Bowl of Cherries Quilting

I decided to quilt the Bowl of Cherries quilt top with cherries.  I thought that would be cute.  And it is.

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But it was way more work than I anticipated.  Stippling/meandering is so second nature to me that I really don’t have to think while I’m doing it…my hands just know what to do and it flows smoothly.  This was the first time I tried the cherries, and admittedly I probably should’ve tried it on a small quilt first, but I guess because I’m so comfortable with stippling/meandering I didn’t think it would be a big deal.

It was so much more time consuming than I thought it would be.  I had to really think about what I was doing and where I was going.  I’m sure it didn’t help that I was attempting this new technique on a quilt 67 x 74.  That’s pretty large and challenging to maneuver, and with quilting the cherries, I really needed to be able to move the quilt sandwich around so that the cherries wouldn’t all face the same direction.  One thing that I’m so glad I did was quilt from the back.  The backing (above) was just one fabric and far less busy than the top.  I’m glad I thought ahead to do that because with this technique being able to really see where you’ve been and where you’re going is critical (at least for trying a new technique).  So, it was a challenge, nonetheless, and I’m finally done—I’m so excited to be done with the quilting.

Now on to the binding and hand stitching it to the back.

Joining Edge Foot

The joining edge foot is a time and life saver!  I talked about the foot here, and last night as I pieced the batting together using the joining edge foot I (well my husband actually took the picture) took a picture for you to see how it works.  The concept is pretty simple: set your machine to a zig zag stitch (or similar stitch); take two pieces of batting and place under the presser foot; one piece to the left of the straight metal joining piece and one piece to the right of the straight metal joining piece; stitch.  The end result is a straight flat seam joining the raw edges of both pieces of batting.   Absolutely perfect for joining batting, using up those scraps of batting, and saving money!!!

joining-edge-foot

In this picture I’m piecing the last batting strip (36 x 108) to the rest of the quilt batting.  The quilt is so heavy that I use the chair beside me to support the weight of the quilt so it doesn’t pull on the needle as I quilt.  This chair has been my life saver too! 😉

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Urban Nature: Ready, Set, Quilt

I have been a bit intimidated really freaked out about finishing the Urban Nature quilt top, and that’s why I’ve been busying myself with other projects.  But this week I got the urge to complete this project, and much to my surprise, the quilt top actually came together quite nicely and pretty quickly, especially considering the 95 inch square size.

Then it was on to getting the quilt top ready to quilt.  I decided to do straight line quilting with some outline quilting and some other stuff.  So to make it more manageable I figured on piecing the batting.  I cut a piece of batting about 35 x 108, and pinned the center of the quilt.  I then folded both sides very compactly and pinned them down so they wouldn’t turn into a ridiculous pile of fabric.

I started my straight line quilting and while I think straight line quilting can look really cool, I absolutely loathe doing it.  So I ripped the little bit of straight line quilting out and decided I would do an all over meander.  So I quilted the center section.  Tonight I pieced the batting on the right side and quilted one more row (totally recommend the joining foot for your machine…makes piecing the batting pretty easy and there’s no bulky seam…think zig zag stitch to to join the edges of the batting together, and the result is totally flat).  For some reason I broke 4 needles…I rarely break needles so this was strange, and I can’t figure out why the needles were breaking…I wasn’t running over pins, so by the time the 4th one broke, I decided that enough was enough for tonight.

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It’s taking A LONG time but it’s coming along and it looks really good.  I honestly never thought I would be able to quilt something this big!

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urban-nature-2

Far left row: pin basted and ready to quilt.  Middle 2 rows: quilted rows.  Far right row: neatly folded top and back pinned down to make it a more manageable size.  I cannot even imagine how heavy this baby would be if I had sandwiched the whole thing and pin basted the whole thing!

Which Name Do You Like Better?

It’s been a while since I’ve worked on quilting.  I’ve been so busy…we had house guests and then my oldest was sick.  I do most of my quilting in the evenings after the kiddos are in bed, but with the start of the fall tv season, I’ve discovered a few new shoes that I just love, so that means there is even less time to sew and quilt.

Anyway, I finished quilting the baby quilt, (still without a name), and last night I prepared the binding and sewed it to the front of the quilt.  Now I’m on to hand stitching the binding to the back of the quilt—a good task to do in front of the tv! 😉

Thanks to Jen and Emily for their suggestions on what to name this quilt.  I’ve narrowed it down to 2 options: (1) Caterpillar’s Meadow (2) Pink-A-Boo.  Which one you like best?

caterpillars-meadow-pink-a-boo-binding

For the quilting I used Sulky Blendables Thread…I so love this thread!  I used #4026 Earth Pastels.  I’ve used the blendable thread before: Butterfly Fling Squares (#4102 Spring Garden); Mod Quilt Sampler (#4030 Vintage Rose); Red, White, & Bold (#4105 America).   If you’ve never used the blendales thread I totally recommend it as it blends really well when you have a top with lots of different colors and if you use a light solid back, the back looks really cool.  When I’m done with the quilt I’ll take some closeups of the back and post the pictures.

Autumn Leaves Runner

On Saturday I took a class at my local quilt shop on how to make autumn leaves.  I love taking classes, learning new techniques, and talking with other quilter.

Autumn leaves are so easy!!  I had no idea!

The class was designed for a wall hanging, and quite frankly my walls are filled with photos of my kiddos, and any empty space is designated for more family photos, so I opted to alter the pattern and make a runner/table topper.  By the way, what is the difference between a runner and a table topper?

I’m usually not a fan of batiks, but I have had my eye on the pink/brown prints and the blue/brown prints, so I decided to use those, and I absolutely love how it turned out.

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The runner/table topper looks great on my table too, and the dimensions (16 x 39) are perfect for my table–I didn’t want something too big or long as I didn’t want it to hang over the sides.

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Since I tried a new design, I also wanted to try some new quilting.  I did stipple the 2 inch border, but the rest of the runner/table topper quilting is so cool…not sure what you call it, but I’m certainly going to do this technique again when I do a quilt of just squares (from charm packs).  The intention was for all the lines to be curved, admittedly there are some straighter lines than I would’ve liked, but heck, for the first time, I think it looks great!

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Quilting the Rocqua Rhthym Quilt Top

Quilting the Rocqua Rhthym quilt top is taking a very long time and a lot of thread.  I chose pink thread as it blends really nicely with all the colors.  Ethan, my five-year-old, said “Mommy, the pink thread doesn’t look good on the green color fabric.”  But I think it looks really nice.

Here’s a half quilted block:

rocqua-quilt-block

Loose vs. Tight Stippling

I had a good chunk of time yesterday, so I figured I’d start quilting the Merry & Bright quilt top.  That is until I actually tried to quilt, and my machine started acting funny.  It just got back from being serviced, so I figured I was doing something wrong.  I re-threaded the needle probably 20 times, but still no luck.  Then 30 minutes later, as I was about to give up, I checked the needle…it wasn’t inserted all the way.  Operator Error!!!

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Once I figured out the problem I quilted away, but since it was taking so long I had to put it away and come back to it after the kiddos were in bed.  It was taking me so much longer than I thought it would.  It took me longer to quilt this 57″ square than Ethan’s 67″ x 71″ quilt.  I didn’t think that I was quilting any slower either…in fact I feel like I’ve gotten faster as I’ve gotten more comfortable with quilting.  But then I compared the quilting of the 2 quilts and discovered that my stippling has gotten tighter and tighter over time, and therefore, there is far more quilting on the Merry & Bright quilt than on Ethan’s quilt.

loose-quilting

Ethan’s quilt: which is more of a meander than stipple

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Ethan’s quilt

tight-quilting

Merry & Bright: definitely stippled

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Merry & Bright back