Quilting with Minky

I'm quilting away on my niece's quilt whenever I can. Because this sweety needs a quilt from her auntie, doesn't she?

It's a bit hard to see the quilting on these pretty prints, but it's the feathered flower from my latest video post.

The new thing I'm doing with this quilt is backing it with a minky-type fabric. So far it's working well. It's pin basted pretty securely, but I do have to watch the minky edges to make sure they're not curling under and getting stitched to the back. I probably should have used a thinner batting with the minky instead of my usual Hobb's 80/20.

It feels a little different as I move it under the machine. I think it depends on how I'm moving it, as this fabric is combed down (is that the term?) in one direction, giving it a bit of a nap. Not causing a particular problem, just feels different.

It feels incredibly soft and still shows the quilting pretty well on the back. I suspect after washing, the fuzz will pop out from under the stitches and hide the stitches though. I've heard that it can leave a ton of fuzz behind as you cut and sew it. I haven't had this problem, though I had exactly what I needed as it came from the store. I'm sure I'll get fuzz once I trim the excess.

Have you used Minky as a backing before? How has it worked for you?

Free Motion Quilting Video: Feathered Flower

I had someone ask for a tutorial on how to do the feathered flower design I was using on my niece's quilt. I've shot a video for you.

The design is pretty easy to do as long as you're comfortable with the basic paisley and the shape of a feather plume. It can be done densely as a filler or made quite large for a great all-over design.

I've been making good progress on this quilt! So nice to do something fun, fast, and free! I love doing my ruler work, but I love the freedom of a free motion filler!

I'm looking forward to getting this done and in the mail to the sweet baby in the next week or so!

Don't forget Craftsy's great sale on classes this weekend! They've got the lowest prices of the year on all classes. Use my special link to get the sale prices while putting a bit of coin in my pocket too!

Now I am off in search of leftover pumpkin pie!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love taking the time to acknowledge all of my blessings and all of the many things, people, and situations that I am thankful for. We've yet to adjust to having no family in the area, so it will be a rather mediocre gathering. I'd love to have my neighbor over, but as she recently had surgery and several of us have colds, we'd rather keep our germs to ourselves this year.

Besides my wonderful little family, I am exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to share my love for free motion quilting and ruler work here with you and to expand my sharing through the Craftsy platform, with Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine. This has led to opening my online shop at Amy's Quilting Adventures which has been an incredible blessing.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all my readers, both old and new. Without you, this blog and my work would not be possible. Your comments and questions never cease to inspire and encourage me.

This time of year is also a big sale time and Craftsy's offering their best deals of the year. Use this special discount link to access these great deals. All classes are $19.99 or less!

If you've already enjoyed my class on ruler work, you'll love these two classes to take that could be utilized with ruler work: Angela Walters' Dot to Dot Quilting and Kim Brunner's Machine Quilting with Templates. Now is a great time for your quilting friends to learn about this technique and take advantage of these deals too, so spread the word.

And so [sew?], dear readers.....thank you!

Sunday's Encouraging Word: A Fortune

I've been working on creative a better routine or schedule to help me accomodate my increased blog posting, Craftsy class duties, taking care of my wonderful customers at www.amysquiltingadventures.com, and still getting actual quilting done.

As I've been reading up on how to manage my tasks more efficiently and not overwhelm my poor brain, I opened up a fortune cookie to find this:

I nearly dropped my chopsticks laughing! I'm not one to take a fortune seriously, but I can extra encouragement wherever I find it!

Big Block Baby!

It's amazing! Absolutely amazing. After working on my ruler work sampler quilt for sooooo long, I had to work on a different project. This is my niece's quilt. I started on it Tuesday morning and by the evening, I had a completed top!

That sort of counts as a finish, doesn't it? I started off drawing out the design, which was adapted several times as I realized that 'big block quilts' that are based on 12" finished squares aren't real compatible with 1/2 yard cuts. Note to self: Buy at least a yard of everything! lol

I've started the quilting and figure a few solid hours of quilting will finish it up. It's nice to do a feathered flower all over design in a larger size for once. It's a quilt to be used, so no fancy quilting, though I may do ruler work in the solid navy star points.

I tried a new thread for the piecing and I really enjoyed it. It's Cairo Quilt from the same folks who make Glide thread. 100% Egyptian cotton and it's really nice, low lint and looks much like the other popular cotton thread that's out there, but at a lower price.

I'm considering selling Glide and this Cairo quilt in my shop. Would any of you be interested?

I leave tomorrow to go see my sister and meet baby Abbie for the first time. So excited!

Free Motion Quilting: Whirly Star

I'm still plugging away at my ruler work sampler quilt. I'm pleased to have finished this block, let's call it a 4 point whirly star. I'm open to other names- leave a comment if you've got a better one. It was made by marking a square in the center of the block and quilting from the corners of the block to the corners of the inner marked square.

I echoed the lines of the star, but brought the lines to the corners for continuous stitching. Note the lines marked faintly at those inner points, they help me turn the ruler at the right point. I free hand drew the pebbles before I stitched them. Marking was needed to help keep it uniform on all four sides.

Then I did a paisley fill. I LOVE the texture of this block! I need to take a break from this project and finally make a baby quilt for my adorable niece. I'm headed to Tennessee to meet her this weekend. Poor baby probably won't have a finished quilt when I get there, but I'm going to try!

I'm excited to finally work on her quilt! I've had the fabric for a few months now and it's beyond time to get it made.

Anybody notice that I'm not too good with finishing? Even if it is my 'word of the year'? Maybe it will be my word of the decade!

Free Motion Quilting Video: Continuous L's

I finished up the loopy L fill around my diamond sashing from my previous post and shot a video while I did it.

It turned out nicely I think. Made the diamonds pop without being horribly dense or time consuming.

You can still see some of the markings above. The lines help keep things straight and keep me from forgetting to change the design when I get to the small squares.

Have you been like me and gotten so 'in the flow' that you quilt something you shouldn't? Happens to me more often than I like so I use my handy purple pen.

loopy L fill free motion quilting design

Now I'm working on the interior of the block around the 4 pointed twisted star. Pebbles, paisleys, and rulered lines are involved.

Craftsy is doing a flash sale this weekend! Use my discount link to get up to 50% off on all classes! My class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine is reduced to $24.99 with the general sale, but use this link: My Class at 50% off!  and it will give it to you at 50%.

Craftsy sales usually have a theme, and this one does too. They're talking about the fun of using crafts and creativity together as we gather during this time leading up to the holidays. I couldn't bring myself to use their beautifully done pictures of strangers (to me) when I had this sweet girl's pic available from when we were actually using a Craftsy class together.

There are some really great free motion quilting classes on Craftsy right now. Besides my class, there's a class from Lori Kennedy of the Inbox Jaunt. I haven't taken Divide and Conquer: Creative Quilting for Any Space yet, but I keep up with her blog and she's so stinkin' talented and creative with her designs. There are several more from Leah Day, Patsy Thompson, Angela Walters, and more. Patsy's talked about my work with rulers being an inspiration to her, so let me point out that she's got a new class on feathers with Craftsy.

There are two great classes to take that could be utilized with ruler work: Angela Walters' Dot to Dot Quilting and Kim Brunner's Machine Quilting with Templates.

Have a great weekend!

Quilting with Rulers: Loopy Fill in Diamond Sashing

Chipping away at the work to be done on my ruler work sampler quilt. This quilt is set on point with blank white blocks in between the pieced blocks which I have stitched a faux sashing around. I'm going back around the diamods of this area and using a loopy L fill to make the diamonds pop and to give the white a little turquoise color.

quilting with rulers loopy fill

 I draw a line from the triangle point to the opposite center of the triangle base. This serves two functions:

  • The marked line helps me keep those L's (actually lower case l's) straight. I don't want italic L's! LOL
  • In the corners, the triangles are subdivided (from stitching the faux-sashing) and stitched at a 45 degree angle. The marking helps me get the angle right and more importantly for me, keeps me from accidentally stitching those triangles in the same manner as the other triangles. 

free motion quilting with rulers

When I get into the 'flow' of quilting, I can miss that the design needs to change until I get to the center and see the stitched line that is already down the center. The marking helps with this. Most of the time anyway....

Quilting with Rulers: Star with Diamonds

I took Monday's post to heart and stepped away from my computer during my prime quilting time. I finished up my star with diamonds block. This is a pretty common ruler work design, with diagonal lines forming a series of diamonds. It leaves some great space to fit small fills between lines and is pretty popular among the more modern long arm crowd. I show how to stitch the unadorned diamond in my Craftsy class, Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine.

ruler work and free motion loops and pebbles

It was so nice to quilt with the sun coming in my south-facing window. The side light helps show the dimension to this block too. I showed the larger squares of this block before and continued the diamond theme throughout. Working the points of diamonds from corner to corner is a great way to quilt continuously. After quilting the lines with my favorite straight edge (a Handi-Quilter Mini Scallop) I decided I definitely needed to go back in with some fills. I had originally wanted to do circles down the center of the diamonds, but that looked too much like eyes!

Quilting diamons a ruler work design
Can you see which square I pebbled first before I decided to mark the pebbles?

Loopy 8's or whatever you want to call them (Laverne's was one fabulous name I was given- that loopy L) went in the middle and the pebbles went on the outer spaces. I was glad it worked out to have enough spaces in the bigger squares to leave the outermost space unquilted as it is easier to do pebbles where there aren't any seam allowances. Yes, those 4 squares in the middle were harder to pebble.

free motion quilting with rulers

The white triangles were kept a bit simpler. I'm not sure if I want to quilt in the navy blue star points. I had planned to quilt with the same light turquoise thread on the blue, but it's a huge contrast. If I do quilt these, I think I'll give myself permission to use a darker blue thread.

My day was so much better once I started it off with quilting. I'm going to try to stick to that routine on the days I work at home. Shutting my laptop helped! I love all my online connections, but it can really suck you in until you've wasted a bunch of time.

I shot a video of the quilting of the white triangles too. Look for it soon on YouTube or here.

Quilt First

My day would have been so much better if I had followed this one simple rule:

I think from now on, after the kids are on the bus, I will quilt for an hour before doing anything else! Things just snowball otherwise and quilting doesn't happen. Anybody else have this issue?

Tomorrow is another day....