Tuesday 2 May 2017

North South East & West!

So the sewing room (aka other end of the kitchen!) got an update. My uncle Tony repainted the end wall for me in a pale peacock colour and put up a new light and a new Roman blind.  Taking away the curtains makes this space feel so much bigger now!

Excuse the bright light but its a daylight bulb that gives brilliant illumination over my workspace (aka dining table!)  What was I doing while all the diy was going on?  Figuring out how to quilt my project for North, South, East & West. 

Having seen some amazing show and tell at our IPS branch meeting 2 weeks ago I was inspired by a Compass Rose block our guest speaker, Mary Palmer showed.  She had quilted a circle around hers and I thought that would be perfect to frame my two blocks and give them some symmetry tying them to each other better.

This odd shaped block is a Wind Rose.  It shows the prevailing winds and strengths of Shannon the closest weather station to where I live and represents data gathered over 70 years.

I pulled out every thread colour I own and ended up using a lot of YLI variegated thread.

I even tried some 50wt Aurifil for free motion ruler work and struggled with stitch length consistency moving the quilt and ruler along the special foot edge - I need more practice with this bit!

Another thing I am not too happy with is one of my applique petals moved on me and my centre flower is not exactly perfect - oh well.  Nature is often imperfect too.

I am very pleased with the scrolling spirals in the background but it broke my heart.  What should have taken 20 minutes took nearly 4 hours as the top thread kept shredding.  It is a constant issue I have with my machine and I am getting it looked at in June.  I was so tormented I actually yelled at the machine at one point.  No dogs were spooked with the yelling - they were all outside sunning themselves in the warm weather for a change!

I added in a ship and a dragon and am calling the piece Here Be Dragons!  The idea being navigation in the past was perilous but with science and GPS and accurate maps we have it much better but don't be fooled - all the accuracy in the world (pointy compass rose) won't help when the weather turns against you (asymmetric wind rose)!  Well that's the idea anyway...

I looked at dragons and was inspired by this one and attempted to free motion something similar.  It looks better on my practice sandwich and I had to do a teeny bit of ripping which left a mark.  He is a tad too big, I think but well, the quilt is named after him, so I don't mind him being the centre of attention.

Cross hatching random lines in the outer edges and it's finally done, done, done!

Somehow the bottom doesn't look too square.  Crap!  Still, this was probably the hardest thing I have made so far - between designing the Roses, modifying the idea when all the navy fabric was gone, hours of paper piecing and days pondering quilting, it was a challenge and I learned a lot in the doing.  Imperfections aside it's the best I can do at this point in my skill set and I am happy with that!


  1. The is so much meaning packed into this quilt. I really love the wind rose and the amount of data to make it is rather mind boggling to me.

  2. Bright colors and dragons? Have I seen something like that lately? Great mind think alike. Seriously, your quilt is so impressive, I admire how you manage to make them so pretty and clever at the same time.

  3. Cool job!What kind of needle are you using? Sometime it's a issue of thread. Same make but colour is different, they behave very differently. You have got ruler too! I never worry about stitch length.

  4. Cool job!What kind of needle are you using? Sometime it's a issue of thread. Same make but colour is different, they behave very differently. You have got ruler too! I never worry about stitch length.

  5. OK, more quilting? Now everything really must ache.
    It looks fabulous and well worth the sore neck, hands and shoulders.
    A dragon should rightly be the center of attention. :)

  6. balanced is better than perfect, nature balances. Might be a burr on the throatplate or bobbin area. Or you need embroidery size 14 needles for fee motion. Metallica needles are good too, longer eye and the eye is coated.
    The workmanship is really good as is your design.

  7. Congratulations - wonderful attitude. I am stuck on a quilt right now and can't get to the finish line - I'm way too picky. I'm going to try and adopt your thought process - it will be the best I can do at my current skill set. By the way - the quilt itself is really great looking! Job well done.

  8. We are always our worst critic. I think these look great! Sounds like you have a burr in your needle or somewhere on your machine. Hope you find the culprit!

  9. The sewing space looks beautiful. I can see many a beautiful projects being created in that space, just like this one. Wonderful quilting and I love the symbolism too. It is a lovely finish, Ruth.


  10. Your updated sewing space looks great and your quilting is awesome!

  11. I love the other end of the kitchen. I also really love the windswept rose in it's off centre ness The quilting looks great to me. I had the same issue happening with my machine and luckily I live around the corner from the dealer/ repair shop...so I got to go in and work on the machine while he analized it and worked on fixing it. He said the tension was too tight on my machine and he loosened it up some what.....He also suggested I adjust the tension dial more. you may do this already but i tend to stay on auto.

  12. Setting aside all your beautiful quilting , I took down all our curtains and replaced them with wooden blinds and the rooms seemed to grow immediately

  13. There are so many ideas in this piece and so much detail - it's brilliant! I especially love that you got used the wind data from Shannon, and I think the circle-y quilting does a good job of pulling the two parts together. I also like that the bottom's not perfectly square, but then my eyes seem to prefer asymmetry.

  14. Ruth this is fabulous!! If you hadn't pointed out imperfections I'd never have noticed!! Angela Walters told us the eye fixes things because we like symmetry! Having said that I love the symbolism and your dragon is spot on! That is one of my favourite books Here Be Dragons. You rocked the quilting in the end! Love the sewing space too!


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