Friday, October 6, 2017

McTavishing Revisited

A while back I was asked to quilt a piece for Laser Cut Quilts, a wholesale only laser cutting company. I rarely take in pieces for me to quilt for others, but occasionally I am persuaded and I knew this piece would be a nice one to show some swirly, whirly, McTavishing. I was told I could take my time, but I did leave it be for longer than I should have. So I've been stitching away at it and if you follow me on Instagram or maybe Facebook, you've likely seen some of my progress.

First I outlined all the applique with FilTec's monofilament thread, Essence. This clear, super fine nylon thread is soft, flexible, and works great. It has been mistaken for blond hair here before. If I accidentally popped onto the applique, you can't tell and it allowed me to travel over some of the applique to get to other small areas of background.  I did a video of part of this step.


This video may look familiar, Janome shared it out in an email last month. Then I switched to Aurifil 50 weight thread in white as I wanted the quilting to give texture and movement, but not take away from the intricate applique. Even though all the applique was done by someone else, I can really appreciate the time saved by using this laser cut kit. The detail boggles my mind!


I decided that I wanted to mimic the pine branches (spruce? I dunno.) with some of my quilting. With the intricacies of the applique, I knew I was either going to have to quilt loosely enough to not quilt into every nook and cranny, or I'd have to quilt densely to get into all the little spots. Since it's a wall hanging, I had no qualms about going dense.


I used my trusty purple pen of disappearing ink to mark wedges of three lines. The wedges represented the branch stem down the center and the outer edges of my 'branch.' My branches had to be a little bigger than the appliqued version or I would have had to microquilt in order for them to stand out from the background.


Then it was time to swish and shwoosh my way all over the place with McTavishing. The design is named after Karen McTavish and I did a month-long series on it back in 2014. McTavishing Monday Series


Check out the series to learn more about this design. Look at the texture! I still struggle with my McTavishing a bit, but it's getting there.



I've just got a few more tiny bits left. Small spots that are enclosed with appliqued pine needles, so there's a lot of stops and starts. Hopefully, it will be done this weekend and I'll share a tip I use when I need to move between small parts of quilting without having to break thread each time I stop and bring up the bobbin thread each time I start.

Have you done any laser cut quilt kits before? I know many shops use them in their Row by Row kits.

14 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Do you use monofilament in the bobbin too?

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  2. it's funny to me how my Mc Tavishing does not look like someone else Mc Tavishing :) Lovely quilting :)

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    1. Only THE McTavish makes the real McTavishing! I wish mine came close!

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  3. Beautiful job. I love the way the McTavishing enhances the applique.

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  4. It’s a beautiful top. I love the delicate pine branches. Your quilting choices are inspired and well-executed. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. So beautiful! I LOVE laser cut pieces too, so perfect, and I didn't have to cut them! : )

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  6. Hi Amy I am your ardent fan. Though yet to master ruler work I am just starting with free motion, I bought your ruler work class at craftsy. Wondering can you use the above foot with your 8200 QC. I looks so clear to be able to see my lines which I am struggling with.
    thank you
    thank you

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    1. I'm sorry, this foot only works on Janomes with the automatic presser foot lift (S7, S9, 9400, 14000, 15000, 12000). The machine itself adjusts the height of the machine instead of the spring loaded thumbscrew on the free motion foot set for your machine.

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  7. For the branches that are quilted in, did you outline them first and then McTavish around them? How did you mark the quilt for that? Thanks!

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    1. Yes, I used my trusty air-eraseable marker to mark in a wedge of three lines for the center and the tapering sides. Look carefully and you can see some of the marks have yet to evaporate. I did each branch and then mostly McTavished around them individually as that means fewer stops and starts.

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