Tag Archives: free motion

Sunset Star

 

Sunset Star

Here’s the finished Doll Quilt Swap 13 Mini!  I decided to call it Sunset Star.  I based my color choices on a sunset photo taken by one of my friends and used the 3 Layer Star paper piecing pattern by Mommy’s Nap Time.  My partner, who I can now reveal was Paula, asked for modern quilting and bright colors.  I found out through the message boards that her favorite color was purple, but that she’d also been into the pink/orange combination and that she loved paper piecing.  A match made in heaven? Maybe… :-)

Enough about that, though.  What I really wanted to talk about was the QUILTING of this beast:

Sunset Star label

Starry (can I call you Starry?), Starry and I did NOT agree on its quilting.  This was a battle to the death and I did not come out on top.  I really, REALLY wanted to do something different than my usual, and settled on “Feathered Hearts” from Leah Day’s 365 free motion project.  I had the perfect thread for it too: a pretty peachy-pinky one that went perfectly with the star. I did a little scrap test and adjusted my tension. I got myself all comfortable. Then I started. My thread broke. I re-threaded and picked up where I left off. It broke again. I checked the tension – the thread seemed awfully tight in the machine. I adjusted the tension again. The thread broke AGAIN. I thought it must be because I was starting the middle and there was a lot of seams right there in the center (you know, since the star pieces all meet there).  I decided to tackle the feathering parts and leave the hearts for later. Skipped stitches. MORE skipped stitches. Another thread breaking incident.

At this point, I didn’t know if I could recover the quilt.  I mean, it was pretty dense quilting since I was going so slow. I pulled the whole thing out of the machine and walked away.  When I came back to it, I started the long, long process of picking out the quilting I had already done. Luckily, with lots of picking, spritzing (with water) and pressing, the quilt recovered almost completely. Except the center. It was then that I decided the star needed a literal focal point at the center, both to cover the battlefield and to complete the piece.  I was super worried that it would just look thrown on there, but in the end, I think the little circle does complete the piece.

After that, I changed out my thread for some yellow in a different brand, gave up on the feathered hearts and got down to the business of stitching that sucker in happy, flowing little loop-de-loops in the star and echoing angles in the blue areas. Some much more relaxed!  Of course, this was too good to be true…as I reached the outer edges it quickly became apparent that my blue thread was running dangerously low, so I made a quick switch BACK to the yellow for those little loop-de-loops along the sides.

For a piece that really DIDN’T WANT to be quilted, I think it turned out alright. But I am going to get those feathered hearts right if I have to die trying.

Farfalle Baby Quilt

Do you know what Farfalle is?  It’s the pasta that’s shaped like a bow. You know, this stuff:

Farfalle Pasta

Did you also know that “farfalla” is Italian for butterfly? Neither did I…

ANYWAY…this weekend, I made a flying farfalle quilt as a well-past-due gift for the baby of some friends.  (The baby is now 4 months old, so it’s not THAT far past due…)

Farfalle Baby Quilt

What a fun quilt to make!  I love how this turned out…well, most of it.  I love the wonky triangles and the colors.  I’m not usually a pink girl, but every once in a while I like to let my girlie flag fly. Plus I think the grey and other wonderful colors mitigate the glaring pinkness of it all, even if I did use hot pink thread to quilt it. ;-)

Speaking of the quilting, that’s the one thing I really don’t like.  I love my little loop-de-loops that I normally do and knowing that I was on a bit of a time crunch, I should really have stuck with them for this quilt.  But I wanted to try something different and ended up with this loop-de-loop-de-loop design. I guess the results are good, but this little 40″x40″quilt became such a BEAST.  My arms were completely exhaused and I think I started to develop tennis elbow. Add to that my basting spray refused to perform it’s proper function and hold the layers together…UGH!

Farfalle Baby Quilt detail

Still pretty. In the end, I don’t think I can be too unhappy with the results – what matters is that I made a special gift for some special friends and their beautiful little girl. Amiright?

I’ve been trying to find a tutorial to direct you to to make this quilt and I haven’t seen one. Maybe I’ll write one up myself. You’ll be the first to know if I do.

On my sewing table right now:

I’m trying out a new (to me) free motion quilting design on this baby quilt. It’s called “Trailing Spirals“. What do you think?

Trailing Spirals

Fascinating…a retirement gift

Mr. Spock

Way back in the Spring, I saw on Craft a post about a totally awesome Spock quilt. Event though there was a tutorial on how to design the quilt, I thought, gosh, I wouldn’t know where to start.  I showed it to some co-workers who thought it was awesome and that it would be a great gift for our boss, who is a Trekkie extraordinaire.  But ethics being what they are, it really wasn’t appropriate for me to make it for him.

Fast forward to Octoberish when our boss announced his retirement in early December.  I immediately thought of the quilt and did a search to find the post again. Lo & behold, not only did I find the original post, but I found that Carol, the brains behind the blog Funthreads, had started a really amazing, simple to follow, quilt-a-long!  It made the whole project a lot less daunting.

Carol’s quit-a-long makes a twin-sized quilt in eleven parts. I thought a wall-hanging would be much more appealing to our recipient (and also easier for me to complete!), so I printed out each week of the quilt-a-long and wrote in new measurements for the pieces.  If you want to change the size of a quilt pattern, do not skip this step!  Have you ever tried to halve or double a recipe without re-writing the ingredient measurements? I ended up having to triple a batch of cupcakes just recently because I thought I could do the doubling math in my head as I went!  When halving quilt measurements, be sure to take into account the 1/2 inch for seam allowances. Remove the 1/2 inch from the original measurement, divide the resulting number in half, then add the half inch back in.  This will give you the correct (finished) measurement and your full 1/4 inch seam allowances all around.  Also remember that when you halve both the width and height you are essentially making a quilt a quarter of the size of the original.

I free-motion quilted my version of this pattern only in the black/dark parts to make Spock’s face stand out more.  I also stuck mainly with white/cream and black/grey for the darks and lights.  I have to say I am exceptionally proud of this project. Not only was my boss thrilled with his quilt, but I really enjoyed making it – always key.  I’m looking forward to designing my own quilt next, using the Funthreads tutorial – I’m thinking a Dr. Who quilt in TARDIS blue next?

Little baby blue

Check it out! Number and 1 and number 2 of my nanoSEWmo projects!

Quilt & Pillow

The pattern for this baby quilt and pillow is a Wonky Rail Fence, using the Stack-and-Whack method. The backing material is a solid light blue that I had on hand.  I also used a white/blue ombre rayon thread for quilting.  It adds some extra sparkle to the quilt, I think. The pillow has a simple ruffle around the edge and an envelope style back.

To be honest, I’ve had this quilt top on hand for a while waiting for the right time, the right baby and the right skill set. My free motion skills are definitely improving.  It’s tough to keep your loop-de-loops even, let me tell you. But it is so worth the effort. The look on the Mommy-to-be’s face made it so.

Free motion quilting

Congratulations Diana, Stephen & your little Rock Star Monkey! I can’t wait to meet him.