It’s been quite a busy time again, as usual. I just posted new digital longarm designs to my website and I started to quilt my paper pieced quilt. That in itself is a new adventure as I am quilting it on a new to me system, the Bernina QMatic in my daughter’s shop, Cozy Quilt. The first session was all about finding out about how the system works. I had expert advice from Tammy who works in the shop, but I still only managed to get one block done in that first session. I am sure I’ll get better at it as I get more familiar with the system.
I’ve also been experimenting with bobbin work on my own Bernina at home. I’ve wanted to try it for a long time and had ideas for designs swirling in my head for some time. As you know, heavier threads such as razzle dazzle can’t fit through the needle and have to be wound on the bobbin. This, of course, has to be stitched from the back of the project and I was looking for an easy method to transfer the design to the reverse side. I found it when I discovered Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy. It is very thin, but has a paper backing and can be run through a printer. The paper is then removed and the Fabri-solvy will stick to the back of the project and you can stitch over the lines with regular thread in the needle. Here is a picture of a little test sample.
Isn’t it pretty? It will be combined with other techniques and become a Christmas wall hanging.
Until next time.
At least the top is done. Now to finish the pattern and, of course, the quilting. As usual, it has taken me longer than expected because I have too many projects going at once. And the story of my life, I always under estimate the time needed to do something. Plus there are the pesky little every day tasks like house cleaning and doctor and dental appointments and such that interfere with my creative pursuits.
I named the quilt Tropicana and I am very pleased with the way it turned out. I already created the quilting designs for it, but before I can start on the actual quilting I have to first finish my designs for July. By the way, my triangle designs of last month were a big hit and I thank everyone who ordered. I you missed them, they are still on my New Designs page on my website for two days at a great discount. As soon as I post new designs they will be moved to the Triangles page.
Time got away from me again. I have made good progress on my paper piecing quilt and have a good part finished, but nothing to show. I have to trim the block first before I can take some pictures. I have also had a lot of interruptions. Some repairs that needed to be taken care off and I was waiting on more fabric for my quilt to come in. That has arrived now, but before I can finish piecing I have to get new quilting designs on my website for May. There are also a few more home repairs that have to be done. A month or so ago I discovered that my skylight was leaking a bit during the heavy rains we had. But then we had a month or so with a dry spell and I kind of forgot about it, but today we had rain again. Fortunately, not heavy enough to cause leaking, but it reminded me that I really have to call somebody to fix it. The problem, as always is, who to call.
It may not be mine, but I do have pictures of a quilt to show you and it is beautiful. It is a Lonestar quilt, quilted with one of my designs by Waynna Kershner for a customer. I love it. Great job, Waynna.
I am sorry, but I don’t know who designed the quilt.
Waynna chose my SCF-321 Strings v1 and SCF-323 Strings v2 patterns. If I remember correctly, I enlarged the patterns for her as the quilt is quite big.
Here is what Waynna had to say:
“It turned out “gorgeous,” My customers’ words! She is VERY happy with it! The design package was perfect! I especially liked the way the bottom of the diamond shape was set up to just use the one point on the top half as the Start Point, without having to create a new area!! That worked so well! I, and my customer, liked the long smooth curves on the design.”
That made my day. I love getting comments and beautiful pictures like that. Thank you very much.
Next time I hope to have pictures of my own quilt or at least some quilt blocks.
Happy crafting everyone.
Here are a couple of pictures of two version of Royal Gardens quilted:
Quilted by Mona Beck with custom design SCF-648-53 Royal Gardens Combo available on my website.
Close-up of the quilting.
Version 2. Quilted by Liz at Cozy Quilt Shop with an allover design.
Quilt pattern (piecing) available (or will be soon) from www.cozyquilt.com.
In February I mentioned that I planned to design and make a paper pieced quilt. I now want to show you my progress and pass on some things I have learned (sometimes the hard way). I started by drawing the center block in Electric Quilt 7 (EQ). I love EQ and have been using it for many years and have designed a whole lot of quilts in it, but very few paper pieced ones. I started with the center block and slowly added surrounding blocks. When I did not like a block, I just kept drawing a different one until I came up with one that pleased me more. I only had to design a quarter of the whole quilt as it consists of identical quadrants, like a large 4-patch. Once I had a quilt that I liked I then printed it out and EQ added the seam allowances where required and I was able to start piecing. At first I printed on copy paper, but found it stiff and hard to pick out. So I switched to ordinary tracing paper. I had a couple of tablets that I had bought at Michael’s for just a few dollars each and they worked great.
Here is the first block:
A block can be divided into several segments:
A1, A2, and A3 belong to one segment. B1, B2, and B3 are also one segment and C1 and C2 are another segment.
The center consists of 4 copies of Block 1:
What I learned so far.
- If you are new to paper piecing, watch some videos on YouTube. There are lots of them.
- It is important to reduce the stitch length as it is easier to rip the paper out when it is time to remove it. The default stitch length on my machine is 2.5 and I lowered it to 1.8. You can go even lower than that, but be aware that if you ever have to remove some stitches it is almost impossible to do so.
- Organize. Stack the pieces that belong together in neat little piles together with their paper templates.
Well, this is not so tidy, but they are stacked together.
- Work on one block at a time so you don’t mix up the pieces of different blocks.
- When stitching over a line, follow that line exactly to make sure you end up with the correct size block.
- Press carefully so the seams are as flat as possible.
- When sewing the segments together, I first fold back the paper seam allowances or cut them off as they are very difficult to remove after the segments are sewn together.
- Do not remove the outside paper and fabric seam allowances of the blocks just yet. All the blocks should measure 6 1/2″ square before you sew them together so an extra bit of fabric may come in handy if you have to fudge the size of the blocks somewhat.
The fabric I used is Happy Hour, my daughter’s latest line of fabric by Timeless Treasures. I love it and I guess I am not the only one as Cozy Quilt Shop quickly sold out of most of the colors I needed. I have been assured that more is on the way.
I’ll post pictures of more blocks when I get them done.
I came across this video on YouTube on a super quick and easy potholder, coaster, or hotpad that I want to share with you. It requires very little sewing and you can make them any size you want.
The link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG9-2f9iilg
I know I’ll be making a couple of potholders for myself and as they have to stand up to heat I’ll be adding some insulbright to protect my fingers. You should be able to find insulbright at your favorite quilt shop or fabric store.
When you go to YouTube browse a bit more and you will find videos for the same idea but for different shapes, such as hexagons and circles. All are very easy to make and require very little sewing. They will make great little gifts.
When you like big designs, but only have a small hoop, there is a solution. This works for both free standing lace embroidery and applique designs. Just group several small designs together and treat them as applique.
Instead of stitching them on hooped fabric, stitch each design on water soluble stabilizer (WSS). Free standing lace and applique designs can be stitched in the normal way. Other lace designs may need an extra layer of either tule, organza, or a grid of cross-hatched stitched lines and defined edges so that that the design does not fall apart when the stabilizer is dissolved.
After the WSS is removed and the designs are dry arrange them on your quilt or quilt block. A bit of washable glue on the back will hold them in place. Use a regular sewing machine with monofilament thread or embroidery thread that matches the design. A straight stitch around the outside edge or a narrow zigzag stitch will do the trick and does not require hooping.
The advantage of this system is that you can fill a quilt block with embroidery and decide on the placement of the designs before they are attached. You could even make a whole wall hanging that way. Here is an example I made a couple of years ago:
Have fun everyone.