Monthly Archives: September 2016

blue-white-spider-web-quilt

The Spiderweb Quilt

I ended my last post with a bit of a cliff hanger. You won’t believe what happened next (ok, you probably will believe what happened next).


“Every quilt top deserves to grow up into a finished quilt!” 

Before I begin, I encourage you to join my mailing list (just wait for that Hello Bar to pop up and enter your email address), because I spent the week of September 12-18, 2016, at the European Patchwork Meeting in Val D’Argent, France, where I got to spend HOURS learning how to longarm quilt from Angela Walters. My next few posts will talk about what I learned (and will be sprinkled with funny “Angelisms” like the quote above)–you won’t want to miss it! 


Three of my quilt guild members belong to another quilting group and in November they’re holding their annual quilt show. At their retreat this year they worked on a group quilt to be auctioned off for charity at the show, and they asked me to quilt it.

The quilt is made of paper-pieced spiderweb blocks, which I believe are based on this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew.

It didn’t take me long to decide what to do with the colour segments of the quilt–they were just begging to be quilted as a spider web, but I did debate a little about what to do with the white space, eventually settling on a small double-paisley filler. I then used a ribbon-candy design for the borders.

spider-web-and-paisly-quilting

Quilting details

Since I needed to have the seams of the coloured segments quilted for the spider web quilting to work, I stitched in the ditch vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. I started out using a ruler, but my ditch stitching with and without the ruler looked about the same, which is to say not particularly straight or entirely in the ditch, so I eventually skipped the ruler. I don’t think this takes away from the quilt though, so I’m not terribly fussed about the straight(ish) lines popping up over the coloured parts here and there. Interestingly, the faster I moved the machine (without the ruler), the straighter the lines came out.

Once I finished the seams, I began quilting the spiderweb pattern across the colour blocks (starting from the centre of each block and gently curving outwards) and then filling in the paisleys as I went along. It took a bit of planning to get to where I wanted to be, but I eventually figured it out.

I’m not sure how long it took to quilt this quilt – maybe three or four hours? I broke thread far more than was strictly necessary and had lots of threads to bury. I was trying to avoid stitching over seams too many times to get from one place to the next, but the truth is that it’s a much more efficient way of quilting, so I’ll be working on improving this next.

This quilt was a fun learning experience and I really enjoyed working on it. I’m looking forward to seeing it hang in the exhibition!

 

The truth about longarming: Part 2

I ended my last post about longarming with the rather vague promise to set myself specific longarming goals, and though I didn’t articulate them, I was following them.

My first goal was to longarm a bobbin a day, which I did for a full week after the post. I had no specific plan, just to hit start and see where the machine took me. Well, it wasn’t great, but it was a start so I just kept going until that first bobbin ran out.

longarm-quilting-practice

But as I kept going, things started to even out a little.

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And I was really having fun.

longarm-quilting-practice

I’m not sure when I switched bobbins, but I just kept quilting a little bit every day after work.

bobbin-two

I experimented with new shape, different scales, and no matter what, just kept going.

finished-practice-piece

And at the end of the week I had this. If you zoom in on each part, there are lots of imperfections, but goodness, doesn’t it look pretty awesome? I was really pleased with it. The next shot shows a bit more detail. I especially like the top left corner. Although I know stitching at this scale takes forever and makes the quilt quite stiff, I’m really drawn to the teeny tiny quilting. I do need to practice working at a larger scale for customer quilts, so that’s the next goal.

longarm-quilting-practice

I was so happy with the results of the bobbin-a-day experiment that I decided it was time to load up a real quilt onto the frame. More on this customer quilt in another post.

spider-web-quilt

heart-block-rainbow-quilt

Quilts for Pulse Heart Quilt

It’s sad that we’re in September now and I had to think back to when the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando took place. It’s a short news-cycle world we live in. At any rate, I asked the members of the Munich Modern Quilt Guild (oh, yeah, did I mention I started an MQG in Munich?) if they’d like to make a few heart blocks to send and also held a sewing day at my house. The sewing day ended up being me and one other member, but we had a few blocks from another member for a start and a fourth member sent me some blocks in the mail, so between the four of us we managed to get enough blocks for an entire quilt, and since I missed the individual block deadline, I went ahead and finished the quilt.

Ikea-Britten-Nummer-quilt-back

Ikea Britten Nummer fabric – I finally get the love

It took very little time to sew the blocks together. I then made a backing from Ikea Britten Nummer fabric and a colourful rainbowy stripe. Next, I popped the whole thing on the longarm and quilted it with a simple edge-to-edge design, which took about two hours including loading and unloading the quilt and a whole lot of playing around to get the tension just right. The quilt is machine bound, and though the binding is far from perfect, it’s sturdy and should hold up to some abuse.

Schnitzel and I both loved this block (made by guild member Martine) the most.

blue-heart-quilt-block-with-cat-feet

Schnitzel has good taste

Do you have a favourite charity for quilts? If you’re looking for a good home for an orphan block, consider quilting it and sending it to Alison for her Soy Amado project.

Stash-bee-X-block

A quick and easy Stash Bee block for September

Being a quilting bee queen is all sorts of awesome! I spent the entire month of August refreshing the Stash Bee website and running to the mailbox (the actual mailbox) to see if any mail had arrived, and I probably got more mail this month than I have the entire last year. It was an absolute delight to open each envelope and to discover the treasures inside! Once I finish putting my Checker Block quilt together I’ll be sure to post about it.

September’s bee queen, Gayle, asked for an X block in pinks and blues. This isn’t a colour combination I would normally gravitate towards, but the colours work really well together! The block came together quickly and easily, and I’m adding it to my list of possible quilts to make myself.

What colour combinations have you tried that surprised you? Let me know in the comments!