Sunday, April 29, 2012

SewCal Gal's 2012 FMQ Challenge - April

This was an interesting challenge and in hand with what we are currently working on with Leah Day's Quilt Along. Seems like its wholecloth quit season.

This month tutorial is my Don Linn. His work is really inspiring. I'm kind of a person who likes to experiment with designs and find new ones. So, this perfectly falls on my ally. So, I slightly modified the design by removing the leaf motif from the same place Don had removed the petal and inserted the tip of a feather. Looks like I can't stop my love for feathers ;).

Here is my new design. I had do play with the scale little bit since I want to make the sampler quilt and SewCal Gal suggested that we make a 8x8 square for this project. So, Don's original design has reduced by 80% and then modified.
Modified Design

Traced the template using black sharpie pen

Template create on tulle fabric
Quilted template with flash...I used Aqua color thread
Picture without flash to see the quilting
Micro-stippling around the motif

I plan to finish of this wholecloth mini quilt by micro-stippling all over surrounding the design to make it really pop. Will post a picture when I'm done.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 14

I can't believe its week 14 already. I started to follow Leah's quilt along starting week 4 and it has been a amazing journey so far. I just learned FMQ starting of this year and happy with my progress so far.

This week was really fun for me. I didn't have any completed top. So, I worked on a new quilt and then got side tracked ;). Hmmm....What's new, right ;)? Okay here is the deal, the quilt pattern I'm working on is X's and O's. If you like this check out this wonderful tutorial from : X's and O's Quilt.

I'm totally in love with my new Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 sewing machines. It pieces amazing and the the quilting is awesome too. I can see a huge improvement from my old Brother XL2600i machine. This is my first quilt pieced and quilted on the new sewing machine. I can only imagine how the "Janome" machine would be. But can't afford those for now.

Here is a picture of my blocks:

Go back and stitch with 1/4inch and then trim in the center

I was so thrilled with another tutorial of Jenny@missouriquiltco: Serendipity Quilt where she shows a trick to make use of the fabric which you trim away while creating your X's and O's block. So, I decided that I will save all those little pieces and make a doll quilt. So, this is what I worked on this week. I thought it was an easy process but it ended up as a big project. I put my heart and soul in it and didn't try to rush through it. It really turned out cute and this is going to be my daughter's doll quilt. She named her doll "Melody", so I appliqued the name for her. She is absolutely trilled :-).

The fabric line I used is Moda's Rooftop Garden. When I saw some of the quilts made with this line they were too dark and felt that not everyone is going to like these colors. But I was totally in love with this fabric line. To lighten up the quilt I added the while Moda Bella solid and I'm happy with how it turned out.

The finished Pinwheel quilt blocks measures 3.5x3.5 inches and I used a total of 12 blocks with 4 rows and 3 across.
 I made mistakes while trimming few of the blocks, so some of them are wonky :-).

Here are my pinwheel blocks for the doll quilt made from the scraps of my X's and O's blocks:

Doll Quilt Front

Doll Quilt Front

Closeup of the Applique

You can see the stippling on the back - I used light pink sulky thread

Closeup of the back showing stippling

Next week, I will finish the binding using the Pink polka-dot fabric used for applique.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 13

This weeks we're finishing up our wholecloth quilt. The task was to soak the quilt, block it and then trim & bind.
First, I was thinking of skipping the soaking and boxing step. Personally being a novice quilter I was happy with my wholecloth quilt as is. So, thought why not just trim and bind.
I had sparingly used homemade starch and the disappearing ink pen. So, didn't feel that I wanted to do these steps and left a message at Leah's blog for her input. Since, I didn't get a feedback and didn't want to be rebel and followed those two steps too :-).

I used the same fabric for my binding. I usually cut my binding strips at 2.5inches and did the same for this project too. Again, the fabric I used was "Pearl Pink Kona Solid".

Here is a picture of my blocking the quilt:
Blocking the Wholecloth Quilt

Here is the picture of the quilt after I trimmed it and machine stitched the binding from the back:
Binding - before joining the ends
 I used Susan Brown's Binding Tool for joining the ends of the binding. There is also a tutorial on the same page "How to use the Binding Tool". The binding always lays perfectly flat with this tool :-).
Binding- perfectly seamed binding

I choose the following decorative stitch for the machine binding.
This morning I ran out of my bobbin and I don't think I going to able to wind my bobbin with the baby being around. So, here it is as is:
Wholecloth Quilt Binding
The sequence for decorative stitch is, heart, lotus flower & then butterfly. This pattern keeps repeating.
Customized decorative stitch from my new Singer Machine

Closeup on the decorative stitch on the binding
Finally got it done :-).

Leah I have couple question for you:
1. I know that we had used starch and need to get that out by soaking. Is there any other reason why we need to soak our quilt if its going to be a wall-hanging?
2. With all the stippling tutorials, will you be  writing a book on Stippling FMQ? I'm just curious :-).

Leah thanks again for the wonderful tutorials. I just ordered some quilting supplies from your Day Style Designs online shop to support the Free Motion Quilting Project.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 12

This week's task was micro-stippling around the heart and feather motifs. I have to say micro-stippling was really fun. I actually started by working on a practice sandwich before doing my "Heart & Feather" wholecloth quilt.

The practice quilt I started by outlining the motif in the center and then quilted in circles instead of rows and followed the same for each flower as I got closer to it. This was just a practice one so I goofed a little around the flower ;).
Here are pictures of my practice quilt:
Practice quilt Front
Practice quilt back

Last week Danielle had suggested that I try hair-dryer to get the markings out of my quilt. I did try this method and I had to setup my dryer at hot with medium speed. The markings did go away but some of the lines then came back after it  cooled off. So, I went back to those lines with tip of my iron. So, I am thinking that not just the heat but little bit friction is also required for the markings to disappear from the Pilot's Frixon pens.
You can still here the markings around some of the hearts:

Since I was quilting with same color thread, at times it was difficult to see where I had already quilted. I realized a new trick to work through this problem. Every time I didn't know where I was stitching I quilted away from it to get a better view and then went back to it.

Also I realized that as I started quilting in the borders my microstippling got little big. Probably because of the space available I started quilting bigger. Not sure why though :-).
Here are pictures of my wholecloth quilt:
Wholecloth Quilt - taken in natural light during the day
Closeup of the center motif

Closeup of the corner motif

Closeup of the another corner motif

It was so much fun doing this wholecloth quilt. Thank you again Leah for the wonderful tutorials.