. . . . . . Enjoying the journey of quilting

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tutorial on Using Follow-the-Line Quilting Designs

Busy strippy doesn't allow for showing off the feather square wreaths in each quarter section of this block but does leave the impression that it has been quilted which is good enough for me.

This block was #1 out of 3 on my goal list to finish yesterday! Want to know more about time management read my previous post!

Tutorial on Using Follow-the-Line Quilting Designs

Step 1. Choose your design. I used Follow-the-line Quilting Designs *Volume Three* by Mary M. Covey. It is a collections of full-size patterns for blocks and borders. I picked up my box at my local quilt store.

Step 2. Copy your selected design.

Step 3. Using Golden Threads Quilting Paper, a light weight see thru paper that comes in a roll in 3 different widths -12", 18" & 24" . Cut the number of sections that you will need. I cut 4 since my block was made in quarters.

Step 4. Layer the sized Golden Threads Quilting Paper over the copied template. Without thread in your machine free motion quilt the design. This will serve two purposes of one having the design to follow while FMQ and perforating the paper making it easier to tear away. 

Step 5. Pin the perforated Golden Threads Quilting Paper onto your block.

Step 6. Thread your machine and begin free motion quilting your design. Follow the numbers on the template for the best way to quilt your selected design. Once completed tear away the paper.

The next thing on my goal list was to do something with this fabric.

Tah Dah!

And another Tah Dah!
In an effort to organize I made 25 kits.

The third thing on my list was taking care of my clients accounting and other miscellaneous administrative work.

Linking with freshly pieced today. Click on the WIP Wednesday icon to go to their blog site. Hope to see you there.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

It was a good day!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have time to sit a spell and leave a comment.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Another Block Finished

Late to bed and early to rise, and with a purposeful mind to finish this block today has been completed in record time.  Well that is for me since the previous blocks took at least 3-4 days or more.

My key motivator was rereading Mdm Samm's at Sew We Quilt piece on timers and how she gets stuff done. Here is part 1 out of 3 if you are interested.

Did you read it?
If you took a moment to do so you found out that she ends every evening listing 3 things she wants to complete the next day. Also she works in 23 minute intervals on a single project.  Well I am whooping it up because not only did I complete the block I also completed the other 2 things on my list in addition to sweeping my whole house and cleaning the kitchen appliances that were not on my list. I even went to church and breakfast with my hubby this morning.

Do you recognize what these are?
Let me tell you a little bit about them. Years ago I made many of these parts that go to a whole. They were taken to craft fairs, on the shelves of an arts and craft store, given to family members, and gifted to a couple of exchange students. I have all the notions and other pieces some waiting to be washed after being stored for many years.

Have you figured out what they are?

If you said Raggedy Ann and Andy legs and arms you were correct.

Do you know if they are desirable with the young of today and worth my time to complete them?

Today I am linking up with the following linky parties. Hope to see you there.

WIPs on WednesdaysWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Stitch by StitchFresh Poppy DesignBetter Off Thread

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Quilting, Piecing and Apple Pie

You are probably asking what does this star block have to do with Apple Pie? It doesn't! But later on with that. This evening I completed free motion quilting another block with feathers (or feather like on this block) and cross hatching. The picture is dark so it is difficult to see the stitching in the star. The center has a fan, a design that The Quilted Pineapple's used on one of her fabulous quilts. To get a better idea of what it looks like check out her blog here. I love how she adds one more layer of thin batting with an existing batting to achieve a trapunto like appearance.

I learned another new tip while working on this block. Use a dot of  Fray Check to lock those thread tails. Ingenious!

By the way did you know that all white marking pencils are not equal? I received a recommendation to try Pat Campbell's White Marking Pencil. Until it arrives the markings will be made with soap.

First of all I want to say thank you to another Charlotte Quilter who is also a member of the Charlotte Modern Quilt Guild, O'Quilts.  On her blog she took pictures of her Granny Smith apples she picked from her tree. I have one too but was quite certain that I didn't have any apples worthy of being picked. Most looked like they had rotted on the tree due to all the rain we have had. Yesterday, it was such a pleasant day and I had gotten up early and completed all my work for my clients. Hubby and I were sitting outside sipping on our coffee watching all the critters (bunnies, squirrels, and birds) and looking at the apple tree that for the first time had apples galore on it.

As you can see I ended up with a very large bowl full of apples. Since I had my work done I thought I would make an apple pie! I used a different crust recipe and ended up piecing the pie dough together. The crust looked a bit like a pieced quilt block. My apple pie was NOT great looking but it was great tasting! The test was seeing hubby smiling walking down the hallway with a bowl full and a mouthful as he made his way, and commenting good apple pie.

But the bowl was still full to overflowing so I took enough to offer to the FLAWs (Former Ladies At Work) since we were meeting for breakfast today. I had one taker who took a bag home with her.  After breakfast with the FLAWs I came home and prepared 2 quarts of apples for freezing leaving a half bowl full. Maybe I will squeeze in one more pie tomorrow using a different pie crust recipe. If you have one that is a winner please let me know!

~Remember the expert in anything was once a beginner~ Now I ask how long does one have to be a beginner before they can be considered an expert?  Back to practicing.

Quilt hugs,

Monday, July 22, 2013

2 More Blocks Done - Free Motion Quilting

Circle of Geese and Asterik make it 5 blocks done! Now working on block # 6. The Asterik is a redo. I looked at it for several days and decided to rip out what I had completed. Following my drawing didn't enhance the block one iota.

There are so many wonderful free motion quilting designs available to pick and choose from. I have developed a Pinterest board of free motion quilting designs and motifs. Check it out if needing to be inspired. I probably spent as much time pinning as I have free motion quilting.

I have been listening to books on CDs.  I need to be entertained while quilting thus made a trip to my local library this morning to pick up more CDs so I can get this quilt done.

Please share with me your favorite marking pencils especially white ones. I have one that is my favorite but it is a stub of a pencil and I don't remember what brand it is. I have two other brands but they do not mark as well! I tried the Clover White Marking Pen, Quilting Clean Erase, General's Pastel Chalk and a chalk stick without success!  I used Quilting Pounce too. Though it gave me a nice visible line but by the time I reached the end of a sashing row it rubbed off.

Thanks for stopping by. I love my visitors and comments. Don't forget to check my Pinterest Board too!

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It's Tuesday! Time to linky party.
Want to party with us?
 Click on the buttons and they will take you to the hosting blog.
Hope to see you there!

Fresh Poppy DesignBetter Off Thread

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cleopatra's Puzzle Block - Free Motion Quilting Feathers & Grid And Cool QAYG Video

Finding the best location that would show off the quilting was not so easy. Finally I  attached two pants hangers to the folded quilt and opened an antique dresser drawer to hang it on. This is the Cleopatra's Puzzle, a Craftsy Block of the Month from 2012.

I purchased a couple of items that helped the quilting to come closer to my drawn picture. Mary Jo's Fabrics had a one day sale. Check out the website. It is a huge store with lots of fabric!! Anyways, I purchased a Flex Design Rule to help with drawing consistent curves, a Clover Soft Thread Pic for pulling loose threads into the sandwich Quilter's 1/4 inch tape and Schmeetz Top Stitching needles. I wish I had the Flex Design Rule for the wreath but oh well!

I had so many loose threads to pull through from the starting and ending lines that I watched several shows on Netflix on my Ipad while pulling them. I loved using the Clover Soft Thread Pic for this job. In addition to securing the threads I decreased the stitching to 1.0 at the beginning and ending of each line to lock those stitches. My machine does have the knotting stitch. I tend to stitch too many where the knots show up on the quilt.

I saw this video posted by Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville on facebook today. This Quilt-As-You-Go version completes it with all machine stitching - no hand stitching as I have done in the past. I am planning to make another Baseball T-Shirt Quilt for my oldest grandson and believe this will be the way to go. I am real excited about this find!

When I am not sewing and it isn't raining I play around in my garden.  I have been collecting blue bottles with the idea of making a bottle tree. Quickly I stuck them in a planter to see if it would do anything. I think I like it. Now to remove the labels. Maybe the rain will melt them away!

Well as I write this my husband just came home and brought me a big bag of Indulgent Trail Mix - CHOCOLATE!! Good thing I went to Planet Fitness this morning so I can indulge!

This morning while perusing BlogLovin I found another Linky Party. I will be linking with Stitch by Stitch Anything Goes Quilt n Sew.

Stitch by Stitch
Also linking with Sew Cute Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping by.
I love your comments so let me know if you have visited my blog.

Quilt hugs,

Friday, July 12, 2013

Not Quite Like What I Drew on Paper

Today I completed free motion quilting another block on my quilt. I marked each section separately and now I have a funny looking wreath. Also it is so hard to see the stitching since it fights with the fabric. The center is cross hatch on point.Always on the learning curve.

Back to practicing!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Making Good Use of Time While Waiting!

Last Friday I took my car for its first year annual checkup. Yes! really. Sounds like a medical appointment doesn't it? I was offered a loaner car but I decided to wait instead the two hours they told me it would take. So armed with things to keep myself entertained I made good use of not 2 hours of waiting but 3 hours. I was so focused on what I was reading and doing that I hadn't realized that much time had gone by. Good thing!

I took with me notes from SewCalGal's 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge. I read and reviewed them preparing to quilt a Sampler Quilt made up of the blocks from Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month.

Originally I was leaning toward an overall design using a pantograph type stencil. I happened across Leah Day's website who was suggesting how to quilt a sampler quilt.  Leah took each block and penciled in quilting designs over each block. The quilt was transformed from a beautiful quilt to a show piece quilt.  I honestly don't believe my quilt will be changed to that degree but it will enhance it and allow me to practice free motion quilting, designing and planning. The quilt I will be quilting is made up of blocks from Craftsy Block of the Month 2012. I took each block picture and designed a quilting motif over each one.

 I had already begun one block in feathers, grid work and spacing, thus decided to follow through with while penciling a design in each block.

The top block is the Asterisk block. Isn't it amazing how you can change the design of a pieced block with a quilting design?

The second block is a variation of the Drunkard's Path, Cleopatra's Puzzle Block. Notice the feathers, gridwork and spacing.

The third block is an Octagon Block, a very simple block on its own. I love how the feathers makes the design look like a wreath.

Other takeaways from reviewing notes were suggested products that I wanted to google and order that will make free motion quilting easier!
They are:
  1. Clover Soft Touch Thread Pic for hiding or removing stray threads as it easily slips through fabric, leaving no marks or punctures. Check out other great uses for it here.
  2. Ecolux LED Light - A strip perfect to attached to the underside of the arm. It has no wires and does not take up workspace on the quilting table. It lights exactly where you need the light without causing shadows. There are various sizes. Want to know more about them go here.
  3. Alvin Brass Bullet Sharpener - This is a sturdy pencil sharpener. Great for those white or other marking pencils. It is inexpensive. Check it out here.

In my initial block, one of the corner block's feathers is not in size with the other two so it will need to be ripped out - maybe it will remain if the lack of perfection doesn't change my mind to rip and begin again! Notice the feathers and curved grid work? Love, love curved grid work. I used a free motion hopper foot for the curved grids   but changed to using the walking foot for more uniformed and straight stitching. I used the free motion quilting hopper foot for the feathers.

In preparation to wait I also took along a book that has been on my shelf for several years. Reading it again I realized how this book needs to be read or memorized.  It is so comprehensive that it would probably serve better as a resource book. Harriet Hargrave, a pioneer in the free motion quilting movement published Heirloom Machine Quilting 4th Edition. She covers the following in her book:
  • Getting Your Space Ready
    • Preparing your Work Space
    • Sewing Machines and Accessories
    • Threads and Needles
  • Preparing the Top for Quilting
    • Planning Ahead
    • Choosing Designs to Quilt
    • Stencils, Marking Techniques, and Markers
    • Layering and Pin-Basting
    • Packaging and Preparing to Quilt
  • Quilting Techniques
    • Straight-Line Quilting: Ditch Quilting
    •  Straight-Line Quilting: Lines and Grids
    • Free-Motion Quilting: Basics
    • Free-Motion Quilting: Beyond Basics
    • Feathers
    • Padded Quilting
    • Master-Level Quilts
  • Quilting Designs
Couple other valuable ideas that I learned was trading out bifocals for magnifying glasses. I haven't tried it yet as I gave all of them to Goodwill. I do use a magnifying glass that I purchased from Sharon Schambers at the Paducah Quilt Show several years ago. The magnification works great but sometimes the bendable post that holds the glass gets in my way. Another thing that has been helpful is trading out my armless chair for one with arms. Amazing what a difference that makes.

After waiting and making a trip to pick up one of my client's mail I stopped off at my local quilt shop to purchase marking pencils. What fun that ended up being. One of the founding members of the Charlotte Quilt Guild was there. She was so entertaining and such an inspiration. She must have been in her 80s but believe me she was young! We were in stitches listening to her stories. I love quilters!

Linking up with Free Motion Quilting for Linky Tuesday. Come join us!

If you enjoyed reading this post please leave a comment or anything that is on your mind!

Quilt hugs,


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