Actually, I should call them carryovers from 2017 finishes.
The second bullseye quilt is now done. “Crazy Bullseyes” (25 by 36 inches) used up some of my blue green scraps and a yard piece of fabric I bought for the heck of it.
The second finish is for a Chinese Year of the Dog art quilt group challenge. I don’t have a dog, so I looked to outer space for inspiration. In this case I traced the Canus Major constellation, which is home to Sirius, the dog star. I discussed this piece in another post, but here’s “Siriusly” again.
I began to quilt the third (and last) bullseye quilt this month, and started an improv abstract piece to avoid the boring task of sewing in hanging sleeves.
My excuse for the improv piece was I needed to test out my new (used, actually) portable Pfaff sewing machine before the 2 month warranty ran out. So far, so good. My old portable sewing machine keeps requiring repair, which sets me back at least $100 each time, and the used machine cost $300. So, I plan to donate my old Elna to the sewing machine shop for them to fix and give to a local charity.
While I was at the sewing machine shop I browsed the newest fancy machines and suffered sticker shock. The idea seems to be to remove all thinking from the sewing process, just push a button and follow the laser line. Sorry, I’m a piece of tape on the machine bed kind of sewer.
My nemesis was lurking in my threads box waiting for the day I would need a glittery silver thread. That day arrived when I chose a galaxy for a Chinese Year of the Dog quilt challenge. I’ve never owned a dog so I don’t have a burning desire to capture my fur person in fabric. I’m OK with dogs, but don’t turn to mush over them.
Instead, I decided to do an outline of the Canus Major constellation, which contains Sirius, the dog star. I FMQed glittery synthetic black organza to a piece of navy cotton, and then outlined the constellation using my mother’s tracing wheel and paper.
The constellation of Canis Major and nearby open clusters and nebulas.
My problems began at this point. I wanted to use a silver metallic thread over the outline, but had only a Sulky thread called Holoshimmer in the right color. Since I didn’t see this challenge piece as a work of art I had no intention of buying additional supplies. Holoshimmer it was.
Even after following the helpful hints on the Sulky website I had issues with the thread. I was using a jeans stitch to outline the constellation and that went OK except for one thread wrap-around that broke the thread. The real issues started with the zigzag edge stitching. Despite the vertical thread stand, stitching slowly, and 50 weight bobbin thread; the Holoshimmer insisted on wrapping itself around all the openings on my machine, causing the thread to break many times. I finally ended up hand feeding it through my tension discs to remove tangles. Never have I been so glad to see the starting point of a stitch line. The spool of thread is now in the trash.
Everything after that was anticlimactic. I sorted through my Swarovski crystals to find appropriate colors and sizes. and glued them on for the stars in Canus Major. Because the piece is so small I made a backing for it out of a painting experiment. I found that my Decor bond had lost most of its adhesiveness. I didn’t think it was that old. My mother’s tracing paper from the 1960s held up much better.
Finally, I stitched the black part to the backing at the corners. My plan to sew on some fabric stars was thwarted when I couldn’t find them. I know they’re in my sewing room … somewhere.
At this point I declared “Siriusly” done.