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August 25, 2020
OMG! I Met My Goals for August, Early! What Should I Do With Myself? from Cheeky Cognoscenti

 Oh my gosh, you guys -- this is a rare surprise.  There are still 7 whole days left in the month of August, and I just realized that I have finished all of the quilting goals I'd set for this month.  Finished them EARLY.  I know, right?!  Who IS this imposter, and what has she done with the REAL Rebecca Grace?!

And it's not like I was wimpy with those goals, either.  Let's recap:

August Quilting Goals:

  1. ✅ Finish cutting out the next four blocks for MMBB & move them off the cutting table.
  2. ✅ Trim excess batting and backing from ...

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August 21, 2020
LAL#3: The One Where Rebecca Finally Finishes a Quilt, but Doesn't Love It Anymore from Cheeky Cognoscenti

 Happy Tuesday, friends!  Welcome to another Long Arm Learning linky party!  I actually have a finished (long arm quilted) quilt to share with you today, my FIRST finished quilt of 2020 -- and yes, I do know how pathetic that is to be finishing my first quilt of the year in mid-August.  My Sermon Scribbles quilt is FINISHED, as in quilted, labeled, bound, washed, and photographed!  

I started piecing this in November of last year, and loaded it on my frame for quilting in April, just as this crazy pandemic lockdown was settling in.  From beginning to end, this silly quilt ...

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July 28, 2020
OMG: Spirit Song Quilting Completed + Linky Party Launching August 4th from Cheeky Cognoscenti

OMG indeed, you guys!  I think this might be the very first time that I've been able to link up at the END of the month for the One Monthly Goal linky party, because this July is the first time I've actually completed the goals I set for myself by the end of the month.  I had set two goals for July, one of them a quilting goal and the other a blogging goal.

✅ My July Quilting Goal: Finish Quilting Spirit Song

  • Finish quilting borders and blue HSTs with blue thread.
  • Rethread with off white thread, either So ...
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    July 19, 2020
    Sunday Spirit Song Quilting from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    Background quilting is coming along on Spirit Song!  I'm now about 25% of the way finished, and I'm learning a lot along the way.  For instance, I quilted the wrong fill pattern in several patches while I was talking to a friend on the phone, but I'm leaving it because I doubt I could rip out such dense stitches without ripping the quilt fabric, and probably no one but me will notice in the finished quilt.  I am enjoying seeing how the quilting designs transform the flat, smooth surface of the quilt top with an "embossed" texture ...

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    July 18, 2020
    Always Gonna Be an Uphill Mountain; Always Gonna Wanna Make It Move: Of Small Victories in Custom Quilting from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    I finished the background quilting in the first row of 4" blocks and moved down to the second and third rows yesterday.  This is VERY slow going, and I'm so glad I bought that adjustable height saddle stool on Amazon so I can sit at my long arm frame while I work on the tedious background fill quilting.  I've been using the stool when I need to unpick stitches with a seam ripper, too -- but hopefully there won't be any more of that with this quilt!  Hope I didn't just jinx myself!!

    It's so exciting ...

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    July 13, 2020
    Spirit Song Update: The Borders and Blue Triangles Have All Been Quilted from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    I am finished with the borders of my Spirit Song quilt!!!  I am finished with the blue thread!  I am so EXCITED!!  I rolled the quilt back up to the top last night -- for the last time.  Today I'll do some experiments off to the side of my quilt to decide whether I'm rethreading with So Fine or with the lighter weight Bottom Line thread in the needle as well as in the bobbin, and then I get to start quilting background fills in all of those white/neutral HSTs.

    With the skinny inner blue border, where I ...

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    June 27, 2020
    I'm Thinking About Launching a NEW Long Arm Linky Party! Would YOU Participate? from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    Good morning, my lovelies!  Before I share my custom quilting progress on my Spirit Song project, I'd love it if you'd take a second to give me feedback on an idea I've been kicking around for a new linky party.

    When I tried to link up my last quilting post with Karin's Ruler Work linky at The Quilt Yarn, I was disappointed to read that she has decided to discontinue hosting her link-up due to low participation levels.  Like many of you, I already participate in quite a few linky parties (One Monthly Goal, Design Wall ...

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    May 29, 2020
    Happy Birthday to Me! 47 Is Gonna Be My Year of Fearless Free-Motion and Ruler Work Quilting from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    I am finally having fun with free motion quilting on my long arm machine!  Yay!  The chalk pounce stenciling is imperfect, as it smudges and disappears while I'm quilting, but all I really need is a vague guide anyway for spacing and the angle of the curls.  If I mark just one motif with chalk at a time and then quilt it right away, it serves its purpose -- and I have zero fear that the chalk won't come out of my quilt, since it's all bouncing right off the quilt without settling into the fibers in the ...

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    May 21, 2020
    Stencils for Long Arm Quilting, Part Three: None of the Magic Tricks Are Working from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    If you've been following along with me recently, you know that I've been experimenting with the use of homemade stencils and chalk powder to transfer quilting designs onto my Spirit Song quilt.  My DIY stencils are made of 24 pound vellum paper that I've stitched through with an unthreaded domestic sewing machine to perforate the design lines, and since I've already completed all of the SID (stitch in the ditch) quilting on this quilt, it's already loaded onto my long arm frame.  In case you're wondering, there is absolutely no way you could use ...

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    May 19, 2020
    Spirit Song Ruler Work and Free Motion Fills from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    And the beat goes on...  Here's what I accomplished in my studio after dinner last night:

    Quilting Progress as of Last Night
    I'm feeling a little better about it than I was a few days ago.  As you can see in the photo above, I decided to fill in every other rectangle in that "piano keys" design with bacd-and-forth scribbles.  That makes my diagonally oriented quilting design stand out more, like I wanted, and I'm also finding that I like the way the 50 weight So Fine thread looks better when the quilting stitches are denser rather ...

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    May 2, 2020
    Hey, Has Anyone Used Stencils for Long Arm Quilting? from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    So today is May 1st, and I've not put a single stitch of quilting into my Spirit Song quilt since the rip-stitching I wrote about a few days ago.  Finishing the quilting was supposed to be my One Monthly Goal in the studio for April, so clearly that didn't happen -- but I'm not just going to throw a bunch of stitches into a quilt to meet an imaginary deadline.  

    Sad Spirit Song: No Further Quilting Progress to Report
    Since my original quilting plan didn't work for me, I've got to figure out WHAT I want ...

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    April 28, 2020
    If I'm Holding a Seam Ripper, Now is NOT a Good Time!!! from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    First, the good news: All of the SID (Stitch in the Ditch) quilting with invisible monofilament thread has been completed on my Spirit Song quilt.  That was my main objective in last week's Tuesday To-Do List post.

    It feels good to get to the end of the quilt!
    ...But then, of course, I had to roll right back to the beginning of the quilt because there is more quilting still to be done with threads that we can see!

    Back to the Beginning for the Next Phase of Quilting
    The best part about doing it this way is that ...

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    April 22, 2020
    Spirit Song Quilting Commences: Monofilament Invisible Stitching in the Ditch from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    Good morning and happy Tuesday!  My quilting goal for the past week was to complete all of the SID (Stitch in the Ditch) quilting along the seam lines of my Spirit Song quilt.  I'm about halfway there as of when I switched off the machine last night.

    Invisible Monofilament SID Halfway Completed
    For the SID work, I'm mostly using my 2 1/2" x 6" Quilter's Groove ProMini ruler, with Nexcare clear first aid tape on the backside of the ruler to reduce the slip-and-slide action without sacrificing visibility.  I also have the larger 10" version.

    10 ...

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    April 10, 2020
    Spirit Song Flimsy Finished + Streaks Motivation App Review: Harnessing Technology to Reach the Flow Zone Through Quiltmaking from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    Look what I finished yesterday!  My Spirit Song flimsy is finished!  (For those non-quilters or new quilters reading this, a "flimsy" is another name for a quilt top -- the pieced or appliqued top layer of a quilt, prior to being sandwiched with fluffy batting and a backing fabric that are all held together by quilting stitches that go through all three layers of the quilt).

    My Spirit Song Quilt Top, 59 x 75, Ready for Quilting
    My borders are nice and straight, too, not crooked as the appear in the photo above.  I slapped the finished quilt top on my ...

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    April 9, 2020
    Thread Pairings for Long Arm Quilting: What Are YOUR Favorites? from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    My "quilting time" yesterday was spent cleaning, oiling and warming up my long arm machine so I could do 10 minutes or so of practice scribble quilting, oiling my maple butcher block cutting table with Boos Oil (haven't done that in a LONG time, since the table has been completely covered with piles of fabric!), and winding an assortment of bobbins for my long arm machine.  

    Practice Scribble "Warmups" and Tension Testing

    One of the things that feels newfangled to me about longarm quilting (as opposed to domestic sewing machine best practices) is how many professional longarm quilters routinely ...

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    April 1, 2020
    Backing Seamed, Borders In Progress, and a Mismatched Pattern Lament from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    First of all, I want to thank those of you who reached out to me with words of encouragement, commiseration, empathy, and scripture after my last dispirited post.  As burdensome as this forced isolation is, it would be so much worse without technology and the Internet as a lifeline of connection.  I love all of you so much!

    Spirit Song Quilt Top on Wall, Backing Fabric on Ironing Board
    Okay, so I only actually sewed ONE seam on Monday, but at least it's something that is crossed off the list now, right?  It took me over an hour to ...

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    March 25, 2020
    The Path to Hell is Paved With My Tuesday Intentions... In Which I Am Inspired By Coronavirus, and Make a Plethora of Excuses from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    Was yesterday Tuesday again?  I'm not entirely sure -- the days are just melting into one another, now that my schedule is wiped clean and there's nothing to distinguish a Monday from a Sunday from a Saturday anymore.  Supposing that it IS/WAS Tuesday, it's time to revisit the goals I set for myself last week and to consider what I hope to accomplish in the coming week.

    Last Week's To-Do List for March 17-24

    1. Add borders to Spirit Song to complete quilt top.
    2. Piece Spirit Song backing
    3. Make Spirit Song binding and set aside
    4. Paper piece ...

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    March 23, 2020
    Victory! Nancy Cabot Cathedral Window Block Completed for Anders' Quilt from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    Ta-DONE!  I have not been this proud of finishing a single block in a long time, but this one was a bruiser.  It's a vintage block pattern called Cathedral Window, designed by Nancy Cabot and originally published in the Chicago Tribune in 1933.  I foundation paper pieced as much of it as I could, and then there were SIXTEEN Y-seams of traditional piecing to assemble those FPP'd units into the finished block you see below.  The points are sharp, the block is flat, and it measures EXACTLY 20 1/2" square.  That makes me quite a happy camper ...

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    March 17, 2020
    To-Do Tuesday: Spirit Song Top Nearing Completion and a NEW Ruler Work Linky Party! from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    You guys, I am so excited about a NEW linky party just for ruler work quilting!  Karin is hosting it on her blog The Quilt Yarn, every other Tuesday -- and the link up is active for a full week starting TODAY!  The linky party is open to anyone who is quilting with rulers, on any make/model machine whether it's a domestic machine, a sit-down longarm or a longarm on a frame.  I'm ridiculously excited about this because there is nothing better than a community of quilters who are all exploring the same techniques, working on the same ...

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    March 13, 2020
    Border Fabrics for Spirit Song! from Cheeky Cognoscenti

    Well, I haven't stocked up properly on hand sanitizer or toilet paper, but I did make it to the quilt shop yesterday to select borders and backing fabric for my Spirit Song quilt!

    Borders, Binding, and Backing Fabrics for Spirit Song Quilt
    The blue print with flowers and birds (at the top of the photo) is for the backing.  The blue-on-blue spotted fabric will be for a narrow inner border, and the glorious pink, purple and orange Kaffe Fassett floral print is for a wider outer border.  That rainbow sherbet kind of batik that you see a sliver of ...

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