Archive for the ‘Quilted’ Category

One of my oldest UFO’s

I’ve always loved this Rail Fence top so I’m not sure why it took me so long to quilt. Maybe because I wasn’t sure if I was going to give it to someone or donate it.  


… or maybe because I didn’t want to deal with the flange I put in between some of the blocks. In the end I quilted freehand swirls and worked my way around them. 
This is the last one that I’ll finish on this trip – It was pieced in December 2009 and it’s pretty much my oldest UFO although there is another UFO that is going to be incorporated into a backing because I never finished piecing it and I don’t plan to at this point (it’s from 2008). 

What’s your oldest UFO?

Mom’s Tumblers

Quilted with the pantograph Feather Frond by Clothwerx. I don’t usually load my quilt lengthwise but in this case I wanted the vine to climb vertically. 

Now that today’s top is quilted, I’m going to settle in with some of my state quilt documentation books and look for new inspiration.  


First work, then a massage

I finished quilting this small top for Mom today – it’s a panel with pieced borders, quilted with the pantograph Jilly by Keryn Emmerson. I’m heading over shortly for a massage and then I’ll spend the evening with a fire and my knitting.  


Back to qulting

Here’s a HeartStrings top pieced by Sue from donated blocks – she’s used a border print to make these blocks go further but you’ll have to wait until I’ve got it bound to see the whole top. I’ve had it waiting for quilting since last year when I took the top to Nebraska for a class and talk on string quilts and HeartStrings and I’m glad to finally have it quilted. Normally I don’t like to have any donated top waiting for quilting longer than 6 months but this year quilting has had to take a back seat to my family responsibilities.  Quilted with the pantograph, Improved Clamshells – you can see the quilting better on the back but I love the texture the clamshells create. 



The quilting is finished on the small 16 patch top. It didn’t take long yesterday once I got started and now it’s trimmed and ready for binding. It’s a simple top with simple quilting but I love the fabrics (fat quarters from Connecting Threads) and it’s simplicity. Originally I’d intended this one as a donation quilt but I’m finding that I need some smaller quilts around the house here and at Big Canoe for the children when they visit so I’ll keep this one. It will be bound when I get home in a few weeks.  

I’m also gathering up my knitting projects for the next few weeks – I’ll continue on the two shawls both of which are more than half done, and I’ll work on some hats – the first one was started last night.  



HeartStrings is having a sew-in today in Roberts, WI and since I can’t be with them, I’m sewing along at home this weekend. Yesterday, I finished my Jelly Roll top and today I quilted a small HeartStrings top from a project we did last year using black and white prints with brights. It’s the first quilting I’ve done since the move so it took me 15 minutes to find my quilting gloves. 

Before I got started, I cut the thumb and index fingers out of my gloves. I’d seen that tip online somewhere and it was wonderful not having to take the gloves on and off but I still had good control of my quilt. Of course, I tend to cup my hands, using the palms and outside fingers for control so if you only use your fingertips it might not work as well for you. 


This was quilted in straight lines with my walking foot and rather than quilting in the ditch, I line the edge of the foot with the seam and quilt alongside it. I’ve quilted on each side of the horizontal and vertical seams between the blocks and then one line diagonally through each block. I don’t have much throat space and one of these days I’m going to look at a larger/faster machine for machine quilting here in FL but for now, my Elna is adequate for smaller tops and I love this older machine for piecing. 

All trimmed and ready for binding. Isn’t this backing cute?  I found it at Joann’s before I moved to Tampa – it was conveniently close to the apartment which was nice.  I’ve got another binding to do first and the plan is to get that one on later today so I can hand stitch it down while we watch football tomorrow. Both bindings will be done before I head to Big Canoe in a couple weeks. 


Nancy has flair

I don’t just mean her fabric choices either although I find this quilt quite striking.  I don’t always trim her quilts for her especially if I’m running short on time but although I was able to control some of the flaring of the quilt on the longarm, I felt it would benefit from being not just trimmed but squared and I’m not sure she knows how to do that. 

I use my rulers to get the corners 90 degrees but I’ve got it lined up on the mat here … There’s too much glare off the ruler.  It probably doesn’t matter so much for sofa quilts or bed quilts that don’t hang on the wall but I love having my quilt edges come together exactly when I’m folding up a quilt. Just one of my little quirks in an otherwise less than perfect quilter. 


I said earlier I used the pantograph Halcyon and a dark green thread and I was pleased with both choices and I think my Aunt will be too.  The curvy quilting goes well with the straight lines of the half log cabin blocks. 


It’s not cheating …

I mentioned earlier this week my goals were fairly modest – to get 6 tops quilted while I was here in GA. For me, one of the keys for being successful at meeting my goals is to have them be fairly realistic. Another key is having some wiggle room! I was late getting started today and we’re meeting the kids for dinner and have an hour drive to the restaurant so I needed an quick top for quilting today. Luckily I had a little Strippie I could quilt using black thread (already on the machine) and I still had some smaller pieced batting from before the move from MN. It’s also a UFO and I need to finish 6 more before the year is out to meet the goal of finishing 12 UFO’s each year. 

A side benefit to quilting a Strippie was I could take the opportunity to quilt something different. Since I have such limited time here, I’m always in a hurry to get something loaded and quilted so I fall back on a pantograph or freehand designs I already know. I designed this little quilt years ago when I got my longarm so I could practice new quilting designs and still have something cute to donate when I was done. 

For the Strippies, I always pick three designs and then repeat them throughout the quilt. Today all 3 started with wavy lines. The first one was was from the book Step by Step Freemotion Quilting by Christina Cameli. She’s good at breaking down a design and showing you how to easily quilt it. This one is simple.  I also like that it comes in a Kindle version. I always used to buy physical books for quilting and knitting but I find it easier to buy a Kindle version and view it on my iPad these days because I always have access to it whether I’m here in GA, at home in FL, or even in VA visiting Mom if I want to show her something. 

I like to use the Adobe Ideas app to quickly practice a design before quilting it.  


The 2nd design was just a wavy line in the skinny blue strip and for the focus fabric, I decided to quilt a vine design. I hate backtracking – it either looks sloppy or too thready to me – so I like to quilt a wavy vine and then add my leaves on either side of it, echoing the line rather than backtracking along it. I also quickly drew this one out before starting too.  When drawing something like this that I’ve quilted before, I’m more concerned with just reminding myself about the quilting path rather than making it pretty. 


My black thread blended with the top but you can see the quilting clearly on the back side. If I was concerned about my ‘practice’ quilting showing, I would have chosen a backing where the thread blended in better.  


And because I was kind of in a hurry, of course I had to have a thread knotting/tension issue. Not sure what happened but luckily it straightened itself out and I only had to pick out a small section. I love these little snippers with the curved blade for slipping under the stitches when I have to rip something out.  


And that’s #5 quilted. Up tomorrow is a top of my Aunt’s.  



Another one is quilted – a HeartStrings top I pieced during one of our special projects. I rarely “just” meander a quilt but that’s what I did in the black and white strips. 

I also pulled a few fabrics to add in with my leftovers from the Chevron Rail Fence quilt – I’m recreating a simple antique  quilt I saw on ebay. Here’s the beginning of it laid out.  Since I’m not sure if I’ll have enough fabric from the leftovers, and since a scrap quilt can always use more variety I took advantage of being here to pull some to bring back to FL with me.  


I almost forgot to pull some neutrals but I remembered and grabbed a handful of them too. 


I’ve reached the halfway point of my goal to quilt 6 tops while I’m here. Because I have to balance family time with quilting time when we’re here in GA, I try to be realistic about what I will accomplish …plus, I like to spend my evenings upstairs sipping a glass of wine and knitting!

This was a kit on clearance at Connecting Threads, pieced by Mom and quilted with the pantograph Double Rose Vine by Norma Sharp. It’s an old one but I like it and wanted something floral on this top. It’s really hard to get decent photos of my quilting in the late afternoon here – I miss my MN studio where the sun would come in just at the right angle to show the quilting but I do like that my sewing room and longarm rooms are right next to each other here rather than two floors apart!


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