Saturday, April 28, 2012

Modern She Made Swap Finish

In my mini-making-quilts-frenzy I joined 2 Flickr swaps. This is for the Modern She Made Swap.

The criteria for this swap stipulated we had to use a circle, or an interpretation of a circle.
Since I have been on a Drunkard's Path kick, I just pulled fabrics together and started making blocks. These finish at 3 1/2" square. I made a small table topper and used osnaburg cotton on the back. I love the rough, homespun look, as well as the added stiffness. I free-motion-quilted a wavy grid in the center, and swirled the border. I hope my partner likes it!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

AQS Paducah Winners

See the beauty! Congratulations to all the winners, and all the entrants! Thank you for sharing your talents!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

in process

I have been testing and tweaking my pattern for "Stellar", my big scrappy star. I am teaching this in August, so I need to make sure I have all my measurements right, and my directions clear. So far, so good. I just need to figure out how to write my border instructions.
Sorry for the graininess, the finished photo will be better!
The star is made from a Flea Market Fancy fat quarter bundle I bought from Karen Gray. The background is Kona Charcoal. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

April Free Motion Quilting Challenge

This month's Challenge/Tutorial on Insights from SewCalGal is by Don Linn, Mr. Quilt. In his tutorial he showed this really cool way of transferring stitch designs using tulle.
I am late on this, this month, and feeling a bit uninspired. But I watched the tutorial and gave it a shot.

And it was quite easy.

And the results were FABULOUS!

I do not mark much prior to quilting, usually I will mark a boundary or a curve. But this technique opens a lot of ideas for me and I am glad to have done it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

progress report

I had a week in the middle of Maine for work, so no sewing. I have been easing back into my studio since then. Not a ton of progress on any 1 project. Just piddling on several smalls:

Flimsy made from TMQG patriotic blocks:
71" by 67" flimsy made of TMQG blocks & my scraps#quilts
I fleshed this out using scraps from my stash. Currently 78" by 61".

This is the beginning of something I am making for my partner in the Modern She Made Swap group on Flickr:
3.5" Drunkards path blocks.

5 minis completed (using my Trapunto-faux©  technique) [Sarcasm, why yes!]

1. Grey Lark Mini 18" Square
This uses Lark leftovers on gray Kona. This is FMQed using a layer of poly batting over a layer of cotton batting.

2. Rainbow Star 18" Square
I used a variety of prints from my stash, along with Kona solids and the dark gray border is Westminster Manatee. (Love this gray!) I FMQ-ed this with a layer of wool batting over a layer of cotton. I added the button in a fit of whimsy. THIS quilt is for my TMQG partner in our Doll/Mini swap.

3. DS Quilts Doll Quilt Swap (for my partner)
18" square featuring DSQuilts prints with a dash of FMF thrown in for good measure. I FMQ-ed this with a layer of poly over a layer of cotton batting. 

4. Red Flower 16" Square
Prints given to my by a TMQG sista' {hi Sarah!}, Kona Coal solid, FMQ-ed on 2 layers of cotton batting. To be donated.

5. FMF Flower 18" Square

18" Square,Mostly Flea Market Fancy prints playing with some Westminster solids (which feel so good!) and Kona Gray and Snow. I FMQ-ed this on 2 layers of cotton batting. To be donated.

These small projects are really working for me while I am traveling ever 3 weeks for work. But I am getting the itch to finish my king-sized summer quilt. So, who knows? Maybe I'll get back on that!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Last, but not least in the Trapunt-faux Follies

Now I have moved on to my final trial on this journey.
This trial involves a layer of wool batting over my thin cotton batting. [No brand names here, because I buy my cotton batting on sale from a number of places and I just do not remember. And I bought the wool off the bolt at my LQS over a year ago.]
I switched up my thread to using the YLI Soft Touch in top and bobbin. I really LOVE this thread. I really LOVE all the YLI threads I have used. Never a bad spool and they all play nice with both my Baby Lock (which is a bit peculiar) and my Viking Sapphire (which is not). Anyway, I am using a small thread to focus on the effect of the stitching, not the stitches themselves and this fine thread sinks nicely into the fabric. I also had coordinating colors. I like the Aurifil as well, it is excellent quality but I have to order it as there are no retailers near me that carry it. It is also a bit more pricey than the YLI and honestly, I can't tell a difference in my work. 
Back to the trapunt-faux:

This sample was a total joy to stitch. The wool is like air. It has such a nice loft, quilts very flat and springs back wonderfully. That is why wool is so often used by the pro's in show quilts, it has a great memory and does not hold onto creases like cotton! I love the distinction between the more densely quilted parts and the unquilted parts.  

 I really love this one!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pars tres, Trapunt-faux

This sample (Trial 1, for those of you keeping track) has 2 layers of cotton batting. I have played with this combo before, but never to this extent).
Pros: I have a lot of cotton batting scraps so this was a great way to use them up. The 2 layers also gives the stiffness I wanted for these minis. The free-motion stitch shows up nicely, but the cotton just does not give any "pouf". Not a bad effect, just different.

Again this sample has the YLI Soft Touch (60/2) in top and bobbin. No tension issues, stitched fine. Just not very "trapunto-ish". These minis have been so much fun. I am involved in several mini swaps and really enjoy the process. I am also looking forward to the feedback from my partners. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Trapunt-faux, part deux

So, here's what I did:

I did "stitch in ditch" around the borders and figures first. I like how this creates a clean line and contains the free motion stitching. I did a stipple of varying scale, pebbling and curly swirls in my flat areas. All have a similar stitch density from quilt to quilt, but I did not get bored doing the same thing time after time.

First up:  Trials 2 & 3, polyester over cotton. Used Aurifil Mako 50/2 in top, YLI Soft Touch 60/2 in bobbin. All was not sunshine and rainbows! I started with PolyX in the top, but my Baby Lock despises that yarn, so I did some un-sewing. Not having a great week anyway, this made me feel like the universe was out to get me.

But it is quilting after all, I grabbed my brass stiletto and brass seam ripper, a Diet Coke and sat on the deck to rip the teeny-tiny stitches.

Then I pulled up my big-girl pants and went back into the studio.

Trial 2:

Trial 3:

I am happy with the extra "pouf" the layer of polyester gives. I had to play a little with my presser foot pressure, even thought the feed dogs are not engaged, and I am using my open-toed quilting foot, I needed to increase the working space beneath the foot to accommodate the extra height. I just do not like handling the polyester batting. I will say, it is cheap, thin, non-name brand batting from a certain chain fabric/craft store so it is readily available and did not require a huge investment for this experiment.

And to answer why I did not place the extra batting and cut away what I did not want: these are all min quilts, intended to hang. The extra layer of batting lends a nice stiffness for this purpose. I would not do this technique on a bed quilt or wrap quilt, it does make it stiff and I like a nice, soft, cushy quilt to wrap up in!

Next up, wool over cotton. I know you can not wait!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Adventures in trapunto, part 1

I am giving faux-trapunto a try. (Trapunt-faux?) I have researched traditional trapunto a bit, but since I have to learn the hard way, I just layered some battings and off I go.

Here is how I matched up my batting and my mini quilts:

Trial 1 - thin cotton batting - 2 layers

Trial 2 and 3 - thin cotton batting on bottom, polyester batting on top (why 2 like this? 'Cause I have 4 minis, and only 3 combinations of battings)

Trial 4 - thin cotton on bottom, wool on top.

More to come!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

4 mini tops ready to quilt

These 4 minis are ready to layer-baste-quilt. It has been fun to work out a concise design in a short time frame. I am thinking through how to approach trapunto. Should be fun! Not ALL of these will be swapped, 1 of these will, for sure, the other 3 may mine for a while longer. I am in 2 swaps, know one of my partners and haven't received the other partner assignment yet, so he/she may want something different. So, "partner" (wink) which do you think you will get?

Fabric highlights: Lark, by Amy Butler, Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt, Random FQs from a friend, Kona gray, coal and snow, Westminster Manatee. 
The top 2 are my faves so far. I just love the scrappy!
I took these 4 shots with my iphone, put them in a frame with "Pic Stitch" will allowed a light edit, then pulled into Instagram to share and blogged with my mobile blogger ap. All while chain piecing and pressing!

Thanks to Tula!

Tula Pink has created and offered to share this awesome badge:

Get yours at her blog!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mini /doll quilts

Mini /doll quilts, originally uploaded by kheli.
I have been working in a smaller scale since joining in on some swaps.  With some extended travel for work in the near future, I wanted to play with instant quilting gratification. I have 2 of these ready to layer, and need to work out my border on the 3rd. The square in a square is made from my Lark by Amy Butler scraps. One of the modern flowers is Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt, the other is from a stack of FQs gifted to me. Don't know which line, these coordinated well enough for me, they may not have been from the same collection. I am pondering the quilting, and may play with some trapunto. I do have some small pieces of nice wool batting. I hope my partners will like their quilts, I know I do!