Quilters, listen up!
The folks over at Arrow Sewing Cabinets, who offer Kangaroo Kabinets and Arrow sewing cabinets, are having a contest!
They are looking for 3 quilts – two that are about 36″ square and one that’s 65″x55″. Check out the details on their blog – you may have a quilt already completed that would fit the bill, and if not, you can submit a design that you will create if they select it.
Winners in each category will get:
Large quilt: Any Arrow or Kangaroo cabinet that has an MSRP of 699.99 or less, or 699.99 off the MSRP of any Arrow/Kangaroo cabinet.
Small quilt: Any Arrow or Kangaroo cabinet that has an MSRP of 599.99 or less, or 599.99 off the MSRP of any Arrow/Kangaroo cabinet.
On Saturday, I went to machine quilting class. Class was from 10am until 4pm, with a half hour break in the middle. For the first part of class, we used the walking foot, or in my case, just engaged the IDT on my Pfaff.
all of our mistakes glaringly obvious it easier to see what we were doing, we used thread that contrasted well with the muslin fabric we were practicing on, and used a different colored thread in the bobbin. First we worked on stitching in the ditch. This means we just stitched over the seam lines of our 9-patch block. Sounds pretty easy, right? Mine was pretty dreadful.
I could just show you this little bit and you might think it was okay –
But then when I showed you this other part, which is more representative of the rest of the piece…
…you’d see there is room for improvement! See those green lines? That’s where the stitching should have gone. My stitching in the ditch was more like strolling all over the road. We practiced for a bit and then moved on to other techniques. (Whew!)
The next thing we did was the diagonal lines on our 9-patch block. I think this was called “line of sight” quilting, but that could be completely wrong. I should have written it down!
Anyway, I started at one corner of the block and kept an eye on the corner I wanted to go to, focusing on the corner rather than the machine’s presser foot. That turned out like this:
After we did the center diagonal lines, they were used as a guide to make the stitching lines on either side of them. This worked out pretty well. I ended up with this nice set of squares on point in the middle block:
The next bit seemed to go better.
For this one, we put down strips of masking tape to make our guidelines. Aligning the edge of the foot with the tape, I was able to make nice straight lines. Then we marked dots between a set of the lines and practiced making a zigzag between the lines. The nice thing about this is that it’s okay to just consider the dots to be a suggestion. It didn’t matter if the stitching didn’t make it right to the dot since they were just washable marker spots no one would know the original intent!
Straight zigzags like this were pretty easy – just stitch a straight line and then stop and pivot by leaving the needle down and lifting the presser foot up. The next thing we tried were curves.
These worked well when stitching wide, gentle curves. But when the space was narrower, my nice curves seemed to trip a bit.
The last thing we tried before moving on to free motion quilting was using one of the machine’s decorative stitches.
This time the stitches were aligned with one of the straight lines from earlier. They are nice, but it takes a looonnnng time for those decorative stitches to stitch. This would make a neat border, or maybe something fun for just a few places on the quilt, but I don’t think I have the patience to do much more than that!
The second half of the class was about free motion quilting, but I’ll save that for another post. :) Have you tried quilting with a walking foot? I think the biggest thing was practice, practice, practice! Did your stitching in the ditch turn out better than mine?
Remember this post about the fall doll quilt swap?
It’s time for the 2013 Winter Doll Quilt Swap!
Signup in the forum – here by February 1st. This swap is open to everyone, and a great way to see if you like swapping!
Confused or full of ideas? You can share ideas and get clarity by posting in this thread in the forum.
Mail your package by March 1st.
Wait for your new quilt to arrive!
For inspiration, a couple more from the Fall Swap:
Ruth Ann’s paper pieced leaves:
Lorraine’s doll quilt made with “Bella” by Lotta Jansdotter in the Poppy colorway:
Happy Sewing and Swapping!
Over the years, I have joined a lot of quilt square swaps. It’s fun to send off my yard of fabric cut into 30 6.5″ squares and get back 30 different squares. Unfortunately, I’ve also discovered I’m not very good at doing anything with them after they come back.
My youngest, Jack, is in first grade this year and about two months ago I realized that if I didn’t use those squares soon, I wouldn’t have anyone here who’d be interested in having such a quilt.
So, I sorted them out and Jack and I picked out 65 pairs to use on his quilt. I sewed them up and then the holidays came. The quilt top was moved out of the way so I could get other things done. But those assembled squares have been taunting me as the quilt top hung in my sewing space. I worried I might have to dust the whole thing if I didn’t do something soon.
I’d bought some marbled green and blue fabrics to use for the border, planning to sew a thin green border and a thicker blue one. I laid them out, trying to decide what the widths of each should be. Then I started
procrastinating thinking. Maybe it would be better if it had a thin blue and then green for the outer?
I played with the fabrics in the living room, trying to determine which way would be better.
That didn’t help. I decided the only possible solution was to mess around in Photoshop to have whole pictures to look at instead of the small corners. Now, if you haven’t already scanned ahead, I’ll warn you – Photoshop is not on my list of skills. What you are about to look at may horrify you. I’m sorry about that. Peek anyway and help me choose please?
Here’s the blue outer –
Here’s the green outer –
Which one should I go with?