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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tennis Anyone?

Recently I attended the US Open for the first time EVER-WOHOO!  Gonna cross that item right off my list of stuff to accomplish while living on the east coast. I didn't get to see Venus, Serena, Roddick, Federer or Nadal, but it was still fun. I also got the all-important experience of purchasing a $22 beer and some kind of delicious expensive Grey Goose beverage, mmm.

Anyhow, I'm also participating in my first quilt swap. Another Little Quilt Swap. I probably should have looked at past pictures before joining, because these folks are actual, real-live quilters with talent.. oops! To make matters worse, the swap is not random but rather organized by popularity. Oh well, somebody has to come in last place and I can't feel too bad cause my quilt makes me giggle. It's pretty ridiculous. I really need to stop drinking wine when I'm thinking up something to sew and really need to stop drinking other things when I actually start sewing.

I was really trying to be creative in going with the tennis theme and it took me awhile to work out the execution. I made it up as I went and it required some unusual steps such as beginning the quilting before the borders were actually on so that I could quilt under the net area. I bought some cool netting (rather a-lot of it which I have to find a use for now) from Fabric.com and I ended up using a scrap of netting that my daughter was walking around the house with -no idea where it came from, but I'm almost positive I've gotten rid of all those net tank tops I wore in high school. Oh, AND this is the first time I've done real, non cheater binding except that I didn't do any hand stitching (except on the buttons.) I'm morally opposed to hand stitching. 

I can think of a few things I'd do different next time - piece the sky and make it more random, use chalkboard fabric for the scoreboard, sew straight lines in the binding, but overall I'm happy with my result and I hope someone else likes it too. If noone picks it, I'm totally sending it to Venus who I know will happily display it in her entry way or bathroom or someplace she can gaze lovingly upon it every day.
in progress but you can see the tennis net clearly here

All done, see the colorful people in the stands? Isn't that cool?

racket is denim appliqued with gold mystery netting

Not sure why picture rotated, but here you can see the pile of tennis balls and the score

back of quilt - tennis ball fabric found in my stash
12 year old so & so came & plopped his boy scout shirt right in the middle of my work surface so I can do his patches, GRR

Monday, September 12, 2011

My variation of Strawberry Fields Forever

quilt top -front view
Thanks to Jera @ Quilting in the Rain for inspiring my latest quilt. I'm trying to work my way through all of her fabulous tutorials. Quilting in the Rain - Strawberry Fields Forever

Quilt - front view
Pieced back

Back view - close up
approved by Kennabeans
I challenged myself to do it in all black & white, and boy was it challenging! I was so tempted to add in some color somewhere! I used fat quarters and not a layer cake so it took a few shopping trips to find this many different black & white prints. As always, I found that doing random layouts isn't as easy as it seems. I really stewed for a long time about how to quilt this thing. This led to many wasted minutes/hours of surfing the web and looking at quilting layouts and getting ideas for other stuff I'd like to make. In the end, I decided on quilting in the ditch and then echoing that line on both sides. The thread is a Sulky variegated in black/white/grey.The grid lines came out pretty doggone cool.  All in all I'm pleased with the project, but I really need to find a way to make decisions more quickly cause that was easily the most time consuming part of the process. 
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