Geometric Sampler

I can finally show you my finished sampler panel quilt because my violet solid fabric for the binding arrived in the mail this week!

You’ve been seeing bits and pieces of this one in my Pinterest Adventure posts, and it’s now complete.  I’m sure you’ll agree that the binding just HAD to be violet.  I tried a few others but none worked for me.  It was definitely worth waiting for!

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This is a Natalia Bonner long arm training panel, and I quilted it on my sit down long arm machine. There were so many opportunities to try different designs, especially ruler work.  I highly recommend trying out a panel like this – or piecing something with various shapes – and working around it using different stitching designs.  It held my interest and challenged me to think beyond my go-to favourites 🙂

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I looked on the Pattern Jam website recently and I couldn’t find the same panel as they seem to have changed their setup since I purchased it, but you can still create your own geometric panel from scratch using their provided shapes, solid colors, and even prints if you wish.  The panels come in different sizes and you can change things around until it looks just the way you want it to look.

I’m currently doing some time consuming piecing (gasp!) on a cool modern quilt top, also designed by Natalia, with two more in the wings.  I feel a free motion wild quilting break coming on at any moment …

Have a great weekend!

 

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Couching on the weekend

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No, couching has nothing to do with laying around on the sofa …

I made a set of pillow covers this weekend using one of the Handi Quilter couching feet, some free motion quilting, and a cool ball of chenille yarn.

The neutral colors worked well for a modern look and both covers came out of the wash with no issues so that pleased me as well!  I wasn’t sure what to expect with all that chenille, but it held up beautifully and is oh so soft to touch.  It gives wonderful texture to the cushion covers.

I recorded a short video to show you the couching foot in action – most of it is sped up so no, I wasn’t going that fast!  In fact, when couching, it seems best to run the machine faster but move the project more slowly to make sure the stitches are good and tiny securing the yarn all along the way 🙂

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Couching is really no more difficult than free motion quilting itself, just take a little extra care in keep the yarn feeding through the hole in the foot without knotting up and away you go!  I used my regular So Fine 50wt thread in the light cream color and it got lost in the yarn which is exactly what you want.

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All stuffed and ready to cuddle!

 

 

Serenity = Robin’s Egg Blue

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Despite the bold chevron insert, this quilt makes me think of how I feel when I’m standing by the ocean: serene.  Maybe those brighter colors mixed with white could symbolize the waves coming in and rolling back in the midst of the calm 🙂

This Robin’s Egg blue (Moda Bella Solids) is a color I could use over and over again.  It’s just the “right” turquoise and it goes with many other colors beautifully.  The prints for the insert are from Angela Walters’ Drawn fabric line.

The stitching designs on this one are, as you know if you’ve been reading my posts the past while, include a few Pinterest ideas I saved along with some of my own favourites.  The quilt idea itself came from a saved pin, and the link takes you to a page called Simple Simon & Company, where a lady named Elizabeth writes about it.  I didn’t see a pattern there to credit – and I just figured out how I wanted to do it myself from the photo – but I presume she made it so I wanted to mention that here.  Hers is lovely in a mostly white background, one of my favourite colours to stitch on!  I also liked the straight lines bordering the insert so I did that on mine as well.

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I love composition quilting!  If you were to ask me for a definition, I don’t know if I could give you a good one.  I saw this term used by a well known quilter to describe her quilting technique and, because I was so attracted to the style, I’ve been trying to incorporate it more and more into my own quilts so I’ve adopted the term 🙂  It’s not the same thing for me as “wild quilting”, which is anything and everything wherever it ends up as I go.

I think of composition quilting as making it look as though certain elements are moving through other elements, kind of layering in front of or behind each other as they go, and I mark just a few lines here and there to define areas so I know where I want to break through them with other designs, if that makes any sense at all.  It’s like making a plan to break the plan, but it’s still part of the plan … yikes!

So, for example, if I mark a big square that I intend to break through with spirals, in the end there will only be partial lines from the square that are actually stitched (after the spirals) to give the illusion of the spirals “breaking” through the squares.  And there might be stitched lines on one side of the square in one place and on the other side in another place.  The end result looks more complicated than that, but it’s really just a lot more detailed stitching 🙂

Usually, the bigger areas are marked before quilting starts and then the spontaneity takes over.  But sometimes – as was the case with the area between the two feathered chevron sections on the right side – I start out with one thing in mind and then decide to make it more of a “composition on the fly”. HAHA

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I actually intended to do all the negative space with tiles (see bottom left corner) but I got bored, so the plan had to change, and that’s OK by me 🙂  In fact, it happens more often than not! LOL

 

Pinterest Adventure Day 13

This quilt has provided lots of space for me to try out pinned ideas!  Today I finished up the chevron sections in the negative space, using simple lines marked evenly across the area to make sure the triangles were reasonably uniform.  Filling them in was so much fun!  I love the dramatic effect they give, and in between the two feathered sections, I just did some “mini” composition quilting on the fly 🙂

This was a preamble to the whole quilt I plan to make with chevron sections from top to bottom in varying shades of grey.  Don’t hold your breath on that one yet though; the fabric hasn’t even arrived! LOL

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I’m noticing that each time I’ve posted a photo from this project, the color looks different, which is likely a result of my experimenting with tools and effects in Photoshop.  I’ve been working on a course in that subject over the past few days 🙂

I’ll post the finished, bound and laundered quilt tomorrow so you can see how it all came together.

Straight Line Border Stitching

Happy Monday!  It’s freezing cold here and now that the build up from our major snowfall has been cleared around most of town I hear that driving is much better – although I really don’t want to have to go outside 🙂

Today I wanted to share a quick tip I learned from another video for stitching straight line borders in a way that keeps the travel stitching/thread build up where you want it instead of where you might not want it.

If you stitch back and forth on the same line (much easier to do with a ruler!) you can keep all the travelling along one edge rather than having it show up on every second side of your section.  Use the quilt edge for travelling if you are stitching an outer border; use the ditch between your piecing and an inside border.  Simple hint, but useful and I didn’t think about it before I saw it done, so I hope this video is helpful 🙂

 

Pinterest Adventure Day 12

Finally got to sit down and quilt today after putting the finishing touches on my basement reno.  I can’t wait to share photos of the completed space, but I’m waiting for a new piece of equipment to arrive and I’ll post when everything is set up!

For now, here is today’s pin, simple but cool, fit into a tile on a composition quilting design.  I just drew the large circles using the base of a thread cone and a slightly smaller spool, then pebbled around them.  Fun idea!  And yes, I see some of the wonky edges but they’ll disappear when the finished quilt gets laundered 🙂

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I’m also including a couple of photos of the surrounding area for extra fun.  There’s a bright chevron patterned insert hiding in there, but you’ll get to see it another day 🙂

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You can see where I’ve marked lines to section off the areas around the swirl chain.  I draw those as parameters that I will intentionally break through as I stitch organically (read as “planning on the fly”) to make it look like things are layered and moving through each other.  I’ll show more on this technique in a later post, just wanted to get something up tonight to show you I haven’t given up on my adventure! LOL

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Pinterest Adventure Day 11

So you can see that I’ve missed a few days of Pinterest posts – which is allowed, right?  This adventure is flexible 🙂

I’m in the midst of a minor renovation in my basement and working on a couple of other projects, but I made a point of stitching this one out today.

It was tricky to keep track of the lines as I went – I did mark one of the zig zag lines in each of the geometric sections so I would have a good guide for the rest of the lines, but I had to be careful as I went along because it was easy to get mixed up.  However, I really like the end result and it has a great texture.

The one I pinned just had pebbles over the whole background but even though I like the look of pebbles in all sizes, sometimes I get bored stitching them over a larger area, so I threw in some spirals, of course …

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Clamp system for sit down machines

I’ve looked at a few different systems for using hanging clamps to lift the weight of a quilt off the table to make free motion quilting go more smoothly on bigger projects.  After considering my own needs, my space, and my current setup, I was able to just go with a couple of long arm machine clamps attached to a shelf above my machine and it works really well for me, so I thought I’d share the idea with you 🙂

I just drilled a couple of holes in the shelf, threaded the bungee cords through the holes, and wrapped up the extra into a loose knot that keeps the cord in place but also allows for easy adjustment when needed.

Here’s a picture of what it all looks like (if you’re wondering what my “note to self” stuck on the wall says, it’s a reminder to turn my phone volume back down when I’m finished quilting!) and below that is a short video showing how the quilt moves around so easily.

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Basic Ruler Work

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I finished the ruler work on the geometric quilt panel today and decided to make a short video just to show the basics of what I was doing.  I also got the white background filled in with free motion quilting which, once again, made me wish I’d used white thread over the whole thing! OK, that’s the last lament you will hear from me on this matter 🙂

I have to wait to bind this quilt because I need a solid in the same color as the border and finding solids in store is a real challenge these days; it seems most customers are looking for tone on tone fabrics instead and that leaves me in a tough spot if I don’t have just the right color solid in stock.  Thankfully, I have a Moda color chart making it easy to order online but the wait is longer.  Stay tuned for pics of the finished quilt as soon as I’m able to get hold of Bella Solids Violet #9900-224 …