Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quilt Along #11 ~ Quilting on a line

Quilt Along #11 Quilting on a Line
 This Quilt Along Challenge has been hmmmm, should I say, eye opening about my own skills :)   Now I know why I like free motion quilting, it is so much easier to "free motion quilt" and go where you want and swirl and twirl, than it is to trace a pattern and stitch/quilt on a line! 

My First wall quilt of heart and feathers with a cotton batting.  I traced the pattern on the top of the quilt, using my sliding glass door for a light source, with a chalk pencil.  However, I found the fabric design so busy it was a lot of work to see the pattern.  There was lots of retracing of lines, and  found the same when stitching, and I did not like the build up of threads.

The back looks okay, as the thread build up on the muslin does not show up as much, and no lines to remove.

My second wall quilt of heart and feathers is with a high loft poly batting.  This time I traced the pattern on a muslin backing, as using the busy paisley red fabric again.  The stitches came out so much better this time, as it was so much easier to see ahead of time where I was going.

However, the sunlight was coming through my window so brightly, I could not see my pencil line at all, and when I sandwiched the quilt together, on the white batting, the pencil lines really showed up.  Now to get out the eraser and have at it to get them off.  I have a frixion pen, but here in the cold New England climate, and using the chemicals on the fabric, well, I just rather not use that one if I don't have to.

When I decided to mark the back instead of the front the second time, I did not remember to starch the backing; result, I found the fabric stretched and shifted a lot more and the marks are more difficult to get out than if I had starched it.  Yippee, another lesson learned :)  Starch the side you are marking!

This Quilt Along Challenge has been hmmmm, should I say , eye opening about my own skills :)  Learning a lot and really having a lot of fun.  best part of this quilt group, is you only get to see what I show you :)

I have two more quilt tops to complete for this weeks challenge, will post those successes later.   Will give the blue washout pen a try, and another marking method along with using a low loft poly batt, and maybe a wool batt.  Certainly learning this pattern, and creating a better map for the stitching route each time I repeat a pattern.  I think I will save the wool batt for last :)  

 Remember there are NO Failures in quilting, just a whole lot of lessons learned :O)
Happy quilting.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Quilt Along #10 ~ Preparing a Wholecloth Top

Quilt Along   #10 Preparing a WholeCloth Quilt Top
  Preparing a wholecloth for quilting was our project this past week. 
                      Leah created a beautiful feather and heart pattern she shared with us this week as she walked us through the steps of how to prepare our fabric for quilting this project.  
Cutting the correct size, spraying with starch and then pressing the opposite side of that which was sprayed were the first steps of preparation.
                   Once the pattern was printed we began the process of assembling the pieces and
tracing the pattern.  For a light source for seeing the pattern through the fabric I taped the pattern  to our sliding glass door on a sunny day, and then taped the heavily starched red fabric right side up on top of the pattern while the sunlight revealed the lines to trace. 

Using a white chalk pencil I traced the celtic looking heart and feather pattern onto enough fabric to create two quilts, and tomorrow I will trace two more.

While tracing the pattern, I was thinking about where I will begin and end my quilting lines, which helped me as I began the process of putting the pattern to memory!  Once the tracing was done on both pieces, I cut out the Batt and Backing for both.  One will be done with a Warm and natural cotton batt, and the other will be done with a low loft poly batt.  
Once these two are done, I hope to have time to do two more, one with a Hi loft batt and one with a wool batting.  These will make lovely Valentine holiday gifts !

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quilt Along #9 and 2012 FMQ March Challenge

Quilt Along #9 and 2012 FMQ Challenge for March

This month is all about "PRACTICE"

Ann Fahl has been sharing with us on the FMQ Challenge simple patterns that can be
mastered well when we put them to practice... I have altered the spiral daisy a wee bit as I find this pattern here in the photo's easier under my hands without cross over threads. 

Leah Day has been sharing with us on FMQ~along steps to completing a wholecloth quilt in a domestic machine, and encouraging us this week to put what we have learned so far into practice.

So here I have a baby quilt (nothing says little girl quilt quite like swiss dot and pink gingham check).  Here I not only have practiced this spiral centered daisy and loopty doops FMQ pattern, but also gave another go at adding an additional border to an already quilted piece, a technique we learned  back in an earlier quilt along class.   This technique does get easier every time I have done it!  By the time my grandsons are needing larger quilts, if they have favorites, I will be able to enlarge them so they may enjoy them a wee bit longer.
Time to get the lightbox out and get a pattern on Fabric for next weeks Quilt Along !
Thank you Leah Day,  Ann Fahl and Sew Cal Gal :)
Another UFO just about completed :)