Saturday, January 26, 2013

FMQ Friday - Feather Therapy

Its been a long time since I quilted my Totally Groovy quilt. This was my first large quilt and sometimes I feel if I work on this alone nothing else will be get done. So, this has been put away for a long time.

This week I quilted some more of my continuous feathers. You can see that I gradually change the scale of my quilting. Quilting in 1/2inch scale seems to be so easy when compared to large scale 1.5inch scale.

Groovy Quilt - continuous Feather FMQ

Groovy Quilt Back - Feather FMQ

Groovy Quilt - Feather FMQ closeup
At least I made some progress with my groovy quilt.

Now linking it with Leah Day's FMQ Friday.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced Blog

I made little bit more progress with the Dress-up Days Lap Quilt: 4.5 rows done and 3.5 more to go:

When finished this quilt top will measure approximately 54x 72. My goal is to finish this quilt top by end of the month.
Now linking up to W.I.P. Wednesday@ Freshly Pieced.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Boot Camp Sundays - January FMQ

There are so many options for quilting on the borders. My favorites are continuous line swirls. To make it more modern I am using the boxy swirls design.

If you want to skip all these you can just go with "Follow the line" FMQ :-), that's what I call it. Here is a quick video on it. I am using black thread because the outer of the puppy is black.

Quilting on the line/around the motif
For the negative space filler I am using circle FMQ designs. Circle FMQ might seem intimidating but it is actually a very forgiving design and has a great texture.

Circle FMQ
The inner border is a boxy FMQ with squares:

I am keeping things simple in the outer border and using a loopy-loop FMQ and highlight some motifs by quilting around them. You can see below I quilted around the birdie and the puppy with the ball.

I hope I have inspired you to quilt the borders of your quilt and filling the blocks.

Next week I will be back with January-recap.

Other FMQ Resources:
Leah Day's -  Free Motion Quilting Project; YouTube videos
Angela Walters's - Quilting Is My Therapy; YouTube Videos
Patsy Thomson's - Free Motion Quilting YouTube Videos

Until then, Happy Quilting!
P.S. I am working on some video lesson on Free Motion Quilting for January. Will post them as soon as I get to where I like them. My first attempts weren't that great. See you soon.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

FMQ Friday with Leah Day

Working on another baby quilt. I quilted the block with wavy line to frame them, swirls on the smaller border and Angela Walter's flower FMQ in the outer borders.

Now linking it up with Leah Day's FMQ Friday.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

W.I.P. Wednesdays

This week I worked on making three simple quilt tops. Two quilt tops have been completed and 1 still in progress.

The first one is a baby quilt or can also be used as a wall hanging, "Spot's Favorite Colors":
Spot's Favorite Color - Baby Quilt 36 x 36
 The second one is a toddler quilt, I just added couple of borders to the Disney Cars Panel, this measures 40 x 55 inches.
Lighting McQueen Quilt

The third one is lap or small twin size quilt using Jelly roll and a Charm pack from Riley Blakes dress-up days. 2 rows done and 6 more to go:

Dress-up Days Quilt
Now linking up to W.I.P. Wednesday@ Freshly Pieced.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Free Motion Quilting Tools and Supplies

Do you want to improve your free motion quilting?
Then here is a list of essential tools and supplies which are helpful to practice free motion quilting (FMQ):

Essential Tools:

  1. Free motion quilting foot
  2. Schmetz Topstitch needles  - 80/12 for 50wt thread or 90/14 for 40wt thread
  3. Quilting thread. For example Sulky 40wt Rayon, Superior Threads So Fine #50 Polyester, Auriful 50wt thread, Isacord Polyester Threads, Coats and Clarks 30wt cotton machine quilting thread.
  4. Supreme slider or any other teflon mat which they already use for quilting
  5. Machingers quilting gloves
  6. Quilt Sandwich for practice. I generally use either solid color layer cake, fat quarter or half yard of fabric.
  7. Paper/Pen for practicing quilting designs.L
  8. Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washers (optional)
  9. Water soluble marking pen or disappearing marking pen of your choice
Fabric considerations:
Some of the fabrics I found very helpful for practicing FMQ:

  1. Darker Solid fabric with contrasting lighter quilting thread. For example Back Moda Bella or Kona solids or any other fabric of their choice with white thread.
  2. Stripes which are 1.5inches to 2 inches apart
  3. Large prints or Panels
If you don't have some of the essential FMQ tools, you can buy it here:

Happy Quilting!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Boot Camp Sundays January - Just Borders

The theme for January quilt is - Just Borders. Its amazing to see what you can do with just adding borders to rectangles/triangles/hexagons/squares. I want to slowly build the piecing skill as part of the Boot Camp Sundays. So, this month we will just focus on adding borders/sashing to squares and rectangles.

Here are some fabric choices for this month:
Girl ABC Panel and Border fabric

Spots Favorite Color Panel and border/binding fabrics
  1. Pre-printed Panels: These are amazing way to make baby quilts. You can find a variety of children panels. Some of them you can use as center of the quilts. Others, you can cut them into blocks and use as center of the blocks.
  2. Pre-cuts: There are quite a variety of pre-cuts from Fat Quarters, Fat eighth, Layer cakes(10" squares), charm packs (5" squares), Moda candy (2.5" squares). Also triangles are available called Turnovers and ofcourse my favorite Rolie Polies/Jelly Rolls(2.5" x 42/44 inch strips)
So, you can choose whether you want to work with yardages/panels or pre-cuts. Last year when I got it quilting as a beginner I found pre-cuts were awesome way to put the quilt together. Not only it saves you time, but eliminates the anxiety of cutting it precisely.

Tools Needed:
  • Rotary cutter - A good rotary cutter is essential to make your cutting easier. The standard size available is with 45mm blade. But there are rotary cutters with smaller(28mm) and larger blades this (60mm blade) too. 
  • Rotary cutting Mat: This is a self heating mat which is used along rotary cutter as the base while cutting fabrics.
  • Good Ruler: Most often I find myself using the following two rulers
    • 6.5 x 24.5 ruler - for cutting strips
    • 12.5 x 12.5 ruler - for squaring up
  • 1/4 inch quilting foot: This makes piecing so much easier. If you're following a particular pattern with measurements. This is a great tool to have. This even helps with piecing curves.

1/4 Inch Quilting foot
  • Quilting quality Thread: I find this is a personal choice depending upon the look and feel you're going for your quilt. Almost try out different quilting threads to see what works best with your sewing machine. I personally like that my quilting is seen so prefer to use Sulky 40wt rayon thread which has a beautiful sheen to it and works well with my sewing machine. I also like the following threads:
    • Superior Threads So Fine 50wt polyester thread
    • Auriful 50wt cotton thread
    • Coats and Clarks 30wt cotton threads (available at Joann Fabrics) 


To add perfect straight border is to know how to cut strips.

How to cut the strips accurately without any curves?
2.Fabric fold aligned with the line marking on the ruler
  1. Unfold your fabric to make sure the fold line from the bolt is the correct center of the fabric. If not, press the fabric making sure the grain of the fabric to be straight in the center.
  2. Place the ruler on top of fabric which you're going to trim. Align the fold of the fabric with line marking on the ruler and not your cutting mat. Cutting mat can be used as a guide though. Then trim off the edges to start with clean edge.
  3. Now, turn the fabric to the other side, again repeat step 2. and cut the desired width of strip.
This technique will always guarantee your strips are straight and do not curve in the center.

Quilt Construction Option 1:
Trim your panel with 1/4inch seam allowance. For example if you want the panel to be 20 x 20 inch then your add 1/4 inch to all 4 sides. So, your panel should now measure 20.5 x 20.5 inches before sewing.

Cut the fabric strip for first border, below you will see that I have added a 2.5 inch strip. I am using Moda bella white jelly roll for first border.
Align the seam with the ruler and trim the extra fabric from the border

Press the seams open

Now cut another strip 6.5 inch by WOF(Width of Fabric usually 42/44 for quilting weight cotton).
Add this as the outer border.

The quilt top should now measure 36 x 36 inches.

Quilt Construction Option 2:
  1. Riley Blake Dress-up Days Jelly Roll - 1
  2. Riley Blake Dress-up Days Charm pack - 1
  3. Moda Bella White Jelly Roll - 1
  4. Moda Bella White Charm pack - 1

The Riley Blakes Dress-up Days Jelly Roll and Charm pack 24 count fabric from the line. Pick the same number of Jelly Roll strips and Charm squares from the background/white fabric(I am using Moda Bella White).

Now you need to pair a print Jelly roll with a solid(Moda Bella White in my case) and a Solid Jelly Roll with a print charm square.

I like to press the seams open for this quilt. Now sew each row one by one using 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Press the seams open

Dress Up Days Quilt - Block 1

Dress Up Days Quilt - Block 2
Once all the rows are sewn up, sew each row to the other to form the complete quilt.
I am planning to use a layout of 6 x 8 ( 6 columns x 8 rows)).

2 of the 8 rows
Then add a border 3.5 inch. For this quilt I will be cutting the strips length wise. Add the border.

This quilt should approximately measure 60 x 70 inches.

Quilt Construction Option 3:
I made another quilt using panel and added two borders:

I hope you now have few ideas to make a quilt using this simple technique of adding borders/sashing.

I will back  in couple of weeks with some quilting options for your quilt top.

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Boot Camp Sundays - Introduction and Fabric consideration

Hello Everyone,
I hope everyone is having a wonderful starting of the year 2013. I am so excited about this initiative to improve my quilting skills and make complete quilts this year.

I went ahead and created a flickr group for us: Boot Camp Sunday Flickr Group
If you want to join 2013 Quilting Boot Camp. Please join this group and introduce yourself.
This would be wonderful place to share your progress each week/month.

This is my first time hosting an event like this and I might have lot of learning to do myself. So, I am looking forward to your suggestions and ideas to improve your quilting boot camp experience. If you would like to see some particular techniques/patterns in this boot camp, please leave a comment below.

I have a plan laid out for the first quarter of the year.

January - Just borders
February - Strips & Coins
March - Tube quilting
April - Half Square Triangles and Snow balling

I wanted to added more information about the fabric choices for January month.

January - Just borders Fabric Selection
The theme for January is adding borders to squares, pre-printed panels or rectangles to make baby size to twin size quilt.
Fabric requirements options:

  1. Pre-printed panels: Work with pre-printed panels to add one or more borders to make baby quilts, table runners, table toppers, wall hanging etc.
  2. Pre-cuts: Make a baby/toddler size (40x50) or twin size(60x80) using Jelly Rolls/Rolie polies and charm packs.
  3. Large print yardage: Use a large print fabric as the center focus of the quilt/quilt block. 

I am also thinking about opening up a bi-monthly link to track your progress.

Welcome all and please go ahead and sign up & introduce yourself in the flickr group: Boot Camp Sunday Flickr Group

Gear up for more information about January quilt in tomorrow's post.

Happy Quilting!

Friday, January 4, 2013

FMQ Friday with Leah Day

This week I have been working on couple of projects and I have been experimenting with wavy lines. Here are 3 different FMQs which I tried this week:

I really like the heart 8s which I quilted in the center square to go along with the fabric print.
Pillow Front
You can really see the quilting in the back of the pillow sham:
Pillow Back
Now linking up with FMQ Friday at Free Motion Quilting Project.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday

I had pieced this a while ago but never got to blog about it. This quilt top using one of the patterns from Elizabeth Hartman's craftsy class: Inspired Modern Quilts.

The pod blocks where made using the new moda candy pre-cuts(2.5inch squares). These are fun little pre-cuts. The fabric used for the negative space is Robert Kaufman's Yarn Dyed Linen in flax.

For the backing I am planning to make a big pod block using charm squares.
Now linking up to W.I.P. Wednesday@ Freshly Pieced.