Remember a few weeks ago that I mentioned I had some news. I’m teaching at Connections Quilt Festival November 9, 10, and 11. And! Bonus! The Generation Q Magazine Quilt as Desired Exhibit will be there!
Technical difficulties sometimes present big problems. Other times they are opportunities for learning. Something went screwy a while back, causing something to happen to the version of Microsoft Office installed on my computer. I have an open source that I can use for documents, power point presentations, and graphics, it’s simply not as intuitive as Office. I could use the desktop but that requires a few back flips. I’m hoping by the time I get this posted I’ll at least have a line diagram that makes sense.
Oh rejoice with me friends it worked!!! Hallelujah. You’ll notice later on that the line that is in the squares around the perimeter are not stitched. The motif that gets stitched in there is so fun. Want to see from the back?
The outer box is 12 inches. I’m using the Quilters Select 12” x 6” ruler. I’m digging these as they grip the fabric so no shifting! I use the twelve inch side to draw the outer lines. The 6” side helps me to keep the ruler straight marking the next line. Why not use a 12” ruler? Well the ruler I currently own has a chip in one corner. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
Measure in from each side 1 1/2 or 2 inches, this will create the inner square. See the diagram above.
Now to make the smaller squares: connect the dots. Place the ruler from hash mark to has mark on an angle. Draw a line from the dot, to the inside line.
For August we’re exploring how quilting looks on a highly patterned, very colored fabric. As a newer quilter I would often let the fabric do the work for me using simple motifs or stippling to accomplish the work of quilting, I daresay this is common among quilters, and it’s perfectly fine. Whatever gets the job done.
I’m using two layers of a cotton wool batting by Hobbs. I do love multiple layers of batting, this is something I started doing on competition quilts after Tilde won it’s ribbon. The first (back) later might be cotton, or bamboo to give stability to the quilt; the top layer is wool, or silk for great stitch definition. On the rare occasion that I make bed quilts one layer of wool or silk is perfect, as they breathe, and keep a body warm.
When Hobbs debuted this cotton/wool blend I thought I’d died and gone to heaven as it provides the stability I want with good stitch definition. Bonus!
The where and how will be over the next several weeks.
Superior Metallic – 40 wt. and shiny. Interestingly it’s quite subtle.
Superior MicroQuilter – 100 wt polyester this is a new must have in my thread collection for everything from stitch in the ditch, to the intense quilting I’m passionate about.
Is a striped batik from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I’ll share that on Instagram later this week.
The Sizzix Big Shot Pro arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago. After taking it out of the box, and opening the box with the dies, changing locations twice, it sat there humming a little tune looking for my attention. Well, it’s mechanical, it doesn’t really hum. You’re a quilter you know what I mean. We get a new tool to make our quilting life easier, get it home, and have zero minutes to piece.
There’s a project for the magazine I’m doing that requires hexagons, big ones. I am quite adept at cutting these on my own. I can read a ruler, find the correct angle. Cutting twenty four hexagons? Queue procrastination. I am aware that the sooner this gets done, the sooner it goes where it needs to, then things happen in the correct order, and I can turn in copy to Melissa & Jake on time. It’s really weird, they like that kind of thing.
After taking the plastic off the die, setting aside the paper wrapper that Sizzix carefully designed to show said hexagon off in fine fashion. After pressing the Hoffman Indah Solids, doing a wee bit of preparatory rotary cutting to the size needed for the die, layered things up, I took a deep breath and turned the handle. And voila! hexagons in a matter of seconds.
Can I just tell you what would normally have taken a couple of hours, took under thirty from pressing to finished hexagons. Oh my word, die cutters where have you been all my quilting life? This is one happy quilter.
Once the hexagons were done, a bit more prep work so that when all this gets to Melissa it’s ready to go.
With a bit more time before making dinner I pressed a few SewBatik bits in preparation for some piecing.
I’ll share progress on that later, when I get to do some piecing. In the meantime…there are articles to write, fabric and quilts to ship, and a day job to find.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quilts are fascinating creatures with stories all their own from why they were made, to what went wrong while making them., or what went right while making them. Often when I tell the story of 49 Pieces of Chocolat the focus is on the what not to do with wool batting or the sewing room vortex of it all.
Today it’ll be the character of the quilting. You see it’s not incredibly good. Oh snap! I just did that.
I Always, Always, Always give my students the most important thing I learned from my first machine quilting class, “Show people what you did, don’t point out the flaws”
Sometimes my students show me their work, and try showing me where the quilting is not up to the competitive level of quilting that beginners should achieve right out of the gate. If I were one of my students the conversation would go something like this:
Jeanne* “my quilting isn’t very good
Teri, “it’s quilted isn’t it”
Jeanne, “yes but it doesn’t look like…”
Teri, “I’m the teacher. I don’t remember giving you permission to diss your work.”
Jeanne, “I know.”
Teri, “So, if I like it, and I’m not pointing out the ahem “problems”, then you don’t get to either.”
Jeanne, “okay, okay, I get it now”
*names have been changed to protect everyone involved
I don’t know if you’ve ever notices I can be, shall we say, a bit snarky, so I’ve had the “oh you’ve been free motion machine quilting for about 6 minutes! so you should be perfect with every stitch now.” conversation.
As we stitch and make some quilts with great character we develop our quilting character. Fun isn’t it! Should be experience shame when we’re learning? NO. Amiclearenoughonthat?
MJ Kinman – Go visit this site. Do not pass go. Do not collect a minimal amount of cash funding.
Well then there’s Charles, Candy’s Quilting manager. Totally loved working with him at the other shop when it was open. He’s been working with Candice to get Candy’s Quilting open. Check out their facebook page and instagram.
They’ve curated a selection of books for the Modern Quilter, and the quilter who enjoys precut fabrics. Some of the shelves are glass and steel giving a clean fresh look and a lovely way of displaying books, and the some fabric.
Here’s part of the fabric selection: Me+You batiks, Allison Glass, Northcott Toscana, some lovely plaids and stripes. On another shelving unit live the solids, and Shannon Cuddle.
Classroom space galore! This is a space for local teachers to have private lessons for up to three students. A quilter can go use this space to work privately.
There are two other classrooms: The first has 10 machines, each with it’s own table and power outlet.. There are currently 6 cutting stations (a few more coming soon), and four ironing stations.
The final classroom is for handwork.
So there’s lots of space and there will be classes to choose from later on. As of August classes to “work on your own project” with Charles will be available. Quilting and other classes will start in September.
Local teachers now is the time to reach out to Candice and Charles to get on the schedule for fall. Send a class description, supplies list, and photo of your project giving them all the information they need.
Here’s Candice, the owner, speaking with Mary and Jamie, the Candy’s Quilting staff. Mary is the tallest of the three.
Candy’s Quilting location: 140 West 22nd St. between 6th and 7th, close to the subway and some really good restaurants. And let’s not forget Trader Joe’s is nearby.
Oh! They carry Aurifil thread located behind the main counter!