The recipe is from a blog (that I can't remember visiting...). It's http://amysfinerthings.wordpress.com/2008/10/13/pizza-braid. Your family will appreciate it.
I mixed the dough in my bread machine and it. turned. out. perfect.
Here is the progress on the Steps and Stars. These first two pictures show the dwirling from the front then the back. I am getting the hang of this. It is different for me...well, new is the word, I guess. The quilted lines are about an inch apart.
*Pick a design that gives your a place to stop (with needle down to keep the quilt from slipping) so you can reposition your hands.
*There are times I don't use any aids in moving the quilt. I just purchased a pair of Machingers and LOVE them. They are snug but not warm, give enough fingertip control to remove or place pins, and are inexpensive.
*Practice drawing new designs on paper or a whiteboard to imbed the design in your mind.
*Plan ahead for where you're going to quilt toward so you don't "paint yourself into a corner".
*Keep as much of the quilt up on your sewing surface as possible to prevent drag on the quilt as you sew it.
*Prefill as many bobbins as you think you will need.
*Practice practice, practice!
I plan to start machine quilting on this quilt top today. I've had a productive last few days. Today it's just my husband and 3 youngest boys home. I will have to make a couple meals, do a little more room clean up (Susanna will be expecting great things when she gets home tomorrow), and a little more putsy-ing around (it's been a long time since I've heard someone say "putsy")...
As I searched for an inexpensive place to buy the new Pajama Quilter DVD (and didn't find one!), I came across Dawn's gallery. I am going to do dwirling on this top just because I've wanted to try it, and it looks so cool on this quilt.
Off to the races, and thankful for the energy to get things done today. I pieced a backing for the Steps and Stars last night. Had to make the backing 4" wider than it would have been just using width of fabric pieces, so I used some more 4-patches from the "where did these come from" drawer.
I am happy to say that this quilt is labeled, washed, and dried! I hope you can see the quilting I did in the cream areas. First I used my walking foot and did straight lines through the bull's eye block centers in both directions (with dark brown thread). I used a variegated cream/taupe/tan to quilt freehand circles in the center of the background blocks. It went so well, and I was done in a flash. I love the way the edges of the raw edge applique circles curled up gently after it was washed and dried. What a wonderful and fun quilt to piece!
Finally started machine quilting this baby tonight. I have had the borders on for some time. Tonight I pin basted it using my Little Gracie frame. I pinned it so that I could stitch in the ditch one way in the center through the middle of the pieced circle blocks and remove MOST of the pins. I use straight pins. Safety pins would be, well, SAFER, but they are a pain to put in and take out. As it is, I just wrestle with the porcupine, fling the straight pins towards the pink magnetic pin cushion in front of the serger in the picture, and get a few scratches.
Making this used up so many ugly prints. Plus I used a piece of backing that someone sent me way back when that I forgot I had. Win-win!
Here is a close-up of the border fabrics. The inner border is chocolate brown and the outside is an orangy-red (the color of tomato soup). The quilting thread matches the border soooo well that it's hard to see.
I am quilting loops and hearts in the border. I also made a scrappy binding using up even more of the ugly fabrics that we used in the center. Also pictured are the Machingers (machine quilting gloves). They are wonderful. Not hot and give one great control. Plus they were only $7!!