The Mystery Quilt-a-Long…Early Clues

Marking a Grid for QuiltingGood Morning, Quilters!

Welcome to Week 2 of The Inbox Jaunt’s Mystery Free Motion Quilt-a-Long!

Last week, we chose and pressed our fabrics.

We also cut our batting and made a quilt sandwich.

Read the first week directions HERE.

Today, we will begin stitching our quilt!

(NOTE-Do not be intimidated by the “wordiness” of these directions–the stitching is very simple and logical.)

First…a little marking.

Marking a Grid for Quilting

MARKING A GRID

Use your favorite fabric marking tool (Read about marking tools HERE and HERE.)

On the long side of the fabric (22 inch edge), draw a line one inch in from the edge.

Draw five more lines, three inches apart.   

For future reference, number these lines 1-6.

Next, rotate the fabric and draw a straight line one inch in from the short edge.

Draw five more lines, four inches apart.

Label these lines A-F.

The grid is 5 boxes by 5 boxes:   Each block in the grid is three inches wide and four inches long.

Marking a Grid for Quilting

THREAD CHOICES

We will frequently discuss thread as we move forward with this project.

For the stitching today, choose any thread that complements your quilt fabric in a 40 or 50 wt.  High contrast for this step is best.  (I will be using white Sulky Rayon 40 wt on top and Aurifil 50 wt cotton in the bobbin with a Size 90 Topstitch needle.)

Stitching the Grid

STITCHING THE GRID

Using the  plain Zig Zag free motion quilt tutorial  (Scroll down the Operation Zig Zag tutorial to find the plain zig zag), stitch over each drawn line.  (In the tutorial, The Zig Zag is stitched between two lines...in this project, simply zig and zag over one drawn line.)

Stitching the Grid

GENERAL STITCHING ORDER

Each line of the grid is stitched from top to bottom then echo-stitched back from bottom to top.  Tie off every row before beginning the next.

The long lines are all stitched first, beginning with a middle row and continuing with all the rows right of center.  The quilt is rotated 180 degrees and beginning in the center, the rest of the long lines are stitched.

The short lines are stitched next, beginning with the middle row and working all the short rows right of center.  The quilt is rotated 180 degrees and the rest of the short lines are stitched from the center to the sidelines.

Stitching the Grid

The Long Lines 1-6

Stitch the long lines first.

Start on the top of the middle line –Line 4…

Stitching from top to bottom, zig and zag over the line.  At the bottom, echo stitch back to the top.  Knot off.

Stitch Line 5 then Line 6 in the same way.

Next, Rotate the fabric so the bottom is now the top.

Stitch Line 3 from (the new) top to the bottom.   Echo stitch back up and knot off.

Stitch Line 2 and then Line 1 in the same way.

Stitching the Grid

The Short Lines A-F

Stitch the short lines in the same way.

Stitch Line D from top to bottom, echo back to the top and knot off.

Stitch Line E then Line F, the same way.

Stitching the Grid

Rotate the quilt so the top is now the bottom.

Begin quilting Line C from (the new) top to the bottom, echo back and tie off.

Stitch Line B, then Line A in the same way.

Voila! Done with the Grid!

Stitching the Grid

WHY DO WE QUILT IN THIS ORDER?

I’m so glad you asked…

This is the first step in quilting EVERY quilt–

STABILIZE the long and short axes to prevent distortion.

In large quilts, stabilizing can be done using a straight stitch and a regular foot– “In-the-ditch”

or with a small zig zag or curvy line and a free motion technique.

This sewing order minimizes quilt distortion and will keep any size quilt square.  

DESIGN

A grid is the most common composition in quilting design.  The balanced elements provide unity to the composition and are always pleasing to the eye.  A Grid is a great place to begin any new design.

DAY TWO LESSONS/PRACTICE:

  • Quilt Marking
  • Free Motion Quilting including The Rick Rack Stitch and echo stitching.
  • Stabilizing a Quilt
  • Design:  Composing with a Grid

OTHER NOTES 

Practice the Zig Zag on one of the practice sandwiches before stitching on your Mystery Quilt.  This will get you warmed up for stitching and allows you to make tension adjustments.

BY NEXT WEEK

  • Draw the grid.
  • Quilt the grid.
  • Begin looking through your thread…Open Line Friday is about Thread Organization.
  • Also, if you haven’t already done so…clean and oil your machine and put in a new needle…Topstitch needles are my FMQ Favorite.

A NOTE ABOUT QUESTIONS

I will answer all the questions at the end of the day. 

The intrigue continues…

SherLoCK

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

The Sand Dollar-A Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

The Sand Dollar, Free Motion QuiltingGood Morning, Quilters!

With temperatures dipping below zero in Minnesota, and schools closed because of extreme weather, perhaps a little “Sea Shore” Quilting will help warm our thoughts (if not our tootsies!)

For the next few weeks we will be working on a variety of sea shell inspired motifs.  Each of these patterns, are pretty enough to use on any quilt-not just Nautical or Summer Quilts.

The Sand Dollar free motion quilt motif can be used as a border (see below) or as an all-over or fill pattern.

The Sand Dollar, Free Motion QuiltingTHE SAND DOLLAR FREE MOTION QUILT MOTIF

If stitching the motif as a border, draw two lines or “rails” to keep the motif tidy.  (Or use the seam lines of the border as guidelines.)

Stitch a spike at an angle and echo stitch back.

The Sand Dollar, Free Motion QuiltingStitch two more “spikes” at an angle into the Sand Dollar.

The Sand Dollar, Free Motion QuiltingStitch along the bottom line several stitches beyond the spikes.

Curve up around the spikes.

The Sand Dollar, Free Motion QuiltingStitch up two stitches:

The Sand Dollar, Free Motion QuiltingThen echo stitch back to the bottom line.

The Sand Dollar, Free Motion QuiltingStitch over a few stitches, then add three more spikes for the next Sand Dollar.

The Sand Dollar, Free Motion QuiltingKeep adding in this way to create the border.

To create a Fill or All-over pattern, echo stitch over the Sand Dollar to the next layer and add a Sand Dollar in the groove between Sand Dollars.

The Sand Dollar, Free Motion QuiltingAdd a third echo stitch line over any of the Sand Dollars to change directions…

This will make more sense as you stitch.

The Sand Dollar, Free Motion QuiltingThat’s it–The Sand Dollar-the first of our Sea Shell Series.  Each one will stand alone–or we will be able to combine them for a very interesting and complex design.

THE MYSTERY QUILT-A-LONG CONTINUES 

Last week was Week One of the Mystery free motion quilt-a-long.  Read more HERE.

Tomorrow–we begin stitching!  (We’ll be talking about thread before we start tomorrow…)

See you then!

Signed,

Lori and Sally      (Sally of seashore fame)

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin, tweet with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!