Thursday, October 25, 2012

October Free-Motion Quilting Challenge

This month's free-motion quilting challenge by Teri Lucas had us starting with pens and paper instead of needle and thread.  Drawing is not my strong suit - but I have started a quilt design notebook divided into Fillers, Borders and Blocks.  I am trying to test out my designs before I start sewing and I agree with Teri that by drawing a design first you create a muscle memory and it is easier to stitch.

Here is the second of the drawings I made for this challenge (the first was pretty pitiful).

For the actual stitching I used a piece of Robert Kaufman's Radiance that I had been wanting to try out and a variety of threads and needles.

For my name the thread was a 40 weight YLI Machine Quilting thread, the echo was done in Guterman 100% cotton in a 50 weight, the cross hatches in a Sulky PolyLite 60 weight, the feather in Superior King Tut, the circles in Sulky Metallic and the nautilus shells, swirls, e's and leaves in YLI silk thread.

I liked the heavier weight thread for the bold statement they made, but it really built up on the feather's spine. Both Sulky threads have beautiful sheen and I did not have any problems with the metallic thread - which sometimes can drive you to drink!  And the silk was a dream.  I want to do more with my silk threads - if only they weren't so darn expensive.

I would like to try Aurifil thread as I have heard lots of good things about it, but have not seen it locally.  I guess I will have to break down and order some.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Little Christmas Star

I recently finished a little Ohio Star wall quilt done in Christmas fabrics by Holly Taylor for Moda.  This is the block I am going to be teaching at Stitch n' Sew Fabrics in Mount Pleasant, SC on November 9, 2012.

For this class, the students are to bring two fat quarters and are going to learn how to make quarter square triangles and this traditional block.

I also had a stack of charm packs in the same fabric line and wanted to do a more scrappy version of this quilt block, which is my preferred way to work.

I was worried about getting the free motion motifs in the solid squares, so I first quilted each side in the ditch with just batting and no backing.  After that I layered the two quilts, marked one side and finished the quilting.  I liked the way the double layer of batting looks and how well the tension worked on my machine. I will definitely use this technique again.