Just Stitching – free motion fun

After several days of working on cementing some of the basics of edge to edge computerized quilting in my brain, I was feeling the need to get in some of my favourite hand guided free motion quilting.

I loaded up a practice quilt sandwich, lowered the belts, and spent some time playing on my new Gammill, did a bit of ruler work and, of course, some spirals!  It brought me a lot of enjoyment and peace to just go with the flow and stitch randomly whatever came to mind 🙂

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Longarm Quilting: easing in fullness

While I was working on a client quilt this week, I recorded a short video showing how I used my hands while my Gammill Statler was stitching out a digital design, to manipulate the quilt top and ease in any bits of fullness to avoid getting unwanted pleats and tucks.  I got the idea from a video Linda Taylor did for the Best of Both Worlds series for Gammill Quilting (look for that great set of tutorials on Youtube!) and it was definitely beneficial for me, and in the end for my client who ended up with a lovely finish on her quilt.

There is soooooooo much to learn in this computerized quilting arena!  But I just try to focus on a little bit at a time so my brain won’t explode! LOL  Of course, I want to try ALL THE THINGS!

First a few photos, then the video at the bottom.  All are posted with permission 🙂

Have a great weekend!

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Custom Computerized Quilting on my Gammill

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After practicing some edge to edge designs on a few quilts this past week, I went ahead and tried some custom work using computerized patterns.

This quilt has a lot of wide open space, but it is pieced together in rows so, for the most part, I chose designs for each row.  When I got to the blocks with text, I fit the designs around them.

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This was so much fun!  LOTS to learn and every day there’s something I have to tripe check as I go, but it’s gradually getting more comfortable.  Check out the video below for an idea of how it all came together 🙂

My Gammill is Here!

I would like to introduce you to my new Gammill Statler Stitcher (fondly referred to for now as my “personal assistant” until I can come up with just the right name for it! LOL)  It arrived a week ago, has upped the decor level in my quilting room by several points, and is performing like a rock star.

I’m spending time right now getting used to the process of computerized quilting; it is a huge learning curve, but I’m gradually getting the hang of it, and since I was without a machine for just over a month after the old one sold, I had time to piece together a few quilt tops to have ready for practice.  I’m testing out different ways of getting the patterns onto the quilt, some edge to edge as well as some customized work, choosing different patterns to fill specific spaces.

This machine purrs like a kitten and is a pleasure to drive (“She’s got a competition clutch with the four on the floor and she purrs like a kitten ’till the lake pipes roar, and if that ain’t enough to make you flip your lid…” OK I’ll stop!)

Everything here is solid as a rock and it’s clear this is no lightweight piece of equipment.  I was slightly intimidated the first time I turned it on myself the day after Mr. Bentley, my dealer/delivery man left.  I had to stand back a minute, take it all in, and show some respect.  Even moving the rollers – smoothly as a hot knife through butter – gives me pause to be grateful.

I wanted to share with you some of the things I’m working on, just to keep you posted and stay in touch while I’m learning 🙂  I have three completed quilts with edge to edge patterns on them and am currently working on a custom one – mostly computerized, some ruler work – and all will be available in my Etsy Shop in the next couple of weeks or so.

Once I’m confident with the basics, I’ll be opening up my computerized quilting services to clients in addition to the hand guided work I’ve been doing thus far and continue to enjoy very much!  For now, here are a few peeks into the fun I’ve been having.  I’m trying a new techie system of embedding these from my Instagram feed, so be sure to follow me over there – annwalshquilting – to see regular day to day updates that don’t always make it into a longer post here 🙂  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Instagram, the notations you see under these photos go along with the Instagram posts, and it’s all about the hashtags over there!

Majesty – the silk quilt

I’m not good at naming quilts (we’ve been down this path before) but when I started this project and decided it was going to be something quite different than other things I’ve made I knew it needed a special name.  The fabric itself inspired me to come up with a name befitting the luxury that comes to mind when I think of silk, so this quilt was  called “Majesty” before the first stitch.  I was thinking of the things I’ve seen in movies about royalty; you know, those huge carved headboards and canopies with the fancy bedding? You admire it and then wonder who launders it!

I did a little planning ahead of time, only in the sense that I “planned” to do more of a traditional style whole cloth quilt (medallion in the centre, fancy borders, symmetry etc.) so it was more of an overall concept than a calculated design.  We know that for me, the plan evolves along the way!  Certainly that’s what happened here.

I started at the top centre, where I wanted to make a statement, and of course there were always going to be lots and lots of feathers, so that part flowed nicely.  I didn’t really have to do a lot of measuring until I happily finished one side and realized that I would then have to duplicate it to the best of my ability on the other! LOL  It was a challenge.  After laying down the foundation I went back in and added fillers, and then used this process throughout.

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For most of the quilt, I just picked one area at a time to focus on, keeping in mind that I was going for the illusion of a plan 🙂 I generally baste the whole quilt at the beginning so I can later roll it back and forth whenever I want to, and for this one that method proved very helpful, especially if I couldn’t quite remember something I had already stitched and wanted to repeat HAHA

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I built the structure I wanted in each area, stitched it out and filled it in, and eventually it all came together.  Not without a few mistakes and ripped stitches, mind you, but overall it was a very satisfying finish.

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And yes, I did have a little bit of that “do I keep this one or not?” going on in my head.  I designed this quilt for a couple of specific purposes, neither of which was to adorn something in my own house.  But again, as I worked on it and later held it in my lap while hand stitching the binding I wondered about whether or not I should keep it.  It is so soft and feels luxurious!

The truth is that this is probably the best work I’ve done in my quilting thus far.  I’m both very proud of it as an achievement of my goal, and humbled by it as a reminder that I’m blessed to have found this thing called machine quilting – or did it find me? – that brings me so much joy and gives me so many opportunities to grow and share.  This quilt represents some important things to me.

But aside from the philosophical aspects, it also made more clear to me the truth about what “makes my soul shine”: my process, what I do and why I do it, and the importance of knowing those things in my art and crafting life.

When I finished the binding, still feeling just a little bit of doubt as to whether or not I would part with it, I spread it out on my bed and stood back to look at it.  I was immediately detached from it.  I saw it for what it was and appreciated all of it, and at the same time I knew it was just fine to let it go because the process was over.

I know I mention it often, but I feel I cannot stress enough the value of knowing what your personal process is and allowing yourself to appreciate it!

If you would like a serious peek into some of the work I did on this one, check out the first video below.

If you would like a peek into what happens when things don’t go the way you hope they will, check out the second video below.

If you would like a peek into my real life goofy fun, check out the third video with my Happy Dance!

Wishing you all a great weekend!

 

 

Simply Sweet

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I finished the second panel from Art Gallery fabrics and because much of the stitching is similar to the sheep quilt I recently posted, I won’t fill this up with a lot of photos!

Just wanted you to see it all done, and share a short video clip at the bottom of some stitching I did that was notably different on this one; I used an idea from Natalia Bonner for the narrow border framing the centre section.

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I was all set to try it, then suddenly had second thoughts about whether or not I could get it “right”.  But I tossed my doubt aside and went for it!  It wasn’t really hard at all – another good reminder to ignore the darn negative voice in my head that likes to bother me when I’m trying to be creative LOL

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I love the way this turned out.  Those large pebbles added great texture to that frame, and I love that simply drawn teddy bear in the middle reminding me that the simplest things can turn into the most beautiful things 🙂

 

 

Baa Baa Black Sheep

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Soooo…

I wanted to stray from the woodland animals baby quilt theme for a bit and do something fancier with more of a custom heirloom look and, of course, lots of white solid space.  This minimalist style panel is one of three I found in the “Nest” collection from Art Gallery Fabrics.  I love the simple print, the black & white color scheme, and the space to play and really make the quilting show 🙂

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There were only printed borders on two sides of the panel so I found another print to add to the top and bottom, making it relatively square.  I marked off the centre square frame I knew I wanted, planned for a feathered frame around that, and the rest of it happened as I went along.  I cannot say often enough how much I love white stitching on white fabric.  Even as I’m quilting it there is just something so serene and elegant about it.

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And the back is solid white.  I know, who wants a nearly all white baby quilt, right?  LOL but this one was sold before the binding went on…

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Once it was laundered and cuddly, the stitching really popped.  I’m working on another which will have similar stitching; maybe that one will make it into my shop! haha

The short video at the bottom show me stitching some of the filler inside the centre frame, just for fun.

Purple, Gray, and Yellow

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I thought the last wide strip quilt I made was funky, but this one – WOW!  The color combo was a suggestion from my daughter, based on my request for a trendy idea.  Apparently purple, gray and yellow are a thing.  They aren’t necessarily MY thing, but that’s not the point! LOL  I wanted to quilt on solids and I figured that dipping my toes into a wild color combo couldn’t hurt.  It’s interesting to observe the differences between the quilts I make specifically to sell online and those that I make for my home, or at least in keeping with a style I would have in my home.  Doing something wild once in a while is kind of fun.  It’s even more fun when someone buys it and I get to see where it’s going to end up (some people send me photos once the quilt arrives in their home and that is really cool!)

So if this is your style, enjoy the pictures, and if it isn’t, put your sunglasses on and just enjoy the stitching.  Most of this was not planned out at all before I started.  The main idea was to have a lot of lines going here and there.  The rest just happened as I went along! #designingonthefly

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I added a couple of videos at the bottom in case you want to see how I did some of what I did 🙂  First one is short, second one has some bouncy music in it.  It might make you want to dance…

 

Finding Joy

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You’ll probably recognize this general idea and color scheme from another recently finished quilt I wrote about; I’m not releasing a detailed pattern for the piecing process here, but I don’t mind if you just figure it out yourself and copy it…

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Some pictures have filters to enhance the stitching and make the colors more vibrant.  I can do that here as this one isn’t being advertised so accurate hues aren’t an issue!

I had a custom order for a smaller throw quilt in the same colors and I just happened to have enough left of two of them and a spare piece of Moda Grunge that was pretty close to the dove gray I used in the first quilt, so this came about and made my client very happy.  She’s also a huge fan of words on quilts, and I had a panel from the Thrive fabric line (Natalia Bonner & Kathleen Whiting, for Moda Fabrics) so we chose a suitable block and I pieced it in.

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I had free reign over the quilting designs which is always tons of fun, so I set about to use similar stitching to what I had already done in the first one.  However, as often happens, the plan changed not long after I got started 🙂

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I tried out some funky stuff here, used a stencil I recently purchased from Love Shack Quilts in one of the chevron areas, pulled out several of my circle rulers and experimented with various ideas that came to mind along the way.

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The result was a vivid modern super textured and fun lap quilt with a bit of inspiration popping out of the background and now that it’s all laundered and ready to go, it’s as cuddly as can be and I just know she’s going to love it!

I’ve included links below to a couple of videos I shot while quilting this: one is showing the greyish area with the chevron paths and the other is a time lapse of me finishing off the word block.  Most of the other things you have seen me do before haha.  Until next time…