Quilt as You Go – Quilting Between Blocks

Quilting between blocks

Quilting between blocks

When using the quilt as you go method, quilting between blocks and between rows is something that I’ve always left till the end and then quilted those small sections on the huge, bulky quilt.  What an idiot I am!  I’ve just worked out something that you probably worked out a long time ago.

What is quilt as you go?

I have made a quilt from 20″ blocks using quilt as you go.  Using this technique, you add the wadding and backing fabric to each block and quilt one block at a time.  You have to leave 1″ or 2″ not quilted all round the edge of each block so that you can sew the seams joining the blocks.  You can find out more about this technique here.




Quilting between blocks

As I would with any other quilt, I sew the blocks together across each row first and then sew the rows to each other.  The difference this time is that after I had sewn the blocks together across each row I realised that I could then set about quilting between blocks at this stage rather than waiting till I had completed the quilt.  You still need to leave 1″ or 2″ unquilted at the top and bottom of the seam – this is so that you can sew the seams to join the rows.  However you can quilt over most of that seam, giving you both unformity of quilting design as well as strengthening the seam line – and you’re only working with one row rather than a big quilt.

Quilt between the 1st 2 rows before adding another row

Quilt between the 1st 2 rows before adding another row

Quilting between rows

You can now employ the same method when joining the rows:  join two rows and then quilt along the length of the seam line joining the rows before you add another row.

You need to leave the first and last couple of inches of the rows unquilted if you are planning on adding a border.

You may feel that I am making something out of nothing, but I feel ridiculously pleased with myself for having worked out an easier way of completing the quilting between blocks in a quilt as you go project.  I hope it will help you.

Completed quilt

Completed quilt

This is the completed quilt – a wedding gift for my niece. Her wedding celebrations are the weekend after next.  In case you’re wondering, I’ve used the chain and knot quilt pattern.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Here’s the video:

Machine Quilting Loops

 

Machine quilting loops

Machine quilting loops

I’m machine quilting loops for the next block on my machine quilting sampler.  This is such an easy design to quilt – many people call them ‘e’, but my loops are a bit too upright to be called ‘e’ I think.  This can be used as a basic filler quilting design.

Machine quilting single loops

Machine quilting single loops

Machine quilting loops – single loops

For the first row – at the top in the photo – I just sewed a loop and then followed a curve to the next curve and carried on across the row.  My loops are not terribly even in size, but I’m sure yours will be far more regular!

Machine quilting figure of eight

Machine quilting figure of eight

Machine quilting loops – figure of eight

The next stage is to machine quilt two loops – otherwise known as figure of eight.  This is a particularly easy design because your hands are used to following a figure of eight shape so it should make it more easy to sew the shape.  As you can see, I have worked from the top and dropped down to make the figure of eight moving across the row.

Machine quilting double loops

Machine quilting double loops

Machine quilting loops – double loops

The logical progression from a figure of eight is to move across the row between the two loops so that the loops are not directly above or below each other.  For this you need exactly the same action as for a figure of eight, but move across to the right each time before you begin a new loop.

Echo quilting the rows of loops

It can add a nice touch if you echo quilt across a row of machine quilted loops.  If you look at the top photo you’ll see a line of stitching between the rows of loops which follows the curves of the loops.  It adds definition to the quilting line and would look particularly good if you were machine quilting loops along a border.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Machine Quilting Batik Quilt

Machine quilting batik quilt

Machine quilting batik quilt

I’ve been asked many times about machine quilting the batik quilt so today on the eve of the New Year seemed a good time to round up on several quilts that I have nearly finished this last week.

Machine quilting batik quilt

When I decided how to quilt the batik quilt, I had to take into account that there are a fair few layers of fabric at and around the sashing.  Whereas I might otherwise have suggested stitch in the ditch or maybe a decorative stitch along the sashing itself, I decided to use echo quilting 1/4″ away from the sashing.  I didn’t want to quilt too much on the batiks because they are so lovely that I thought it would be a shame to hide the fabric behind too much quilting.

Closeup of the quilting

Closeup of the quilting

I began with one of the central blocks and stitched all round the square 1/4″ in from the sashing.  I have used a very light thread so that you can see what I’ve done.  That means that you also see where my stitching wobbled a bit, but of course that wouldn’t have shown up if I’d used a thread that blended in. When I had completed the square, I stitched the short distance to the sashing and then stitched into the next square or rectangle along the rectangle until I was in the right position to begin sewing my 1/4″ line around the second rectangle.

I continued in this way until I had echo quilted all the squares and rectangles.  I feel that this is enough quilting on such pretty fabrics.

Machine quilting the peacock quilts

Meander quilting the peacocks

Meander quilting the peacocks

Back of the peacock quilt

Back of the peacock quilt

So while I’m on the subject of machine quilting, I thought that I could show you some of the other quilts that I was trying to finish this week.

For the dark peacock quilt I meander quilted all over the central panel and then stitched in the ditch around the borders.  However I wasn’t really happy with this because I felt that it didn’t do anything special for the peacock panel.

Quilting around the peacocks

Quilting around the peacocks

Back of the light peacock quilt

Back of the light peacock quilt

So for the light peacock quilt I tried quilting around the peacocks themselves.  This meant using much bigger sweeps and curves and I hope that this has highlighted the peacocks a little better.

You can’t see it here, but I used the pink floral fabric for the binding on both these quilts and that turned out really well.

Machine quilting the penguin quilt

Machine quilting the penguin quilt

Echo quilting around the penguin

Echo quilting around the penguin

Machine quilting the penguin quilt

I’m ashamed of myself for not completing the penguin quilt in time for Christmas, but I have had rather a lot on my plate recently.

Once again I used a very simple quilting design – meander quilting on the penguin and echo quilting around the outline of the penguin.  The difference this time was that I used several different quilting threads.  On the light blue sections of the penguin I quilted with a light variegated thread while on the black and grey sections I used a much darker thread which has shades of black and red in it.  For the echo quilting around the penguin outline, I used an Aurifil blue which has a lovely sheen to it.  I quilted four lines of echo quilting about 1/4″ apart to give a good frame to the penguin, and then stitched in the ditch along the borders.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.  I wish you all the best for a happy and healthy New Year.

Rose

Pebble Quilting Tutorial

Pebble quilting

Pebble quilting

Pebble quilting was my filler choice for quilting the pale star quilt.  I have machine quilted pebbles in all the white sections – mainly triangles and stripes – and I’ve put a very simple star design in the large squares.

What is pebble quilting?

As its name suggests, pebble quilting is a series of small (pebble sized) circles all touching each other to fill up the space completely.  It is a smaller design than meander quilting so it takes longer to do it, but it does give a very different look to your quilt.  The trick is to make the circles vary in size enough to make the pattern more interesting, and to make sure that they do not end up sewn in rows – you don’t really want the pebble quilting design to be symmetrical.

How to do pebble quilting

The first thing, as ever, is to stitch in the ditch around the area to stabilise it.  Then begin with one small circle.  The second circle can come straight off the first one, but for the next one you need to change direction so that your circles are not in a straight line.  To do this, travel stitch back along part of the circle so that you can start the next pebble from a different part of the circle.  Travel stitching just means going back over a line that you have already quilted in order to get your needle to a different starting point.  Branch off now and sew another circle.  Keep going and sew more and more circles in all directions so that you fill the space.

Keep an eye on the overall design as you go, so that you don’t end up with gaps where there are no pebbles.  If you want to check which direction you need to go next, just stop quilting while you draw breath and take a good look.  I have quilted completely round a circle for a second time sometimes when I am deciding which direction to go next – a bit like going round a roundabout a second time when you’re not sure which road to take!

When you have filled one space, the next space may be immediately next to the one you’ve just done.  If not, just stitch in the ditch to get to the next area that you want to fill with pebble quilting.

Star quilting design

Star quilting design

Star scaled up for a larger square

Star scaled up for a larger square

Star quilting for the large squares

I needed a simple design for the large squares – they were too large to be left unquilted, but I didn’t want too complicated a design so I used a simple star pattern.

I began with a circle in the middle and then added spokes going to each corner and to the middle of each edge.  This is a design that you need to draw first before you quilt it, but all you need is something round for the central circle (I drew round a glass) and a ruler to draw the spokes in.  Quilt the circle first and then just quilt up and down the lines for the spokes of the star.

It’s very easy to make the star bigger or smaller to suit the size of square that you are filling.

Here’s the video:

I hope that this has given you some help at trying pebble quilting as a filler design for your next quilt.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Machine Quilting – Jigsaw Quilt

 

Machine quilting jigsaw quilt

Machine quilting jigsaw quilt

You’ll be amazed to hear that I have already quilted and finished the jigsaw puzzle quilt.  I’ve completed several quilts this week and I thought that you might like to see the results of my efforts.  In case you’re wondering how I finished so many, it’s because I’ve had a fairly stressy week and I’ve been sewing with a manic intensity to try and retain my sanity.  And yes – I can confirm that quilting is definitely therapeutic and has served me well this week.

Machine quilting jigsaw quilt

I made a basic cross hatch design by stitching in the ditch along all the seams.  As I sewed along the lines, I added a feature specific to the jigsaw quilt by forming a curve within those squares that form the sticking out sections of the jigsaw pieces.  I’m not sure how well they show up in the quilt, but at least I know that they are there!

I think I’ll put the video in here:

Retro road trip quilt

Retro road trip quilt

Quilts I’ve finished

I began the week finishing some quilts for Fabric Freedom.  They have asked me for both full sized and sample sized quilts to show off their fabrics.  These can then be given to the shops who stock their fabrics to encourage sales.  Naturally with these I don’t want to cover the fabric with quilting designs, so I can keep the quilting very simple.

This one is a full size quilt from a fabric range called Retro Road Trip and I’ve quilted a meander design on the white, but just stitched in the ditch around the chevrons and triangles.

Quirky florals quilt

Quirky florals quilt

Seaside quilt

Seaside quilt

The next two were sample size quilts.  On the left is the Quirky Florals quilt – a delightful floral range.  Here again I have meandered on the white but just stitched in the ditch around the floral fabrics.

On the right is the Seaside quilt – a lovely bright and summery range.    This one didn’t take much quilting.  None of these ranges has been released yet, so you’re getting a sneak preview here.

Quarterfoil quilt

Quarterfoil quilt

Finishing my own quilts

Next I found the quarterfoil quilt that had been quilted with a semi circle  design but never bound, so I added the quilt binding to that one.  That quilt was made in January this year, so it’s a relatively quick finish by my standards!

Now there’s no stopping me and I’m off to find another quilt top that I can finish.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Pickledish Quilting Design

 

Pickledish quilting design

Pickledish quilting design

The pickledish quilting design is the next block on my machine quilting sampler quilt.  I know that my circles don’t look totally circular, but I hope that you’ll see what a simple but very effective design this is.

Mark a grid on the fabric

Mark a grid on the fabric

Mark the fabric for the pickledish quilting design

This is one design for which you absolutely have to mark the fabric before you begin.  Use a ruler to mark out a grid covering the area to be quilted.  I have drawn lines about 2″ apart in both the horizontal and vertical directions.

As usual, begin by quilting all round the outline of the block to stabilise the area.  Stitch along one of these outer lines to position your needle at the beginning of one of the grid lines.

Wavy lines make up the pickledish quilting design

Wavy lines make up the pickledish quilting design

Sewing the pickledish quilting design

Quilt an arc to one side of the line, finishing the arc at the end of the square.  Then continue stitching across the line and make an arc on the other side of the next part of the line.  Make a wavy line all the way down the grid line then turn the quilt around and quilt back up the line, taking your curves to the other side of the gridline so that you enclose the sections of the line with a tear drop type design.

In the photo you can see three lines of the pickledish quilting design – one down and then up again on the left hand line and the first set of arcs on the next line to the left of the first one.

Sew the arcs horizontally and vertically

Sew the arcs horizontally and vertically

Continue across all the vertical lines and then repeat the process on the horizontal lines.

As you complete more of the grid, you’ll see the pickledish quilting design beginning to form – full circles are now visible as well as that lovely squashed square shape in the middle.  It really is a lovely design – and of course when you have removed the grid lines it looks as if you have quilted a complex design!

Here’s the video:

 

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

More Straight Line Filler Quilting


 

Straight line filler quilting

Straight line filler quilting

I’ve used more straight line filler quilting for the next block on my machine quilting sampler.  I’ve now completed the middle row of the sampler so I think I’ll move on to gentle curves for the next row of blocks.  This block is a way of filling in an open area on your quilt with more or less straight lines, just putting a few areas in to give a bit of interest.  The lines most definitely do not want to be arrow straight, so it’s actually quite a good filler to use if you are just starting out on free motion quilting.

Marking your quilt for straight line filler quilting

Marking your quilt for straight line filler quilting

Marking your quilt for straight line filler quilting

This version of straight line filler quilting doesn’t take much marking – just a couple of ovals or circles marked in fairly randomly.

As you can see I have used three ovals.  They have different spaces between them both horizontally and vertically.  The idea now is to quilt around those shapes which should just break up the design enough to keep the eye interested.

Quilt around the marked shape

Quilt around the marked shape

Stitching the straight line filler quilting

The first line of quilting then is a straight (well straightish) line following the line of the block but going around the edge of the oval.  I’ve quilted this line first to give me a shape to follow for the line above it which will be between this line and the edge of the block.

The lines become straighter further from the oval

The lines become straighter further from the oval

The idea is that the quilting line immediately around the oval shape has the greatest curve.  The lines on either side of this will be more or less in line with the first line, but by having a slightly smaller curve they will fade away to a straight line after a few quilting lines.

I find that the way to sew this straight line filler quilting is to quilt the lines around the shapes first and then go back and fill in the other lines.  That way I find it more easy to keep the curves broadly where I want them.

If you didn’t see the straight line filler quilting in the block above this one, you can find it here.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Longarm Quilting Progress


My longarm quilting progress - stylus quilted diamonds

My longarm quilting progress – stylus quilted diamonds

My longarm quilting progress is so satisfying!  Many of you have been kind enough to ask me how I am getting on with Minnie, my longarm quilting machine, so I have a few photos here of our joint efforts.

Stylus quilting

The first huge quilt that I have completed on Minnie was this one which is queen size.  It’s a reversible quilt so I needed an overall design that would fit with the design on both sides of the quilt.  At the top of the block you can just see the scallops that I alternated with the diamonds.  For the diamonds I used the chevrons on my stylus pattern board once and then went back to the beginning of the row and quilted the same chevrons, but moved along by half a chevron so that the second chevrons combined with the first ones to make diamond shapes.

Stitch in the ditch quilting and flowers

Stitch in the ditch quilting and flowers

Stitch in the ditch quilting

I think I have already shown you the butterfly meadow quilt that I completed on Minnie using a combination of stitch in the ditch quilting with some flowers to fill in the gaps.

This one has already been sold, so let’s hope I can begin to claw back some of the costs of Minnie with some more quilt sales.

Free motionquilted flowers

Free motionquilted flowers

Longarm quilting progress – Free motion quilting

The quilt that I’m working on at the moment was intended to be entirely free motion quilted.  I marked diagonal lines within the squares to give me a guide and then quilted a flower in each of the larger squares.  You can see that my petals aren’t all the same size as each other, but overall I was pleased with how they looked.

Filler quilting

Filler quilting

For the filler quilting in the white parts of the quilt, I used simple loops.  Start with a small loop, then quilt back and forth a couple of times to add progressively bigger loops.  I find that this is an effective form of quilting that really is very easy to do.

The reason that I said this quilt was meant to be all free motion quilting is because I left some of the smaller squares unquilted, thinking that it would suit the design.  However, now I feel that they were slightly too large to leave unquilted and I’m thinking about what to do.  The idea that I’m tending towards is a French knot in the middle of these squares, but I hope I’ll be able to show you the completed quilt next week – along with some more of my longarm quilting progress.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Machine Quilting Sampler-Alternate Stripes


Alternative stripes quilting

Alternate stripes quilting

Alternate stripes quilting is my next choice for straight line quilting on my sampler.  For this design I subdivided the square into nine sections with two lines horizontally and two lines vertically.  Then as usual I stitched the outer edge of the square to stabilise the area.

Using alternate stripe quilting

Using alternate stripe quilting

How to do alternate stripes quilting

There’s no need to mark the lines for alternate stripes quilting – the lines are close enough together to allow you to use the width of the sewing foot as a guide.  Begin in any corner and sew about 1/2″ along the edge of the square, then turn and stitch across the width of the section.  Travel stitch 1/2″ along the edge of the section then turn and stitch back about 1/2″ from the first line.  Continue making lines 1/2″ apart until you have filled that section of the block.

Travel stitch around the corner of the next section to get your needle in place to begin sewing stripes in the next section.  These will be vertical lines, which is how you get the contrast for the alternate stripes quilting.  Keep moving from section to section, changing the direction of the lines within each section.

Uses for alternate stripe quilting

This is a great filler design.  There is no marking required (other than subdividing into sections), it can be achieved with either a darning foot, which I have used here, or with a walking foot if you prefer to use one.  Although I have quilted a square here, you could still use the design if you wanted to fill an area of a different shape – you would just have sections around the edge that were irregular shapes.

Click to see the other blocks of the machine quilting sampler.

Here’s a short video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

Stylus Quilting – Minnies Hidden Talents


 

Stylus quilting

Stylus quilting

Stylus quilting – I don’t know if that is an accepted term, but it’s the best way that I can describe my latest efforts with Minnie, my longarm quilting machine.  I knew that she could do this before I bought her, but this is the first time that I have tried out stylus quilting and I am totally smitten!

Tiles for stylus quilting

Tiles for stylus quilting

What is stylus quilting?

Basically stylus quilting is a wonderful way of producing geometric designs without all the trouble of marking them out beforehand.  Minnie arrived with two sets of tiles with four geometric designs on each side of them.

The tiles are laid out side by side across the table of the longarm frame, underneath the sewing machine.

I'm working on the back of the machine

I’m working on the back of the machine

For this quilt I have been using the third design, the large semi circle.  The black thing on the right of the photo is a plastic stylus that is attached to the side of the carriage that the sewing machine sits on.  The stylus extends down into the groove of the design and then as you quilt the machine has to follow the groove.  No more wobbles in my quilted curvesYou can stick with just the one design or you can do one run of one design and then quilt another design to interact with the first one.  I have already decided that the next time I try stylus quilting I will use the large chevron on one run and then see if I can work it so that the second run begins half a chevron further along.  If I can get it right, that should give me diamonds for the overall design.

The other thing about stylus quilting is that I had to stand on the other side of the frame, behind the sewing machine rather than in front of it.  I was watching the tiles rather than the quilt which was quite a novel experience.

Stylus quilting video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

 

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