July Quilted Block of the month part 2

Last week we focused on the “bones” also known as stitching in the ditch. When you’re working on a quilt it’s not a “have to do” rather, it’s a good thing to do. When working on something like @play the bones get stitched as these would be the ditch in a pieced quilt top. Finer thread makes this stitching almost disappear into the batting, which is the goal.

NYB tension check

Our post ended with this delightful conundrum, makes you kind of tense doesn’t it. Changing thread weight and color means that the needle, and tension need some kind of adjustment. For the top Wonderfil FabuLux Hush a 40 wt. trilobal polyester (means shiny!) designed by Debby Brown, for the MicroQuilter by Superior, an 80 weight polyester. Finer threads in the bobbin take up less room in the stitch, allowing tighter, closer stitching without skewing the quilt.
Clearly the tension was off in the first few stitches. This is a simple adjustment of the tension.
– lift the presser foot lever
– increase the tension (move dial to a higher number)
– take a few stitches, stop and check
– if the tension is good, keep stitching
– if the tension isn’t good, tweak it

Using the Sewline Marking pencil I placed a dot, about an inch up from the arc, about in the middle. I stitched from the peak of the spikes to the dot, then from the dot to the next peak. Using the same thread, I arced back. Just a small curve from the top of the peak, to the same dot.

NYB corner making thread choices
What choice thread? Lime Green or Orange?

Next up the big expanse, other wise known as the corner. The options are limitless. A long time ago this would have completely freaked me out. Now either there’s something on my brain. Sometimes I wait. This is a time to doodle, write blog posts, articles, walk up and down the stairs for the heck of it. Then there’s the old phone a friend, and the send friend a picture of the quilt.

The thinking led me to straight lines. It’s a basic principle – opposites attract. Straight lines highlight, and help define curves; curves soften the feel of straight lines. General rule. Lots of straight lines can do something dynamic to a geometric, square, block style quilt. Straight lines chosen, because why not.

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Purple and orange are my favorite colors so I chose the orange Magnifico, another 40 weight, trilobal polyester thread. Stitch, stitch, stitch. Using the edge of the #24 Free Motion Embroidery foot, which measures 1/4 inch from needle center to the outside edge of the foot.

NYB straight lines

I started in the ditch (seam allowance) Next week I’ll show you the finished straight line quilting, including a wee bit of unplanned stitching, and what happened in the corner.

Blogs I follow and the like

IMG_0226Kelly Ann’s Quilting Warrenton VA Kelly Ann is a shop owner I met on Facebook, then in person she writes about her shop, being a shop owner, and quilting. She’s a wee bit snarky like me, and when I have shop related questions I can ask her.

Beauty Beyond Bones I stumbles across Caralyn’s blog through my faith blog. Caralyn writes, with great candor, about having and recovering from an eating disorder. Her most recent post deals head on with an accusatory, unkind, bullying email.

NYB straight lines

Melody Crust because she’s just amazingly awesome. She manages to blog every single day about quilting. She writes, teaches, lectures, and well, she’s Melody.

Cheryl Sleboda she speaks business, art, and quilting. Cheryl is rather talented. If you’re interested in moving forward and up in your quilting business, schedule and pay for some time with her.

The Snarky Quilter because why not.

Debby Brown just because well, she’s Debby.

Treadlemusic Doreen quilts, rides a motorcycle and has fun.

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Chawne Kimber I admire Chawne deeply, and her quilts are amazing. Every single one of them.

Amy’s Free Motion Quilting Adventure Amy is in the midst of opening a quilt shop making a huge shift in what she’s doing in the quilting world. Watching this is fun!

I’ll post another list in a few weeks bloggers are cool.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

PS the next Quilted Block of the Month post is Saturday

 

Quilted Block of the Month 1A – Batting Choice

I’m starting today’s blog post with a link to Lisa Sipes GoFundMe. Lisa shared on facebook that in early June she lost the lower part of her left leg. She shared this on a post started by Tracy Mooney. As quilters we rally for people we know and love; and for people we’ve never met. I have long admired Lisa’s quilting skills, and the hilarious blog search terms we were sharing with each other on facebook for a while. Lisa is a beautiful soul, with a kind, generous heart. This is my way of helping her right now as this is what I can do.

Now onto sandwiching the quilt:

Doreen of Treadlemusic asked a really good question, on the sandwiching step for the New York Beauty Block. I mention in the supplies list a 12 1/2” square of needle punched cotton batting. In this case it’s a square that I saved from a project ages, and ages ago. While I don’t remember exactly what batting this is, more than likely it’s Quilters Dream Request loft, as this is my go-to for cotton these days.

Cotton is grabby, it likes to cling to other cotton. So, for pieces up to 24 inches (or so) there’s not a whole lot of work involved.

Lay the backing down wrong side up:

quilt backing

The fabric is still a bit damp so it looks fall stretched out of shape werid.

Lay the batting down:

batting layer

So, you see how I have this folded in half? If I were using spray baste I’d spray the folded over side, and gently move it over. Taking care to not stretch the batting or the fabric.

Because I’m working with fat quarters I lay it down, then check to make sure everything is smooth. If it’s not I press it down with the palm of my hand.

Lay the top right side up:

layered

Next lay the quilt top on. Again use the palm of the hand to gently press the layers together.

What you’re seeing here is one of the class “kits” used when I teach Beginner Free Motion Machine Quilting. I’m quilting this up later and will show pics on Instagram as I do.

If this were a larger quilt the process would be very different. Either I would take the quilt to Debby’s house and baste using her long arm, or I would spray baste using the largest carpeted area in the house. The backing gets pinned to the carpet, tight but not drum tight, so as not to over stretch the backing. If the backing is over stretched a weird waviness occurs, and it doesn’t come out. The batting goes on next. Often the batting is removed from the packaging, and opened fully to relax over a couple of days. With cotton giving it a bit of a spritz and putting it in the dryer for a few minutes will relax it. Then the quilt top goes on.
Then the basting process looks about like this vid from Cindy Walters and Jennifer O’Brien:

The only difference is that I have the three layers together and work on one side of the quilt completely, then move to the other side. Pressing, not mashing down, with the hands is important here. Cindy gives a great tip about taking the time, and opportunity to straighten the borders. rulers come in really handy here.

Saturday will be Part 2 of our Quilted Block of the Month.

Happy Quilting!

Teri

Quilted Block of the Month: New York Beauty

Welcome to the Quilted Block of the Month. In each issue I’ll post the block, and supplies – batting, thread, needles. I’ll show how the block is drawn on the fabric, with any rulers.
I will be using these blocks as class samples so each one will get it’s own binding. This wil make a good quilt as you go project.

This months supplies:
SewLine Pencil – this is my first time using this pencil, and so far I’m quite pleased.
Collins Quilt and Sew Ruler
45 mm rotary cutter
6” x 24” Ruler
12 1/2” square of hand dyed fabric from my stash
12 1/2″ to 15” square of a light gray solid from my stash
12 1/2” to 15”  square needle punched cotton batting – this is from my stash and I don’t know the brand
80 weight polyester thread for ditch work and bobbin (Superior MicroQuilter)
40 weight trilobal polyester (FabuLux by Wonderfil and Magnifico by Superior)

The first block: New York Beauty.  
I chose this as one of my first competition quilts is When Alex & Jinny met in NY Beauty Happened, and I love New York Beauty Blocks, as it’s a great reminder of home in both the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty.

Block one quarter inch seam

Step one: cut a 12 1/2” square of cotton fabric. Using either the Quilt & Sew Ruler or the 6” x 24” ruler mark a line 1/4” in from each one of the edges. These lines serve the purpose of seam lines joining blocks together. I will use the ditch and the seam allowance to move to the next stitching place. Oh but I am getting ahead of myself here.

NYB corner curve

After the lines were drawn creating the seam allowance I chose to freehand the corner curves, then added dots about one inch apart along the length of the corner curve.

NYB Ruler Sew Line Marking pencil

Halfway between the dots I lined up the ruler, straight up from the inside curve to the outside curve and placed a dot at the top.
Using the Quilt & Sew Ruler I joined the lines, to create the spikes. This is where the SewLine marking pencil came in handy, the lines are consistent, and there’s not stopping to sharpen pencils.

NYB Drawing lines

After twenty four years of quilting I think I have the marking pencil that works long term.

NYB stitching in the ditch

Now it’s time to stitch in the ditch. First line of stitching: along the inside curve.
NYB 80 wt thread

Then along each one of the spikes. I stitch slowly, about 1/2 speed or less. This gives me great control as move over the surface of the quilt.

NYB around the block

Once I finished stitching the upper curve, next was the entire seam allowance around the piece.

NYB stitched in the ditch ready for quilting

Right now it looks all fluffy in places and ways that are entirely frustrating and inappropriate. However, this is good practice for stitching in the ditch. This is an important component of stabilizing a pieced quilt top.

Here’s a sneak peek of next weeks blog post:

NYB tension check

This is a tension issue that I’ll show you how we dealt with this.

I have a plan for the August Quilted Block of the Month, it’s a block that I’ve been wanting to make for a while.

Happy Quilting,

Teri

@terilucas
#terilucasquilts
#quiltedblockofthemonth
@terificreations

 

A wee nip o’character

This one section of the Quilted Block of the Month that starts on Saturday.

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I just want to point out that my lines aren’t perfect. Sometimes when quilting I get to thinking about things, or looking through the wrong part of my lenses. If, and only IF this were a competition quilt I’d rip that stuff out. It’s not a competition quilt, so it’s staying. There’s another little bit that happens later in the block that lends a little bit of “ooops what happened here” but ends up being something I like.

Saturday I’ll give all the information from fabric, thread, batting, and needles used, where I used them, and why I made those decisions.

How’s that for a tease?

PS After an email conversation with a friend last night I went over to the Road to California website. I don’t know when it got an makeover but Wow! I have a goal to get two quilts ready, and October 2nd seems almost reasonable for me. As long as life doesn’t throw me any more left-hooks!

Happy Quilting!

Teri