I decided to also enter this quilt in the Blogger's Quilt Festival in the professionally quilted category. This quilt was made for my daughter and quilted on my APQS long arm machine. My machine has no stitch regulation and all of my quilting is hand guided. This quilt measures 50 by 50 and was my very first true custom quilted quilt!
Here is a shot of the back - I used Superior's Bottom Line thread so it's truly very subtle.
Some shots in progress...
Thanks for looking! Check out The Blogger's Quilt Festival, participate, and VOTE! :)
So thrilled to be done with this quilt! I've got an incredible stack of quilts that need binding - so I'm going to get working on that in the next day or so. This took me particularly longer because I had to re-time my machine. I'm so glad I did because my stitching is SO much better. On to the next!
I have followed the Blogger's Quilt Festival over the years and never participated...this year I thought I would! I am really proud of my small whole cloth so I thought that it would make a great candidate for sharing. It's not quite a lap and most appropriately considered a wall hanging, so I have entered it into the wall hangings category. If you haven't visited before, go check out the other quilts by clicking here, and at the end of the week vote for your favorite! There are wonderful sponsors and prizes, and most importantly really wonderful quilt inspiration! :)
This quilt measures 33" by 44" and was quilted by hand on my long arm. I did spend about 8 hours just marking the top with water soluble marker. Below are a few in progress photos and a few in the sun so you can better see the detail.
Before I get into my post I just want to take a moment to reiterate the copy rite notice that is clearly visible on this website. It was recently brought to my attention that someone was taking my photographs without permission and using them to promote their own web site.I never watermarked in the past unless it was something that I anticipated would get circulated. Many of the photos I share here are also shared in several of the forums I frequent, and many of those forums don't like the promotion of websites outside of their own so this is just a headache and an extra step I wish I didn't have to take. You are welcome to pin these photos on Pinterest as long as you please link it back here, and nine times out of ten if you ASK me first I will giggle like a school girl and be tickled pink that you want to share my work. I do have a small quilting business that would be grateful for the support and I've worked hard to get to this point in my quilting and would appreciate the credit for my own creations! Thank you!
OK! Back to the quilting! :) I finished my little mini and I'm really happy with it. I was offered many wonderful suggestions by quilting pals and with the help of a heavy hot iron I pressed out the wrinkles in my knot.
Here's the back. I used Sigma thread - had a little bit of knotting. Not the thread's fault, mine for deciding to look up at the tv in the middle of stitching a feather! :) I love the pearly look of this thread.
I'm working on my larger celtic knot quilt but I don't want to share photographs until I make some substantial progress. I did however finally get that video made on feathers! Click below to watch how I make bump bump feathers on the domestic home sewing machine - but be warned I did not do my nails and they are pretty bad. Sorry for that! Also, for the best view click on full screen. :)
I played a little with bias tape and practiced my celtic knot yesterday. It turned out so pretty I decided to make something of it. I'm still not sure what I'll do in the green borders though.
I noticed after appliqueing it down it doesn't seem to like to be wet. I don't care for that crinkly look that's beginning to happen. I'm really not sure how to handle that yet, but I better figure it out before I start the big quilt.
It's a beautiful quiet morning and the kids have headed off to school for the day, my youngest still waking up in her crib. I thought while I had this opportunity I would share some of my project and show you how I chose to piece the curves.
My Current Project - With Pieced Curves
In the past I would piece my curves the traditional way - with two pieces. I would use a template, cut my circular patch and the opposite piece to make it square. No matter how great you are at piecing, it seems that you have to do some finagling to get it just right without stretching the bias or distorting the block. Even when I piece it just right, it looks played with. Of course that look generally disappears with quilting, but I like a nice flat smooth quilt top. I don't like finagling if I don't have to. :)
Instead of "piecing" per say, I applique'd the circle sections with my sewing machine to the triangles that I used to set my mauve square on point. I created a paper template with circles the size I wanted them - remembering to include a little extra room in the setting triangle for seams, as well as a little space so my circles don't butt right up against the seam.
I'm going to cover the raw edges with bias tape, so I used my sewing machine to stitch the half circle directly onto the setting triangle using 1/8th of an inch seam allowance. If I were to applique the raw edge of this piece under I would machine baste the piece to the setting triangle, needle turn the edge under and then remove the basting stitch.
I found and marked the center of my half circle and my triangle, and matched them up. I pinned being very careful not to stretch the bias edge of the triangle. I am also a big believer in Sharon Schamber's method of starching fabric - she starches one side, lets it set, then flips the fabric and presses from the opposite side to force the starch into the fibers of the fabric. Probably other quilters use this method, but I learned it from Sharon so it's hers in my mind. :) Since I began doing it this way I've noticed a big difference, very little flaking off of the surface of the fabric...and when it really matters to me that the grain stay put and not travel every which way I starch pretty heavily.
Once I attach the half circle to the setting triangle I simply trimmed away the excess fabric on the back. I trimmed just shy of 1/4".
Again, being careful not to stretch the bias I attached my pieces to the center square. This is where all that starching is key. It keeps everything neat and tidy.
The finished product. They just turn out really neat and lay really flat and I like that. In the second photo up top I've already begun to add borders. I'm so excited to start playing and embellishing this quilt.
I decided I'm going to do some bead work on this quilt. I have never done that before and you see pretty beads on all these fantastic show quilts - so I've got to try it! I wasn't thrilled with the selection of beads available locally but I'm too impatient to wait and order beads. These were only a couple bucks a pack so I won't feel bad if I decide that I hate adding beads to quilts either. My celtic knots are going to be in gold and brown. I did pick up some all purpose thread to stitch them down but I prefer silk. Jo Ann Fabrics was closed yesterday when I ran out to pick up supplies and their selection of silk thread is limited, so I figured I better buy a couple matching threads just in case they don't have the right color.
Eeep! I'm looking forward to sharing this progress on this one. I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day and is getting some sewing done! :)
Edited to Add: I broke down and bought the silk thread! I happened to get the right cashier at Jo Anns and she let me use three coupons. Shhh!
I'm thrilled to share my tote design was featured on the cover and within the pages of Quilts and More magazine!
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All Images, Text, Free Patterns, and Tutorials Copyright Valerie Smith and are not to be copied or reproduced in anyway without expressed written permission. Tutorials and Free patterns may be printed at home for your own personal use, or for the use with others in a guild or private not for profit sewing group.