Northern Star Medallion Top Finished

 

Northern Star Quilt TopIt was a lot of mind over matter, but I finished the borders, worked out the measurements and sewed everything together.  There seemingly was a big canyon between where I was last post and where I am now: getting it ready to quilt, but really, it wasn’t that hard once I settled down, stopped freaking out and followed Melanie’s advice.

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I finished the Gridster Bee blocks for Linda for August.  I like her idea of lots of churn dashes all the same size, but in a variety of fabrics.  If you head to our hashtag on IG, you can see that Linda has already received some of the blocks.

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The same night I finished the Northern Star Medallion top, I stepped outside to see this.

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We drove up to the top of our neighborhood to see where the smoke was coming from–way over yonder in Orange County on the left bumpy mountain.  California is burning up, and it’s only the beginning of August.  When I first moved here 27 years ago, we only had fires in September, just like clockwork.  Every year there would be one big one, and then it would be done.

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Tonight the fire map looks like this and it’s not even September.  Oh yes, we also have an earthquake map, a smog map, but we don’t generally have snow or flood or tornado maps, like some of you do.

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This morning I had to have a couple of stitches taken out from a recent procedure, and the doctor was about to throw these into the sharps container.  When I asked, he gave them to me.  I washed them up and put them in my sewing supplies–those tweezers are great for grabbing the end of the seam of an HST to keep it from going wonky, and I’ll find a use for those scissors. Yes, I’m still sewing on my hexies.  I think I’m halfway there.

 


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Look at that yucky sky in the background–seems like it will be a good idea to stay inside and start quilting!

Annularity

Annularity_May 2018LabeledAnnularity
Quilt #203
Began October 2017 • Completed May 2018

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I use Magnifico thread as it has a nice sheen without being shiny, and it lays down a lovely line of stitching.  In the bobbin is So Fine thread (both by Superior Threads).

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I made a duplicate of  Annularity II — which was a quilt I designed and made for Paintbrush Studios (which hung at QuiltCon, and most recently, Quilt Market) — because I thought the first version had been lost in the mail en route to the quilter. It hadn’t, and now I had my own top.

Then I decided to quilt my own, trying out different ideas as explained in an earlier post. But thanks to my quilt holder Dave, I can now reveal the fully quilted version to the world, as well as deliver some great news about this quilt.

Recently I’d been talking with Rick and Dot Kimmelman of Pineapple Fabrics about this quilt, hoping they’d want to use it for their booth, as they carry the full line of Painter’s Palette Fabrics. In between Point A and Point B of our discussions, they purchased Keepsake Quilting, which made many of us in the QuiltWorld very happy.  And so, beginning this summer, Keepsake Quilting and Pineapple Fabrics will be the exclusive sellers of my Annularity pattern.   Both Keepsake and Pineapple will also have kits available that include all the fabrics for the top and binding.  (You can check Pineapple Fabrics.com to purchase within the next month, and see Keepsake Quilting’s Fall catalogue, due out the second week of August.  You can bet I’ll put something up on here when I first lay eyes on my quilt in their catalogue!)

Annularity_4Back_fixedThe wild and crazy back.  It’s “prairie house” from the De Leon Design Group, for Alexander Henry Fabrics.  I thought it might disguise any oopsies, but I was happy to note that I actually had very few.  I guess maybe after ten years I’m getting better at the quilting?  Much credit belongs to the Sweet Sixteen machine I use, and the threads, which always seem to balance so well.Annularity_4bBackScrap

After one quilting session, when I turned it over to check the back, I noticed I had quilted in this wedge-shaped scrap onto the back.  I started to try and cut it out, then decided I kind of liked this nod to the process, so left it in.  Really, you can’t see it, when looking at the overall back. (Well, NOW you do, but you didn’t at first, right?)

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So, thanks for being my cheering squad, motivating me to finish up my quilt.  And I hope you enjoy making yours!

Quilting Annularity–an update

My version of Annularity sat rolled up on my guest bed for ages, until I realized it wasn’t going to get quilted that way.  There are no Quilting Fairies, not that I know of. (Shucks.)

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Where does quilting begin?  It begins in the tortured anguished cry of “How am I going to quilt this thing?” an endeavor I described in this blog post titled Don’t Let the Process Overtake the Purpose— a terrifying something about careening off a mountain cliff sort of feeling.  Yep.  That’s how it starts…or doesn’t.  But finally, using some advice I’d been given at QuiltCon, I started drawing and drawing (above). It got me through the center.

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Then the outer ring of colors.  I opened any random artsy book in my house, pulling up the one from an exhibit of Japanese screens from the Smithsonian, which prompted those bold ribbon designs in the upper right, which looked to me like the ribbons at the end of a piñata.

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No.

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But that same book gave me the idea to think of those shapes as fans, and to fill in the design as if someone had opened one of those and was showing me the designs.

Japanese Fan

It became easier to visualize the design that way.

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Am I 100% thrilled with this?  No, but I am 100% happy that I’ve figured it out enough to get the quilt quilted, knowing — again — the truth in that old slogan I repeat to myself more than once a day: The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good. (or Done.)

Quilting _Annularity4 thread

I had purchased a number of spools of Superior Thread’s Magnifico, which is my go-to thread for quilting.  It lays down a lovely, slightly thicker, line of thread, but it doesn’t sit on top of the quilt like some thicker threads.  I’m always trying to match the thread well, taking photos of the colors to keep myself on target.

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So I wouldn’t get discouraged over taking this in small bites, I took a photo at the end of each quilting session, threw it into my Snapseed app on my phone and labeled the date and the progress.  Above is the first grouping.

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It was celebration once I quilted out of the reds into the yellow, which you can see happened last week.Quilting2 _AnnularityQuilting _Annularity6

Here’s where I am now.  I’ve got to take a break for a while (some traveling and family stuff), but look forward to getting back at it.  The dark outer quadrants have already been planned, mostly quilted in black thread, letting them recede away from the rainbow of colors.