Tuesday, December 17, 2013

More Swoon practice

Hi to all !
Christmas is getting closer, and so is my baby's due date! I'm 33 weeks along!

I've been trying to take it easy, stay off my feet, and do little things. 
1--I've been cutting some new stencils for quilting designs in the centers of the Swoon stars (mostly from Quiltmaker's "501 Quilting Motifs" book). I enjoy cutting my own stencils, but I have a single blade Fiskars craft knife, so a double-bladed stencil cutter from www.quiltingstencils.com is definitely on my wish list.

2--I've been tweaking color arrangement and printing cutting charts for the baby's quilt. I love my Quilt-Pro software for this step. It prints a color thumbprint of the block, plus a black-and-white chart next to it that is labeled by patch, then a breakdown of all the patches by color and cut, with how many of each patch and sizes.

Today, I made copies of foundations for the paper-pieced blocks.

3--I've been continuing my fun with Dot-to-Dot quilting all week. I'm getting better, and quicker. I've nearly got the practice block/pillow done. It's great for auditioning designs. Angela Walters is a great teacher, and gives positive encouragement and feedback to questions. I tend to ask a lot of questions!

I ordered the "Rainbow" cotton thread set from Connecting Threads, thinking it would have all the colors I need for this colorful quilt. There are some great colors in the set! The Red is what I've been using to piece the firefighter quilt and the Swoon blocks--it's perfect matching the backgrounds. I think the Orange will be perfect. The Lime green is the perfect color, but still too dark. Above, you can see the green thread stand out in all the star and diamond patches--ooh my stitches are wobbly! I've pointed to the green thread against the white background with dots.

Now I've used pure white in the pentagon shapes between a the diamonds, with the white-background-dots print, and that works much better! I need a paler green, and a pale blue for the pale blue patches. That's the problem with ordering off the Internet and a computer screen, not being able to match colors with your own eyes and fabric in hand.

My local stores don't carry a lot of high-quality machine quilting thread. For example, I live in the home state of Superior Threads, and no shops in my county carry their products!  We all know that we quilters are hands-on, touchy-feely people when it comes to fabric and colors!  I love working with the King Tut cotton line, and really want to try the So Fine polyester.

For goodnight:
Baby Update:

At my last two doctor's appointments, this baby has been measuring 2 and 3 weeks larger than gestational age. Hmmm, no wonder my back is hurting and I'm stiff and sore. My ankles are swollen huge, my poor hands and wrists ache and feel pins and needles constantly. I found some mild compression nylon stockings last weekend, and after wearing them for two 12-hour shifts at work, my ankles sure look better!
In my pictures, you can see I'm wearing my Dritz Creative Comfort compression gloves. I wear them a lot, and I even wear them under my Fons and Porter machine quilting gloves!

I have a feeling my 4-yr-old is not going to be sharing the baby blankets well, so I'll need a bunch of new ones. It's very cold right now...hitting 0 Fahrenheit at night and not reaching 30 during the day. The baby's room is the coolest room in the house because it's north-facing, so extra blankets and quilts are needed. Especially if my body decides it has had enough stress and this baby needs to be delivered prematurely, like both of his big brothers. I need lots of prayers and good wishes to get to 37 weeks and a healthy baby and body.

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