Friday, November 24, 2017

There's a Wrestling Match in my Quilting Room and I am Losing!

See this pretty white furry stuff I'm using on the back of this quilt?  Run away!  Run away!

My very first baby quilt was made using a super soft,  velvet-like fabric I've never used before which quilted up beautifully with no struggles.  I sure wish I knew what it was called.  I thought it was minky but apparently not.  THIS stuff, which is definitely minky, is much thicker and if I ever use it again, I will NOT be putting any batting with it  (but please slap me upside the head if I do use it again).  It makes my quilt sandwich so thick, I am literally pulling that quilt through.  The feed dogs are not moving it even with the walking foot!

I spent most of the day quilting one direction of a cross hatch grid and hope I can get through the other direction tomorrow.  My shoulders are killing me!  This quilt is going to be one heavy puppy!

After I get this quilt done, I am planning on giving you a tour of my new quilt room.  It's not anywhere near what I would like it to be, but making things pretty and cute takes time and I would rather spend it quilting.  Priorities!  It will be a journey and a gathering of pretty things.  Here is one thing I've done.  Just a few simple baskets, color coordinated with bows to tell me what color of scraps are in the basket.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, one of the things I am thankful for are new quilt friends I have made.  Do you remember my cutting mat mishap?  I tried several things and although I did get some of the warps out of it, I never was able to get it perfectly flat again and was advised by quite a few that is was probably a lost cause.  A kind fellow blogger, Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts sent me a 50% off coupon for JoAnne's so I could buy a new one without having to break the bank.  I got the 24" x 36" size and I love it!  THANK YOU Preeti!  

Next I'll have to figure out a better way to keep my rulers handy, but for now they are just sitting on top of a little side table that fits under the end of my cutting table.

Another friend I met is Patty of Patty the Quilt Lady.   This lady is amazing!  She never stops moving and is one of the most productive people I've ever seen.  Patty in cleaning out things she didn't need or want, offered up a pretty little beaded purse to anybody who would pay the postage to send it and I was lucky enough to be the first to "raise my hand".   She sent it to me and here it is!  Thank you, Patty!  I will be sending you the postage for sending this little gem my way.  I just love vintage ladies things!

My college freshman daughter will come and visit me in my office once in a while and I recently passed on a Starbucks gift card to her that someone gave me (I'm not a coffee drinker).  While we were chatting she doodled this!  How cute is that?   Love seeing her creative side . . . 

Here are the blocks I've made for my November stash bee groups.  Here is the one I made for Laura . . .

And here is the one for Paige 
(with the 2nd one in progress)

Oh, I almost forgot!  I won another giveaway this week.  Thank you,Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring for sending me the newest Quiltmakers 100 Blocks and these gorgeous new fabrics from Anthology Fabrics.   I don't understand how I get so lucky but I'm not complaining!  These batiks are gorgeous!

I have missed you all!  I haven't blogged for a few weeks due to my Bernina being in for servicing.   I didn't have much to blog about when I was without a machine for 11 days! Frustrating!   I tried using my old Singer, but realized I don't remember where the magic 1/4" seam allowance on that machine is and my blocks were not turning out very accurately.   Well, that is the latest from my sewing and other adventures.   I hope you get lots of sewing done this weekend!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Quilting the Grid with Christina Cameli

I recently finished the Craftsy Class by Christina Cameli called Quilting the Grid:  Structured Free Motion and thought I would do a class review about it.  I have no affiliation with Craftsy, just sharing my opinion.   I'll just start by saying this opened up a whole new world of possibilities!  Loved this class!

Christina suggested that this method of quilting is very good for someone just starting out with free motion quilting because it is much less intimidating to break down huge open spaces into smaller bites at a time.  I would agree with that!

Another advantage Christina points out is having a grid keeps the scale of whatever pattern you are using from drifting and getting smaller than you started out or larger than you started out.  Most of her samples are done on solid fabrics so they are more easily shown, but these motifs will work well on prints as well.
This is a way of doing free motion quilting with a little more structure.  You create a grid with your walking foot:  square, on point, diamond, triangle, radiant, and whatever your imagination can come up with.  This class introduces you to (as Christina says) the magic of geometry!

Here is one of my favorite patterns.  This particular grid starts out by using your walking foot to quilt 60 degree diamonds.  She explains how to do this accurately.  I made my grid lines on this practice piece 1 1/2 inches apart.

Next, quilt across the slimmest part of the diamond to create triangles like this:

Next comes the free motion part.  Quilt an arc on the inside of each triangle and you end up with a kind of floral pattern.    Notice that I am not very consistent with the size of my arcs yet, but even so, the pattern created is beautiful and once you see the overall effect, you won't even notice this.  Loving this texture!

Christina also gives very good instructions about the most efficient way to travel from space to space so you don't get stuck in a corner with no way out.

Here is another practice sandwich experimenting with a variety of patterns inside the grid.  This grid is 2 inches.  I used contrasting thread on this one so I could see what I was doing better.  When you want the texture to be the star, you should probably use thread close to the same color of the fabric you are quilting.   If you want the thread to be the star, then you would chose thread that contrasts more.  Christina shows many, many more patterns to try than I have shown here.  

You can see the texture a little bit better on the back of this practice sandwich:

You can make your grids any size you want using the guide on your walking foot but it gets difficult once you get larger than 3 inches unless you mark the grid on your fabric before you sew.

Here is a word of advice, make some practice sandwiches ahead of time before you take the class so you can put what you're learning into practice as you watch.  I did not do this.  I watched all of the lessons and was eager to try it out but I had to go back and listen to parts again because I couldn't remember how to do it.  Much more efficient to pause the video and practice right then.

I plan to use this method on Ashley's quilt and do a different motif on each different colored strip.  I see that on the orange strip with circles, there is already a natural grid created!  Hmm!  What can I put in those circles?  

I have to say I enjoyed this class very much and if you haven't watched a class by Christina before, I highly recommend her.  She has such a pleasant teaching style and personality.   I loved her Wild Quilting class as well.

I hope this review has encouraged you to try Quilting the Grid!

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