Welcome to The Quilt Journal and My Friday Finish!
I had a long list of things I wanted to finish or accomplish this summer. This thread painted clematis quilt was only one of them. For one reason or another this has been my only significant finish in a few months (funny how that happens when sadly you haven’t really had time to sew in over 2 months). I am so grateful to Laura over at TGIFFriday.blogspot.com for lighting that much needed fire under my butt to make me re-enter life and get quilting!
Some of you may remember that I started this quilt back in January after taking a class taught by Melinda Bula at my local quilt guild. This quilt is made from my friend Sherry’s and my stash (outside of the background fabric). Funny how saying it came from your stash practically makes you glow with pride….justifying all those purchases right??? lol :). Pooling our stash really helped. It’s harder then you think to come up with a variety of color values to try and make your palate work. I don’t know that you will ever actually see a clematis that looks like ours, but I love pink and purple…..so I’m a happy camper.
Things that did or didn’t work for me during this project
Melinda likes Steam-A-Seam 2 to fuse her quilts. I like Steam-A-Seam too, but it does add a lot of fusible . Not entirely a bad thing. Due to the Steam-A-Seam and heavy quilting my quilt is rather stiff and lays really flat. Both good things for a wallhanging. The negative is I had layers of the fusible, some areas 5 or 6 fabrics thick to quilt through. Not all thread or machines like that. I started quilting this on my Baby Lock Ellisimo with Sulky 30 wt Rayon (Melinda’s prefered thread). No matter what needle I put in (topstitch, mirotex, embroidery, sharps, jeans ,titanium) the rayon shredded. Changing my thread to Floriani or Glide helped, but my Ellisimo wasn’t in love with this project. Consequently, I quilted the bulk on my George.
The other consideration is paying attention to your tension.If you look closely at the picture of the stitching on the back, you can see my tension wasn’t always ideal, not terrible, but not perfect either- depending on what area I was quilting.
I thread painted this quilt with Floriani Polyester, Glide poly, and Superior threads variegated Omni and Magnifico, all 40 wt in top and in the bobbin. These threads were great- no hassle threads. I used a variety of manufactures to get the colors I needed to match the fabrics.
Finally the last thing that didn’t work so well for me, was Melinda’s technique of starting and stopping a stitch line. Melinda pulls her threads to the top takes a few stitches and clips the tails. She feels that all the fusible will fuse the thread ends in the quilt when you hit it with an iron and make your stops and starts invisible. I found that sometimes my threads did come loose in-spite of all my ironing. Little bird nests do show more on the back where I start or finish if I take a few extra small stitches with 40 wt to secure those tails. It’s also difficult to bury threads with the heavy stitching and fusible. I think it’s just one of those things that I need to work on perfecting that technique. Maybe my big ole Rowenta steam iron doesn’t get hot enough??? Inquiring minds may want to figure that out. haha
I had a lot of fun with this quilt and would love to do a poinsettia for the holidays….some year !?! Thanks for stopping by and visiting!
A few weeks ago I got an email from a reader that had just purchased an Accents in DesignFine Line Ellipse Template. She had posed the question as to what else can she do beyond the obvious when it came to design options. My response….lots!! 🙂 I hope you find a little Ellipse Template Design inspiration!!
I had been thinking about re-doing one of my first videos that was about the Fine Line Ellipse template….my lighting/ angle/ lens, was not quite worked out yet, to say the least. I stitched this in contrasting thread once again for visibility during the video- it does show every little wobble, but I think it would be lovely in a complimentary thread color.
I Love this template. It is a No- Brainer- a go to when it comes to borders. It’s an easy design answer to almost any flavor quilt you may have. Just change up your fill pattern. Keeping it simple for busy fabrics , baby quilts or heavy use throws….just go with the template outline- in one, two or three passes.
But if you want to put your stamp on a quilt, then start doodling and thinking about filling that space of the ellipse.
I have to say that I do love the ole artistic value of 3. My favorite motif is when I divide this design into 3 and then fill-er-up! Play around with it…I have done the peace sign /pie slice division of space- let your imagination go with it!
I sat in front of the TV, while my family watched“Lord of the Rings”, doodling away. I have pages of combos using different fillers (no you won’t find Frodo in one of my motifs 🙂 …) I encourage you to sit ,relaxed and doodle- see how many combinations you can think of. These are all designs that we all know how to do- easy- peasy!!
February is my favorite month in Florida. We are usually doing the 70/50 split in temperature that I just love, but even here it’s been a bit chilly. I know for a lot of you it’s still winter- so in light of that I’m still having some winter free motion quilting fun and finishing my wallhanging Snow Happens by Bird Brain designs (either I’m timely or so far behind I’m out in front for next year ! lol).
This is a hand embroidery design (they make them for both machine and hand embroiders) and has a lot of good memories associated with it. I worked on this on numerous airplane flights to places and experiences that will warm me for years to come. I don’t know about you guys, but when you are all done embroidering and piecing and you are sitting there looking at your quilt top, hatching your plan to free motion quilt, it can be a little anxiety producing when you attach so many feelings to a quilt! But in the end, I put my big girl panties on and forged ahead.
I did use my plexi glass sheet to audition my designs and of course there’s always doodling and warm up time on a quilt sandwich before starting on the real McCoy..… But the bottom line is nothing can replace just jumping in a doing it. Practice sandwiches are great, but you know they are practice and they just don’t present the obstacles that a real quilt will give you. Nothing replaces time and experience . There is several things I would do differently if I had a do-over (which just isn’t happening).
I decided to do some straight free motion ruler work in the foreground under my snow man to “ground” them. I think free motion lines that were more free form like snow drifts would have been a better design decision.
On my on point pieced border, I did continuous line design work twice to the inside of each square and then traveled to the next square by the curved arch on the outside of each square creating a circle around each little square. The pieced squares make every wobble noticeable (on the outside curve). I should have used this opportunity to use a curved ruler to stabilize the motif to get a smoother curve (sigh-I knew better- but my eyes couldn’t see ripping monopoly !).
I know as quilters one of the most destructive things we do is to point out our mistakes. I am not devaluing my little quilt by pointing out every little wibble here or wobble there. I do believe we need to be at peace that this is the best effort I made on this day at this point in my quilty life. At the same time I have chosen to blog about this. I know I have learned so much when someone has been honest with me and shares what they learned along the way- worts and all 🙂 . Sometimes I have to make the mistakes for myself as growing pains (or some times you just have a brain fart) , other times the sharing has saved me from making the same mistake too. It is in that light I share what I have learned from this little quilt. That is not to say I am not enjoying him hanging in my entrance foyer as I wait for spring!
I quilted Snow Happens using Superior Threads Monopoly clear monofilament thread.