pretty in pink…

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.

IMG_1305

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.

IMG_1307

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.

IMG_1313

 

lost in the field…

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.

20140319-220406.jpg

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.

20140319-220422.jpg

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.

A country xmas…

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.

IMG_1264

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.

IMG_1276

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.

green it be..

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.

IMG_1295

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.”

IMG_1297

 

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.

IMG_1301

 

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.

IMG_1303

 

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.

Cubic experimentation..

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.

IMG_0231_2

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.

IMG_0232_2

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.

IMG_0233_2

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.

IMG_0236_2

 

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.

IMG_0235_2

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.