Quilting Diamonds Across Dashing Stars

Me and Julie the Juki are busy stitching straight lines across the Dashing Stars quilt. I’ve used the walking foot guide bar to keep the quilting lines spaced 2½” apart. The piecing design is full of straight lines that emphasise a horizontal & vertical grid. I decided to mix it up a bit by introducing quilting lines at an angle of 60° to create a diamond grid.

The pink arrow is pointing to the 60 degree line on the ruler. The line is positioned over a horizontal seam. The Hera marker is next to the edge of the ruler which lies where the quilting stitches will run.

To ‘draw’ the initial 60° line I matched up the marking on a ruler with a horizontal seam on the patchwork. I used a Hera Marker along the edge of the ruler to create an impression on the fabric right across the quilt before laying down a strip of masking tape to use as my guide.

I stitched along the edge of the tape, removed it and then repeated the marking process with a line running all the way across the quilt in the opposite diagonal direction. I chose to mark these initial two lines to intersect at the very centre of the quilt top. Next I set up the walking foot guide with a 2½” gap between the guide and the machine needle.

Stitching with the guide bar is quick and has the advantage that no quilting lines need to be marked on the fabric. However, I have been checking every three or four rows of stitching to make sure my lines haven’t become bowed or moved away from the 60° angle. It’s simple enough to straighten things out by using the ruler, Hera Marker and masking tape to get the next line back on track.

I’m using 50wt Aurifil 2600 thread and have increased the machine stitch length to around 2.5 from the usual piecing length of about 1.8.

I hope you have an opportunity to be a Midweek Maker. Click over to Susan’s blog, Quilt Fabrication, to find out what she and other makers are up to this week.

Allison

PS. I think the comments box on this page may be broken – apologies if you have attempted to leave comments to previous posts and been unsuccessful or wondered why I haven’t replied. I will endeavour to get any problems fixed.

Making a Spiral Template for Walking Foot Quilting

Working on UFO’s is very satisfying! My current WIP (Work In Progress) became a UFO way back in July 2018. I suspect I couldn’t figure a way of quilting over or around such a variety of 6″ blocks so abandoned the quilt top along with a pieced backing including an integrated label (wahoo!) and a piece of cotton wadding cut to size.

Looking at the quilt after a two year break I decided to stitch a spiral to fill in the centre of the quilt and continue using the walking foot to echo some straight lines through the borders.

First task to tackle with a spiral design is drawing one! I used Yvonne Fuch’s method to draw the centre of a spiral. I drew mine onto a sheet of paper continuing the spiral lines until they were 2″ apart – the spacing I planned to use in the quilt stitching. To transfer this spiral onto the quilt I opted to make a template. Not having any template plastic to hand, I cut up an old, clear plastic, zip lock folder and traced my spiral using a permanent marker. I then cut along the spiral twice to create a narrow opening to use as a stencil.

(On reflection the template would be more stable if I hadn’t cut a continuous spiral but had instead left some little ‘bridges’ of plastic like those found on commercially produced stencils).

I tested out the template on a practice quilt sandwich using a Hera Marker. The groove left by the marker was a little hard to see (even with side lighting as suggested by Yvonne) but for a first attempt I thought my spiral had worked reasonably well.

Stitching the first few ‘spins’ of a spiral using a walking foot can be a bit tricky especially when starting from the centre of a quilt as the tightest turns are being made with half of the quilt stuffed through the throat of the sewing machine. Tips for achieving this initial tricky maneuver include reducing stitch length and being prepared to stop every few stitches (with needle down), lift the foot and shift the quilt to keep the walking foot on the curve. As the spiral increases in size the stitch length can be increased and stopping to realign the walking foot will become less and less necessary 🙂

I used the template and Hera Marker to start the spiral in the centre of my quilt. I chose to use a Hera rather than a marker pen or chalk as the fabric in the centre of the quilt just happened to be pure white 🙁 Being anxious about using coloured markers anyway I just couldn’t bring myself to use one on white fabric slap-bang in the middle of a quilt top!

😉 It took two attempts to stitch reasonable curves but I’m happy with this and will be keeping my spiral template for future projects.

Two inch spiral seen on the back of the Chocolatier quilt. I used my walking foot with an adjustable guide bar to keep the stitching lines 2″ apart.

If you’d like to have a go at making your own spiral template you are welcome to download and print my drawing of a spiral if it would help 🙂 Here is the link for the download: Spiral by Allison Reid New Every Morning patchwork and Quilting

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers and Jennifer for Wednesday Wait Loss.

Allison

 

 

Patchwork Project Progress

As hoped I have been able to spend more time in my sewing room. I even missed the screening of The Great British Bake Off in order to progress my patchwork projects! (I know! The sacrifices made for this hobby of ours!). 🙂

Breezy day!

I’ve completed the patchwork top of the Dashing Stars quilt. I think this is the sixth version I’ve made. As I had plenty of the background fabric to play with I decided to make an addition to the pattern. Note the narrow borders on the

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Puffy borders, ‘seamless’ joins and undulating lines

Last weekend I shared the three projects that were ‘live’ in my sewing room. Progress has been made on two 🙂

First up is the Winnie-the-Pooh baby quilt panel. I’d already quilted around the printed patchwork blocks – pseudo in-the-ditch. Since the weekend I’ve made the binding – four 2¼” width of fabric strips were just enough :-). Before attaching the binding I thought it would be best to flatten down the ruffled fabric of the printed borders.

I could have done some quilting but the aim of this project was to ‘keep it simple’ so I opted to stay-stitch about 1/8th inch in from the marked edges. I figured anchoring down the puffiness would reduce the risk of the excess fabric being pushed to the corners when the binding was being stitched in place. This would have created edges that wouldn’t lie flat and distorted the rectangular shape of the quilt.

I increased the machine stitch length from 2 to 5 and began stitching from the corners to the mid-point of each edge.

Midpoint of the bottom edge. Stay stitching started from the corners meets in the middle, creating a pucker or two…

At the midpoint I stopped stitching, broke threads and went onto the next corner, stitching down to the mid-point and stopping again. This shifted the excess fabric to the centre of each edge rather than pushing it out to the corners. A few puckers were created but I figured these were a reasonable compromise in the pursuit of keeping the whole quilt flat and with 90° corners.

Once the stay-stitches were in place I trimmed away the excess backing and wadding before attaching the binding to the front of the quilt.  As for puckers and pleats I’m pleased to say there are so few I’m pretty sure they will fly under the radar of the Quilt Police! 😉 I’m looking forward to hand stitching the binding to the back of this little quilt.

On to project number 2the Quilters Color Quest scrappy Bear Tracks quilt. First job was to ‘re-size’ the backing fabric. The fabric was much longer than the quilt top but not as wide. I decided to cut it in half across the fabric width and stitch two long edges together. The tricky bit was stitching the two pieces together so the diagonal stripe pattern appeared unbroken. Two attempts, a bit of fiddling and lots of pins produced a happy result!

Really close inspection would show the little patterns within the stripes not quite matching but over all the stripes look unbroken 🙂

I pin basted the Bear Tracks quilt yesterday afternoon. It took me a while to come up with a quilting design. I decided the Bear Track blocks would be difficult to stitch around or integrate into a design, better to go for an all over design that doesn’t relate directly to the blocks. I thought about straight parallel lines (a bit like tracks?) or a grid, finally coming up with a wavy line grid. I used a Hera Marker to ‘draw’ two intersecting undulating lines (don’t you just love the word ‘undulating’? I think Miranda Hart would enjoy playing with that word!). Once I’d stitched over the indents made by the Hera Marker (using Yvonne’s tip of directing light from the side to create a shadow) I fixed the line guide to my walking foot and made a start echo stitching the curvy lines.

My echos are two inches apart – I could be quilting for some time… So far, so good.

Linking with Susan for Midweek Makers.

Allison