A picture showing the embroidery design and how I mark where I started stitching with an air-soluable pen

Playing with A Wedding Quilt

Craftsy

A long story short- my son has a friend that has hung out at our house for years and has persistently asked me to make him a quilt through the various stages of his young adulthood ( come on people- don’t make me feel bad about this- we all know what these guys rooms and apartments looked like- it was enough to break out in a rash just walking in the door! 🙂 ) This past year he came for a visit and told us he was getting married….he asked “ will you make me a quilt now??” – I just said “we’ll see”…….Only a few young people have asked me for a quilt , and only a heartless hag would deny that kind of persistence lol ! I had no idea of the couples color scheme in their apartment – and lets be honest- does it matter? How many times have you changed your decor over the years? It’s the quilt that matters.

So When I went to Paducah this year it was with the intent to shop for fabric for Eric and Rebekah’s quilt. What I decided to do was a quilt that was red, black and white- University of Georgia’s colors as that is where they met, fell in love and they are diehard Bulldog fans.
 It has been so much fun playing with this wedding quilt.  It’s not finished by a long shot, but I have really enjoyed the journey and the memories of making it for them.
Here are a few things that I have ben playing with :

a picture ofDeb Tucker's Squared Squared ruler
Deb Tucker’s Squared Squared ruler

 

  • First off I purchased a new ruler put out by Deb Tucker while in Paducah called the Squared Square. I decided to use this to piece a simple on point square in a square in a square kinda pattern without having to do the math. Deb has a great video on YouTube if you are interested. I did use EQ7 to lay things out, play with the color order and plan for the overall size.
  • As I planned this quilt I began to worry about the red and black up against the white. I am not a big pre-washer, but boy am I glad I did!!! I did the old remedy of vinegar and salt in the wash water- tossed in several color catchers to give me an idea of how much dye was floating around, and to my dismay- those color catchers came out bright red and black!!!…..after 4 washings!!! That’s when I ordered a Bottle of Retayne. I have never used this before.A picture of a bottle of Retayne I treated both the red and black fabrics and the color catchers had much less dye in them.- I still think that I am going to give them a box of color catchers and washing instructions with the box with the quilt just to be on the safe side :). ( I also think I am going to treat my next new pair of black jeans – a lot of people on Amazon use it for this…I think thats brilliant!)
  •  I decided to embroider a simple flower that has a similar feel as the flower in the border/ backing fabric, instead of trying to fussy cut those flowers to fit the center square. This was a good adventure as I am piecing on a new machine and needed to try out the embroidery unit. But in my enthusiasm to try the new machine,  what I didn’t think through- and what I would have done differently- would be to float a piece of batting under my outline embroidery. It would have eliminated the extra step of having to stitch around each design again before cutting the batting away to trapunto those flowers- dah!!! The things you think of after you have embroidered 20 blocks. It was when I was thinking about how I was going to quilt this quilt and began thinking trapunto ,that I realized a better way.

    A picture showing the embroidery design and how I mark where I started stitching with an air-soluable pen
    The White on white made it really hard to see where I started stitching- so I marked my starting point with an air-solvable pen…..otherwise I just kept stitching !
  • I am trying a new batting for my trapunto. One of my bestest buddies took a class this spring from Harriet Hargrave and bought me this package of Quilters Dream Poly that Harriet recommends. I was amazed at how thin this bat felt.  I expected something similar to wool batting- giving all that extra poof. I have not gotten to the final quilting stage- so I’ll take pictures and let you decide how you like it when it’s done……but somehow if it’s good enough for Harriet Hargrave’s trapunto …I have faith it will poof up more!a picture of quilters dream poly batting

Lastly- for all of you that are new to free motion quilting. I know I am advocating skipping a stage with floating batting behind this outline embroidery instead of stitching around each design with your dissolvable thread. But, if that is not an option for you, I would encourage you to NOT use an open toe foot and carefully stitch around each design. This is good practice to drop those feed dogs and free motion your way around each design…and sooooo much faster once you get your mo-jo going!a picture of my quilt on the design wall my son made for me
Here is the quilt on the design wall my son John Alan made for me. (I love being able to step back and look at things- best birthday present ever!!:) )It really helps to be able to look at the quilt when planning your quilting…..let the doodling begin 🙂 !
I am getting ready to leave on vacation for over 2 weeks, so my plan is to have this quilt sandwiched and basted -waiting for me to quilt when I get home.
As we head into summer I hope you all find time to recharge your batteries, whether it’s finding more time to quilt and create or just hanging out with those you love,
Happy Summer!
Deb

 

Easy Diagonal Cross Hatching

Craftsy

a picture of my finished block showing easy diagonal cross hatching

I stitched this sample with 100wt Invisafil thread in the upper and 60 wt Bottom Line in the bobbin

After coming across some orphan blocks that were older then dirt in my stash, I decided that I would do a tutorial on easy diagonal  cross hatching. I am not saying that this is the only way to mark/ approach cross hatching. This tutorial is all about an easy, quick, accurate and enjoyable way to approach cross hatching.

Back in February I took a class with Cindy Needham. I can’t say enough good things about her. If you have taken her Craftsy classes great  – but if you ever get an opportunity to take a class with her in person- do it!! One of the things that really took root with me was that she uses stencils to make the quilting process easier, more accurate, give you better results and ultimately more enjoyable. 
Once again I was impressed that as I go out of my way to avoid marking , I keep hearing top notch quilters saying they invest a little extra time on the front end of quilting by planning and marking their quilts as much as possible to obtain the great quality quilting that they consistently produce. I have really been trying to plan and mark more….which isn’t easy for a gal that flies my the seat of her pants a lot :)…. I found out that the little extra time pays off in my end product. I’m not saying my quilting is perfect….far from it! But I can really see growth in that time spent marking and working my plan. 
Having said that – I still don’t love the time spent marking- let’s face it- it’s not the fun part . But as much as I dislike marking- I hate ripping more- if marking spares you from that horrible feeling when you quilt your way around an area – only to find out that it has ran off and doesn’t match up count me in!…. Not that that has ever happened to me! lol …..

Using those orphan blocks is also a great way to gain some practice navigating around obstacles without all the anxiety that we all have felt when we have finally finished a quilt and just don’t want to ‘screw it up” when it comes time to quilt.

a picture if marking easy diagonal cross hatching using markings that keep the stencil lined up
notice the registration marks through the center in both directions that were used to align the stencil

I used Cindy’s Ultimate Stencil to mark my block into 8th’s , giving me the registration marks to keep my stencil marking on track and lined up as I slide it from one area to another. The diagonal cross hatching stencil is one that I had in my stash from the Stencil company. I do use a straight longarm ruler to guide my ruler foot along the lines that I have marked, making it an easy way to do cross hatching. Merging stencils with some basic ruler work will give you more accurate results, by giving you a constant visual that you are staying on track and not running off.
I am not saying that you can’t measure and mark your cross hatching using whatever method you prefer – it’s all good! I just know that I love to quilt and don’t love the prep time necessarily going into starting a project. 
If you are new to cross hatching and have some stencils hanging around, I hope you will jump in with some orphan blocks of your own- you will be amazed at how easy cross hatching can be!
So….do you mind marking or not??
Do you try to mark just about all your quilting or just the major elements?? Inquiring minds want to know!!!
Happy Quilting!
Debbie

 

One Fine Day By Laurie Britt Bakersfield, CA

Quilting Inspiration From Paducah Quilt Week

I wanted to share some quilting inspiration from Paducah Quilt Week. It was so hard to pick pictures to show, as there was just so many awe inspiring quilts.  I hope this brings a little sunshine into your day!….

Best of Show Arandano by Marilyn Badger, St George UT.
Best of Show
Arandano by Marilyn Badger St George UT.

 

 

close up Arandano
close up Arandano
close up of Arandano
Arandano

 

Red December By: Gail H. Smith and Angela McCorkle from North Barrington IL.
Red December By: Gail H. Smith and Angela McCorkle from North Barrington IL.
Free Fallin" Kathie Beltz and Mara Novak Greenfield ,NH
Free Fallin”
Kathie Beltz and Mara Novak
Greenfield ,NH
close up "Free Fallin"
close up “Free Fallin”
"Free Fallin"
“Free Fallin”
The Jester's Folly by Margaret Solomon Gunn
The Jester’s Folly by Margaret Solomon Gunn
close up Jester's Folly
close up Jester’s Folly
Bodacious by Claudia Myers and Marilyn Badger Duluth, MN
Bodacious by Claudia Myers and Marilyn Badger
Duluth, MN
Oscar The Great By Nancy Sterett Martin and Karen Sistek
Oscar The Great
By Nancy Sterett Martin and Karen Sistek
It's the Cowboy Way By Kalyn Bue Lohrenz Billings MT
It’s the Cowboy Way
By Kalyn Bue Lohrenz
Billings MT
Charlie By Patty Williams Plessis, NY
Charlie
By Patty Williams
Plessis, NY
Color Flow By Brenda R Roach Bloomfield, IN
Color Flow
By Brenda R Roach
Bloomfield, IN
Lava By Sandra Morgan Cockrum Linwood, KS
Lava
By Sandra Morgan Cockrum
Linwood, KS
One Fine Day By Laurie Britt Bakersfield, CA
One Fine Day
By Laurie Britt
Bakersfield, CA
Poinsettia By Laura Ruiz Malabar, Fl
Poinsettia
By Laura Ruiz
Malabar, Fl
Hopeless By Janneke de Vries- Bodzinga Kollummerzwagg, Friesland, Netherlands
Hopeless
By Janneke de Vries- Bodzinga
Kollummerzwagg, Friesland, Netherlands
Why not? By Angela Petrocelli
Why not?
By Angela Petrocelli
Close up of "Why Not?"
Close up of “Why Not?”
The Paisley Peacock By Bethanne Nemesh Allentown. PA
The Paisley Peacock
By Bethanne Nemesh
Allentown. PA
close up of "The Paisley Peacock"
close up of “The Paisley Peacock”
Duck Face By Hiroko Mirama and Masanobu Miyama Tokyo , Japan
Duck Face
By Hiroko Mirama and Masanobu Miyama
Tokyo , Japan
a picture ofeveryone loading in for a little quilting inspiration
Everyone loading in for a little quilting inspiration
Last but not least is a pic of Hancocks of Paducah.....I could almost hear a choir of angels when I walked in the door! lol!
Last but not least is a pic of Hancocks of Paducah…..I could almost hear a choir of angels when I walked in the door! lol :)

Well I think I better get this posted- hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
Debbie
PS: I am not sue why, but on my mobile devise some of the pictures are presenting really small , like a thumbnail. I am able to enlarge the photo to a size that I can appreciate the stitching by using the spreading finger motion on my iPad- hope this works for you. Maybe the file is too large with all the pics and wordpress is economizing ??!!

AQS Paducah Quilt week 2016

NashvilleTN -having a little fun before heading to Paducah😀
NashvilleTN -having a little fun before heading to Paducah😀

Aww… Paducah in the spring  time! I can hardly wait to get there.  The Pudcah Quilt Week 2016 has been on my bucket list for a while now. We flew into Nashville last night and are taking a small amount of time to do the tourist thing before driving over to Quilt Week in Paducah.

I have been so looking forward to an amazing show  with great quilts,   venders and quilt shops ( Hancocks  of Paducah 👍).

I opened an Instagram account that I am going to try  and post pictures of some amazing quilts that are being shown here this week along anything else that suits my fancy. I have to admit- 1. – Instagram is new to me so I am just trying this out as a quick way to share , and  2,-I will post as I can as I don’t want the focus of the show to be social media, but I think it would be nice to share some of the inspiration going on around town.

Please feel free to follow me on Instagram- I have link to the right side of the page or search for me under TheQuiltJournal.

See you all in Paducah!

Happy Quilting!,

Debbie

 

 

 

 

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