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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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 🙂

Interviewed by Leah Day

I had a super fun time being interviewed by Leah Day on her Quilting Friends podcast last week, and it went public today so I wanted to share the link and the experience with you!  We had a great conversation about quilting, creativity, passion and balancing things in our crafty lives.  Some of it was practical and some of it was philosophical.  All of it was a surreal experience for me 🙂  She is just as sweet in person (well, on video call!) as she appears to be and I’m happy to have met her and made a new quilting friend!

You can go straight to the podcast on her Youtube channel by clicking the image below, and you can read more about the podcast in the show notes here: Be Open to Your Creativity

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.

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…

 

 

Wavy Lines with Clouds

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Wavy lines and straight lines are popular on modern quilts and I like to find ways of embellishing them here and there to give a bit of extra interest to the overall look.

I thought this cute baby quilt could use some clouds in the stitching, and rather than over think the shape and the stitching path (sometimes clouds are intimidating! LOL) I decided to take my cue from the clouds on the printed fabric (DUH – why don’t I automatically think of this by now???) and they worked out great!  It pays to keep things simple 🙂

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Love all that texture!

There are so many possibilities for adding different elements to your otherwise basic lines.  Try drawing a few things out on paper and see what you like; then stitch it out and notice how cool it looks!  I usually do the extra thing on every second line going across the quilt and then just come back with a basic line, but of course this is completely up to each person to choose.

Check out the video below for a quick look at how I stitched the clouds.  Some days are for complex stitching and others are for simplicity 🙂  It was relaxing to complete this project with the flow of the stitching over those cute prints, being reminded every few inches of a favourite song with lots of personal meaning to me.  It’s just such a “happy” little quilt!

 

Playing Outside the Lines

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There’s always more to learn, more motifs to try, more fillers to practice.  The lists are endless.  So I have no shortage of available ideas, especially with access to the internet.

But I recently began to feel that I needed something else.  I’m not saying “something more” because I have access to “MORE”!  Something “ELSE” is different.

I wanted to start seeing spaces differently, to learn to look past the obvious and venture into new territory.  To “unlock my brain” so to speak, in the words of a quilt artist I recently spent a very productive and inspiring private training day with, Sharon Blackmore of Love Shack Quilts.  That was our goal: unlock my brain and take my quilting to the next level.

It’s not my nature to think outside the box; I can be lead there, but it doesn’t come naturally to me.  Thus the need to “unlock” my brain!  I can plan on the fly over a wide open space, and work within the confines of blocks to accent piecing, but I knew there was more to be done somewhere in between those two.

I had loaded this client quilt (pieced by Pam Fritsche) mid-week with a definite plan for a few of the areas, basted the whole quilt so I could roll it back and forth, and started stitching the designs that were clear in my mind.  I used some of my go-tos for the centre triangles, lots of straight lines for the modern look, I knew I needed to leave space for the initials requested, and I had the big feather border stitched out before I left it.

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After my lesson day, I came home to the quilt, thinking I would just finish this one up and then start using my new vision on the next one! haha But when I started stitching the second large area around the star with the big echoed circles I felt myself getting bored (that doesn’t usually happen!).  I hit the centre of the bottom edge and immediately experienced a shift when I saw the space.

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I wanted a big change that would make a statement right there and decided I could easily build a triangle and fill it.  That was the start – yes I’ve done something like this before in wide open space, but not in the middle of a border as a contrasting element.  I stitched it out, finished off the big circles and advanced the quilt.

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I was planning to stitch a piano key border in the outside white space, but those darn grey half square triangle were mocking me.  I stared at them for a bit, trying to come up with designs to fill them in some ordered kind of way – typical! – but it suddenly hit me that I could ignore all of them and that bright orange sashing, and make my triangle a square!

This might not seem like a light bulb moment to everyone, but for me it was a breakthrough because I was seeing the space differently than usual, ignoring what was already there and making something new right on top of it.  I was playing outside the lines!  (and the angels sang… LOL)

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From there, of course, I needed to up the anti in the rest of the final area too.

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The whole time I was enjoying my new inspiration I was wishing I could go back in and change the first areas I had stitched because they would have been different at that point, but the end result was still pretty cool and I’m looking forward to my next detailed project so I can put to use more of what I learned 🙂

When I take a quilt off the frame I like to get a really good look at all the texture from various angles.  And that white on white gets me every time!

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I love that square and I love how it draws all the attention to itself.

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Do you play outside the lines? 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Faux Leather Pouches

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I recently ordered some faux leather fabric from Sew Sweetness and got around to doing a quilting test this week.  I LOVE this stuff!  I had no issues at all free motion quilting on this fabric and the results are stunning.  I started out with a big square, quilted the heck out of it and cut it up to make two zippered pouches.  Serious fun, people.

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Are you seeing the possibilities?  Head on over to Sara’s website.  She’s a self proclaimed Bag Lady!  She designs great patterns for handmade bags & pouches, has video tutorials, and offers many items in her online shop.  She’s even got cork fabric over there…hmmm…what to try next?

The video below is sped up a lot but shows how easily I’m moving around on this surface – no issues at all.