Free Motion Graffiti Quilting

Happy Hump Day! (yeah, I know, sounds kind of weird but I’m told that in the present day that’s what working people call Wednesday…getting over the hump for the week!)

I recently posted this short video on Youtube – sped up, of course – showing some playtime free motion quilting I did on a practice sandwich.  I had spent a bunch of time working on some techniques with digital stitching designs, and after all that the wide open space just called to me…

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A Happy Accident

Burnt orange is supposedly a trending color for 2019.  I say “supposedly” because I find it difficult to keep track and often find myself at the mercy of outside sources when it comes to staying on top of these things!

So I thought I’d go with it, dive in, and make a quilt in this not-for-me shade, and I chose a cool star quilt pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Company, thinking it wold be a good way to use up some leftover black and white print.

Then I decided to pack up my sewing one day and actually go to a group sewing day, taking this project with me as I figured it would be mindless sewing that I could handle while chatting the day away.  Part way through adding the print to each solid block, it occurred to me that I should stop and actually measure it out and see if I had enough to put two strips on every remaining block before I got too far in, but instead of following the inner nudge I kept on talking, and sewing, and then it was too late.

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So I was left with several solid blocks and no more print.  And there was no more at home when I got there.  And there was no more at the store when I got there.  So I made a quick decision to grab another black and white print that was enough of a contrast and I went home to finish up the squares, thinking I would just go with whatever happened because I wasn’t really “into” this quilt anyway! LOL

Once I began to lay it out on the design wall, it was obvious to me that the best effect would be to have the blocks transition from one print to another, one corner to another, and voila!  It looks like I planned it all that way from the start!  (at least it does to me, so just let me have this moment…HAHA)

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In the end, I believe it looks even better than it would have if all that print had been the same.  So this was a happy accident as they say.  Something even better came from a mistake.  And while it’s still beyond my preferred color palette, now that it’s all quilted (with a cool triangle maze edge to edge pattern on my Gammill Statler Stitcher), washed, and cuddly, I no longer look at it with a neutral eye.  I kind of like it now!  Kind of…

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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 🙂

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!