Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Photo digitizing - I can do this for you!

My Dad retired and to commemorate the event, I wanted to use my embroidery machine to digitize a very special photo of him sitting on his 'cat' in his gravel pit.  It's a very special photo because my daughter captured his image on a crystal-clear, blue-sky day.

I hope you'll enjoy it, too...

Finished piece...could add "PD Construction" - not sure if I want to...

Anyone else out there tried this?
Now that I have a 12x20 muslin, what could I create with it?
Any suggestions?

Thank you for sharing your ideas - I appreciate it!

If you would like me to photo digitize a special family photo for you to sew into a commemorate quilt or to frame, please contact me at rock n quilts at live dot com


Saturday, February 18, 2012

AccuQuilt Rag Die Quilt Class instructions

I taught a quilt class for the first time today at my local quilt shop - it was lots of fun and easy for the participants - they described it as 'assembly line' work and felt like elves in Santa's shop!  One gal cut out two of these today for two grandnieces.  What lucky little girls!

Lay out your quilt squares in order and then stack them together in horizontal rows.
Take the first square and put it right sides together with the 2nd square, then sew with a 1" seam allowance, avoiding the pre-snipped edges of the square.

As the rows come together, your pre-snipped edges will show on one side and the back side of the quilt will not show any pre-snipped edges.
Once the rows are sewn together, then add the rows together.

Once all the rows are sewn together, then using a 1" seam allowance again, sew around the four outside edges of the quilt to finish.

Launder using a commercial washer and dryer because there will be a lot of lint, esp. the first time.

Snuggle under and enjoy!


Perhaps you would enjoy the instructions I came up with for my two-part class...enjoy!

AccuQuilt Rag Die Quilt Class Instructions 

To begin:  choose five colors of flannel (see yardage below), one yard of optional batting and gather basic sewing supplies:  scissors or rotary cutter and mat, thread, needles, pins, etc. to use this coming week for our ‘homework’ assignment and for next Saturday’s class.
A.      2 1/4 yards light-colored flannel - From your lightest color flannel, cut 32 - 8 ½” rag squares – this will be your “main” color – you will create sixteen quilt sandwich squares from this flannel with a 6 ½” square of batting sandwiched inside each*. 
B.      1 5/8 yards medium-colored flannel – from your medium-colored flannel, cut 24 – 8 ½” rag squares – create twelve quilt sandwich squares from this flannel with 6 ½” square of batting sandwiched inside each*.
C.      2 yards darkest-colored flannel – cut 26 rag squares to create 13 quilt sandwiches
D.      5/8 yard second light-colored flannel (other than main color) – cut 8 rag squares to create 4 sandwiches
E.      E.  5/8 yard second dark-colored flannel – cut 8 rag squares to create 4 sandwiches
*The batting is optional.  You may use scrap material or nothing at all for a lighter-weight quilt, just make sure you make each sandwich for the entire quilt the same way so it washes well.  You will need approximately one yard of 60" batting and will need to cut 49 – 6 ½” batting squares.
Today:  cut and prep flannel and optional batting using the AccuQuilt Go! System and perfectly cut 6 1/2” batting squares with die (#55000) and 8 1/2” rag squares with die (#55013) and with the 10”x10” mat (#55111) 

Homework for the week:  sew X’s across all square block sandwiches – you may mark them with ruler and chalk or you may choose to ‘eyeball’ them – depending upon how ‘organic’ you wish your finished product to appear.  “Play” with quilt square arrangement and decide what look you like best.  A camera is a very handy tool for this!  If you embroider, perhaps you can embellish some of the squares or the center square.  Initials or a small-medium-sized embroidery would be nice!

Next Saturday:  bring your sewing machine, new needle appropriate for your machine (I recommend a 80/12 universal needle), coordinating cotton thread, pins and pin cushion, & small scissors to snip threads to sew your prepared blocks into a finished quilt in just two hours!

Final step:  launder in a commercial washer/dryer because the first wash will contain a large amount of lint released.  Fluff and enjoy your quilt! These are so quick & easy, you may want to make them for your entire family!

Would you like a walk-me-through-it tutorial?  Look no further than right HERE.

Have a great long weekend!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

SewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge February, part 2

After free-handing a sketch similar to the one I drew earlier this afternoon,
I dropped the feed dogs, put in a Schmetz Quilting Needle size 75/11 with Sulky 60w thread in bobbin and top, set straight stitch to the center, put on the open toe or hopping foot, then got to work!

The Hobb's wool batting did puff up nicely, but unfortunately, I broke the needle on a pin and ran out of thread, so had to leave it unfinished for now.

I'm pretty happy with it, but moving around from place to place without any stopping and re-starting was tough.  Thanks for the great challenge, Diane!

I will try another sample with satin or silk fabric, Hobb's wool batting (again - I'm in love!), 70/10 Sharp needle, and #100 YLI silk thread, as suggested by Diane Gaudynski in her book "Quilt Savvy:  Machine Quilting Guidebook" available at and other locations.

SewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge February, part 1

This month's FMQ Challenge from SewCalGal and Diane Guadynski is no piece of cake in the park!  Feathers with echo quilting - wow...this could be daunting to some, right? Not if you draw first! Keeping in mind that a person has to start somewhere and sometime, I decided to get over my fears and get started with this challenge today...perhaps this post can assist you on your way, too.

(Final result photo HERE.)

1.  Read Diane Guadynski's post for February on SewCalGal's blog.

2.  Read Diane Guadynski's second book, "Quilt Savvy:  Machine Quilting Guidebook", pg. 38-49 on echo feathers

3.  Took notes:
a.  quill-tip
b. cotton swap top (options:  lamp or drapery finials, wrought iron fence tops, etc. on google)
c.  1/8 to 1/4" space
d.  use closely matching thread - made note to purchase #100 silk YLI thread this coming week
e.  feathers do not have to be uniform, rather "organic".  The trick is to keep the same 1/8" or 1/4" between them
f.  Stop at the spine to breathe & rethink before continuing on
g.  Wool batting causes an almost 'trapunto' style and saves you time because you don't have to stuff or cut
h.  you can use a seam line in your quilt top (as in between to outside borders) as your 'spine'

4.  Decided to draw first, as highly recommended.  I was very pleased with my results today - thank you, Diane!

Now, before you say "OK, she's an artist, so I can't do that...let me share my first attempt from April 11th, 2011:

Can you say, "Ewww!?!?"

Doodling is the answer.  Practice tracing, drawing/doodling and it will come to you.  Isn't that the perfect thing for long office meetings? :-)

Please allow me to take you through the steps I took to draw out a satisfactory echo quilting feather:
1.  Diane Guadynski's book open and on the table
2.  other books open for 'inspiration' to different feather designs
3.  templates to peek at
4.  one large pad for drawing
5.  one sharpened pencil
6.  time set aside for an hour just to focus on this without interruption
(yeah, right! - without too much interruption - I have a ten-year-old!)

1.  drawing complete
2.  wool batting / muslin sample ready - thinking of switching to satin fabric
3.  need to purchase:  #100 silk YLI thread and #60 Microtex sharp needle for a dry day or #70 Microtex sharp for a damp day  (recommended by Diane Guadynski pn page. 119 of her "Quilt Savvy:  Machine Quilting Guidebook"

I hope you'll join us at the SewCalGal 2012 Free Motion Quilt Challenge

Quilters of any experience level are encouraged to join at any time throughout the year.

If you enjoyed this post, please give me a 'follow' or a 'pin' - thank you!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Embroidery Machine do or not to do? What is YOUR opinion?

I spent the day at at my local embroidery machine dealer's John Deer (no 'e') event and came up with a question for the quilter's out there...

"Embroidery Machine do or not to do?  
What is your opinion?"  

While at class, I was a bit surprised (showing my ignorance naïvety now) when one of the other attendees mentioned that 4-H groups are not allowed to submit quilts to be judged locally if they are not completely hand made and not done by machine.  Now, I didn't get a chance to ask her if she meant a regular sewing machine, too, or if she meant by embroidery machine.  She did mention that no long-armers can finish their work, either.'s some photographs of quilts I took at the event which were completely done by embroidery machine - quilt squares, finishing, stippling, everything....

stippling done by embroidery machine....

Here's the six needle I got to borrow today...

I'm loving the scrapbook approach to quilting here....

Sorry this quilt's picture didn't come through the way it really looks, which is absolutely gorgeous!

There's the Modern Quilt Guild nowadays and many different types of quilting...does quilting with embroidery machine have a place to fit in?  

What is your opinion?

Here's a little more 'food' for thought by Jenny Haskins....

I love quilting with needle and thread, my 1927 Singer, Mom's old Kenmore, my daughter's Janome Jem Gold, my Brother Innovis 4000D, and my Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0.....I think I'm learning to embrace more avenues to getting there and am still wanting to learn enough to finish my great grandmother's WWII parachute silk quilt top she started!



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