Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Quilting is Done

Recently, I put the pedal to the metal to finish quilting a few projects that I have blogged about HERE and HERE.  I was able to finally conquer the problem I was having with my Free Motion Quilting. 

I thought I had tried everything, but to no avail. The stitches on the back were just not being "locked" in properly, no matter how much or little I played with the tension, the needles, or the way I sat! For some reason, I had been ignoring my thread. It was good quality thread so I had presumed that was not the issue. But guess what? I found out, by trial and error and making dozens of quilt sandwiches, that my particular sewing machine does not like to do FMQ with thread on a cone! I changed to using smaller spools of thread and my issue has been  resolved. I still have lots of practicing to do, am far from perfect, but at least I know how to make my machine behave.

With the IWK charity quilt, I used inspiration from several quilters to plan my FMQ. For the centres, I found a Craftsy class tutorial called The Secrets of Free-Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli. I purchased it when it was on sale-Craftsy always has great sales! I watched several of the lessons and really liked what she calls Basic Echoing Designs. I played around a bit and used a tear drop shape which I echoed to fill in the centres. 

I am also an avid follower of Natalia Bonner of Piece 'n Quilt. Her work is amazing! I purchased her first book awhile back, Beginner's Guide to Free Motion Quiltingand have used it as a resource ever since. I used her Ovals loop pattern in the borders of each block. As you can see, it's far from perfect, but I am happy with it!

I also finished quilting my little whales baby quilt. I wanted to keep the idea of waves for the quilting so used a serpentine stitch on the quilt.

It's a great day for quilting!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Couple of Quilts for the IWK

As a member of the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild (MMQG), I am so happy to be able to participate in the making of a couple of quilts for the annual charity quilt program. Every year the guild decides on a charitable cause to support and this year the guild chose the IWK, the children's hospital located in Halifax, NS.  We had the occasion to need the services of the IWK on one occasion many years ago as the children were growing up.  Although it is about a 3-hour drive, we always knew we were in the best of care when we got there. It is nice to be able to give back in a small way by making a couple of quilts.

The guild chose a square in a square pattern to make. Many members are making twin sized quilts, but as "The Cuddle Quilter", I wanted to keep the quilt cuddle size. Besides, I can't handle much larger in my domestic sewing machine and this way I was able to bring the quilt from start to finish all in my own sewing room. 

I finished one of the quilts yesterday. I kept this one fairly bright, using a variety of bold colours and prints.

The quilt finishes at 43" x 60" with 8.5" finished blocks. This one I quilted using a stitch in the ditch and a grid pattern. 

The second IWK quilt was started using the leftover blocks from the first quilt. I had made a variety of blocks and decided to keep all the brights for the first quilt and use more of the whites for the second quilt. This one is pinned and ready!

I plan to do FMQ on this second quilt if this heat wave ends soon. It is just too hot and humid today for me to sit with a quilt in my lap so I may have to wait a bit while the air conditioner does its work.

It's always a great day for quilting,