Sunday, June 1, 2014

Free Motion Monday Quilting Adventure: Grid-based Designs

It's the start of another month and time for a new free motion quilting design focus and a new give-away!

Last month's design of ruler work was a bit tricky for those who don't have some sort of ruler toe, so this month it is time for grid-based designs, which is something we can all do in one way or another. Some may even want to use a walking foot for the straight line designs, but I encourage you to learn to do the lines in free motion (with or without a ruler) so you don't have to turn your quilt as much.

 What's a grid-based design? One that uses a grid as the underlying structure, or 'bones' of the design. The grid can be the design itself, as in crosshatching (and this is an alternative to using ruler work) or additional lines or curves can be added to create a more intricate design. Some grid-based designs never actually stitch on the marked grid, but use it as reference points.


 Pictured above are my 2 favorite stencils for this: The Stencil Company's SCL-457-10 and SCL-461-00 stencils. Of course, a grid can also be made using a ruler and marking  implement of your choice.


If using a stencil, you can mark with chalk or removable fabric marker of your choice. I prefer using a marker, but on dark fabric, I like chalk (though I could use a white marking pencil/pen).


I learned from Kimmy Brunner in her Craftsy class that I don't have to use the pounce pad to use  Miracle Chalk (disappears with heat), which can lay the chalk on a bit thick. She suggests using a foam paint brush (I used a foam wedge) to apply the chalk.


Here are a few stitched examples I've done in the past. These are very similar to the continuous curves I did last month with the rulers, but these are very tiny and are a good background filler.


These two are done with a 60 degree angled grid with three sets of lines.


Here's the practice piece I made with a variety of lines and fillers including the two grid-based designs on blue, above, from maybe 3 years ago. It was a great way to practice.


 I made a large scale, slightly curved grid to make the design below with variagated thread running in perpendicular lines to fill it in. (The brown is a tree trunk.) It gave the piece some real depth for a landscape effect.


I did a few doodles of grid-based designs too.  There are two fabulous quilters/quilting teachers that make good use of these types of designs: Diane Gaudynski and Cindy Needham. Take a look at their blogs (or books!) to spot some excellent examples of these designs.

Quilting based on a grid

The Stencil Company (www.quiltingstencils.com) has generously agreed to supply a give-away of the pair of  stencils shown above to three lucky participants in this month's Free Motion Monday Quilting Adventures.

I'll be doing the give-away a bit differently this month. Anyone who comments or links up on this post or next Monday's post will be entered in the drawing, with the winner's announced on the third Monday, the 16th of June. This will give those who didn't win, and might be waiting for the winners to be announced before buying, a chance to get their own stencils while this series is still active and share with us their own work on these designs. There are 5 Mondays this Month, so there's plenty of time to stitch something with a grid-based design and share it!

I love seeing what everyone is doing during these Monday link-ups!

If you've missed any of the Free Motion Monday posts, you can find them on the Free Motion Mondays page.

Here's the guidelines for the link party:

For the linky this week, link up a post of  grid-based designs you've done, if any. If you haven't done any, now's the time to draw some out, start a new practice piece or even try them out on a quilt!

Some quick rules:
  • Keep your post relevant to this quilt along please. Spammy posts will be deleted.
  • Make sure you link up to the individual post, not your home page as nobody wants to have to search around for the post if they're a little late to the party.
  • Reciprocate! Link back to this post somewhere in your post. You've got to dance with the one who took you to the party, so make sure you link back.
  • Don't be a wall-flower. (Talking to myself here too. In person I am so stinking shy!) Visit the other links, be sociable, and leave comments.
  • Please make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you are a no-reply commenter, especially if you ask a question. 
Don't forget to bookmark this blog, follow, or sign it up in your favorite feed reader. Like the facebook page (I do post some short things on it pretty regularly), or even check out my Pinterest boards.  I'll be visiting you too!

39 comments:

  1. Great designs. I love the stencil company, they have so many to choose from. I really like your sample piece, it looks like so much fun.

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  2. Wow. great giveaway. Thanks so much for sharing, Amy. Love the designs

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  3. Really interesting, as always. I shoud try that continuous curves design but I am always afraid of taking time to mark the quilt. I just began to use the Hera marker and I love it, maybe I could try it next time in combinaison with that design. I don't know if the the lines will remains long enough tough.

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  4. Beautiful stitching samples! I've never tried grid-based designs, because I don't like marking up my quilts, but those are so pretty! Especially the one with 60 degree grid lines. Hmmmm. . . .I may have to try grid work after all!

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  5. Beautiful stitching samples! I've never tried grid-based designs, because I don't like marking up my quilts, but those are so pretty! Especially the one with 60 degree grid lines. Hmmmm. . . .I may have to try grid work after all!

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    1. I am not a big fan of a lot of marking, either. Mostly because I am lazy and free spirited! ;-) If you can do straight line ruler work, do some crosshatching and then a grid based design into the crosshatching. Also, the piecing of the quilt can sometimes be used as a grid. With a stencil, the line marking goes pretty fast though.

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  6. Amy I look forward to your "adventures" and have recommended your blog to all my quilting friends! I got the rulers you use and got Kimmy Brunner's Craftsy class and did the medallion star border - it was easy with the rulers and came out great!! I quilt on a Babylock Tiara and the rulers are easy to use. Would love to try these stencils - my quilting gets better with practice and encouragement from bloggers like you!! Keep up the great work!

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  7. Amy, I have followed you for a couple of years now. You have given me confidence to step away from the meandering! Thank you for your videos and tips. Please keep posting both. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  8. Great giveaway! I have some of there stencil love them! Thanks

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  9. I have never tried grid based designs as I am new to free motion quilting. They look very intimidating but I would love to try with the stencils!

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  10. Your blog is always so inspiring. Thanks for the great giveaway.

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  11. Hi Amy, love your tutorials. I've learned so much from you. Love the contest.

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  12. Great designs...did something similar in a workshop some time ago but have never used it on a quilt. Would love to win those stencils...this would make the marking much easier

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  13. I too own a Janome 6600 and learned to FMQ on it. I recently got a sit down long arm and your tutorials are just what I need. I am learning so much. Thank you. I haven't used stencils yet but am excited to begin!

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  14. The stencils are so versatile. I can see why they are among your favourites.

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  15. I love your blog...I check daily to see what you might be up to! I have finally found a ruler foot (with modification) and you have gave me the courage to use it. I can see where the gridded stencils would be great for a free spirit like myself!

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  16. I like grid based designs, especially when patchwork forms the grid and I don't have to mark! Those stencils would also be a great help.

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  17. I love your practice piece and really appreciate you sharing your quilting journey with us. Practice, practice and I'll get there.

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  18. I love to see what you do with your quilting. I keep telling myself I need to get more practice in now that I have a long arm to learn on. :)

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  19. I just got back from Handi Quilter Academy, where I learned about using a grid as the basis for some quilting. Need time to try it as soon as I catch up with all the aftermath of being away for almost 2 weeks.
    thanks!!

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  20. I always enjoy your blog entries. I often use masking tape for my "grid" work since I dislike marking as well. I need to try using chalk on stencils.

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  21. I've never tried stencils. Might be something I need to try.

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  22. I'd love to try stencils. I'm quilting a friendship quilt for a 80 year old so her friends can sign at her birthday party. So far I've only stitched in the ditch to anchor.

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  23. I've done quilting using stencils and the free motion foot and have been unhappy with how they turned out. Even though I was sewing over lines, the sewing lines looked wiggly or unkempt (can't think of a better word). Is there a secret to sewing on lines so the end product looks nice?

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    1. Stephanie, I find there's two best ways to stitch over stenciled lines:

      Either be very obsessive and focused and painstakingly stitch exactly on the lines.

      Or use the line as merely a guideline. No one will no if you've traveled off the line once the line is not there. This works best with a motif-type stencil.

      Trying to stay exactly on the line tends to result in slightly jagged lines as we keep re-correcting.

      For a straight line grid using a stencil, you really can't use the line as a suggestion, since we want uniformity of the lines and spacing. But it is the perfect time to try some straight ruler work! Or you can use a grid based design that uses the straight lines as a guide for curved lines, which are a little more forgiving.

      I'll show more on this next Monday.

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    2. I'm relieved to know that it's the trying to stay exactly on the line that's the problem.

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  24. I've several of their stencils that I've used for hand quilting, but I'd like to become competent at machine quilting. These stencils look like they would be very useful.

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  25. HI Amy, I've been a way and a bit out of the loop but am looking forward to sitting down and having a play with this one.

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  26. Would love to try some of these techniques and the stencils look really cool. Thanks for sharing.

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  27. Your skills are amazing. I've never considered using a stencil for gridwork but I can see that it would make the marking lots easier.

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  28. I love the tip on using a foam brush instead of the pounce--I will be trying it! Thanks!

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  29. Ooh, more fun this month. Thank you for the chance to win a stencil, but I may just have to go ahead and purchase to be able to play along. I always enjoy your posts, keep up the good work, makes me want to retire to just stay hoe and quilt!

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    1. Hey, all this quilting is hard work! I must go fortify myself with some ice cream....

      Thanks for the encouragement!

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  30. I love your designs this week

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  31. I am excited about this quilt along...I am putting together my top and hope to start later in the day with the quilting.

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  32. I'm new to quilting, but am very keen and find your blog so helpful; I love it. I'm beginning to wish I lived in the US, as quilting seems far better over there and your products are so much cheaper than in the UK.

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    1. Thank you! I suppose there are trade offs wherever anyone lives....I'm a bit jealous of all the green lushness and stonework the UK has. Besides, the only castles in the US were built by eccentric rich folk or in an amusement park!

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