Saturday, April 30, 2011

Free Motion Quilting Day 9 of 14 - creating a little sun!

Today my goal was to completely free motion without any pre-set design.
YLI see-through clear in the top
Sulky 40W rayon sunny yellow variegated thread in bobbin
I chose fabric with a design I could follow, then chose to continue to add thread in circles and swirls, for a 'sunshine' effect.  
My batting was white felt which would be appropriately flat for a mug rug.

It is such a dark, gray morning here (rain and snow) that it was quite challenging to take photos.
Now you can see why I'd like to create a little sun :-)

Junior Prom

Prom is tonight for my DD!  Crossing my fingers that there won't be a blizzard, even though we are currently in a blizzard warning.

God bless the families across the southeast who have faced such terrible destructive tornadoes this past week.   
Sending lots of loving thoughts and prayers your way!


My very first guest blogger Linda will be featured here on RocknQuilts on Monday, May 2nd  - she designs her own beautiful quilt patterns and sent me three for give-away, which will be held May 16th!  Don't forget to come back and get in on this give-away and a chance to get to know the designer!!

Linda from

Friday, April 29, 2011

FMQ Challenge Day 8 of 14 with MUCH better results!

Sew much more success with the right threads!
YLI on top
Mettler silk finish in bobbin
90/14 needle
muslin and Warm & Natural batting
tension 2
Baby Lock Quest Plus machine
"Heirloom Machine Quilting" pattern from Harriet Hargrave

I am VERY happy with this result!!

Please tell me what you think...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Free Motion Quilting Techniques Day 7 - half way point!

I slowed down considerably today and experienced more success.

The back of my project, however, using the Prescenia 60/3 again in top & bottom, presented some tension issues in places.  Still not exactly sure why?  I used warm & natural batting and began in the center of the project, which provided more stability.

I like combining Harriet Hargrave's suggested patterns from her book "Heirloom Machine Quilting".
I plan on watch the free youtube video from Sharon Schamber.  Thanks to Joan from Australia and her post at the FMQ Challenge website here:
(You will see the Joan does really beautiful work!)

Where do you obtain your pantograms or quilting patterns?

Do you prefer to machine quilt, send out to a long-armer, mid-arm it yourself on a frame or quilt by hand?

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 6 FMQ Challenge Results

Day six was very stiff at first with the small circular feathers to start; then better...practiced going left with l's and e's which, by the end was quite smooth.  This would be the perfect warm-up to do for 20 minutes before beginning a quilt.  Harriet Hargrave recommends a 20 minute warm-up on a practice piece before beginning the actual quilt.  That seems like a solid recommendation.

Prescencia thread 60w/3 ply top and bottom
muslin squares
warm & natural batting
tension set to 2
Baby Lock Quest Plus

The machine stopped part way through because the bobbin thread had a small knot!  This was the first time I'd ever had that experience.

The Aerofil Madeira used yesterday flowed more smoothly for quilting; whereas the Prescenia 60/3 is just wonderful for piecing.

Above is where the bobbin started acting up.

The following youtube video is one of the most uplifting stories I've ever heard's about a quilter from Texas who is blind, but that doesn't stop her!  I found it while blog hopping today.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Free Motion Quilting Challenge Day 5 - real progress - I finished a quilt!

Real progress today I believe...
I relaxed...
I chose a larger project 16x17"
I switched to Aerofil Madeira thread in top and bottom to match the fabric
I used my open toe quilting foot
I didn't "fear" or "hesitate", I went forth with gusto - and did circles all over
because that's what I felt confident to do
Here it is - my very first ever machine quilted quilt!  Thank you for your encouragement everyone!!!

I actually LOVE the results on the back!

I feel very encouraged...both by my results and your comments and suggestions!
Thank you, FMQers!!

It's kind of funny that my Dachshund will receive the very first machine quilted quilt I ever made!!  :-)
Shhh...don't tell my kids, OK?

Then, I got so excited that I actually completed something, that I even pinned on the binding and plan to sew it on tonight!  Little Gunnar should have a lovely, warm place to sleep now.

I'm thinking about making the directions for this little quilt available to everyone for free...
but first I'd like to know if you or your friends might be interested if I went to the trouble of writing them up and creating a free PDF file link for downloading?

I used my Ellageo embroidery machine with Dakota Collectibles embroidery for the Dachshund design and his name.  I chose contrasting fabrics with stripes running in two directions equally around the dog in the center and this is done all in flannel.  

My next quilt is a larger, full size with a unique Jacob's Ladder top, also in flannel.
Please let me know if you're interested in these easy, quick quilt patterns - thank you!

Monday, April 25, 2011

What's a girl to do with a day off from work?

Had the day off today and my 80 year old Singer 99 was all fixed, oiled and ready to roll...
so, what's a girl to do?
Why, piece and quilt, of course!

After trying the first 48 HST called for in the April Civil War Chronicles BOM on Triangle Paper, I cut out the other 48 HST's with my AccuQuilt Go! with a little help from my DS...

(My apologies this is sideways!)
With the windows in the dining room and living room open, a slight breeze, sunshine warming my back, chain stitching was a pleasure!  The notches on the ends of each HST makes it EASY to create perfect HST's that are square right away.

Good 'ol Bessie (that's her name) was humming away!

I have my two piles of separate colors - the light upside down and the dark face up, laying the light on top of the dark, right sides together...

(Oops again!  This time, my DS's allowance is in the pic - sorry!)

Here's two sets of HST...can you tell which ones are AccuQuilt and which ones are Triangle Paper?
Look for curved, pointy edges and
look for notched edges....

Can you see the difference now?
Even though the triangle paper HST's went together faster initially, I now have to cut the notches off both edges - that's 98 cuts with a rotary cutter.  Normally, no problemo, right?  It is, unfortunately with an injured right thumb muscle like the AccuQuilt that are ready to go are my's on the right:

AccuQuilt HST result:

Here's how I press to get a good result, using Harriet Hargrave's advice:

Place the light color up and spray with starch (I'm using Mary Ellen's Best Press and Harriet Hargrave recommends Faultless Spray Starch)  I like to spray with my left hand to 'save' my right hand for other tasks.

With your left hand, pull the starched light colored fabric to the left while you press.  I use the German-made Rowenta iron.

Here are my AccuQuilt Go! HST's:

Here are the Triangle Paper HST's - they've no notches
and I've used cream thread so you can easily see the difference.
A bit curvy after having used the "pinch and pull" technique...

These are more challenging to press for me:

Oh, dear...this is a wonky one!

After trimming:

Now for our April Civil War Chronicles BOM...

Square in a square is challenging for me...I'm not sure why...flying geese are fine....?

The trick to it is to make sure the you open your first corner before placing the new 2 1/2" square down upon your darker 4 1/2" square....

I marked carefully with disappearing blue marker designed esp. for fabric...

I trimmed 1/4" carefully from the edge...

Short on one side and long on the other is my result...hmmmm....

Here's the other side...

and these are the pieces for the left side only of one of the eight blocks for this month...
I really love the colors of these fabrics being used together.

Best of all, Mother tried out the eighty year old Singer 99 today...and....

...she loved it!
She was able to repair my DS's rain jacket.
Nice Mom, eh?  :-)

She said it was just like her Grandma Block's Singer, except that this is electric and 
Grandma Block's was a treadle.  She was able to thread it and work the machine immediately - Mother said it was like riding a bike!  Once you've done it, you never forget!  :-)

Happy biking and sewing!!!

We appreciate all your comments and would love for you to take a peek at the 
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