Oh my gosh. I love quilting.
Hum… I guess after the 6th year of running a sewing/quilting blog, that might be a bit redundant.
But seriously. I was lucky enough to get to quilt my 15 Minutes of Play scrap quilt on my mom’s longarm Handi Quilter. If you haven’t flipped through the book, 15 Minutes of Play by Victoria Findlay Wolfe, I highly recommend it.
This is the largest quilt I have ever quilted for myself. It took about 3 hours or so. I went with an edge-to-edge swirly design. That is a free motion quilting technical term, edge-to-edge swirly. *wink wink* The top is just “floating” which means it isn’t rolled on a bar at all. (In case you were wondering why it was hanging down.)
Holy smokes it was hard to see the thread on some of those fabrics. WOWSA.
Since every color is in the quilt, it was really really really hard to narrow down a fabric for binding. So…
I picked every color. I used 9 pieces of 7 different striped fabrics. Commitment Issues. =)
LOVE LOVE LOVE how it turned out.
The quilt has all sorts of fabrics that remind me of all kinds of projects. I made the quilt for myself – which is kinda unusual – but its gonna look great on my bed! It was tricky to grab a picture of the whole thing. It is 100″ x 70″
The binding worked out. Loving the every-color shade of every-color I picked out.
Here’s the Elspeth Baby Quilt. Fingers and legs in the quilt photo. Quilting has and assortment of Stripes, Crazy Worms, Pebbles and Trapunto. The overall vertical design has three main bars, which is kinda cool because little Elspeth is the 3rd kiddo in the family.
The dryer will be taking taking out those red lines in just a moment.
I learned that if you have a mostly-white front, you’ll need a back that is “light”. Maybe it was just that brand of white I used. Who knows. Just to be safe, the back on this one is pieced greys from my stash. The piecing wasn’t wide enough, so the white stripe was added. You can really see the Dresden quilting from the back.
And then the binding. I must be going through a serious stripe binding phase.
Still going strong with Pet Postcards for 2014. I used my stencil/template cat shape to draw out a fat cat, onto house insulation foam. If you follow me on Instagram, I accidently referred to the foam as having an R-rating, which it does. R3, to be exact. BUT if you use “r-rated” foam to make naked cats…. well…. oops. hahahaha.
I’m not too good with the stenciling and stamping for composition and interest, but you know it is crazy fun to do.
I’ll probably turn in a couple more postcards for the Pet Postcard Friends for Life Fundraiser ( @ Houston Quilt Festival in October/November 2014).
Ooooh – I got to take my ELSPETH quilt top to my moms to use her super awesome Handi Quilter. Normally, quilting a project this size would have been done on my home machine, but the tension is doing something crazy. I need to take it in. BUT can I just say, I love that HandiQuilter so much, maybe I subconciously broke the tension on my home machine so I’d HAVE to go to my moms…. Anywho, enough of my HQ-FanGirl-ness, let’s talk quilting.
The quilt is loaded horizontally, so I could tackle outlining the trapunto letters first. Can you see in the picture above, the “whiter” letters? That is because I have two layers of Hobbs 80/20 stitched behind them with water soluble thread.
First step is to re-outline the letters with quilt stitching lines. Trace each letter, then add a pile of free motion quilting pebbles to really make the letters stand out on the quilt. The pebbles are quilted with a “haphazard” approach. Whatever size. Whatever overall finished shape. Seemed to work. Afterall, I know what it is going to look like in my head, right?
I’m going to not call that an attempt at feathers…. I’m going to call it a success story for Crazy Worms. That’s right, I’ve quilted Crazy Worms along a spine, to set off my pebble design. I think the straight-ish lines (along the edge) help the design, too.
There are basically two rows of Crazy Worms, horizontal lines, swirls, pebbles and loopies in the Dresden circles. Here, let me get you a closer-up picture:
Crazy Worms and all, I LOVE how this quilt finished up. Loads of people can do feathers. Not everyone can rock the worms. …cough cough…
I’m already planning my stripe binding for it. I know which one I’m picking and just need to get those strips cut.
I should have some finished pictures really soon. ….after the trimming…. after the dryer to take out the frixion marking… after the binding… I’m in the home stretch! Stay tuned.
Ok, this is the quilt layout. I needed a design with enough white space to add in the baby’s name into the design. I did this before on these quilts: the Tessa Baby Quilt and the Weaver Baby Quilt. In fact, this quilt is going to be for Tessa’s little sister, Elspeth.
Neat name, right?
My plan is to trapunto the letters, vertically on the right hand side of the quilt.
Yep. That is roughly where I want the letters. If you need letters for a project, I used Cooper Std font at size 600. Nice big fat chunky letters. 600 point font yields one letter per page, so that is about how big the letters are.
Next step is to get these guys lined up.
The bottom of the letters are measured about 10″ from the edge and the H ends in line with the center of the horizontal Dresden lines.
Plan out the spacing and then trace the letters. Cue: Frixion pen. I love those pens so much. At the end of the project throw the quilt in the dryer and volia- the ink will all disappear.
I pinned two layers of Hobbs 80/20 batting behind the row of letters, then stitched around each letter using water soluble thread.
After the stitching, it’s time to sit on the couch and carefully remove the batting from outside the stitched area. Cut within 1/8″ of the stitched line. Turns out I didn’t grab my camera, but I do have photos from the other times I’ve trapunto’d letters. (Is that a verb? Can you make it a verb? Somewhere, there is an English teacher shaking her head. ) See trapunto step pictures here: Tessa Baby Quilt and the Weaver Baby Quilt.
During the quilting step,the letter shapes are traced again with regular quilt thread. I have BIG plans for the quilting. Stay tuned.
Ok, I need a layout for the mini Dresden Modern Baby quilt design. I made all my mini Dresden circles before I decided on a composition. I really didn’t calculate how many circles I’d make from my two charm packs. Turns out, I had 7 complete circles.
Let me tell you why I wrote the name “Elspeth” on the quilt designs. This modern quilt is filled with negative space and will have that name trapunto’d into the quilting design. The quilt will be like the Tessa Baby Quilt and the Weaver Baby Quilt. In fact, this quilt is going to be for Tessa’s little sister, Elspeth.
So I did pin two ideas from the sketches onto my temporary design wall. ((Um, yes, I did staple the background fabric to my blue living room wall… don’t judge. ))
Idea 1, with a simple staggered grid with loads of symmetry and order.
Idea 2 (not blurry in real life!!) This design has some asymmetry and is much more interesting. It also let me use the little 1/2 circle I have.
I decided to go with Idea 2.
I had to place my faced circle Dresdens on just right. I measured from the middle of the circle, out to the cut edge of my quilt background. ….then pin like crazy…
Straight stitching holds the Dresdens in place. I’m not a big fan of the decorative stitches for a more “modern” applique.
When I put the circles end-to-end, I did find they reached over the edge. Honestly, I kinda think that is going to make it cooler than a completely contained circle.
Once all the Dresdens were on, it was iron time. I also did not remove any fabric from behind the applique’d shapes.
Hum. now I have to plan my fill quilting design. I’m pretty sure the letters will be Cooper Std font. Stay tuned.
I’m working on my Mini Dresden quilt and I wanted to share with you how I got to the image above. I will be appliqueing my Dresden circle shapes onto a solid white background. I needed to prep them for machine-stitched applique.
Using the techniques in Learn to Sew Easy Curves, I’ll show you how I did it.
Learn to Sew Easy Curves – Technique
First, pick a facing fabric. This is not interfacing, though it could be. I used old fabric from my scrap bin.
Place the pressed Dresden on the facing, matching right sides. Pin around the outside circumference and pin along the inner donut hole.
Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to stitch around the shape. Sew around the outside AND sew the donut hole.
Technically, your shape is a “sealed” tube at this point. That is ok.
The next step is to cut away the excess facing fabric. Trim the edges even with the cut edges of the Dresden.
((Sorry for the blur in that one!))
Now we need to bust into the sealed tube by cutting the facing a equidistant from each stitching line. Be careful to ONLY cut the facing. Check out the picture:
As with sewing any faced curve, clip around the curves. Make each clip perpendicular to the stitching line in the seam allowance. Cut TO but not THRU the stitching line. If you find that, once your shape is right side out, it is still lumpy, you may need either (1) more frequent clips or (2) to cut closer up to that stitching line.
NOTE: The tighter the curve the more clips you will require. The more gentle the curve, the more you can have space between your clips.
Now we’ve got to turn these babies right side out. The facings will be flipped to the wrong side of the Dresden and pressed.
But there’s a trick:
Whenever I’m “flipping to the wrong side” I always press the flip piece “up” first. I do this with facings and whole quilt bindings. Press it up like in the photo above, so that when you do actually go to flip the piece, the facing already wants to go that direction. It makes for less wrangling in the flip step.
Once it is pressed up, you can push the facing through the donut hole or around the circumference to press the facing flat on the back of the Dresden. Be sure to pull the facing ever-so-slightly to ensure it is concealed behind the main Dresden fabric. This “pulling” is called favoring the seam. I’m talking maybe 1/16th of an inch. Just a tiny bit. See it? – down there at the bottom of the picture below:
I do use spray starch to hold my facings firm and I also added pins to hold the facings while I work with placement of my shapes on my finished design.
Ok, one Dresden prepped and ready to machine applique. Just a few more to go.
The technique can be found in Learn To Sew Easy Curves. The book also has a variety of other curve stitching ideas & resources: everything from circles to gently waving lines.
I’m making a baby quilt. I don’t have it completely planned out yet, but that isn’t unusual.
Here’s what I know: I want to make mini Dresden Plate circles cut from a charm pack.
3 Dresden wedges can be cut from one charm. The pieces are only 3 1/2″ tall, but they are so great and scrappy looking. I started out cutting a Lizzy House charm pack, the one with the hedge hogs. I also ended up cutting a Kate Spain Daydream charm pack, too.
Next up, chain piecing. I just jammed those wedges right on through. I picked very randomly.
Sewed pairs. Sewed pairs of pairs. Sewed pairs of 4-packs.
Just keep sewing and pairing until the circle is complete.
They look so great all stacked up and ready to be ironed. I didn’t press as I stitched. I really chained them all together really quickly, then pressed only at the very end. I pressed all my seam allowances to one direction all the way around. No worrying about the lights or darks or anything like that.
With the smaller Lizzy House (Andover Fabrics) charm pack, I made 3 1/3 Dresden circles. With the bigger Kate Spain (Moda) charm pack, I made 6 1/3 Dresden circles. I don’t think I can use them both in the baby quilt. Maybe if I would have mixed ALL my wedges, but unfortunately, all the Lizzy’s are with Lizzy’s and all the Kate’s are with Kate’s.
I’m going to be preparing these for applique using the technique in Learn to Sew Easy Curves. I’ll have a blog post for you on that shortly.
‘Tis the season to whip up some Pet Postcards.
You can read more about the Pet Postcards from last year here. And read more about the fundraising event on Pokey blog here. Last year the fundraising event raised more than $40,000 for Friends for Life No-Kill Animal Shelter in Houston.
These postcards are made of fabric and have 3 traditional quilt layers. They measure 4″ x 6″ .
The cards can be made in any style or method you prefer. The all painted cards in this post are created by my daughter. (Instagram @meepsketch)
She had a great time creating the little pieces with the InkTense pencils and Sharpie markers.
This year our Pet Postcard event was coordinated through the San Antonio Modern Quilt guild and was hosted at a member’s home. It was a blast. Very fun social event and very fun to trade all sorts of scraps for the projects. Turns out, our gals have loads of novelty pet fabrics. I had no idea they even make that many cat prints. seriously.
You may recognize these little guys, above, from the FREE pdf template last year. Feel free to click the link or image below to download the kitties so you can whip up a few pet postcards, too.
Each card sells for $20 at the Houston Quilt Festival in October. They are fast to make and benefit a great cause.
I made a crazy little Dragonfly Quilt for my Michael Miller MQG Challenge 2014 entry. You may have already seen it on the blog, here.
The concept was to take some of the basic “swirl + pointy” shapes of a tribal tattoo and make something with fabric. I needed a rough draft before I cut into the challenge fabric.
Enter: Butterfly Quilt
The method to make the design started with pencil and paper.
I sketch out a dozen or more butterflies. Each one had the wing quadrants filled with different shapes. The butterfly silhouettes varied quite a bit, too. Ultimately I decided to sketch a final butterfly, cut out the “swirl + pointy” wing shapes and trace them directly onto Heat’N’Bond fusible web.
I traced each shape twice to I’d get a symmetrical butterfly. (For the Dragonfly, however, each wing quadrant is unique as I drew those shapes straight onto the fusible, with out a tracing stencil.)
After fusing the Heat’n’Bond to the wrong side of the fabric and cutting out the shapes, I needed to decide on the placement.
I tried some things out. I moved some things around. I re-worked the quilt composition. I definitely definitely over-thought it. (Over thinking things is kinda my jam.)
Ultimately decided it was a rough draft and I should just make it look like a butterfly.
Yep. That is what the quilt will look like. I was using a fat quarter stack by Carol Van Zandt for Andover Fabrics. I actually had some leftover planned shapes and was able to make the butterfly body out of “negative” or trash pieces cut from the wings. That was totally by accident.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take the time to measure twice and my border has a bit of a wave to it. The natural reaction to that problem “Oh, that will quilt out.” The real remedy, however, would be to remove and re-stitch that border. I think we all know which one I went with….
Find a great thread (Sulky Blendables) for the top thread and wind up a few bobbins with the regular ole white thread.
Enter: Matchstick Quilting
Do you know Matchstick Quilting? It is where you cover your quilt with reasonably straight lines, all 1/8″ apart, using your walking foot for even fabric feed. I’ve done 1/4″ apart straight-line quilting. And I’ve tried echo quilting.
Start in the middle. No problemo. Couple of lines are looking good.
OH- I should mention, if you are doing this style of applique, Raw Edge Applique with a fusible web on the back of your fabric, generally you stitch around each shape to secure the edges. I figured, though, the quilting would be so dense and the wall-hanging sized mini would never be washed…… so I did skip that step.
My lovely Angela Walters fabric for Art Gallery Fabrics did act as quilting camouflage for my stitching lines, but the texture is turning out amazing.
After an hour (above), I’m a Bon Jovi song. What song you may ask? ♪ ♫ ♪ Whoa’oh, We’re half way there. ♪ ♫ ♪ (Living on a Prayer) Yes, I might sing that in my head when I’m half way to anything… consider yourself warned….
I did notice when I got towards the edges that my piece needed more securing. I stitched every inch or so, out to the edge, then filled in the spaces with loads of lines. That seemed to help the shift a bit.
Oh Lawdy. I’m crossing Matchstick Quilting off my Quilt Bucket List, but oh man. I don’t know what to think. Wait, yes I do: It is really cool, but insanely time consuming. It may be better on a longarm, where you can just slide that machine across, right-to-left, but I think you would still have to go slow enough to plan that 1/8″ stitching distance. ???
For a baby quilt, my quilting style generally has me using 7 bobbins for a much larger 40 x 60 sized piece. For this little smaller-than-a-fat-quarter piece, the quilting used 4 bobbins. Matchstick Quilting may have been invented by a thread company. Just sayin…..
Rocked some machine applied binding in about 20 minutes and the little guy was finished.