In the Garden This Week-Blanket Flower and Chomping Deer!

Blanket Flower, Gaillardia

 

I am a frustrated gardener this week.  I wanted to plant a variety of mums around my garden, only to find out that they are not hardy in Minnesota and are only planted as annuals!  This was news to me-even though I’ve lived in Minnesota for seven years…

I decided to hedge my purchase by buying three mums (annuals), three asters(perennials), and a Blanket Flower (Gaillardia)(perennial).  I planted them in the evening and by the next morning, the deer had stepped on the mums to reach the asters which they chewed down to base!  The only plant left standing was this lovely flower!  I love seeing the deer in my yard, but…I guess it’s back to the garden center for more (deer resistant) Blanket Flowers!

In blogging news…we have reached the 1000 followers mark!  Woo hoo!  Thank you to all who follow on a regular basis and those who drop by when you can!  We are so grateful to have you spend time at The Inbox Jaunt.   I have so much more to share…tutorials, projects, giveaways, recipes, photos,  surveys…

Also, you may notice that the site looks a bit different right now.  I have moved to a new blogging host and that brings a few new glitches and software for me to learn.  We will be changing our look going forward and I may have to take an occasional day off from posting…but trust me, I’m here–working on NEW things!  As I often say, I am much more comfortable behind my sewing machine than I am behind my computer…Wish me well as I wade through this…

WIP-Home Sweet Home and The Creative Process

Home Sweet Home, Free Motion Quilting

Today is Work-in-Progress Wednesday.  I have so many works in progress that I would need a month (or two) of Wednesdays to show them all.  Home Sweet Home is a theme swirling in my head right now.  I decided it was time to test a few of my ideas on fabric.  Some of these patterns are already tutorials:  See Row Houses HERE, The Townhouse HERE and The Picket Fence HERE.    I am trying to incorporate more lettering in my quilting as well.  I like the personal touch it can add.  Read more about lettering HERE.

Home Sweet Home, Free Motion Quilting

This is a very preliminary piece where I tried to stitch  out some of my ideas.   I also incorporated a few of the doodles from my notebook.   Once I choose a theme for a quilt, I go back and forth between stitching and doodling.  Some of the doodles do not translate well to stitching.  Whenever possible, I create continuous line designs from my sketches.  (Continuous line designs allow quilters to stitch without stopping and knotting. )  Once I have several motifs worked out, I will begin a large quilt.  I never totally pre-plan all of my free motion quilting.  Most of it is spontaneous-using all of my samples (many of which are in the tutorials above.)

Home Sweet Home, Free Motion Quilting

I’d love to hear how you dive into a large project.  Do you stitch, doodle, stitch, doodle like me?  Do you follow a pattern?  Do you stitch a quilt from beginning to end or do you work on several projects at a time?

I am fascinated by the creative process and will be writing more about it in the weeks ahead.

If you would like to share your projects, please send a photo to my e-mail: Lckennedy@hotmail.com.  I will be setting up a Flickr group for all of us to share photos… on My September To Do List

Tuesday Tutorial-The Loopy Leaf

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Good morning, Quilters!  Welcome back to Tutorial Tuesday at The Inbox Jaunt--where every week we add a free motion quilting motif to our collection.  I am sewing on a Bernina 820--a domestic sewing machine with an extra wide harp, but I have sewn all of these motifs on a Bernina Virtuosa 150 with a standard harp size.  ( I have quilted king quilts on my Bernina 150 domestic sewing machine–it can be done!) Of course, all of the motifs can be stitched on a long arm quilting machine if you’re lucky enough to have one… Whatever you have–“Make it work, people!” (Any Project Runway fans out there?)

Before I begin today’s tutorial, I want to remind everyone that all of the Tuesday Tutorials can be found in the Quilts tab above.  There are more than 40 free tutorials for you to try.  Feel free to Pin and share them–for personal use only!  I am very encouraged that many of you are using the patterns in your quilts and I want to thank the quilters who have sent photos of their work to me!  I love to see your creations!

Also, check out yesterday’s post: Peculiar Children–On My Nightstand.  There are several book recommendations from readers in the Comment section.  Several great ideas for books and books on tape–thank you to all who contributed!

Now, without further ado…The LOOpy Leaf!

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Begin by drawing three lines or rails.  In the sample below, the lines are one inch apart, but any size will work. Begin stitching on the middle line.  You may add an optional spiral.  Stitch a curved line toward the bottom rail, then curve back up to the middle rail.  Looks like a shallow bowl…Notice below how the pointy tip of the leaf is achieved…Stop here.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Next, reverse directions and mirror the bottom of your leaf.  This curve does not need to be a perfect mirror image–most leaves in nature are not perfectly symmetrical.  Stop NEAR your first stitches, but do not cross over.   This helps avoid the build up of threads at one point that causes a messy look.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Now stitch next to the first line of stitches until you have room to begin the loops.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

The loops are stitched toward the center “rail”  line, but not over it.  If your leaves are larger or smaller, adjust the number of loops you add.  For the two-inch leaf below, I was able to add three loops on each side.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

After you complete the third loop, stitch into the point of the leaf, reverse directions and stitch parallel to the upper leaf until you have enough room to begin looping again.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Stitch the upper loops and end NEAR your previous line of stitching.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

Now trail back through the center of the leaf and out of the tip to begin the next leaf.  This line can be curvy or straight, but I think it looks best if your are consistent throughout the project.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

I really like the character of this leaf.  It can stand alone or be stitched in a border.  For variation, stitch the leaves at angles instead of a straight line border.  This variation looks great in very wide borders.

Free Motion Quilting Tutorial--The Loopy Leaf

I hope you will all have time to doodle this and then quilt it this week.  August is a very busy month with vacations winding down, sports winding up and everyone getting ready for school…

PS–I have some really exciting Back-to-school motifs I can’t wait to show you!  September is going to be very busy for The Inbox Jaunt— more tutorials, more projects, a  King Arthur Flour cookbook giveaway,  a stencil giveaway, more on threads, tension, doodling, Iphoneography tips…Let me know what you’d like to see….

Stay tuned!  (And tell your friends about us!)

Stitching and Doodling Here in Minnesota,

Lori