Yesterday, I taught a class on machine applique. In the course of the discussion, I brought out Down the Drain to show different examples of satin stitching. I also showed The Tarts Come to Tea.
This brought up the idea of quilting, which I tried to gloss over, but my intelligent students wanted to know why they had never seen the Tarts and I had to admit that I hadn’t completed the quilting.
I felt silly admitting that the quilt was partially quilted and languishing in a project box. Will I get back to it? Maybe. They didn’t think it was weird or out of date looking, so it might be time to get back to the quilting. I quilted Down the Drain and survived the process, so perhaps it is time to get back to it?
We had a guild meeting on Saturday. Our speaker was Christina Cameli. She is a machine quilter and I wasn’t that excited, but I really loved the presentation and her.
She had the guild send photos of several people’s quilts. People sent quilts where they needed help with the quilting. I was amazed and impressed with her suggestions.
I liked her because she was very calm and listened to the people engaged with her. The presentation seemed to be about the quilt and not about her. She used Adobe Draw to write/draw on the images. This was an effective way to show what she was thinking.
I really liked her suggestions for Gerre’s quilt. Christina asked what Gerre was thinking and what kind of quilting she enjoyed, such as FMQ, walking foot, straight line, etc. This is a quilt Gerre started in the Jen Carlton Bailly class. I love the bold prints she used. Christina suggested putting leaves and flowers in the curved pieces. I thought that was brilliant and Gerre liked the idea, too. I thought the idea was really innovative, but fit in with the spirit of the design.
Melinda showed a scrapbuster quilt. Melinda talked a little about her thoughts. Christina shared that she felt like the brown vertical strips were bars and she suggested wavy lines to soften them. I thought the brown lines were quite dominant so this suggestion was a good idea. I couldn’t get over the thought that this was the back of a quilt and not the front. Of course, it isn’t my quilt, so my opinion means nothing.
I am not sure how Maria felt about these suggestions. I am not a fan, though I think the vertical lines in the upper left are effective.
Pati had a bold, graphic quilt to show. I thought the lines following the stair step piecing what what I would do. I really like the diagonal lines Christina suggested. They are unexpected, after seeing the stair step quilting, but fit in with the implied diagonal on the checkerboards.
Christina really thought outside of the box, but not in a weird way. The quilting designs she suggested were in line with what the quilt needed.Ii was very impressed.
You can find Christina on Instagram at @afewscraps. I was impressed with the four books she has written, the multiple online classes and television demos before I knew she was also a nurse-midwife and the single mom of two kids. I am even more impressed with her now. Her books are:
**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.
I spent some time earlier this week quilting the Jawbreaker. I made good progress on it, but it took me longer than Lucky Charm. Finally, after a second session, I finished it. i swear I have quilted more this year than in a long time. All the projects are small, but I am still quilting them.
Jawbreaker is evenly quilted, but has less quilting than Lucky Charm. I used the Rotary Even Foot and that worked pretty well. I just did straight line quilting – nothing fancy.
One thing that made me a little crazy is that the light green thread I used shredded periodically.
It didn’t shred all the time, but I noticed it at least twice and I found it strange. I very seldom have this issue with Aurifil. In the photo, you can see that the charcoal was fine, but the light green was shredded.
I really don’t want these Journey2Nebula projects hanging around clogging up my UFO list. Since the next project started yesterday, I sat down on Sunday an did some simple quilting on the Red Text table runner. It will be for my buffet (if I didn’t mention that before) and I would like to get it done so I can use it for a little while before I need to set up the decor for Thanksgiving.
I quilted most of it while talking on the phone to the YM. I used the Rotary Even foot rather than my usual clear applique foot. I wasn’t happy with it for other uses, but thought it worked pretty well for quilting straight lines. I definitely didn’t have to worry about the layers shifting. I also liked it because it was quiet. Unlike the walking foot, this foot didn’t clang and make a ton of noise while I was sewing.
I don’t like quilting that much, but it was a good task to do to stay off my foot.
I also made the binding, but it was a little too big, so I need to adjust it then hand stitch the binding to the back of the table runner. I am excited to have it finished!
I went to retrieve a piece of fabric that Tim quilted for me. I will be making bags for our dining room table leaves. Because making quilts and never showing them in person is not fun, I brought some of the donation tops I have made since March. Tim has a number of my donation quilts to quilt. I told him I just wanted to show him the quilts, but he insisted on keeping a couple of them to quilt. Tim kept the Traffic Jam quilt, the Plaid donation quilt and this one.
I didn’t argue with him, but I insisted on helping him load one of the quilts, the first Blue Strip donation quilt on the longarm. I made this back in March. Since then it has been languishing in my ‘going to guild’ bag. I was just about to ask if anyone wanted to quilt some quilts. I will still do that for the 2 Spiky 16 patches I have, but I have many fewer to try to pawn off.
If I help him get a quilt on the machine, he quilts it relatively quickly. It is also good practice for me, so we pinned this piece to his leaders, he tested the stitch length and did a bit of the quilting to test out the machine and the pattern. I am pretty excited that these quilts are out of my bag. I told Tim I would be back to help him get another quilt on the machine.
I got back to the Bat Tablerunner over the weekend. Yes, I quilted.
I quilted for about an hour on Sunday evening. I felt really good about the work I did. I feel like I accomplished something. The quilting was simple, but it looks nice. I felt energized and was ready for another session on Monday. I quilted for about 4 hours on Monday night while DH watched the football game.
I suffered yesterday as 4 hours of machine quilting was a bit much. I knew I was going overboard, but I really want to get this piece done before Saturday’s meeting. I need to break up my work, though so I am not in pain.
I was able to finish the background on Monday and make a start on the bats. I know I just need to do what I can do and hope that I can be done by Saturday.
My intention was to free motion, but I ended up decided on a computerized pattern. Since the fabric is just one length of yardage – no piecing it didn’t seem necessary to spend a bunch of time on it. I thought choosing a computerized pattern would make the process go faster. Overall it took us about 2.5 hours to quilt a 41 x 44 inch sandwich. My friend is still learning and the software isn’t as intuitive as I expected it to be*.
We both worked on it and I was finally getting the hang of moving the quilt from a finished line of quilting back to the right to start the next line (no, it doesn’t do it itself) when we finished. I was glad to finish, because it was exhausting. I am VERY grateful to my friend for helping me quilt the thing and also for just getting another project quilted.
*SIL n.2 and I have discussed how longarm computer software manufacturers don’t have the market to make really great software. If longarm software sold as much as something like Microsoft Word, then there would be more development, but the market just isn’t that large. It is a shame, but business is business.
This Sealife quilt-let started as a piece of fabric I bought at PIQF. Perhaps I bought it last year?
I bought this piece of fabric to make a quilt for my friend’s grandchild. Since I was giving his granddaughter the BAMaQG Color Round Robin, I couldn’t very well leave her older brother out. I wasn’t up for a full on boy quilt and this piece of fabric seemed to be a good compromise.
I call this a quilt-let, because there is no piecing. I don’t know if there is another name for this type of work, so quilt-let it is.
After basting it in my hotel room on Friday night, I spent most of Saturday quilting the piece using some flannel for the back. I used the lines on the fabric to guide my quilting.
I have to make a binding and sew that on. I didn’t bring fabric to do that so that is a task for another day.
I am not sure this project was on any of my project lists, which means I can’t cross it off. Still, the fabric has been laying around my workroom and now it will be finished so and off to its new home.
I finally finished Down the Drain on Friday night. Completely finished: quilting done, binding on, sleeve sewn down. Done.
First, as I mentioned, I finished the quilting. Of course I could have stopped any time, but was clearly on a mission. I kept quilting minutely almost every single open space.
I finished hand sewing the binding on earlier this week. Normally, the combination of tightly woven fabric (an AGF solid) and Aurifil make for slow going, but the combination worked great! My needle went through the fabric with no problem and I sewed the binding in only about 4 hours.
I stitched the sleeve down in only about 2 hours. The whole process of making this quilting was so relatively painless. The experience was not and continues not to be painless. The actual process of making the quilt went so smoothly. I guess it was meant to be.
I finished quilting the art quilt, Down the Drain, a few weeks ago. I don’t know why I didn’t post it. My only explanation is life got in the way.
I am pretty pleased with my quilting. I found that doing the work on the 6600 was relatively painless. The border quilting is not perfect. I couldn’t have done perfect quilting if I had wanted, but I also wanted to express that life isn’t perfect, people aren’t perfect and we have a chance to improve.
I have machine sewed the binding and made the sleeve.
Shockingly, I have been quilting. I have been working, pretty much, on one quilt for a month and I am finishing up the quilting.You’ll see the quilt soon
Yes, **I** am doing the quilting. Don’t expect greatness, because mostly I am doing straight line or straight-ish (as Kelly would say) line quilting.
I am really happy with the 6600. This machine is made for quilting. It has a built-in walking foot that works like a charm. I had very few tension problems even with different weights of Aurifil. While I miss not being able to piece, I am not dreading quilting like I was with my other machines. I think the larger space between the needle and the harp helps, too.
Yes, I have done so in the past, but it has been awhile.
After seeing Mel’s sampler of designs up close and thinking for awhile that I wanted to pull out my walking foot for use more often, I signed up for the class. I love taking BAMQG classes. The people there are really fun, so even if the class it awful (and there hasn’t been an awful one yet), I know we would laugh and have a good time.
I will never be a great quilter like Colleen or Kelly, but I can be adequate and competent. My method of machine quilt is to follow the designs of fabric, as you saw in the Thanksgiving tablerunners. I usually use my applique’ foot and go very slowly. The applique’ foot allows me to see exactly where the needle is going and I can be a bit exacting when I quilt. I used to free motion quilt, but I haven’t done it in a long time and it doesn’t really suit my style of quilts.
The workshop was held at Grace Lutheran on Saturday a week or so ago. The task was to learn to use to the walking foot or become more comfortable in its use. In the process we would create a sampler (or two) of several different quilting patterns. Most of the patterns were straight line, but Mel included some gentle curves as well.
Mel was well organized and had obviously worked hard to develop her handouts. She covered taking breaks and caring for your body, which is skipped over in many classes. We also learned to use tape to mark, tips and tricks for pivoting, decorative stitches and much more. Mel is a calm and well prepared instructor.
The workshop was organized so that the group would get together to learn information then go to the machines to practice. There was a lot of back and forth, which was great because it encouraged everyone to take breaks.
I had a problem sewing on the correct side of the tape at the beginning. This put me behind, because I ended up with a whole bunch of ripping to do. Still I was able to finish one sampler.
I ended up marking an arrow on the tape telling me at a glance on which side to sew. Simple, and possibly unnecessary, but it helped me. I also marked some of the places with my Nonce pencil, a tool I learned to use when I first started quiltmaking. I didn’t have a Sewline with me.
The first thing we did was create squares on the sandwich we had created at home. Like the example above, we were to have a 9 patch layout in which to quilt our designs. I was moving along fine until I sewed on the wrong side of the tape and suddenly my squares were too small. After ripping, I drew the lines on and sewed over those drawn lines rather than using tape. Note that I didn’t make a big deal out of *my* error, as I have seen some people do in other classes. I calmly ripped enough so I could sew the next lesson and then ripped more while I listened to another lecture. Yes, I was frustrated, but this had nothing to do with Mel.
Eventually, I got back on track and was able to finish all but a quarter of one square.
All of the designs are straight line designs except for the heart in the center, which, as you can see, has only a very slight curve. The straight line designs were mostly done using tape in some way to mark out the lines, though in the spiral (upper left hand corner) I used the side of the walking foot, as instructed.
One of the reasons I took the class was to try and find background designs, that fit my quilting style, to use to finish the Tarts. I am not sure I found what I needed, though I think I can use some of the designs for that purpose
My favorite design was probably the Chevron, though I am not sure when I would use it. It isn’t as hard as it looks.
The class was worthwhile and I am glad I took it. I am not sure whether I am more inspired to quilt more in a new way or just have more knowledge. I don’t have a wild desire to machine quilt everything in sight. I suppose time will tell.
I have another sandwich made and continue to try to decide whether I want to start my own sampler, trying out the designs I wasn’t able to try in class. The problem is that if I am quilting, I am not piecing. Also, I can’t switch back and forth as I have to set the machine up for one or the other. For the moment, I will continue to piece.
You can read more about Mel’s thoughts on her blog post.
As discussed a couple of days ago, I went on the BAM Retreat. I didn’t just have boatloads of fun and eat until I was sick, I also made some valuable progress.
The Thanksgiving tablerunners have been hanging over my head. Thanksgiving is now 1.5 months away and the hanging became more like the Sword of Damocles than an item on my to do list. I am pleased to say that the two remaining have been quilted. I still need to make and apply the binding, but the quilting part is done. I didn’t get to the tablemat, but I am pleased with my progress.
One thing I did on the pumpkin tablerunner was use Aurifloss (12 wt thread). I used it in the machine with 50 wt Aurifil in the bobbin. There was more breakage than I normally experience with Aurifil. I really like the effect and was pleased that the 50 wt did not show through to the top. I didn’t have to adjust the tension.
I also made a few blocks for the Tula Pink City Sampler/ Tale of Two Cities project. The blocks were a good break from quilting, which I needed after I completed the quilting on the first tablerunner. Julie joined the #100blocks100days challenge on Instagram and, while I have not joined, it is inspiring me to work on them. Also, she is now ahead of me on making blocks! I need to get myself in gear. Michelle S was a good support for this project at the retreat.
I also FINALLY started the Valori Wells Little Cell Phone Wallet pattern. I really, REALLY need something to carry my phone and hotel key when I am wearing dresses with no pockets. REALLY. Since the project was small, it seemed like a good time to work on it. I had some trouble with the directions, which should be no surprise. I did get a good working sample by the time I left the retreat. It isn’t one that I will use for various reasons. I’ll write more about this pattern in another post.
While my descriptions might not seem like a lot, I was busy and working hard the whole time. I am pleased with my progress and will be really pleased when I can finish these various projects and cross them off my list.