Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Murphy's Law of Quilting

It just seems that Murphy comes visiting just when things are getting just a smidge hectic. You do know Murphy's Law don't you? "What can go wrong, will go wrong." When it comes to quilting, Murphy likes to show up here in the evening.

Like right after I posted the above photo to Instagram one night, Murphy pointed out that I had neglected to finish out my design by making a final pass to the outside instead of stopping in the center.

Murphy followed up a few nights later when I decided to fix my mistake. It seems I had just enough thread in the bobbin to bring up the bobbin thread but not enough to actually form the first stitch.

But while I take his late night visits as a sign to call it a night, I am determined not to let Murphy's Law get me down.

I head out for QuiltCon Thursday and will stay until Sunday morning. Will I see any of my readers there? I decided to go at the last-ish minute and I'm afraid I may have set myself up for Murphy to visit during my trip. I've rented a car as the mom-car isn't quite up to the trip, reserved a room (though sadly not at the convention hotels as I waited too long), and am trying to get things at the shop and home shipshape before my departure.

I'll just be wandering the show and trying to meet up with a lot of people, most of which I've never met in person. You can follow my QuiltCon adventures on my Instagram feed and that may be a good way to connect if you're there.

Now, I think I will succumb to my internal last minute pressure to make something to take with me!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ombre Triangle Quilt: A Few Tips

Happy weekend! Here are some more pictures from my ombre triangles project. Check out last weeks post on it for more info on the ruler work I did, but now I wanted to show a few tricks I've learned over the years.

The first is a bit of a cheat when you're going from one area to another where you'd usually break your thread tails. I lift the foot and needle at point #1, then move to an area where I've already quilted #2 and drop the needle down and back up, making sure to lower the foot first when using the ruler foot, and then move on to where I want to stitch #3.

I make sure that my traveling thread isn't going to be in the way of my quilting at any point and that the overall length of the thread is long enough for me to cut it at that single stitch and still have thread tails long enough to knot and bury later.

At point #3 above, I'm getting ready to do another 1/2 inch echo with my straight ruler before doing more of my floral filler.

You can see in the picture below that the point where these 6 pieces meet, there's quite a hump. I know from past experiences that stitching through it to flatten it won't go well. My machine can go through it fine, but my stitches will likely be wobbly.

Instead I will avoid the center by circling around it for the most part. This flower fill I'm using works well for this.

So now I've got another chunk of this quilt done. I can't wait to see what I'll quilt next! LOL.

In fact that's what I'm going to do now! Thanks for following along on my quilting adventures.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Leah Day Tackles Templates

Last week, I received some news that made me feel pretty cruddy. Nothing too major now, especially after giving it some thought and prayer. The next morning, I arrived at the shop still feeling a little out of sorts. My hubby, with a big cheesy grin, met me with phone in hand and said, "Oh Amy...Leah Day, line one!"

Leah and I had a great little chat. She's a very encouraging and down to earth kind of gal. If you read her blog you already know that, and you probably know about her new line of templates.

But, if you don't know, Leah's got a great learning program called the Machine Quilting Block Party. One of the blocks is a Dresden plate block and she's developed her own line of templates to help her students cut out these shapes quickly and accurately.

She's also designed them to work well as quilting rulers (used with a ruler foot of course!) with etched 1/4 inch markings along the edges. At 3mm thick, they're great for low shank machines and could be used with care with high shank sewing machines as well (keep the foot down low), though you know I like my rulers as thick as possible for safety and ease of gripping. These are not suitable for hopping long arm machines and probably not the #72 Bernina foot.

I love a good, multipurpose tool! The ends of the curved blades and especially the circles can be really useful. There are several stretches of straight edges as well. For the price and the versatility, I think it's a great deal.

They've been so popular that she's currently sold out of the Dresden Plate Template Set, but will have them in stock really soon!

She doesn't sell ruler feet, so she's been kind enough to send folks my way via Amy's Quilting Adventures for those. That's why she was calling. Sweet, huh?

Over on her blog, The Free Motion Quilting Project, Wednesday's post, Ruler Foot Quilting for Beginners, shows her templates and how she's used them for quilting her project. I love seeing how people use the rulers they have in creative ways to make a variety of designs. You should check it out.

She does a great job of showing how to make a clamshell type design with a single shape (actually she does this twice, with a different template) which is my preferred way of doing clamshells.

Speaking of using the rulers you already have for a variety of designs, that's what my second class with Craftsy is all about. While it's great to have some specialty templates if you want them, we all want to use our templates in as many ways as possible.

Creative Quilting with Rulers can be yours at half off right now with this coupon code link. (Coupon link disclaimer: Get 50% off the full retail price of select Craftsy classes taught by Amy Johnson. Cannot be combined with any other coupons. Expires March 19, 2017.)