Quilting with rulers can seem like a daunting plan. We all love how grids can look in a quilt and how much visual interest they can add. But how do you go about actually doing it? Even beginners can quilt a grid with a little planning and patience. Here are some of my best tips for quilting a grid:Continue reading How to quilt a grid using rulers tutorial
This has been such a busy and exciting week for me! I had a little time away from sewing celebrating the Christmas season with our family (and our daycare was closed for almost two weeks–insert the screaming face emoji here ;). All joking aside, it was wonderful to get to spend so much time with the family and remember what’s important in life! I hope you were able to rest, recharge, and be around the people you love.
One thing I’m super pumped about is Amanda Leins and Bill Volckening’s new book Inspired Free-Motion Quilting. The book is described as “90 Antique designs reinterpreted for today’s quilter”. I do a lot of custom quilting, and this book is really inspirational, as far as brainstorming designs goes. There are pages of antique quilts with really amazing quilting designs, along with step-by-step instructions on how to execute and master each design. It’s a great reference for seasoned quilters and beginners alike. I’m so excited to be a part of the Inspired Free-Motion Quilting blog hop and team up with Mandy Leins and C&T Publishing to give away one free PDF copy (that means the giveaway is open internationally!!!) of this awesome book! Read to the end for details on how to enter.
As soon as I was able to flip through Inspired Free-Motion Quilting, two designs immediately caught my eye that I knew exactly what I wanted to use them for. My two favorite motifs from the book are “Double lines and orange peel” and “Echoed Crosshatch”. I really enjoy making bags (in addition to the quilting I do), and I like to add a bit of decorative quilting to the exterior of the bag, if I’m able to. I had a new pattern I was really excited to try–The Gloss Cosmetic Bag by Sew Sweetness (Sara Lawson). The pattern is available with purchase of the Minikins Season 2 pattern bundle on Sara’s site.
This is a really great way to spice up some solid fabric–and solid colors show off the quilting with less distractions than prints. I cut the green linen-canvas fabric I had slightly larger than the pattern called for and quilted it prior to assembling the pattern. I loved the instructions and diagrams that are included with the book–they really leave no room for error, even if you’re just starting out. I’m really thrilled with how impactful the design is that I selected from the book. I chose “Double Lines and Orange Peel” for a classic motif that would really look great on a cosmetic bag. I love the definition and texture it gives the solid–in what would otherwise be a really boring cosmetic bag. It’s not as easy to see in the picture, but I opted to skip the orange peels on the patterned fabric on the bottom of the case, and only quilted the echoed crosshatch.
I quilted the bag components on my longarm, but it would be easy to do this sort of quilting on a domestic. Just pop on a walking foot and measure out your straight lines, and follow the simple instructions for free-motion quilting the orange peels between the lines to finish up. I used a slightly contrasting thread color for a little pop, but I’m dying to make another in black canvas with black thread for subtle texture and style.
Amanda and Bill do a fantastic job of sharing some amazing antique quilts and their in depth knowledge of how to reproduce the motifs, and I highly recommend Inspired Free-Motion Quilting as a must have reference for quilters! Make sure you read below to enter the giveaway, and check out the other blog hop participants’ posts for more chances to win!
- January 7: C&T Publishing, Bill Volckening
- January 8: Amanda Murphy of Amanda Murphy Design, Kim Lapacek of Persimmon Dreams
- January 9: Teri Lucas, Lynn Harris, Debby Brown of Debby Brown Quilts
- January 10: Robin Koehler of NESTLINGS by Robin,
Mary Abreu of Confessions of a Craft Addict , Patty Murphy of Patty Murphy Handmade
- January 11: Joanna Marsh of Kustom Kwilts, and Amanda Leins of Mandalei Quilts
Here’s what you came for!! C&T Publishing has so generously allowed me to give away one PDF copy of Inspired Free-Motion Quilting. All you need to do to enter is like my Instagram post and tag a friend in the comments OR leave a comment on THIS blog post telling me why you’re excited to get a copy of this book! The giveaway is open internationally and will close Sunday, January 13, 2019 at 6:00 PM, CST. The winner will be notified by me soon thereafter. Good luck!!!
Guys!!! I’m so excited to finally be able to share my project for the Michael Miller Spring Quilt Market booth. They sent me fat quarters of their new has dot blenders and their marbled fabrics, along with some coordinating Cotton Couture solids and told me to make something fun and rainbow-y! Is that a dream assignment, or what?? I narrowed it down to 48 unique fabrics that I wanted to use in the quilt, and lined them up:
I numbered them and then numbered the design I had mocked up in EQ8, but it was starting to get a little crazy. I ended up having to make a smaller swatch card because some of the fabrics were so similar in color and shade that I was starting to go cross-eyed flipping through that stack.
I very rarely make swatch cards, but I found it to be very necessary with this quilt. I designed a foundation paper piecing block in EQ8 and then rotated it slightly to complete the design. The piecing went really quickly and I just needed to double check that I had the correct fabric for each block before I started sewing. I’ll admit, there was a good amount of seam ripping to be had with this one!
I used my new Daylight Company light box to help with the foundation paper piecing, and I really love how thin and lightweight the unit is. I had a very bulky, cumbersome light box in the past and recently upgraded to this one. It’s been such a nice treat to have one that doesn’t take up all of my cutting mat. I also used Adobe Illustrator to help design the applique text in the right size and fonts, then tiled the pages to make a huge pattern. I hand cut each letter and symbol out, then used the paper as a template to trace onto the white fabric for the applique. I used Misty Fuse on the backside of the white Cotton Couture and then cut out each letter. It was pretty time and labor intensive, but I love how it turned out.
I did come up with a slight problem in getting the applique on straight, centered, and spaced equally. Usually, I would just use a big window and tape the quilt in place or trace where the letters needed to be, but I decided to buy a cheap portable projector and project the original applique design onto the quilt while it hung, and then I positioned the letters in place with a small amount of glue from an Elmer’s glue stick. Once they were in position, I lightly fused them into place and then took the quilt top to my Janome MC9400 to complete the applique blanket stitching around each individual letter (that took about a day and a half!).
Once I finished the applique, it was time to throw it on the longarm for quilting. I chose just a single layer of Quilter’s Dream Wool to maximize the quilting texture and also keep it fairly lightweight. Then I quilted some straight diagonal lines with rulers to finish it off. I opted to not bind the quilt traditionally, but I faced it to not take away from the overall punch of the quilt, and keep the focus on the applique. I really loved making this quilt and loved the new fabrics being released by Michael Miller Fabrics for Spring Quilt Market 2018. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of that fabric!
I just love some good free motion quilting! Last month, I quilted some amazing client quilts. One quilt was a BOM from a local quilt shop – Sew Special in San Antonio, TX, and another was pieced by Kasandra Lee from the SAMQG. The first quilt I mentioned was a quilt pieced by Katelen Postert that started as a traditional BOM using Moda’s Grunge line. Katelen added her own special touch and added some amazing animal appliques to really make this quilt special. Katelen is so talented, and that mini-parade of wildlife strolling down the center of the quilt is just perfection!
When I met with Katelen for her quilting consultation, we decided on some clean straight line quilting (not too dense), and outline the appliques with some stitch in the ditch and surround them with medium-sized swirls. I used Glide thread in a 50 wt. light teal color that matched the duck (along with a lighter cream color for the swirls), and used a single layer of Quilter’s Dream Wool batting.
I was so in love with Katelen’s color choices and her addition of the applique was such an awesome touch. Here’s a portion of the finished quilt with the applique. Bravo Katelen!!!
Kasandra’s quilt was just as exciting for me to quilt. She did a great modern maple quilt with lots of negative space in a cool color palette.
I did some diagonal straight line quilting within the maple leaves to follow the lines of the piecing, and then added some free flowing swirls to the background. The batting used was Quilter’s Dream Orient for a functional, soft, and drapey quilt that will be useful in a hot climate.
And these are the free-flowing swirls I did in the negative space. This is truly one of my favorite fills to do, and so relaxing to get lost in!
I’m so happy I can share these quilts made by some very talented women. I love mixing a little free motion quilting with ruler work and I think it makes the quilt really stand out without being overly done. Hope you’re getting to do some lovely sewing this week!
Who wants a free Ice Cream, You Scream Quilt Pattern? Well today is your lucky day!!!
You have to check out this adorable fabric line Michael Miller Fabrics just released. The line is called Ice Cream, You Scream and the colors are everything! Also, there’s this border print that is just dying to be put in a quilt (or made into a little girl’s skirt!!), and nearly makes me swoon! I got a chance to get my hands on this fabric to design a quilt for the release, and I’m not gonna lie…I spent a few hours just playing with the fabric and coordinating Cotton Couture. It features sweet ice cream cones, sundaes, and the best stripes. It reminded me of the 4th of July and ice cream socials and everything pure in the world. The best part is, Michael Miller Fabrics is offering this pattern as a freebie–you can get your own PDF pattern download from their website.
The pattern is for “confident beginners”, which just means you need a general knowledge of foundation paper piecing and fussy cutting. I fussy cut the border pieces so the ice cream sundaes were centered along the center of the borders, and the cornerstones in the border were fussy cut to showcase the cute little ice cream phrases on the fabric.
I had a blast designing and piecing the quilt. I had even more fun quilting it! I used Glide thread (from Hab+Dash) and Quilter’s Dream batting in the quilt. I used a few different colors of thread and matched them to the different fabrics. Most of the quilting was handguided free motion quilting, with the assistance of straight rulers for the grids.
I’d love to see what you do with the pattern–the foundation paper piecing blocks are pretty quick to sew up. Just remember to shorten your stitch length (I like to use 1.5) so the paper is perforated enough to tear away easily and print your paper piecing templates at 100%. Then add your sashing and borders and voila! Don’t forget to grab your free copy, and check out the pattern (pictured below). Happy sewing!!!
The guild I belong to recently held a mini quilt show/silent auction, where the members were challenged to make modern mini quilts measuring 16″ square to show and raise awareness for modern quilting and invite people to ask questions about what our guild does. The event was graciously hosted by Sew Special Quilts in San Antonio, where they provided space for us to show the quilts and have our meeting after hours. They were so awesome and have a great selection of quilting and sewing supplies, so if you’re in need and in the area, please show them some love!
|Pieced by Debra B, fabric-Urban Artifacts by Leslie Tucker Jenison
pardon the not-square appearing mini. It really was square, but I forgot to smooth that wrinkle before I snapped this picture. This was right after quilting and mini was not yet bound.
|Mini Quilt “pieced” by Debra B. using Grunge fabrics|
So I guess this is part 2 of my Quilt Market preparations posts…The quilting edition!
|Putting the binding on…|
|Quilt designed by Liberty Worth with Urban Artifacts fabrics by Leslie Tucker Jenison|
The next quilt was designed by Allison Chambers of the San Antonio Modern Quilt Guild and was inspired by mid-century modern style. I love this quilt! I was aiming to keep the quilting modern but understated and used a blending thread instead of a highly contrasting one. I did some geometric ruler work with stitch in the ditch on this one.
|Quilt designed by Allison Chambers using Urban Artifacts Fabric by Leslie Tucker Jenison|
|Quilt designed by Allison Chambers using Urban Artifacts Fabric by Leslie Tucker Jenison|
Ahhhhh! I’m dying a little bit over those Anna Maria Horner Pretty Potent prints. This is a fabric line that I adore, but never ended up making anything myself with. So it was a special treat to get to quilt this and ooh and ahhhh over the fabrics and quilt design.
When I first looked at this quilt, I was literally stumped at what to quilt it with. I knew it was going to be custom quilted, but couldn’t figure out what to do with all the negative space. I loaded it on the frame and it sat for a week. I sketched out ideas in my sketchbook and didn’t really have any great luck with inspiration. Finally I decided on a simple outlined design with some ruler work, embellished with pebbles and other straight lines to fill in the gaps.
You can see here a little better that each print fabric was outlined twice with a small ruler. Then pebbles were added, along with some straight lines for filler to add more texture.
How many times have you looked at a quilt top and been totally stumped on how you would quilt it? I feel like this is a skill that really is developed over time and trial and error. I’ll be the first to admit that my very first quilts–after quilting–didn’t really showcase the quilt pattern with the quilting as they could have. My quilting designs made little sense and didn’t work with the existing pattern to make the quilt pop. Basically, I was just quilting to get it done and keep all the layers together.
|This was actually the first row that I quilted with a feather. I hated them and ripped them all out and started over.|
I stewed over the newly blank quilt after ripping the first row out and finally re-started.
I love the finished look of ruler work with free motion quilting. I think the structure really works well with the free-flowing quilting and I can’t wait to play around with this some more. I can’t wait to see where my work is in another 5 years…
There must be something in the water…or maybe I’m just at that season in my life where the wedding showers have ended and baby showers are now the reigning social event! That being said, there’s nothing I love more than designing and putting together cute baby quilts. Let’s face it…quilts are very time consuming. BUT if you do small ones, they take significantly less time, and are loved the same! It’s really fun to play around with layout and quilt design when you know the process will be quick and fun and you’ll learn something from the quilt you create. I recently did a quilt for a baby boy with all gray fabric, and really loved the mother-to-be’s registry choices. I could tell that she had very modern taste and would probably be okay with me throwing something together that was a little Libs Elliott inspired.