This project was an experiment to test quilting of a small quilt that was already finished and bound. This table runner was something that my mother in law had put together, however she had never put a stitch of quilting in it.
This style of table runner is not something that would fit in any of the homes of the immediate family members, so it was decided that this would be donated to my sister in law’s preschool for an auction. I wanted to see if I could quilt it quickly on the long arm by just pinning it to the leaders. Although I was not able to quilt it completely to the edges, I believe that the quilting that I was able to accomplish did help to increase the value.
This method only took me about an hour and came away with good enough results that I am most likely going to try it again on a few more of the pile of table runners that I have from my mother in law.
I literally threw this quilt together in a couple of days. The fabric has been sitting on a shelf in my closet for at least seven years. It is all from the “On the Mend” line from Loralie Designs, except for the green fabric (which was added just to give a bit of contrast. The pattern is “Yellow Brick Road” by Atkinson Designs.
The quilting pattern is “Hearts in a Swirl” by Cyndi Hermann. I used a hot pink thread for the quilting. The hot pink has become one of my favorite colors of quilting thread on quilts that have multiple shades of pink.
I used the same binding method that I have been using with the glue stick basting and the topstitch finishing. I am happy with the results, or at least the timeliness of the finish of this quilt. This was a large quilt, almost full/double bed size, and from start to finish I got it done in less than a week.
I created this quilt to test not only my skills but to test the skills of the the new long arm machine, and the software provided. I wanted to learn how to trim out an appliqué from an all over quilting design, as well as design something for the curved borders.
When I had originally designed this quilt I envisioned the off-white border quilting and flower petal quilting in a matching off-white. I let myself get talked in to quilting both in the red that I knew that I wanted to quilt the background in.
With all of the vertical lines in the background I found that the quilt just wanted to curl in on itself, and there was some puckering around the flowers and the border. So I went back and stitched in the ditch around the flowers and the border to just give the quilt some better structure.
I chose to finish this quilt with a facing instead of a binding so that the edge would just fade instead of standing out. My downfall was in trying to incorporate a hanging sleeve in to the facing. Needless to say, I will need to work on it more, and still stitch it down to the backing.
This is another example of something that is not my style. Again the blocks were from my mother-in-law. When I finally found the book that contained the pattern I decided to put this table runner together. Again, this small quilt allowed me to learn more about the new long arm machine, in this case this small table runner was turned in to a fully custom quilting job.
Placing each of the motifs on the trees and the snowflakes around them made for a good exercise. I also learned how to divide a pattern to isolate the center star for the base of the tree. For the snowflakes I also had to increase the stitches per inch to get the circles at the tips of the snowflakes to stitch out properly.
I also got to practice my sashing skills with this swirl pattern (that you cannot really see in the end) as well as some point-to-point skills with the cross hashing on the checkerboard sections. In the end I ended up taking it to my small machine and stitching in the ditch around almost everything with just my walking foot, as it just didn’t seem finished without it. The main thing I learned with this quilt is that a full custom job takes a lot of time. Just this table runner (granted it is long, over 50″) took a full day at the machine to complete.
This is not my type of quilt, however I used some blocks that my mother-in-law had made, and added some plain squares of the same background fabric that I had found in her stash in order to teach myself how to do some custom quilting on the new long arm machine.
This design allowed me to practice separate block designs, sashing, and borders. I used the Decatur set of block designs and border but “My Creative Stitches.”
The sashing is actually something that we just drew up with six simple arcs. It plays well with the other blocks while not dominating them. Plus it allowed me to try my hand at drafting up something specific to use in the drafting software.
The binding I attached by machine, but this time I used a glue stick to baste the binding to the back of the quilt before I stitched it down from the front. This seems to be a good method for me going forward, as I am happy enough with the results. placing the border quilting on this quilt allowed me to learn several things. Mostly that not only do you have to check the spacing on the inner border, but you also have to make sure that you leave room for the binding on the edge. Going forward I may just allow for the binding when I define the border area in the software.
The back of this quilt allowed me to use the one block that did not seem to fit in with the blocks on the front. I tried to place it so that it would purposely not align with one of the blocks on the front, since it would be hard to guarantee that it aligned perfectly on the long arm.
This quilt was an experiment in many ways. I had offered my services to my sister-in-law if they ever needed an auction quilt for one of their school projects. A short time later she asked if I was serious and that they had a preschool auction in March. This was in November so at least I had a large timeframe. This is the smaller test quilt for the larger one which the preschool students will be working on.
I made this little quilt to test out all of the techniques necessary to make a pixelated quilt similar to Emily Cier’s kindergarten auction quilt. The blocks are constructed using a self stick washable stabilizer. In this case I used a jelly roll of dusty kona cottons set in kona charcoal. The backing is from the Kona Modern Quilts collection. This was quilted on a computerized longarm machine with Superior So Fine polyester thread. The quilting design was not really what I had in mind when I designed this quilt, but the triangles suit the squares on the front as well as the circular patterns on the back, without interfering with either of them.
I learned many things while working on this project. First off, water soluble stabilizer does not like heat or steam. Some of my first attempts to press open the seams my iron was too hot, and that block had a square that was puckered. Luckily you cannot tell in the finished quilt, but it made me turn my iron down to a wool/silk setting with no steam. On this setting it was almost impossible to get a decent press on unwashed cotton without heat or steam is difficult.
Never piece when sick and exhausted. While this may seem like a common rule, I was under a timeline and felt the pressure of needing to finish this little experiment. This is why several of the blocks in the final quilt are in the same (not rotated) orientation. Make sure to use a washable marker when marking on water soluble stabilizer.
I finished the binding on this quilt on the machine. This is the first time that I have used this method, as typically I hand stitch the bindings down. In this case I used 1/4″ steam a seam lite to “baste” the binding to the back before I stitched in the ditch from the front. In the end I did not like the fusible, and the end result was alright, but I think I will shoot for a different method in the future. But since this was an experimental quilt, at least I can say that I experimented.
To further experiment with this quilt I used washable wool batting for the first time ever. And like the rest of this quilt I learned several things. While wool batting can be washable, expect bearding. Only use wool batting on light background quilts, as this can minimize the effect of the bearding. Because the background on this quilt was charcoal, you can really see the wool fibers sticking through the background fabric.
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