Graffiti Quilting on a Hazel Hedgehog Quilt
I have some details from a customer quilt to share. My friend, Leslie, trusted me to stitch graffiti quilting in the vast negative space of her new Hazel Hedgehog baby boy quilt.
Since this isn’t my project, I do not have a whole “quilt reveal” here. Rather, I’m sharing some extensive free motion quilting designs on the beautiful grey Essex Linen fabric.
I tried to snap pictures over the entire quilt (63″ x 45″) for my own personal reference. There are so many swirled, pointed, hooked and feathered design motifs in this piece.
The design is stitched with black Superior Thread. I was quite nervous to start stitching.
I don’t think you’ll be able to see in these pictures, but the Hazel Hedgehogs were simply outlined with in-the-ditch style ruler-work quilting. I wanted them to be stabilized and secure, but I didn’t want to lose them in the the dense quilting. The in-the-ditch work makes the hedgehogs pop a bit.
And that is my graffiti quilting extravaganza! Huge thank you to Leslie, who trusted me with her project. If you are looking to have a quilt finished, please send me an email. Find out more about my longarm quilting services at ReannaLilyQuilts.com.
This post contains affiliate links.
Last year I made a barn quilt for my mom. She lives “in the country” and actually has space for a barn quilt. It is finished and hung, though you cannot see it from the road. Why do I mention that? Well- as it turns out, when I bought the wood for mom’s barn quilt, I purchased a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood and had them cut the wood in half at the store. Perfect. Two 4′ x 4′ squares! This past weekend, I was able to finally use the second square for myself.
I am combining a couple blog ideas from my very own blog to create my new Barn Quilt:
The blog posts:
First post: I chose the block, Double Aster, based on this collection of posts on my larger Double Aster quilt. It is a 50″ quilt that I made in fabric. See how small those Fiskar Scissors are in comparison to the block?
The second blog post is a full tutorial for creating the barn quilt, which I authored. I used primer (applied with a brush) and spray paint.
Painting the NEW Barn Quilt
The Double Aster block when enlarged fits on a 5 x 5 grid. For the fabric quilt, it was ideal to work in 10″ sections to create a 50″ block. For a 48″ x 48″ piece of wood, I had to do a tiny bit of math to mark off my sections.
I taped everything off with blue painter’s tape and masked the area with paper.
I was able to spray more carefully this time around and very little paint bled below the tape line.
My spray paint dried quite quickly which made this a fast project.
Once the piece was sealed, it was ready to be hung. (You can see the sunlight progressing in the pictures on my day of painting.)
I don’t have a barn. I have a regular house in the regular suburbs. BUT I totally have a wooden fence! My “barn quilt” cannot be seen from the road but looks fine to me from my back porch. It is the official Fence Quilt. I wonder how many other folks have Fence Quilts? Now I have to go see if that is an existing hashtag….
I screwed the piece directly into the fence and then painted over the screw heads with coordinating paint.
In February, I was the proud winner of 24 quilt blocks from the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild! Hooray!!! These were our block of the month designs for January. (Assigned in January, bring to February meeting.) I had enough blocks to create two quilts and today I’m sharing the finished, second quilt. Huge THANK YOU to everyone who made a block or two.
This littler guy measures about 50″ x 50″. I ended up stitching an additional two blocks to ensure the quilt would turn out square. This quilt did not get the white border. I left it as a blocks-only design.
Originally, I sorted the blocks by “mostly cool colors” and “mostly warm colors.” I don’t know that I was successful since each block was such a wild assortment of fabrics. (LOVE!) But this smaller quilt represents the “mostly cool color” blocks.
Unlike the first, larger quilt I made with these blocks, I did a simple swirl design from edge to edge to finish this quilt. Once it was on the frame, the quilting went very quickly. I bound the quilt with this great Alexander Henry black plaid fabric. (Amazon affiliate link.)
The weather was absolutely perfect on Sunday to grab a few pictures.
I say perfect, but technically there was some wind…
Luckily, my assistant was a great sport and even held the quilts in place from an awkward squat position behind the metal gate. You can see a little video of his expert help on my Instagram account.
Small Whole Cloth Quilting Skill Builder
I love to look at whole cloth quilts, but I’d need some serious skills to be able to make one! I decided I should make a skill builder design for myself to practice my longarm quilting. Specifically, I wanted to practice:
- Filling in shapes with different designs
- Consistency in the filling motifs
- Ruler work
- Speed & Confidence
First steps in Adobe Illustrator.
The design I’m sharing with you today will finish at 38″ square. I figured this way it would be a small enough piece to not agonize over, but larger enough to apply to quadrants of a quilt if I wanted to make a bed size quilt. (Well, it’d have to have borders to really be bed-size, but that is neither here nor there.) Ok- page set up 38″ square. In a nutshell- draw a line this way, pull a curve that way, rotate around a center mark…. Ta’dah! Well, it wasn’t THAT easy, I made a rough draft, tested it, tweaked it and then TA’DAH – the image below.
That is pretty neat, right? Then I realized that there’s no way I wanted to print a bunch of pages, tape them together and have a 38″ piece of paper. Designing just a quadrant solved the problem. Hooray! It prints on only 6 pages. Click here to download the quadrant pdf for yourself.
Let me show you how I used my whole cloth skill builder design:
((I was working from the rough draft illustrator design so the design lines vary slightly. ))
First, I found a piece of fabric roughly 1-1/4″ x 42″ (width of fabric). Fold it in half lengthwise and width-wise to find the center and mark the exact vertical and horizontal guide lines. Press.
Tape or pin the printed design quadrant to a wall (or use window to act as a light board).
Align the pressed vertical and horizontal lines with the edges of the quadrant. My fabric is light yellow, so I can still see the lines though the weave.
Trace all the design lines onto the fabric using a water soluble marker.
Remove the fabric. Turn it 90 degrees and trace the quadrant again. Repeat this step to finish out the design.
Deciding to Quilt
In hindsight, I probably should have added 2″ basting stitches across the entire quilt before beginning. Having skipped that step, I’ll say – What the heck, it turned out ok for a first try!!! =)
I started in the middle of the design by tracing four shapes that joined in the center. If you are planning on doing this on your own- it doesn’t matter which shapes you start with.
Using rulers to guide me, stitched directly on the blue marked lines first. I tested the ole skills by trying to stitch 1/4″ away from the original line. Then I decided I’d pick something fun and curvy to fill in my first four shapes.
Ok. That wasn’t so bad. By the 4th shape, the lines were really starting to fall where I wanted them…. as opposed to the first shape.
Next, I wanted to try to make super straight ruled lines as a fill. Ok, just gotta find a shape and outline it first.
Little chunks like this with no real big commitment or plan really helped me out. For example: The space I chose to add ruled lines, well, there were 8 symmetrical spaces for a total of probably 12 square inches. I can handle 12 square inches, right??
I continued on in this fashion: Which little line cluster can I outline and fill? Ok. Next. Ok, which little line cluster can I outline and fill?
Here’s a fun fact: Yes, that IS a Creative Memories Circle Cutter from 10 years ago! I do all my family photobooks digitally, nowadays. I happen to still have this perfect-size circle and oval cutting system. Turns out the plastic is the ideal height for round longarm rulers. You are welcome.
You’ll notice that I didn’t stitch on every blue line. I was really trying to just isolate “shapes I wanted to fill” and that was the plan.
If one of the skills you are trying to build is speed, do not choose pebbles. bwhahahaha. Stinkin’ pebbles.
Here’s a view from under the machine.
Oh man. There are some lumpy parts (noticeable only to me), but I don’t even care. I love this thing!
After three days of hopping on the longarm intermittently to fill a few shapes at a time, it was finally time to take off the water soluble ink.
And here’s the craziest part that I didn’t anticipate- Since this was fill-this-on-a-whim type quilting, I had no idea what it would really look like when it was done. It was a total HGTV reveal moment for me! “Oh my gosh, I cannot believe this is the same fabric.” -kind of reveal. Unlike HGTV, I didn’t cry or cut to commercial break with a suspenseful sentence.
One of the coolest parts about the skill builder quadrant is it will be different each time anyone makes it. Pick and choose whatever lines you want to follow. Fill with whatever designs you are working on at the time. Go as detailed or as loose as you feel comfortable. I just love it. It is a choose your own adventure book for longarm quilting.
If you give it a go, I’d love to see it!
I’m so happy to have participated in the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild’s (SAMQG) Threads of Love NICU Blanket Sewing Challenge. Fabric was donated. Kits were cut.
Fun fact: NICU blankets are made from 21″ x 21″ cut squares. Seems easy enough to rotary cut, right? It is incredibly fast to create a template from poster board and use that to cut the kits.
Our SAMQG has a few quilt shops as sponsors, so the Threads of Love sew-in was hosted by The Quilt Shop in Castroville. Thanks!
At the end of the sew-in we had a total of … around 40-45 blankets.
At the March meeting members brought in blankets they had stitched with cut kits or fabric which they donated.
Sooooooo many blankets were donated! 97 at the March meeting alone.
With all the NICU blankets combined, I was lucky enough to drop these off at the member-liaison’s house. 148 so far. The blankets will be on their way to the Threads of Love sewing team to double-check the labels and then off to the preemies.
I anticipate a few more or few dozen more as months go on and members bring more in. This was a very fun, very easy and very wonderful sewing challenge. Consider setting one up for your guild.
WOWSA! I won the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild’s Block of the Month.
Do you have this at your guild? Some guilds call it Lotto Block. Everyone makes a predetermined block. Ours for January was designed by the Block of the Month Chairperson and is inspired by Rex Ray. The “humps” are hand appliqued to a white background.
However many blocks you make is how many chances you have to win all the blocks turned in. In January – 24 blocks were up for grabs! The block was made in two sizes that would fit together when rotated 90 degrees.
I ended up splitting the group of blocks into a “mostly warm” and “mostly cool” color groups to create two lap/couch size quilts. The first one, “mostly warm,” is 60″ x 80″.
For some reason I thought I wanted to try to quilt the first “mostly warm” quilt in a very difficult diagonal type design. I set forth to use rulers to stitch on my marked outline of a main zig-zag and then fill in sections of the quilt in a controlled graffiti-style of quilting.
Turns out, it was really really hard to do. HA!! But ya gotta try, right?
In the free-motion quilting fills there are feathers, swirls, McTavishing, echoing, pebbles, windy-swirls, meander, straight lines… everything.
My main regret is that I used white thread. I do love the thread itself, but I probably should have used some kind of white/grey variegated thread on this project. I recently ran out of my favorite King Tut Morning Sky and figured the other white would work out.
The current white thread is very lightweight and hard to see on the finished quilt (without the help of dim light + shadows).
Although I’m loving how this one turned out overall, I think it is safe to say, I’ll be creating the “mostly cool” color version a bit differently. I don’t think the quilting will be nearly as complicated and I will own the thread by the time the blocks are pieced together to quilt.
The wheels are turnin’ and who knows how the second version will look.
My huge no-waste flying geese quest continues! Oh my goodness. I made them recently from layer cakes (precut 10″ fabric squares). I then thought, “What if I don’t have a layer cake and I only have fat quarters?” Oh… this could work, too. So here we go!
The size shown in this quilting tutorial is a finished Baby Size quilt- 48″ x 40″ made with 8 fat quarters (precut 18″ x 22″ fabric pieces). Here are some size options:
Baby Size – 40″ x 48″
8 Assorted Fat Quarters
Quilt is arranged in a 3 x 5 grid with one extra flying geese block left over.
Queen Size – 80″ x 88″
28 Assorted Fat Quarters
Quilt is arranged in a 5 x 11 grid with one extra flying geese block left over.
Divide your fat quarters in half. One half will be used as the large triangle (geese) and the other half will be used as the smaller corner triangles (sky).
From the large triangle (geese) pile, cut a single large square measuring 17-1/4″ x 17-1/4″. (For this step, I layered a few fat quarters and cut the squares all at once.
From the smaller corner triangle (sky) pile, cut four squares -from each fat quarter!- measuring 8-7/8″ x 8-7/8″.
No-Waste Flying Geese Method
For each no-waste construction block, you’ll need:
- 1 large square
- 4 smaller squares
Each construction block will yield FOUR flying geese units. Baby Size = 16 geese units. Queen Size = 56 geese units.
Mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of each smaller square using a non-permanent fabric pen. (The red line is digitally added for better visibility. The pen really does mark blue and wash out easily.)
Lay two smaller squares in opposite corners of the larger square. Make sure to match right sides and make the marked diagonal lines appear to connect across the entire large block. Pin.
Notice the cut edges meet at the outer corners.
Use a 1/4″ presser foot to stitch 1/4″ away from the marked line.
Flip the entire large square and stitch 1/4″ away from the marked line on the other side.
Cut the two halves apart with a rotary cutter.
Open and press seam allowances towards the smaller triangle.
This will create a crazy heart-looking shape, which is how you’ll know you are on the right track.
Match right sides and pin one remaining square to the corner. The diagonal line should point from the V of the heart shape to the outer corner.
Stitch 1/4″ away from the marked diagonal line on the right and left sides.
Use a rotary cutter to cut along the marked diagonal line, just as you did before.
Open and press seam allowances towards the smaller triangle.
Each geese unit is 16-1/2″ x 8-1/2″. Pretty big, right? Ok, it isn’t as big as the Layer Cake Flying Geese blocks, but if you have fat quarters on hand, it is a great way to go.
Trim the blocks if necessary, but remember there needs to be 1/4″ seam allowance extending past the point.
In the Layer Cake Flying Geese blocks, I stitched the geese units into pairs. Having a big square block made the mixed-up design easy to arrange. For this smaller baby quilt, I needed to sew the blocks one-at-a-time and set them in a traditional manner.
One column pointing up, one pointing down, one pointing up. Once the color placement is decided, stitch blocks matching right sides and using a 1/4″ seam allowance. (Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide is shown below.)
Join columns to form the quilt top.
Though this quilt is only 40″ x 48″ and could be managed easily under the domestic sewing machine, I decided to push myself to to work with longarm quilting rulers.
I’m not totally committed to rulers quite yet. I decided to add an arc in across each large geese block and then surround it with free motion quilted feathers.
In the sky or corner triangles, I made up a little free motion quilting shape there, too.
All in all, it went along pretty quickly. I’m LOVING how the back turned out. You can really see the quilting in the flannel light blue.
This little guy is heading to the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild‘s charity efforts. All it needs is binding!
Ticker Tape Giraffe Quilt
I recently posted a tutorial for this guy’s friend, Ticker Tape Owl. It was so fun to make using my fabric scraps, that I decided I needed a giraffe. Of course, he can be any color but if you have yellow, brown and orange fabrics, you’ll want to jump right in!
Scroll to the bottom to see how insanely fast you can create borders with an applied trim used in the border of this project by simply using a Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide.
Finished size: 18″ x 18″ – project sizes can vary depending on how you finish the block.
- Elmer’s School Glue
- Sulky Monofilament Thread
- Water Soluble Marker
- Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide
- Fusible Interfacing
- 1/2 yard linen (I used a recycled garment from the thrift store.)
- Assorted fabric scraps
- 1 fat quarter (18″ x 22″) solid yellow fabric
- 1 package brown single fold bias tape
- PDF Giraffe Template
The first thing you’ll need to do for this project is print the downloadable PDF Giraffe Template. Tape him together, matching his nose and neck lines.
I used a shirt back from a thrift store garment. After measuring, a 14-1/2″ square will be as big as I can cut.
Apply the fusible woven interfacing to the wrong side of the linen.
If you are using the 1/2 yard linen for your background, you can cut to any size you prefer. For my project, the background fabric is 14-1/2″ x 14-1/2″ and is cut after the interfacing is applied.
Mark the center of the linen square.
Use a window pane as a light box by taping the owl to the glass.
Tape the linen background over the template, matching the marked centers.
Use the water soluble marker to trace the image onto the right side of the linen background square.
Ok. He looks good and I can see all his marked lines.
Any scraps will work. All scraps will take a moment or two to sort and organize. I’m going with traditional-ish colors on this first giraffe.
My ticker tape giraffe uses pieces ranging from 1/4″ to 2″ in size. Work on a surface that will allow for ironing. By that I mean, a towel, portable ironing pad, or ironing board. Starting with the horns, arrange fabric scraps leaving a small space between each shape.
Keep the scissors close and trim scraps into needed shapes as you go.
Continue to add fabric scraps, trim as needed and glue baste them in place.
This is the pile of “trimmings” from my already-small scraps. Whoa.
Secure the Scraps
Use Sulky Monofilament Thread and a free motion quilting foot to stitch around each shape. Why clear monofilament thread and not a coordinated color? Using the monofilament on the ticker tape fabric scraps will allow you to “travel” from shape to shape without needing to trim threads. Simply stitch on over to your next shape. No one will ever know.
Apply Trim to Borders
For the borders, unlike the owl which features a half square triangle border, this giraffe will have a solid yellow border with applied trim. We’ll miter the corners.
I’m going with the brown single fold bias tape.
Since we will be mitering the corners of the border, cut 4 strips 2-1/2″ x 18-1/2″ from the yellow fat quarter of fabric.
Determine where you’ll place your trim. I’m placing mine 1/2″ from the cut edge. Once the border is applied, the trim will be 1/4″ from the block.
You can measure this the whole length of the border, adding pins and hoping the pins don’t cause the trim to skew. OR you can use the 1/2″ guide mark on the Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide.
Simply line up the yellow cut edge of fabric with the solid grey 1/2″ mark. Lay the right side of the trim under the needle. As long as both of these two things are in place as you stitch, the trim will be applied accurately. I created a youtube video to show you how to apply trim. The video features a “demo project” so you’ll need to use our 1/2″ giraffe measurements when applying your trim.
Sew along the right side of the trim. Flip the piece and stitch along the left side.
Perfect. Ok. Now over to the design wall.
I wanted to get an idea of how the giraffe ticker tape quilt would look once it was “framed.”
For my project, I hadn’t trimmed my block to 14-1/2″ x 14-1/2″. I did that right now, before I added any borders.
Fold the giraffe in half along each side, making a small crease with your finger.
Fold the borders in half to find their center.
Match right sides and pin the centers of the top and bottom borders to the giraffe block.
Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to join the border to the giraffe block. Start and stop 1/4″ from the cut edge of the block.
Pin the right and left sides to the block. Matching right sides and centers. Fold the top and bottom borders out of the way, gently as you stitch. Start and stop 1/4″ from the block’s cut edge.
Open all four borders and press the seam allowances towards the yellow fabric.
Your corner area should look like this:
Miter the Corners
Work with only one corner at a time.
Fold the block at a 45 degree angle, matching the cut edges and seams of the border fabrics.
Pin the border, making sure the brown trim matches perfectly on the top and bottom fabric layers.
Using a quilter’s ruler, draw a line to extend the “fold” into the yellow border. The line will also be 45 degrees and should intersect the corner of your border strips.
At the sewing machine, position your needle on the line, directly where your previous stitching lines stopped. Sew directly on the marked line to the corner.
Open the corner; check that the trim matches and there are no “bubbles” created on the block at the corner seam. If you notice something you don’t like, simply rip the stitches, press the block flat and refold. Most of the time, errors come from:
- starting the stitching line in the wrong place
- not having the 45 degree fold accurate.
If it looks good, trim the excess fabric to create a 1/4″ seam allowance and press to one side.
Here’s the front:
Repeat those mitering steps for all four corners.
Ah-dorable. This guy is ready to go!
Use a damp cloth or misting spray bottle of water to remove the ink marks.
Northcott Fabric’s QuiltCon 2016 Quilt – Revealed
Today is REVEAL DAY!!! Hooray! You know it is hard to keep a good secret. Thankfully, the designers working with Northcott to create QuiltCon 2016 booth quilts were all allowed to share sneak peeks along the way. (See the sneak peek blog posts here and here.)
Let’s talk about making this quilt!
I decided how high I wanted the letters and had to find the center of the letters which will line up with a vertical line on the quilt.
I then traced the letters onto the quilt with this water soluble pen.
To begin the quilting process, I first had to outline the letters on the longarm, using rulers when I could.
I planned to add a chunk of pebbled words along the right side of the quilt. Pebbles turned into a few swirls every so often.
Once the letters were complete, I could move to deciding what I’d quilt on the rest of the negative space. I opted for feathers.
The appliqued pre-printed shapes are part of Northcott’s ColorWorks concepts collection and were applied using the techniques from my book, Learn to Sew Easy Curves. I quilted around the circles with a looping design. Once those two areas were complete, I needed to connect the space with straight-ish lines.
Hum. After stewing on the design, I think I need more feathers. I added another row of feathers, right next to the first one. When that was finished, I needed to connect the quilting designs with more straight-ish lines.
After quilting the appliqued circles with monofilament thread, it is finished. Let me show you the festive backing fabric. It is on the Northcott Fabrics site here and is #20799-99. (The band across the top is a hanging sleeve.)
Since this is going to a booth at QuiltCon 2016, I wanted to include my business cards. If you are into quilt labels, you’ll like this part, I think. The line has a panel of printed quilt labels. They are big with plenty of room to write. I hand stitched a pocket into my label and even secured it with a Velcro closure to hold business cards.
Now back to the quilt front.
The binding on this quilt was originally supposed to be the orange-y background fabric. Once I saw all the colors on the backing, though, I had to frame this quilt with it. I love how festive the binding is with the appliqued shapes.
How fun is this new quilt? It is named Tic Tac Whoa! This quilt has the distinction of being one my two of the 1200 rejected quilts from QuiltCon West 2016, which is awesome because now I can share it here!
The quilt is a large, bed-size quilt at around 70″ x 90″ and is made using applique techniques from my book Learn To Sew Easy Curves.
The design was inspired by tic-tac-toe, hence the name, Tic Tac Whoa! The 9-square grid from the game evolved keeping “O’s” in all the boxes and then moving the boxes. You never know where/when a design will happen.
Iza Pearl Garden Party Tango Fat Quarter bundle makes up the appliqued lines and circle designs. The circles are prepared with a reverse-applique center in two sizes, 10″ circles and 12″ circles.
The edge-to-edge quilting is done using a giant cinnamon roll motif. Is that the official name? Cinnamon Roll? Probably not…. but that’s what you get when you blog around breakfast time.
I had to impress upon my assistant that the quilt was very white (front and back) and couldn’t drag along the ground. Clearly, that meant: carry it on head. hope I can see out. To be 13yo must be a magical time…. Thank you for not letting it drag the ground!! You rock and roll!!