At Dragons Gate

I finished the koi wall hanging!

At Dragons Gate by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

"At Dragons Gate"

I’m so happy with it, I’m silly.

At Dragons Gate by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

Tail detail: some of the beads swirl out onto the black area.

He’s so pretty.  I love the way the beads turned out, though it is a little hard to see them in the pics.

At Dragons Gate by Janet Millsapps at fig+fence.

Head detail: his eye is a sodalite coin bead.

His whiskers are hand embroidered.

I’m really happy with how detailed the appliqued curves turned out. Sometimes you can lose depth when appliqueing a deep concave curve. Also, the tight convex curves didn’t turn out all pointy – another common problem with appliqueing.  I really like this machine applique method even though it does use twice as much fabric as the traditional hand applique method. Though, I don’t have to buy the heat resistant plastic template material with this method.

All in all, I’m thrilled!

I’ll explain the legend of the koi in another post. I’ll post a pic of the back plate then, too; I was so excited about finishing, I completely forgot to take a picture of that.

Owowowoweee

Alternately titled: Oh Thimble, Where Art Thou? 

I’ve been beading the koi wall hanging crazy-mad these past few days. And somehow, I don’t know how, I forgot to use a thimble. At first, I didn’t even notice. I’ve been hand quilting for years and my fingertips on certain fingers are tough. Still, after repeated abuse, my fingertip finally objected. And that’s when I noticed the lack of thimble.

Using a thimble now is no-go; that fingertip is too swollen and tender to fit in even my largest thimble. So, the koi is on hold until I can fit my finger in a thimble without hurting. I was making such progress, too!

The koi wall hanging at fig+fence by Janet Millsapps.

I'm still really happy with the free motion quilting. Not perfect, but pretty stinkin' good. (The yellow in the picture isn't part of the wall hanging; it's the ottoman under the wall hanging.)

Binding on. Lotsa beads around the koi. Some beads in the large swirls – that’s the part that’s incomplete. Oh, well. Next time I’ll remember the thimble ’cause seriously? Ouch.

While I’m nursing my abused digit, I have other projects waiting in the wings. Up next: I’m covering two balsa wood boxes.

Covering balsa wood boxes with paper at fig+fence.

I'm very into butterflies right now. Don't know why.

Covering balsa wood boxes with paper at fig+fence.

It's a whole lotta pink there. I'm distressing it with brown and black later, so it won't be quite as pinkerific when I'm done.

The boxes and papers are from Micheal’s and Hobby Lobby.

Side note: I’m on Flickr! There’s also a link on the right sidebar.

The Easy Friday List, June 22

This is my weekly list (posted every Friday) of items that have made my life easier in some measurable way these last seven days. Maybe they can make your life easier too.

AC: Summer. Georgia. Air conditioning. Let’s all take a moment and pray for the continued existence of Georgia Power. Amen.

Quilt Basting Spray: I’ve just finished quilting the koi wall hanging. He’s gorgeous.

I’ve never used basting spray on such a large project before and I am very impressed. I had to clean my needle with alcohol about halfway through quilting and some of the sticky stuff did come off on my table, but other than that, everything went as it usually went. I don’t think I’d use it for hand quilting (hand fatigue!), but for FMQ, it’s amazing.

Full Disclosure: I over-sprayed a bit around the wall hanging as I was spraying. FYI: basting spray comes off of tablet PCs with some paper towels and elbow grease.

I most definitely owe the great and talented Mrs. L (one of my quilting inspirations) for giving me the can of basting spray some time back. I can’t believe I waited this long to use it.

Juki TL-2000 Qi sewing machine: This thing handles multiple layers of thick fabric and batting like it’s nothing. My old machine would skip and skew stitches while complaining loudly when I made purses. (My old mantra: Please don’t explode… please don’t explode… please don’t explode…) I don’t have to worry about exploding machines now. My Juki doesn’t even notice when I sew through several layers of batting and upholstery fabric. Sweet.

Also, I’ve just finished quilting my largest FMQ project to date (the koi). I am extremely impressed with how everything came out. I had to fiddle for a while on thread tension and I’m still getting the hang of getting my stitches all the same length (and not so teeny tiny), but I am so hooked on the whole process I’m giddy. And I can only blame part of the giddiness on the early morning and the obscene amount of black tea and coffee I’ve consumed this morning.

The quilted koi at fig+fence.

I quilted waves around the koi.

This is also my first quilting project that is entirely machine made. (Well, there is a strip of hand stitches along the koi’s back and the beads will be hand applied, but other than that, the rest is machine.) I don’t think that everything would have gone as smoothly without the Juki.