Productive Pursuits

        What an awesome weekend! I feel like I really accomplished a lot! Saturday started out with my very first long arm quilting class! After only a few short hours I am certified to quilt on the long arm at a local quilt shop. I can't wait to get started! I'm even thinking of scheduling my first few hours for this week. YAY. I feel like this will be a great way for me to get used to quilting on a longarm before actually purchasing my own. That part of my plan will likely take quite a while. It's getting harder and harder to justify not purchasing one.... I must remain strong... and get a job! Anyways, after returning home from my class I decided to try quilting my new little mug rug.

        I thought about how I wanted to quilt this for a while. Instead of free motion quilting it on my machine I opted to hand quilt it. I love the amount of negative space the pattern has so I didn't want to the quilting to be too dense. While I liked the idea of quarter inch echoing with roughly quarter inch stitches I'm not sure how I feel about the finished product. Something is off although I can't decide what. I do like how the stitches accentuate the swoopy geese pattern. 

        I ended up using a scrap of binding from another project to finish this off. I had already used a chunk of it for one of the geese so I thought the color would both fit and frame the design well. I do like it more now that the binding is on, although I find that is almost always the case. Now the mug rug gets to hand out for a little bit until the next Tacoma Modern Quilt Guild Meeting!

        After finishing up the mug rug I figured it was finally time to clean up my table a bit. I had pulled out a few projects that needed finishing a little while ago and had yet to get to them. Well yesterday was their lucky day! Last year around this time the shop where I worked decided to do a Swoon block swap. We each picked our background and a theme and set about choosing fabric for each others blocks. I think I ended up finishing all of mine within the first few weeks of the swap! Then again, I didn't have anything else to do so why not haha! I was originally waiting until I had all of mine to start putting them together (even though the pattern calls for 9 blocks we decided to make 12, one for each employee). By the time I moved out here to Tacoma I had 10 so I eventually I decided to go for the original 9 block pattern and maybe a few pillows.

        If you can't tell, my theme was bright peacock colors. There is just something about blues and greens (and purple apparently) that I am totally in love with. I played with my arrangement a bit before stitching my rows together. I figured since the blocks were so large and so few that stitching them together would be a quick and simple task. It was relatively simple but I forgot how much I hate sewing the big long rows together so it felt like it took a while :( That has got to be my least favorite thing about quilting. I really enjoy everything else. It's just those super long seams that get to me... and the ironing of super long seams. Ugh!

Miss Millie just had to check out what was going on. 
        Once it was mostly together I wanted to get a picture or too, especially because my light was fading. I struggled for a bit to find a place large enough to hang it before I realized that there wasn't really a place inside and since there was an unusual amount of snow on the ground, outside was out of the question. So I flopped it over the banister and tried my best. My photo's turned out pretty meh so I will probably try again later. Oh well. 

        I finished up the night by machine stitching the binding onto my thread painted quilt. I'll post a few more photos once that is totally completed. I'm in for a few hours in front the tv with that one. I can't think of a better excuse to watch Doctor Who!

        Here's a peek at my next project! Can't wait to get started. Oh look! Peacock colors again...Haha!

Until next time!


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