Thursday, February 7, 2013

"Sew" What Have I Been Working On?

So, I've linked up to WiP Wednesday.  I thought folks would like to read how I quilted the top I showed there (#133).

Here is the quilt top I posted.

Here's a fun post about what projects I have been working on.   If you notice, lately I have not posted photos any customer's quilts.  (Don't worry, I'll still quilt for my customers!)  The reason is that I read an article stating that it is technically against copyright laws to post some one's work--especially if they have used a commercial pattern.  Unfortunately, I don't know what commercial pattern most of my customers use to create their tops or which portions of them are considered "in the public domain".  (FYI, usually antique quilt blocks are publishable as they are considered "in the public domain".)  So, because I respect our society and it's governing rules, you'll get to read about my projects--which I know I have full copyright license to show!  :)

I have quilted my "Lightning Bolt" pattern quilt top.  Truthfully, I have always LOVED quilts done with baptist fans.  Unfortunately, this edge-to-edge design is a lot more complicated than most people would think.  Nesting several concentric circles, then quilting a smooth long line or arc is quite a challenge.  I wanted to use a YouTube method (see my post on "learning to quilt from YouTube") with templates, but my presser foot's shank got in the way.  So...I resorted to marking the ENTIRE quilt top, then slowly and carefully tracing the thread paths.  I was happy with the outcome although it is not perfect.

Sometimes I think I am a nut-case about quilting borders.  Could I settle for quilting just one style of borders?  No.  How about two?  No, why not go for broke--it's my quilt anyway!  I did alternating swirls on the outer border.  A bump-back feather vine on the inner border and "E's and L's" in the middle border.  The inner-most border was the one I got the most excited about.

I don't mark the alternating swirls border.  I have practiced enough circles to create a concentric loop mimicking the width of the border and free-hand the whole thing.  It's fast!

Here's how I DON'T mark my feather vein, I use a long-arm ruler to "sew" down the marking.
I pounce-mark the spacing for the "E's and L's" border.  Occasionally marking isn't necessary as you can look at the patchwork seams (if they're every 1 to 2 inches or so) to see the increments needed to create the same width of loops.  That trick wasn't possible on this quilt.
Pouncing one-inch increments on the border.

Sewing a cursive "e" then "l" filling the space.  After the row is completed, I erase the pounce chalk with a leftover piece of quilt batting.

Here is  a photo of the back side of the quilt.  Yes, I normally do printed quilt backings, but I had this high-quality cream Kona fabric laying around from someone who ordered a Temple Quilt then cancelled the order.  Hey, if I have it, I'm gonna use it up!  :)

I must say that I really do love the way this quilt turned out.  It was so quick and simple to piece yet turned out beautifully.  The pieced ribbon border makes the quilt appear to be a lot more complicated than it really is. It's a great project from pre-cut Layer Cakes (10 inch stack of fabrics--Moda Marmalade was used in the sample).  Alternately, 21 fat quarters and 3 yards of fabric for the background (red) areas could be used.

Now...on to another project.

Some of you have been following my LDS Young Women's Quilt Project.  Yes, Teresa, I was finally able to convince my Laurel class that they could do this project.  Currently, most of my YW have completed their applique blocks.  That being said--I finally finished my demo.  FYI, the complete instructions for all but the last three blocks are loaded on the "YW Quilt Project" Page on the above tab bar.  I decided to change the last block to a tree-to celebrate YW Camp.  Afterall, who can forget camp!  It's a "right of passage", and mischief...and well, "Those that know don't tell...and those that tell...don't know!"  J/K  Camp is something special.

Now..on to another quilt:

After taking the time to custom-quilt the large Lightning Bolt quilt, I decided to simply edge-to-edge my next quilt.  I came up with a "Dahlia" design I liked very much.

The one continual "conundrum" I run into with edge-to-edge quilting has to do with thread color.  Just curious, what is your thread color preference?  Mine is to match the thread color to the majority color of the quilt top--in this case (and the Lightning Bolt quilt's case)--bright red.  I was worried that it would stand out on the Cuzco Layer Cake fabric pieces.   Yes it did a little--but I was surprised that it wasn't as much of an "eye sore" as I thought it would be because the prints were so large and busy.  When I first planned how I was going to quilt this project, I planned on using a patriotic variegated thread in the print fabrics, quilting the whole thing--then changing thread colors to bright red for the back-ground areas.  The new Dahlia quilt design challenged me to do an edge-to-edge job and I'm glad I did. last project.  My cutie pie wanted a "ballawinga" (ballerina) Tu-tu to dance in.  We whipped this puppy together in about 20 minutes and she loves it!  The silly girl has worn it every day with her swim-suit (I need to go purchase a leotard).  Apparently she doesn't care about the one-foot of snow outside this winter!  :)

I love my "ballawinga"!