Tag Archives: free motion quilting

Since I am still recuperating from the broken bone in my foot, I am still not quite up to speed.  The last x-ray shows that the bone is healing well, and my job now is to concentrate on walking normally.  As the doctor put it – heel to toe, heel to toe.  That is much easier said than done though, but I will eventually get there.

Even in the face of this obvious obstacle, I managed to get some things done in September.  I finished one quilt, pieced another and am almost finished quilting it, finished piecing another king-size quilt and have started putting the rows together for another, and spruced up a doll I bought at a garage sale.

X Marks the Spot

I started this twin-size quilt last year using leftover blocks from another quilt and some yardage leftover from still another and some that I bought at a yard sale.  I didn’t have enough of the either of these yardages to use just one of them as the backing so pieced the backing.  I’m not sure which side I like best.  I also tried out a new pantograph, Wave On Wave, that I was considering using on the king-size Jacob’s Ladder quilts I am making for our children.  I also used the two piece binding that creates a faux piping on the front.

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Chevron Baby Quilt

Our first great-great niece is due December 12.  I thought I better get a head start on making a quilt for the little one, so I inquired as to the colors for the baby’s room.  Gray and white.  Okay.  What about an accent color?  Baby blue.   Oh, dear.  What am I going to do with that?  I have plenty of time to consider this, or so I thought.  Within days after my inquiry about colors, I received an invitation to the baby shower which is October 15.  Luckily the registries were listed on the invitation which I quickly perused as to get an idea as to the theme for the room.  Turns out that almost everything is done in chevrons.  So I quickly went to Pinterest and search for chevron quilt patterns.  Pinterest did not disappoint.  I had a bit of trouble finding geometric prints in gray.  Do you have any idea how many shades of gray are out there?  LOL  After purchasing a fat quarter bundle and three pieces of yard goods, here is the resulting quilt top:

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I am almost through quilting it.  I was going to just quilt it with a pantograph, but this quilt screamed, “CUSTOM!”  It is a simple custom design that I copied from a picture on Pinterest.

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And I’m using the faux piping method for the binding.  Here is a preview:

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I hope the happy parents like it.

Jacob’s Ladder Quilts

As you may have read and/or recall from previous posts, I am making three king-size Jacob’s Ladder quilts.  The first one is completed and was donated as a fund raiser for our local food pantry.  The other two are gifts for our son’s and daughter’s families.  I finished putting the blocks together to complete the second flimsy and have two rows together for the third one.  Here is a reminder of what they look like:

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Another Doll

We happened to go to a garage sale that had an American Girl doll for sale for a mere $10.  I could not pass her up for that wee sum.  They usually are priced for $50 or better.  Turns out that she is Josefina.  But the bottom four inches of her hair was badly damaged.  I tried using conditioner on it to no avail, so I decided to cut and curl her hair and renamed her.  Meet Josie:

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Almost Back On Track

So even though I lost a month of working on the quilts, I am back on track to finishing the two king-size Jacob’s Ladder quilts ahead of schedule and even squeezed a couple of other quilts in there.  And had fun playing hair dresser, too.  You can bet that I’m being extra careful walking.  I sure can’t afford another down month.  LOL

Happy crafting,

Lana

 

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The Quilting Makes the Quilt

I finished the two Maple Leaf throws.  Yay!!!

Here’s the first one:

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And some closeups:

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And now for the second one:

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And a closeup; hope you can see the variegated colors in the quilting:

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I don’t know which is my favorite.  I love them both.  What do you think?

Now on to those three table runners………….

Happy Quilting,

Lana


I am so excited!  I finally found the perfect backing fabric for the Maple Leaf throws.

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So let the quilting begin…………………….

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And I’ve decided to go really bold with the second throw and the table runners.  Up until now I’ve quilted with threads that blend because I haven’t felt my quilting was good enough to let it pop.  But I’m getting braver, and I’ve ordered a variegated thread in autumn colors to quilt an all over pattern called Leaf Pile.  It should be fun.  I hope it’s fun.  Now I’m getting nervous.  Until next time………

Happy quilting,

Lana


Sometime during my twenties way back in the 70s, I started a quilt using a simple Maple Leaf block pattern.  I had read that museum quality quilts were hand pieced and hand quilted.  So I was determined that I was going to make a museum quality quilt.  Oh, did I mention that this was to be my first quilt ever.

Thirty-five to forty years later, I had hand sewn each and every piece together with a 9″ plain white muslin block between each Maple Leaf block giving it a checkerboard look.  There were 99 blocks in all.

So now it’s time to quilt it.   But…….there…….is a problem.  What, pray tell, is the problem you might ask.  Well, I simply do not like this quilt top.  I guess I did when I started it, but it is boring.  All the Maple leaves are turned the same direction.  Somehow I got all the brown leaves together, all the red leaves together, all the yellow leaves together……Well, you get the picture.  What was I thinking?!!

So today in about an hours time, I reduced my quilt top to this.

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Yep, that’s all the blocks separated by colorways into eight stacks.  Wish I had taken a picture before I took it apart.  Oh, well.  So now where do I go from here.  Pinterest seems like a good place to start and did give me some inspiration for these blocks.

I am making two throws – one for my husband and one for me – that will adorn our recliners during the Fall season.  Each throw will have 18 Maple Leaf blocks in it.  Here is the layout.

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Oh, did I mention that I already know how I will be quilting this one?  I usually make the quilt top, put it on my longarm, and stare at it for a few days before I know how I want to quilt it.  So this is a first for me.  No, not taking a quilt top apart to remake it.  I’ve done that before.  It is the first time I know how it will be quilted before I get the top put together.  I would show you a picture of the quilting, but the picture is copyrighted so can’t do that.  So you will have to tune in here at a later date to see.

Until then,

Lana


They are finished!  I finished the last one yesterday and got the labels on all three today.  I sure hope my sisters like them.

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Hope you have a very Merry Christmas,

Lana


I have been very busy the past three months or so doing embroidery work on three quilt blocks that have been include in my sister’s quilts which will be their Christmas presents.  It all started with a quilt top that my mother gave me that her mother had made.  It was one of her first quilt tops – an appliqued Sunbonnet Sue which had 11 Sunbonnet Sues and 2 Overall Bills.  I was at a total loss as to do with this quilt top until I saw a Sunbonnet Sue wall hanging that had 4 Sunbonnet Sues in it and 5 25-patch blocks.  I decided right then and there to divide the quilt top so that my 3 sisters and I would each have a part of Nanny’s quilt top.

It dawned on me very quickly being a math teacher that 13 is not evenly divisible by 4.  And I wanted to use all of the blocks in these 4 smaller projects.  And there was the problem of having the 2 Overall Bill’s.  As luck would have it, the Overall Bill’s had matching Sunbonnet Sue’s, so those 4 blocks would go into one quilt.  Now to divide the remaining 9 blocks into ones that looked good together.

I ended up with a pink and green; light blue, yellow and red; and medium blue, gold and deep red colorways.  Now to find out which sister to give each of them to.  So I polled them.  I gave them a list of the colorways and asked them to choose their favorite.  Luck was with me on this one as they each chose a different one.  Can you believe that?  LOL

Now, as you may recall, I needed 4 Sunbonnet Sue blocks to make each of these wall hangings and I only have 3 for each of them.  So what to do.  I decided to make an embroidered block to fill in.  It was all hand embroidery which I don’t really enjoy doing so had to force myself to work on them.  But after about 3 months the embroidery was complete.  Yay!

Now the real fun begins – quilting the quilt.  Most of the quilt is ruler work with a straight ruler for the cross hatching and various sizes of circle rulers.  I felt somewhat like a contortionist quilting around those circles.  The rest is FMQ.  I have finished the quilting on 2 of them and am working on the hanging sleeves and binding.  Here is a picture of one of the quilted embroidered blocks.

IMG_6445I will do an update to this post when the 3 for my sister’s are completed.  Mine has been put on hold until all the Christmas gifts are done.

Happy quilting,

Lana


Since my blog passed the 1000 hits mark yesterday, I am celebrating by sharing with you how I made the 3-ruffle skirt for Nikki.

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I started by googling for an online pattern or tutorial.  Here is the one that I used as a jumping-off point:

http://www.sweetestbugbows.com/fall-fashion-ruffle-skirt-tutorial/

Of course, this tutorial is written for a little girl’s skirt, so I had to make a few alterations.  Here is what I did:

1.  Measure around your doll at the widest point that the skirt will have to go over.  My doll measured 11 1/2″ at the lower hip (her widest point).  Add 1/2″ to this measurement for ease and 1/2″ for the 1/4″ seam allowances.  My final measurement was 11 1/2″ + 1/2″ + 1/2″ = 12 1/2″.

2.  Measure how long you wish the skirt to be.  I wanted my doll’s skirt to be 5″.  I wanted the top section to finish at 1″.  Then I added 3/4″ for seam allowance and turn down at the top when the elastic is sewn on.  So that measurement was 1″ + 3/4″ = 1 3/4″.  Then I cut the top piece which measured 12 1/2″ x 1 3/4″.

3.  Now I have 4″ left for the ruffles (the skirt length minus the finished length of the top piece; mine was 5″ – 1″ = 4″).  Next divide that measurement by 3 to find determine the finished length of the remaining 3 sections (4″/3 = 1 1/3″).  But how much is 1/3 of an inch?  So I used 3/8″ since it is very close to 3/9″ which is equal to 1/3″.  Now I need to add my 1/4″ seam allowance.  My ruffles need to be 1 3/8″ + 1/4″ = 1 5/8″.  But I don’t want to have a hem.  So I multiplied the ruffle length by 2 so that I could fold them in half making a very nice finished edge.  That means the ruffle piece will be 2 x 1 5/8″ = 3 1/4″.  Okay, the hardest part is done.  Way to go!

4.  I decided that I wanted generous ruffles, so I needed to cut the ruffle 3 times the length of the top piece in step 1.  My top piece was 12 1/2″; multiplying that times 3 gives a length of 37 1/2″.  If you want less generous ruffles, you can multiply by 2 or 2 1/2.  So I cut 3 ruffle pieces at 37 1/2″ x 3 1/4″.

5.  Now for the lining pieces that we will attach 2 of the ruffles to before putting them on the skirt.  In step 3 we determined that the ruffle pieces when folded would measure 1 5/8″.  I didn’t want the lining pieces to show below each ruffle, so I subtracted 1/8″ from this measurement to arrive at 1 1/2″.  The lining pieces are cut the same length as the top piece and a little less in width than the folded ruffle.  Mine were cut at 12 1/2″ x 1 1/2″.

6.  For each ruffle:

  • Sew the short ends together with a 1/4″ seam allowance and press the seam open.
  • Fold  in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press.
  • Gather the double layer of fabric along the long raw edge.

7.  For the top piece and each lining piece:

  • Sew the short raw edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance and finish the seam with your choice of finish.
  • Press the seam to one side.  Tip:  To reduce bulk I pressed the seam of the top piece and one of the lining pieces (this one will be on the bottom) in the same direction and the other lining piece (this one will be in the middle) in the other direction.

8.  Matching up the back seams and using a little less than a 1/4″ seam allowance, baste the top ruffle to the bottom of the top piece.  Baste the middle ruffle to the bottom of the middle lining piece and the bottom ruffle to the bottom of the bottom lining piece in the same manner.

9.  With right sides together and matching up the back seams, sew the top of the middle lining piece to the bottom of the top piece using a 1/4″ seam allowance.  The ruffle will be sandwiched between them.  Finish each seam as desired.  Press the seam up and topstitch 1/8″ from the seam through all layers above the seam so that the seam will stay up when pulling the skirt on the doll.  Repeat these steps for joining the top of the bottom lining piece to the bottom of the middle lining piece.

10.  Now for the elastic waist:

  • Using 3/8″ elastic, wrap very snug around your doll’s waist.  Tip:  You want this very snug because elastic stretches when you sew on it.
  • Cut the length that you decided on.  Overlap the ends and sew with a zigzag stitch.
  • Determine 4 points (the back center, the front center, each side) on the skirt that are equal distances apart.  I did this by using the back seam as center back and folding.  Do the same thing for the elastic.
  • Matching these points, pin the elastic to the right side of the skirt a little less than 1/4″ from the top edge.  Sew along the edge of the elastic that overlaps the skirt while stretching the elastic to fit.
  • Fold the top of the skirt to the inside so that the elastic does not show from the outside.  Stitch along the other edge of the elastic while stretching it to fit.

Congratulations!

You have a beautiful new skirt for your doll.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.  I will gladly help as best I can.

Happy Sewing,

Lana

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