forbid I should actually have to stitch the label on!!

Clare said...

What an entertaining cat you have. Most of the time Smitty cat would be great company. Happy Stitching.

quiltzyx said...

It's nice that Smitty & Eliza are getting to know one another. Looks like you're having fun trying out lots of different quilting designs too. I'm with Dana G - you should have gone out & bought a lottery ticket after that snip!!
I like the sunflower label. I always tell myself that 'next time I'll sew the label onto the backing BEFORE & put it together, then it can also be quilted in place'...but I never remember in time.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Glad you could fix your oops.

Kate said...

The quilting motifs worked out nicely, that quilt is going to have such fun details.

Michele said...

I like what you are adding to that quilt and of course it wouldn't be coming out so well without the help of your trusty assistant. :)