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Swirl Border Longarm Quilting Design

Posted by on 7:15 am in art gallery fabrics, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting | 0 comments

Swirl Border Longarm Quilting Design

Swirl Border for Machine and Longarm Quilting Designs by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts

Swirl Border Longarm Quilting Design

Today I’m sharing a fantastic customer quilt with a swirl border longarm quilting design. Take a closer look at how I created the machine quilted design in the wide border:

The wide swirl border design is stitched on HandiQuilter Avante 18″ longarm quilting machine. Pure Elements, Nocturnal, by Art Gallery Fabric with Iris Glide Thread. Dreamy! The video above is 1.75x speed.

Swirl Border for Machine and Longarm Quilting Designs by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts

The border went together smoothly.

Swirl Border for Machine and Longarm Quilting Designs by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts

A lighter thread, Wisteria Glide, was added to quilt in the bright pieced rows. I went with a wishbone design. This was a design in one of the fabrics my customer used.

Swirl Border for Machine and Longarm Quilting Designs by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Quilts

If you need a quilt finished, send me a message! I’d be happy to work with you. See more longarm quilting ideas and designs in the gallery.

Rising Star Quilt Block in Fabric Scraps

Posted by on 5:00 am in quilt | 2 comments

Rising Star Quilt Block in Fabric Scraps

Rising Star Quilt Block from Sister's Sampler Quilts Rising Star Quilt Block in Fabric Scraps

The studio was recently cleaned a bit and fabric scraps were sorted by color.  I’m now putting those scraps to good use and making AnneMarie Chany’s Rising Star Quilt Block.

Fabric Scraps for Rising Star Quilt Block from Sister's Sampler Quilts

It will take a little while to cut all the scraps, but I think it will be worth it. I decided to make a two sample blocks using white/off-white background colors and fabric scraps from the “blues” bag for the foreground color.

Fabric Scraps for Rising Star Quilt Block from Sister's Sampler Quilts

I first chose my scraps by size: Will this piece be big enough for the four squares I need to cut. Then I sorted again based on value: Will this blue appear dark enough next to a neutral background fabric.

Here’s a tip for cutting into your fabric scraps– Make durable templates. These are cut from extra comic book boards, which were previously used when refolding/organizing yardage. I lay the templates on my fabric scrap to see if it is big enough to work with. It is wonderful; no surprises when cutting. Once I know the piece is usable, I still rotary cut my shapes.

Test Fabric Scrap Sizes | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

First step, make half square triangles.

Half Square Triangles for Piecing Rising Star Quilt Block from Sister's Sampler Quilts

I make them without marking the center diagonal lines. Watch this video to see how it is done with the Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide

Once the smaller and larger triangles were complete, I was able to arrange my test blocks.

Piecing Rising Star Quilt Block from Sister's Sampler Quilts My block will finish 16″ x 16″.  I plan on making 30 of them and having one really large quilt or possibly two small ones. I haven’t decided yet.

Rising Star Quilt Block from Sister's Sampler Quilts

I’m happy to report the blue blocks went together really well.

Rising Star Quilt Block from Sister's Sampler Quilts

The neutral/white background pieces are cut and in the project ziploc bag. I’ll now start cutting into all the fabric scrap color bags to create an additional 28 blocks. Who knows when this guy will be finished. =) It will be that on-going, pack-for-retreat project. Of course, I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Sorting Fabric Scraps

Posted by on 5:00 am in Blog, fabric stash | 2 comments

Sorting Fabric Scraps

How to Sort Quilting Fabric Scraps | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Deigns

Sorting Fabric Scraps

When the bin is out of control, it is time to sort fabric scraps! I really enjoy the “messy” look of a good scrap quilt. Turns out, though I really also enjoy complete organized order in trying to create the scrap quilt look. Shame.

As the bins fill up, I start looking for scrap quilt ideas. I think my next scrap project will be based off this block in the Sister Sampler book by AnneMarie Chany of Gen X Quilters. (amazon link) Here’s a few scrap quilts I’ve made in the past.

Zig Zag Scrap Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs Scrappy Quarter Square Log Cabin | Jen Eskridge | Scrap Quilt | ReannaLily Designs

Scrap Happy Quilting

Scrap Quilt | Finished Top | ReannaLily DesignsI sort by color. I know many quilters sort by value or by scrap size. Me, nope. I go with straight up color families. (sorry about the blur)

How to Sort Quilting Fabric Scraps | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Deigns

Working on the floor, I pull whatever color is on top and fold it neatly in a pile. Off white/beige and grey fabrics get their own color pile.

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Brown
  • Black
  • White
  • Off-white
  • Grey

How to Sort Quilting Fabric Scraps | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Deigns

What about fabrics that seem to have many colors mixed in?

If there is a main background color, I use that as my sorting indicator. For example, if there are 10 colors of flowers all on a pale green background, that fabric is going in the greens.

How to Sort Quilting Fabric Scraps | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Deigns

If there is no discernible background color, for me, I go with a knee-jerk reaction and think, “Which color do I see first.” OR “Which color will I most likely match first.” Strangely, in these cases, I most often end up putting the fabric in with the blues. I love blues.

How to Sort Quilting Fabric Scraps | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Deigns

What do I do with fabric scrap piles?

My fabric scrap piles are sorted in to gallon ziploc bags. (amazon link) The ziploc bags are then added back into the sorted plastic bin (amazon link), in color order. Any apparel fabric or blocks-in-progress or fabric collections are put back into the second fabric bin. The second bin still acts as a catch-all near my sewing machine.

Sometimes my husband’s cats like to lay in the fabric scrap bin. The ziplocs also help in the fight against the fur.

How to Sort Quilting Fabric Scraps | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Deigns

Once the ziplocs are full, it is time to make another scrap quilt! My personal goal is to have every piece of fabric I own be in at least two quilt projects. So far, so good!

How to Sort Quilting Fabric Scraps | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Deigns

Geometric Longarm Quilting

Posted by on 6:00 am in commission, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting | 1 comment

Geometric Longarm Quilting

Geometric Longarm Quilting by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts | Customer Quilt

Geometric Longarm Quilting Lines

I’m so excited to share these geometric longarm quilting lines on my latest customer quilt. She’s given me permission to share images online. The whole quilt is pieced fantastically and created in this style.

Geometric Longarm Quilting by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts | Customer Quilt

With quite a bit of negative space, this quilted needed a design to compliment the overall design and I felt it needed to still replicate the geometric look of squares floating on a grey.

When the needle arrived at the floating foreground, I added more organic quilting lines within the blocks. This time around I was trying Surelock thread by Coats and Clark (amazon link) in the needle with Superior thread pre-wound bobbins underneath. I have to say, the surelock was definitely strong enough for the task.

Geometric Longarm Quilting by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts | Customer Quilt

Almost every block has a different quilting motif within the shape. Borders have continuous feathers, some squares have a clam shell design stitched (above) and others have waves, pointed swirls, chevrons, stacked teardrops, and infinity loops. It is a collection.

Geometric Longarm Quilting by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts | Customer Quilt

You can see the feather design pretty well in the picture below.

Geometric Longarm Quilting by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts | Customer Quilt

Pointed swirls and feathers featured below here, too.

Geometric Longarm Quilting by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts | Customer Quilt

Hopefully the geometric design lines crashing into the organic foreground will work for my customer. I love how it turned out. It is modern and relaxed and interesting and varied.

Geometric Longarm Quilting by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts | Customer Quilt

See more longarm quilting projects, designs and pictures in the gallery. If you are looking to have your quilt finished, check out my longarm quilting page.

Longarm Quilting Skill Builder – With Circles

Posted by on 12:17 pm in Blog, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting, tutorial | 4 comments

Longarm Quilting Skill Builder – With Circles

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Whole Cloth Quilting Skill Builder
Now with CIRCLES

I recently created a little tutorial for a whole cloth quilting skill builder design. You can find that post here. It was a really fun project where you take a template, which you can download, trace out all the lines onto your fabric, then quilt different fill designs within spaces. Sounds pretty straight-forward, right? Well, I decided to develop a second template. (I can see me going down a rabbit hole…. )

With both skill builder designs I wanted to have a small quilt to practice:

  • Filling in shapes with different designs
  • Consistency in the filling motifs
  • Ruler work
  • Speed & Confidence

The Template

The template is designed in Adobe Illustrator and fits on a 40″ square of fabric. The design itself is 38-1/2″  x 38-1/2″. The plan was to make a quilt that is big enough to practice on and small enough to not have a large financial commitment. Does that make sense? It is 1-1/8 yard of fabric. I used pieced batting scraps inside the design and pieced some scraps for the quilt back.

I also chose this size for my whole cloth because it would be easy enough to trace out four designs to create a much larger bed-size quilt.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

That is pretty neat, right? However, there’s no way I wanted to print a bunch of pages, tape them together and have a 38-1/2″ 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.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Using the whole cloth skill builder design:

Print the quadrant and choose to “tile pages” to print 6 pieces of paper on a pc or do this for a mac.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Fold your fabric 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).

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Align the pressed vertical and horizontal lines with the edges of the quadrant. My fabric is light, so I can still see the lines though the weave.

Trace all the design lines onto the fabric using a water soluble markerI know the picture has a whole lotta blue coming at ya. Sorry about that. Blue fabric. Blue pen. Blue lines. Oh my!

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

To trace the entire design, remove the fabric. Turn it 90 degrees and trace the quadrant again. Repeat this step to finish out the design. Remember to align the folded centers with each rotation.

For this second skill builder sample, I only traced and stitched one quadrant.  (And yeah, probably should have ironed my fabric first.)

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Deciding to Quilt

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

With the small quilt loaded onto my Handi Quilter Avante 18″, I decided to start in the upper left corner. If this was a whole radial design, I would have started in the center and worked my way out.

You can certainly use this template with any quilting style. Domestic machine quilting, hand quilting or longarm quilting.

Using rulers to guide me, stitched directly on a few of the blue marked lines first.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

I started by wanting to make some kind of wild feather in the upper left. As it turns out, I didn’t like the feather much and thought I could “save” it by quilting very densely around it, still within my marked lines. That is not my favorite.

I also tried my hand at straight lines converging on a point. Eh. Those are alright, I guess. It is a skill builder, after all.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

I used my Creative Memories Circle Cutter, from 10 years ago, (instead of a ruler) to stitch out my circle shapes. The cutting system is the perfect height to use with my machine foot.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Once I had the circles in place, I decided my planned/stitched shapes needed some altering. No problemo- seam ripper to the rescue.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

That is the beauty of the no-pressure, no-real-plan whole cloth skill builder. If you don’t like something, don’t stitch it. If you want bigger shapes, make ’em. Easy stuff. Dive in!

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Ok. Those fills within the circle look a bit lumpy, but they were really fun to make.

Next, I wanted to try some curved cross-hatch quilting designs. I found a perfect spot for some of those. Each fill is just a few square inches. That is a really comfortable easy approach to making this whole cloth. For me, it certainly beats feeling overwhelmed with an intricate & planned design.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

The design is coming together.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Ok. Now I needed to fill in (what would have been) the cool center section. I had stitched feathers and an arrow shape of “C’s,” all based on marked lines.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Oooh- now to do something more with my circle rulers. I needed to practice them more so I decided to “echo” the arch a bit. I filled in with fat 1″ pebbles. Those… well, it is a skill builder…

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

I moved back to the top and left sides to add in more “C’s” and more feathers.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Ok. so here’s how the whole thing came together:

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

From way back here, it looks pretty cool. I totally wish I had traced all four quadrants.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Here it is side-by side with the template. It might give you an idea of which lines I opted to use and which lines I bailed on.

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

And because I love Photoshop & wished I had done the whole quilt design, I went ahead and roughly made myself a virtual quilt.Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.comWhole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

Ok. Now that I love. I’m going to have to make this one again. (I will not be doing that dense fill around that feather wedge though. That looks a bit crazy to me, but there’s no way I’m pulling out those stitches.)

Whole Cloth Quilting Design Template | Skill Builder | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

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!

And lastly, I noticed when I did the first skill builder, I was able to practice a design/fill at least four times (making all four quadrants) and by that last space my fill started looking good. You know, the way practice is supposed to work. I think by only doing one quadrant this time, I didn’t get the full practice in each design. Always learning, right?

10 Year UFO – Convergence Quilt

Posted by on 6:00 am in Blog, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting | 1 comment

10 Year UFO – Convergence Quilt

Convergence Quilt | UFO Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | ReannaLily Quilts

The Convergence Quilt UFO

The UFO (UnFinished Object)

As best I can tell, I made the center black and white portion of this quilt over 10 years ago. It is a pattern from Ricky Timms Convergence Book, which I’m pretty sure I purchased in Albuquerque NM somewhere between 2003-2005. Gees, that was a while ago. Evidently, based on this blog, I deemed the project a UFO back in 2008.

Once I had the center square done, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I didn’t have a whole piles of black/white squares to create a whole quilt and even if I did, how would I set them or finish it?

Finishing

I rediscovered this top in a bag in my closet. Doesn’t that seem fitting for this poor under-loved little quilt top/block. I decided it needed borders, so I went with one of the brightest colors I had to “set” the black and white center. Once the three borders were added, I decided to applique the heart shape using a facing and machine applique methods from my book, Hexagons Made Easy.

Ok, so it is all set. Bordered, accented with a little heart, & ready to roll. Literally. I got this guy rolled onto the longarm this morning.

Quilting

Convergence Quilt | UFO Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | ReannaLily Quilts

I started with a little infinity-looking design in the 1″ black border. That is fantastic shimmery white Glide Thread in the needle.

Turns out, you cannot see any stitching in the white outer border. Just as well, my swirls were a bit loco. Let’s just say the white border was my practice for the much more visible yellow-green border.

Convergence Quilt | UFO Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | ReannaLily Quilts

The heart got a cool echo treatment inside.

When it came to the center of the quilt. The real convergence portion, I first thought I wanted to quilt in a design that would really lead the eye to the center of the quilt, like you are getting sucked into the visual vortex. But alas, I still was at the same place I was 10 years ago. Not sure exactly how to quilt it. In an instant I decided, “Heck, it’s been 10-d a n g- years just finish it already.”

Convergence Quilt | UFO Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | ReannaLily Quilts

I added an all over super-simple meander over the quilt’s center. You can really see those swirls in the picture above, too.

Convergence Quilt | UFO Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | ReannaLily Quilts

Last thing to do is one of my favorite steps- binding! Yes, I know lots of folks don’t like to bind quilts. I apply my quilt bindings by machine, and I think that is why I like it.

All in all this one finished at 40″ x 40″.
Convergence Quilt | UFO Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | ReannaLily Quilts

I’m happy to have this guy crossed off my (cough cough) to-do list. Fortunately/Unfortunately, I made two convergence style big-blocks right when I got the book. Which means, I’m pretty sure this other green/purple batik one is a 10 Year UFO, too. Look for pictures coming soon…. or at least sometime within the upcoming 10 years. =)

Graffiti Quilting and Hazel Hedgehog

Posted by on 5:00 am in Blog, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting | 1 comment

Graffiti Quilting and Hazel Hedgehog

Graffiti Quilting | Longarm Quilting | ReannaLily Quilts by Jen Eskridge - customer quilt

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.

Graffiti Quilting | Longarm Quilting | ReannaLily Quilts by Jen Eskridge - customer quilt

Graffiti Quilting | Longarm Quilting | ReannaLily Quilts by Jen Eskridge - customer quilt

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.

Graffiti Quilting | Longarm Quilting | ReannaLily Quilts by Jen Eskridge - customer quilt

Graffiti Quilting | Longarm Quilting | ReannaLily Quilts by Jen Eskridge - customer quilt

The design is stitched with black Superior ThreadI was quite nervous to start stitching.

Graffiti Quilting | Longarm Quilting | ReannaLily Quilts by Jen Eskridge - customer quilt

Graffiti Quilting | Longarm Quilting | ReannaLily Quilts by Jen Eskridge - customer quilt

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.

Graffiti Quilting | Longarm Quilting | ReannaLily Quilts by Jen Eskridge - customer quilt

Graffiti Quilting | Longarm Quilting | ReannaLily Quilts by Jen Eskridge - customer quilt

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.

Double Aster Barn Quilt

Posted by on 5:00 am in Blog, quilt | 3 comments

Double Aster Barn Quilt

Suburban Barn Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Barn Quilt!

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?Star Quit 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. Ohio Star Barn Quilt by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

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.Suburban Barn Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

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.Suburban Barn Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

My spray paint dried quite quickly which made this a fast project.Suburban Barn Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

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.)Suburban Barn Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

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.

Suburban Barn Quilt | Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

SAMQG Block of the Month Quilt

Posted by on 5:00 am in Blog, SAMQG | 0 comments

SAMQG Block of the Month Quilt

Second SAMQG Block of the Month Quilt | finished by Jen Eskridge ReannaLily Designs

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.

SAMQG Block of the Month | Longarm Quilting by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

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.)

Longarm Quilting Swirls by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs | ReannaLilyQuilts.com

The weather was absolutely perfect on Sunday to grab a few pictures.

Two Quilts |Rex Ray Inspired | ReannaLily Designs | ReannaLily Quilts

I say perfect, but technically there was some wind…

Windy Quilt Photography by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

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.

Windy Quilt Photography by Jen Eskridge | ReannaLily Designs

Longarm Quilting Skill Builder

Posted by on 5:00 am in Blog, Longarm Quilting Gallery, quilting, tutorial | 9 comments

Longarm Quilting Skill Builder

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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.

Updated to add: Grab a second longarm skill builder design here, on this blog post.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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. ))

Print the quadrant and choose to “tile pages” to print 6 pieces of paper on a pc or do this for a mac.

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.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

Remove the fabric. Turn it 90 degrees and trace the quadrant again. Repeat this step to finish out the design.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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?

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

Oh man. There are some lumpy parts (noticeable only to me), but I don’t even care. I love this thing!

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

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.

Updated to add: Grab a second longarm skill builder design here, on this blog post.

Free Motion Quilting | Longarm Quilting | Whole Cloth Quilt Design by Jen Eskridge

If you give it a go, I’d love to see it!

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