Saturday, February 6, 2016

Quilting with Rulers: Celtic Flower

I am so happy that I was able to get more quilting done on this fun practice piece. I put a circle in the middle of the design and tried to McTavish inside of it.

I haven't finished the McTavishing inside the flower petal areas around the Celtic Knot, but it felt like I was losing the Impact of these shapes with the narrow 1/4 inch echo. So I went around the outside at a 1/2 inch.

I marked the line at each inner turn so I could turn the corner more evenly. With the way that the CK and these petal shapes line up, it was easy and fast to come back in and mark.

quilting with rulers

 Here's what I've got so far. I'm not liking the dense stitching in the petals. I wish I had stuck to my original plan of using a 1/2 inch crosshatch in them. But the fills were a good place to see how this thread showed up on the fabric.

This is WonderFil's Mirage, a 30 wt. thread and it's stitching up so very nice. No tension or shredding issues at all. I'm using a 90/14 needle with it. The only thing I don't like is the unexpected appearance of the black color in between the blue and green colors in the variegation.

Gotta run! I hope you've been doing some free motion quilting fun, hopefully with a ruler.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Quilting With Rulers: From the Center Out

Today I got home from a busy day of work at the sewing machine shop and decided I would actually quilt. So after homework with the kiddos, hubby volunteered to cook. Yes, I am a very lucky lady. I've been doing a lot of non-quilting work lately and it's really dragging me down. Just a confluence of events and bad timing, it'll get better. But I felt like I just needed to do some fun quilting.

I wanted to explore some newer rulers and played with a quilting design that radiated from a center point. I started with the 6 inch Celtic Knot ruler and made two full designs with it, overlapping on top of each other for a floral effect.

Then I got out another ruler that I've been needing to play with as I plan on carrying it in the shop. It's the Circles on Quilts Template. I really like the premise of it as it was designed with those who quilt on sewing machines or other stationary machines in mind and makes sewing large circles pretty easy. (I don't have it listed yet, but it should be available February 8 or sooner.)

 I'm not a big fan of the thumbtack pin that this Westalee template uses, but it's still a pretty great template.

Then I reinserted the anchor post from the Celtic Knot template and got out another ruler made by the same company. This is the Fan Ruler and unlike the other TopAnchor templates, It's made for marking large circles instead of being used to actually quilt.

I marked a large circle around the other circle, several inches larger than the other ruler and then went back and marked reference lines that corresponded to the points on the Celtic Knot. I've had this ruler for quite some time and this was the first time I really plated with it and it really allowed me to add to the complexity of this design without really being all that complex or difficult. Why didn't I do this sooner?!

Then I went around the circles, connecting points with the QP #8 to make more petal-like shapes similar to that of the Celtic Knot. These radiate out from the circle and look pretty darn cool.

That's where I'm stopping for now, but I'll be adding some free motion quilting and then I'll post my progress later this week. It was a lot of fun.

Don't forget February 9th I'll be hosting a linky party so we can all show how we've been quilting with rulers on our home machines, domestic machines, or sit down long arm machines. Get your projects and posts ready!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the Rocky

I got a box of rocks from my parents today.

In their defense, I asked them for it. In fact it was a box with rocks and all of my goodies from the Craftsy Instructor Summit. I didn't have room in my suitcase for all of it.

There were sponsor booths with some great freebies for the instructors. This kind of thing makes me giddy and anxious at the same time. Clearly they are there to work with Craftsy peeps. (There's not a big enough group of us fabriholics to justify the idea of selling to us.) But to say, "Can I have some of that, please?" is an awkward thing for me.

I don't like having any strings attached to freebies and will speak my mind about the good and bad of any product as I see it. I think most of you can see that in my reviews. Now, if they say, "Here, take this." I'll take it. Craftsy gave us a bag full of little goodies at registration, which is where most of these things came from.

I was tickled to get quite a few solid fabrics since they're pretty easy for me to use as samples for free motion quilting. I like Kona of course, but the Cotton Couture feels really, really nice. Almost like a sateen. I bet it'll show of the texture of quilting quite well. I haven't opened that pack of white from Boundless Fabrics, but charm squares of all one solid color? That's handy!

Here's why I wanted that box of rocks! I've seen some beautiful painted, Zentangled, and even crocheted rocks on the web and I wanted to do some of my own. I think I need more practice. I did find that the Sakura Souffle pen worked better on the rock than the paint pen. Virginia doesn't have many nearby places where I can get such nice river rocks. But my parents now live in Pueblo and there were plenty there where we went to walk. Thanks Mom!

Now if only I could actually get around to some quilting! Life has gotten a bit crazy with several things that I want and need to do. The timing is awful, so I'm doing the best I can on several fronts. I hate being this busy, but these things are needful.

If you read my newsletter, you'll know I didn't deliver on my idea of a reoccurring blog link party to share ruler work designs, projects, and progress. I'm still very excited about this, but I didn't get home due to flight delays until after the date I should have posted it. We'll do it instead the second Wednesday of February, so get your pieces ready to share. There are still a lot of folks who can't imagine holding a ruler and moving the quilt under the machine and I want to show them that not only is it possible, but that it's also easier than it sounds once you try it!