Thursday, August 27, 2020

X & +

There's no question that Brigitte Heitland from Zen Chic is my favorite fabric designer. I have loved most of her collections, to the point of collecting them obsessively, but I was a little disappointed when Day in Paris first came out. But when I actually saw it in person, it began to grow on me, and when I saw X & + made with Day in Paris, I fell madly in love with it.

I really enjoyed working on this quilt because of the gorgeous fabrics, and I knew the quilting just had two jobs: play up the huge borders and show off the fabrics on the blocks.

This quilt was rather easy to design quilting for as I didn't have a story in mind (unlike Rainbow Road), so I just wanted to play up the design of the quilt. I created some channels in the borders that extend the block design, and filled them with a combination of swirls and more linear designs.

I quilted each block with a few different designs, including serpentine lines, ribbon candies, straight line echoes, and dot-to-dot designs.

This quilt is pretty big at 83" x 83", and I had such a great time working on it. The colors are perfect and I'm really happy with how the quilting turned out. I hadn't quilted a swirl or ribbon candy in several months, and I missed it!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Quilting Tutorial: Steampunk Gears

When I quilted Rainbow Road, I had the idea of a Matrix-style steampunk city, so I tried to do a steampunk design of gears and teeth. I wasn't sure how it'd turn out, but I really liked the result. I've received requests for a tutorial on how to quilt this, so I'm trying my hand at a how-to guide.

I suggest practicing drawing this before trying it on a quilting machine. This design is actually just a variation on swirls, so it'd be helpful if you already knew how to quilt swirls. That being said, let's get started.

First, this design does need to be boxed into a space. Then, from a corner, we start with a traditional swirl. Swirl to the center and come back out. It's very important to close the swirl with another echo outside of it.
Now, we add some teeth.
After we make some teeth, we close it with another echo, this time the echo should touch the edge of the teeth.
After this comes the most important echo. After this you can quilt as many echoes on top of it as you wish, but there must be at least one extra besides the one that touches the teeth or the effect will be lost.
From that point on, quilt more gears. Once in awhile, I like to throw in one with a different shape, a square shaped gear teeth. It's harder to quilt than the triangle teeth for me, so I throw it in only once in awhile for a change of pace.
And so on and so forth.
I really like how this design looks on certain types of quilts, and I hope this tutorial was helpful!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Season of Gifts

At first, I just wanted to take a little break from blogging. Just a few weeks. But then, once I got off the schedule, it became easier and easier to just let it keep slipping. And before I knew it ... a few months slipped by. I've been spending less time quilting in the past few months and more time on other endeavors, but I managed to finish a few gift quilts finally.

The first one is a quilt and pillow set for my daughter. She is going through a massive unicorn phase, so I knew she'd love this panel set by Sarah Watts from her Crescent collection. It was a rather large quilt so it took awhile, but I did a simple allover paisley design.

Next up is another large panel I quilted for my mother. When she requested a quilt, she wanted two things: black / white and no piecing. I found a gorgeous Aztec inspired panel on Honest Fabric which was then printed on demand, and I quilted this with straight lines. I won't lie ... this was a really hard quilt because without piecing and seam lines to follow, it is really hard to keep the lines straight across the quilt. Overall I still think it looks nice and I sure hope my mom likes it!

After that is another challenging quilt, but challenging for a completely different reason. My mother-in-law had given me a very old quilt that her mother had pieced years ago, and it was by far one of the most challenging tops I'd ever wrestled with. The whole thing was wavy, puckery, and the fabrics were stretched badly in areas. I almost gave up on it and wanted to send it to someone else to finish it, but in the end powered through. I used a loopy design that was at least very quick to do, though I could not avoid quilting a lot of tucks into it. I probably should have sent it to someone else who had a better idea of how to handle tops like these, but I knew it'd mean more if I finished it myself. At the end of the day, I can only hope she's happy with it.

Finally, piggybacked onto the vintage quilt, I finished a table runner for my sister-in-law as a housewarming present. Never mind that she moved into that house several years ago! She picked the fabric and the pattern, and I really enjoyed making this modern and beautiful table runner. The pattern is called Calamity Crosses by Jenifer Dick. I quilted this with straight lines only in an improv kind of way, and I really like how it turned out.

With these gift quilts off my plate and off my mind, I will now have to decide which of my own quilt tops to quilt next. It's not an easy decision because I have ... 93 of them. (There, I said it!)
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