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Monday, August 29, 2011

Design Wall Monday~August 29

Not much to chat about today. Here is what's on the design wall. I have two bowties going. One with just white in the negative spaces and reproduction prints and this one. I was only going to use primary type reds, greens and blues but find I don't have many of those in my stash/scraps. Because of that I am having to broaden the shades. It's probably pretty obvious that this isn't the final arrangement.

I'm working on a UFO and it will be finished Wednesday in time to claim my August UFO success.. It's something I started in the '80ies with hand quilting but I no longer like. I was going to donate it as it was but then thought "hmmm, take out the hand quilting and then practice different marking techniques, walking foot work and FMQ". It will still be donated but I will have gotten full use out of the prior work of piecing, sandwiching and basting. I sure can use the machine quilting practice!

I did not make any progress on last weeks top but I hope to before weeks end. Also I am dying to make a doll...look here; . Isn't this too flippin' cute?

Visit Judys blog for other Design Wall inspiration!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Have you ever noticed how many Acronyms are used in everyday life? Even before texting! These two refer to Free Motion Quilting and Quilt As You Go. Yesterday I said I would share the things I learned by FMQ my Pineapple Blossom. These are lessons that many of you already know. As I said, I'm keeping a personal journal on my progress. Too bad I didn't start the journal when I first started doing FMQ on the small projects.

I've decided to be brave and share this photo. It's only because recently I had seen another blog where the quilter was brave enough to do this. Here is Kristyne's blog  Thank you so much for going public!

The point is we all have to start somewhere. Plan on the beginning FMQ to be done on quilts for loving family members or for yourself. If your first FMQ serves the pupose of keeping the quilt layers together, you have been successful. In the beginning your FMQ will not be as pretty has you had hoped, but with practice you will get there.

Things I learned:
Small motion practice is good for speed control and stitch length but the movements (small vs large) do not translate well. Practice both. 

Take breaks…don’t just push on through to get it done

 Do not trust that the bobbin can make it through one more width/length. If you have to guess, it probably won’t, change it.

Curved/swirled travel lines are much more forgiving than straight lines. And also more versatile if you find you want to move up or down to fill in an area that look “forgotten” in your design. Besides, they are just prettier! (I will do that next time!)

 Look at many examples of FMQ before you finalize your design. I first thought I would work edge to edge with random bubbles between two rows each time of a basically log cabin block and then do something special in the middle of each block and in all the white spaces.  This created lots of stops and starts to save those white spaces. In the end I went back and did the same circle/loop in those areas too. Also, as I was doing a QAYG technique I didn’t orignally plan for the fact that I wanted to make certain that there was enough quilting of the “join” to secure the batting sections.

All pretty basic stuff but if you don't know what you don't know, then you don't know. How's that for a theory?

As for the QAYG method I used. I found this suggestion on the Internet but I don't know who to credit for the initial idea. I had used some of the original QAYG methods but this was the best for far! There are clever people out there coming up with new ideas all the time. The method I used allows you to build the quilt top and quilt back the way you normally would. What changes is that you only quilt one section at a time. In my case, I did three sections.  I laid out the normal quilt sandwich, and then cut the batting from the left side and the right side. Only leaving batting in the center. I spray basted that center section, regular pinning or basting would work too, of course. I quilted that center section. I then put the partially quilted quilt back on the table, inserted another section of batting (doesn't matter if you do right or left now) aligned the edges of the batting, pulled everything flat and tight (I use binder clips and sometimes additional tape)baste this second section and then machine quilted this portion. I was then left with one section and I repeated the process.  Plan your quilting so that the least amount of quilt with batting is between the needle and the body of the sewing machine.

I hope. if you have taken the time to read all of this, that you found something that will help you.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Design Wall Monday~August 22

This is on my design wall.What was going to be a wall hanging but it is too dang cute! I'm going to add some more borders and make it a baby quilt. I love doing that size quilt!

The pattern came from here:

I will be adding circles to mine too. Do you know I found seven different ways to do circles? I don't mean cut them out, last year I decided on my favorite way to do that, and no, I don't have a GO!Baby. Of the seven ways I found, I've tried three.  There are two more I want to try and then I will decide which to use on this quilt. They are: 6 minute Circles and also the Steam A Seam method. I'd used fusibles before but haven't liked the stiffness they leave. We will see if I've changed my mind.

And, I know, some are sick of this and others will be thrilled to see it. Below are pictures of Pineapple Blossom finished! First picture is finished, unwashed, second picture is back with part of front pulled around and third is washed, quilty goodness, my quilt! Be kind, this was my first time FMQ a large quilt. Notice, no closeup pictures! Tomorrow I will do a quick blog showing the closeup and noting (I've started keeping a FMQ journal) the things I've learned.

Remember, these fun blocks are from my win at:  
And the original pattern came from:

And for more design wall fun:


Monday, August 15, 2011

Design Wall Monday~August 15

Can you believe it is August 15? Wow!

I missed blogging last week as I was at the beach. I love going to the beach!

I am NOT going to show a picture of Pineapple Blossom. I have this guilt thing going on as I've not finished it yet. I've reset the finish date at least twice. What is my problem? I'm not happy with my FMQ. I mean the quilt will be for my lounging pleasure and the machine quilting will do the proper job of keeping the quilt sandwich together and I am getting lots of practice's not beautiful or even. I told my sis that at least I will be able to keep it and say "this was the first full size quilt I FMQ'd". Really, I do plan on finishing it this week. It's 2/3rds just the last final third, which I estimate will take me about two hours, and then binding. Fortunately, I like the handwork of binding.

I should have a UFO going but this months number brought up a LARGE flannel one and I'm not tackling that in I'd better choose another to get finished in these next two weeks! But I did piece a top just for fun. I wanted something fun, bright and quick. I think this quilt top was right on for all those categories.

Enjoy!  Toni

Monday, August 1, 2011

Design Wall Monday~Aug 1

Good Morning!  This is going to be a quick post. And y'all say "I've heard that before". This mornings design wall really is a "design wall" rather than just a place where my most recent PHD (projects half done) are.

The Violets are this months Block Lotto project. This is five of the nine I'm going to do. I've donated the last few months blocks but I might try my luck on this one. I say "I'm not really that into flowers" but these are speaking to me.

The pink and gray is my July Block for Sew, Mama, Sew's, new Modern Block of the Month.

The other block? Funny colors you say? I have to say this was a fluke and in person I really like it. Too bad I don't have more have that violet/purpley color. My DIL wants to do a baby quilt for a friend. We searched for ideas and I found a quilt that she liked. But we didn't have a pattern. I said I could do a pattern and come up with yardages for her. All by myself, no EQ7 in this house...yet! Anyway, I just pulled some scraps to make a sample block and check my calculations...I really wasn't worried about color and this is what came about.

The prairie points are the test ones I did first. Remember I mentioned ugly fabric? I've not finished my blue prairie points on Pineapple Blossom. I have about 12 inches to add. There was a learning curve for me. Not on making the prairie points but getting the corners correct and just doing the correct spacing to get the pp to fit. I've learned alot and still plan on having the Pineapple Blossom done by this next weekend.

Speaking of continuous Prairie Points. I was so impressed by this technique but something happened this week that made me realize; just 'cause it's new to me, it doesnt' mean its necessarily new. While looking for a quilt for my DIL I was going through some old magazines. Before the 'net, that was the best resource. And yes, I've kept many, well organized I might add, through the years. Anyway, I found this PP technique in a 'zine from 1997. I had dog eared the page planning on trying it someday. And finally I have! It is much easier to find things on the 'net tho'!

I hope everyone has a fun, productive week! I have to ask, where is this summer going?

Visit Judys for more Design Wall inspiration