Monday, April 28, 2014

Quilting Stitch No. 12 / 13 : In The Net and Echo Traingle fill

This is fun and simple.  Echoed curvy lines were stitched in one direction all the way across the area to be filled. Curvy lines  are then added coming the opposite direction ( at about 90 degrees).  A small stitched circle  is added at the intersection giving the appearance of a knotted fishing net. If it met your sensibilities better, this could also be done using perfectly straight lines in both directions
This is pretty straight  forward and looks great on abstract quilts. No pre marking needed.. create one echoed triangle, then another, then another til the area is filled.
Happy Quilting All !

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Quilting Stitch 11: Triangle Ginko

This like Stitch No. 10 has a bit of an Asian flair...  beginning in this example in the upper right corner.... It is much like a loopy teardrop motif of starting with the small inner element ( an elongated small triangle), then a second medium sized triangle going around the first and finishing the basic triangle element  with  yet the largest triangle...  in the 3 part motif.

  I did these kind of large for the area being quilted and used back tracking here and there to place a next  'ginko' partially beneath another already stitched.  I like the perception of depth found in this  quilting game!!
Happy Quilting All!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Quilting Stitch No 10: A- mazing

Here's one not shown in progress of stitching but it's not too hard to figure out,  I first stitched a grid of 2 horizontal... two vertical... sort of an 9 patch grid.. then did a  squared scroll in each grid cell, back  tracked out atop initial stitched scroll line and followed a grid line to the next cell and repeated.  This is a simple but BOLD motif and seems to me to have an asian motif flare about it. I LIKE IT... I'll find a place to use it somewhere! ;-)
Happy Quilting All!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

How to Quilt A Stitch No 9: Boxed Scroll

I like this stitch motif for an area that needs a feeling of being grounded but still a bit of extra interest.
I might mark the first stitch just to be certain I have a good scale for the area to be filled...  Stitch following your lines and  after that... it's all unmarked free motion moving your  scroll finishing line to wherever to wish to start a new square scroll. That will make  more sense  if your eyes follow the line of the first row of boxed scrolls and how the top right scroll transitioned to the next scroll beneath and to it's far left.   You my choose to keep this planned as a row by row motif, but I like to keep things a bit more loose by meandering my scrolls a bit.  That way, no one is looking for perfection of exact order.
A little heat on the pink Frixion pen, and all is clear.  Happy Quilting All!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How To Quilt A Stitch No 8: Geese on the Move

I frankly don't yet know where I'd use this but really like the planning and the resulting feeling of things really happening.  Here's where we are headed.
You can see I planned this whole thing out using heat erasable Frixion pens. I suppose if you did this alot you wouldn't need to premark... but it gave me confidence I would keep the scale I wanted and also have a constant middle of the channel where geese points hit! 

As I am starting the 3rd row of geese here, you will note I prestitched the vertical curves first to assure all edges started and stopped within the design area.   After that  to stitch each triangle 'goose', you will work off one side line curve.. stitch across to the opposite line curve, stitch down to the triangle point at the bottom, then back up to the starting point.  ( in this just stitched 'goose'... I went west to east cross the top of one triangle 'goose', south west to center, north west to point of origin) 
Happy Quilting All! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

How To Quilt A Stitch No 7: Blocks and Curves

This filler is kind of fun for areas that need a little something going on but not overly heavy stitching.   here's where we are headed.  This motif is shown here in  horizontal orientation but I prefer to stitch in  vertical orientation. Just easier for me and sometimes machines like up and down better than side to side.
You can see I marked the quilting area with the planned motif... ( again using a heat erasable Frixion pen).  This isn't truly necessary but if it helps you plan and get started... do it!  It will all go away with the touch of your iron... OR as I have learned... a blow dryer blowing hot air. 
Stitching the curved lines is pretty straight forward... Stitching the BOX line  calls for a wee bit of back tracking. Hopefully you can see that  I stitched UP the line to the TOP of the box before starting the box coming off the line, finally returning to the line... then will need to stitch atop earlier line stitching to keep moving up the line toward the top of the area to be quilted.  
 The same idea is used when stitching from the top of the area coming down a line... one just starts coming OFF the curve line at the BOTTOM of the box there. 
Happy Quilting All!  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

On The Third Day...

 The stone was rolled away and His tomb was empty...!                       Celebrate !

Friday, April 18, 2014

How To Quilt A Stitch No 6: Triangle Scroll

 I like this quilting motif for areas that might be too serene for my thinking and need a little spicing up.
Here is where we are headed:
This is simply a scroll in and back out only a triangle... any shape and size triangle. First I stitched an outside parameter, scrolled inward to a "angular"  turnaround  leaving room to get back out as I am doing here.
Once you scroll out and come to a finish point,  you are ready to start the next triangle.( photo below is  same idea as above... just a different triangle shown)  This requires little to no planning other than choice of scale which will work for the area to be quilted. You may have noted a first stitch marked with a heat erasable Frixion pen in the bottom left corner of the top photo.  One does not have to mark the first scroll less it helps you get started. The overall effect of this kind of fill is that 'something is happening.. things are moving.... a wee bit of excitement.
Happy Quilting All! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Last Supper

On the night before His death , Jesus gathered His disciples for their last supper together...

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How To Quilt A Stitch No. 5: Stacked Roof Tops

This is a great filler in areas that need a sense of feeling stabile without  using just plain straight lines.  Here is where we are headed. 
I seldom mark this but am doing a first row here so you can better see the plan. I have used a frixion marking pen to draw a row of squares/rectangles at different heights. 
 The first stitch effort is to follow the  drawn line across left to right noting you are back tracking a few stitches at the bottom of each shape.
 At the end of the first row, you stitch up the right side of the to be quilted area and begin a right to left row of the same plan... this time however you intersect the box (rooftop) somewhere near the middle of  the roof below as the needle down is shown here.
 Continue on with this plan  changing directions at the end of each row and you have an interesting filler when done.   Iron any markings away. Goes pretty fast all in all.  Happy Quilting All!

Monday, April 14, 2014

How To Quilt A Stitch No. 4: Meandering on Point

I like the look of this particularly in a more plain area of  quilt top fabric.

Here's where we are headed.

A little marking ( again I used Frixion Erasable pen by Pilot.)  to get started is fine if it helps.. particularly in this example where I was equally dividing an area into 4 triangles.... What goes inside each triangle is really an elongated meander so if it helps you get going, draw the first few lines of your meander. By the third line, you'll have the idea down and can free hand from there on.   
After all areas are quilting, iron the Frixion marking away and you are done!  Happy Quilting All!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Georgia's Challenge: 915 Maple Avenue

Is this not fun and interesting?  Kudos to Georgia Heller for this mostly ink'd quilt that came about as a result of a very interesting Challenge... 

It was made in response to a challenge to make a quilt inspired by one of the houses in the Maple/Ash historic district of Tempe, Arizona.  The darker shadows in this piece make it come alive.  Beautiful job Georgia.  This looks like a sweet place to live and the viewer is certain that adorable little girl in the window is headed for the door to take a bike ride.  :-)  Love this story quilt!!!  
 Notes from Georgia.... I would be happy to have  you share the photo of 915 Maple Avenue. Most of the quilt is inked, but it also includes three copyright-free images printed on fabric -  the little girl, the cactus, and the chair. These were appliqued.  Nice quilting too.  Click on photo for enlarged view. 

For those following my series of How to Quilt A Stitch... the series returns with the next post. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

How to Quilt A stitch No. 3 : Curved Veil

This is an easy, fast and graceful filler. Heres the whole idea... Stitch one graceful curve top to bottom.... move over a couple stitches and return to the top with the same curvy line plan while  overlapping the previous line.  The rest of this filler plan is a repeat of the line just stitched til you have your area filled.
 I'm showing the filled area here on the horizontal as it looks pretty cool in either vertical or horizontal orientation. Even when I plan to run this veil horizontal on my quilt, I find it easier to turn the quilt top such that my actual stitching is done stitching vertically.
Happy Quilting All!

Friday, April 11, 2014

How To Quilt A Stitch No 2: A Curly Q

This is a fun "filler" stitch that takes a bit of time but is worth the investment. I'm using a 40 wt thread here... Much more than that might not be to your liking as this stitch employs stitching atop previous stitch lines.  This is where we are headed.

Begin your first Curly Q by completing a stitched circle then adding a curly Q in the inside of the circle and stopping.

You then back track over previous stitching til you get all the way back to where you began  ( another couple stitches to go in this example ( It was a good photo op where I stopped). 
Once connecting to the beginning of the circle you can continue along the circle a stitch or two, three, four ( i.e. whatever is needed to start another Curly Q circle at the same or different size.   Have faith, It will fill in the intended  quilt area nicely most likely with ONE continuos stitch line.

Responding to 2 comments/ questions:  1. Back tracking is a stated problem for some.   IF I could give any advice.... the best one is to give yourself permission to GO SLOW!  It gets easier with practice too... but going slow is your friend!!  2.  Q.What weight of bobbin thread did I use on this stitch.  A. I believe I had Bottom Line 60 wt.  ( Superior Threads) in the bobbin this time but for most of my quilting work, I am using a monofilament in the bobbin... That means... no need to 'fill' the entire bobbin, wind the bobbin a bit slower so as not to stretch the thread, and lower top tension... sometimes as low as it can go.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How to Quilt a Stitch No 1: Air or Slow moving Water

 I'll be posting a few stitches that will be part of my classroom Filling Station Handbook on stitches that stabilize, harmonize, and move your eyes.  It seemed like a good idea to get recorded as a tool for selecting quilting motifs.

Quilting for these 2 elements are often similar... and  in my view much easier if you draw the first line with a marking pen... in this case an iron touch erasable mark Frixion pen by Pilot. ( found at Quilt  shops and Staples). The initial marking seems easier for the brain to plan out in one long stroke of the pen than if you stitched this as your initial drawn start line.  At least, it is for me as I can stand back and look at a large width of fabric all at once.  
After that, this becomes a game of exaggerating and echoing coming close to the previous line some of the time and swinging out further others. To keep things interesting, don't be afraid to 'introduce' new curve elements as shown in on the right side of the 3rd from the bottom line.
Happy Quilting all!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The More You Do, The More You Learn

'Ain't that the truth!  As I continue my search for the perfect satin stitch... I'm really learning how skilled Libby Lehmans Satin Stitch is. Some more personal learnings by doing:

1. Do your best to minimize table top drag as the machine does it's thing.  eg. ... keep from allowing overhang ( quilt top draping off the edge into your lap, etc. ) It seems, the more pull in any direction other than what the feed dogs have planned.. the more distortion on that would-be perfect satin stitch.

2. In this project, I  was using the thread spool holders on my machine. I found the small spools of thread tended to perform better than larger ones.  Next time,  I think I'd use a thread stand on spools larger than shown here.
What if I had done a blanket stitch ( looked blah!! for this piece)  and later decided a satin stitch would look better? Pick out the thread???  Not necessary this effort!!!!
It seems since I had used a 40 wt thread previous ( ie not very large)... it looked fine with a satin stitch overlay. A much nicer looking nice sheen finish for this piece.
Amy's comment on the previous post is spot on.... I had already used Sulky's threads on the above and truly like the look more than some other poly threads.  Thanks Amy!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

In Search of The Perfect Satin Stitch

Spoiler Alert.... I'm still searching but learned much on the following effort.  Since I'm normally a painter/quilter on whole cloth, I've had little opportunity to use this time honored stitch called Satin.  On the fun..out of my box piece I'm working on .. I'd like to honor the great Libby Lehman who OWNS the satin stitch as far as I'm concerned.
There are obvious things I will mention first in working on such a dense stitch as this on a quilt top.
1)  A good quality stabilizer is paramount... Stitch and Tear is what's underneath my quilt top.
2)  Using comparable fabric layers and the stabilizer a test of planned stitches is worth every second.  Record each/ width length you've tested. Once you've found a width/length you like. In this case...I liked the left most ... I recorded that to so if I need come back at a later time...I know where I've been and wish to go.

Before you start your satin stitch.... first secure your thread with a few forward/backward straight stitches. ( Thanks for this one Libby)  This will keep your thread ends secure. I hate seeing pop ups on this kind of stitch.. so  just don't permit it to 'pop' ! ;-) 
Though not required on all projects... once I found the length/width I liked, I employed use of a straight stitch on either side the the satin stitch on the far left.  This is a Libby technique I think really cleans up edges and produces a class finish!  

So now, I move to the real deal with the same preparation.  I am using a Superior 1" change 40 wt  "Rainbows" thread on this effort. I love the look of this color change.
Key learnings here..
1) DON'T RUSH THE MACHINE by 'helping/pushing as we feed the fabric. LET THE FEED DOGS do the work of moving the fabric. Too much hand help produces irregular stitch length/width. 
Now a straight stitch on one side...

and finally a straight stitch on the other side. 

This produced a pretty nice look. 
Finally, remove the excess stitch and tear on the back. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Special Showcase

Empty Spools Student Jan Reed is an exceptional woman. First she was my class helper who arrived early, was resourceful, and helped get things done in a big way.  I knew then she had a great attention to detail but that was even before she began her weeks project.
 The following is her snow leopard work in progress and do consider this piece a copywritten image.... It is spectacular.
(c) copywrite
Jan's work beautifully represents what I've repeatedly said... that being that "drawing and painting is much less about drawing and painting than it is about SEEING."  Jan slowed herself down and studied her multiple reference sources to create this piece.  I love wildlife art on my own and think this is definitely Jan's niche.    This detail type of painting doesn't require a lot of visible thread work.  If one loves the painting ( in this case dry brush INK on white cotton), one can merely use a very fine invisible thread 
( eg .004mm) to secure the image in a way that enhances but does not detract from Jan's image. 
 This piece is a WINNER!!!!! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy 25th Birthday Friends

Barely home from Asilomar and it was time to celebrate my Wanabe Quilters Friendship group's 25th
 ( yes) 25th birthday party that also included several founding members that had retired.  How great to have them there!  Below, we are dining at the home of Carol Pankow and hosted by Mary Lou Ripper. What a great day.  25 years of group favorite recipes were printed in our own cookbook/memory album  organized by Carol Pankow and Laurie Lyon.  THANK YOU LADIES!
An off the charts special decorated  lemon celebration cake came from Wanabe group member Hilary Fields daughter ( my gosh.. what a beauty) !
 Incredible detail... both skilled AND artistic...
 Lucky me... I was asked to become part of this 12 member group in 2000 when the founder retired. so this was kind of my 14th birthday! So young! ;-)