Works in Progress–Setting Priorities

Free Motion Quilting, Flowers, Sulky, Bernina

I have so many “Works in Progress” right now that I can’t count them all!  I have always worked that way…I almost never work on a project from start to finish without interruption.

Free Motion Quilting, Flowers, Sulky, Bernina

I am usually very enthusiastic at the beginning of a project and then I find my interest wanes somewhere in the middle.  Often I lose interest because the project isn’t working out the way I’d planned, or I run into some technical difficulty.   Sometimes I just don’t know what I want to do–too many options and I need to give the project time to incubate.  I often get waylaid with a new idea altogether.  New idea–new fabric-maybe a new ruler–quilt shop hopping?  Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Free Motion Quilting, Flowers, Sulky, Bernina

I wish I had a Minion or two to help me in my sewing room—(I’d have them binding quilts–a task I hate!)

Free Motion Quilting, Flowers, Sulky, Bernina

Usually I circle back around on the projects that are the best and deserve my attention, though sometimes it is years later.

Free Motion Quilting, Flowers, Sulky, Bernina

My sister does a regular inventory of her quilts and asks herself this question:  “Which quilts would I be sad if I never had the chance to finish?”

Free Motion Quilting, Flowers, Sulky, Bernina

I think it’s time to clean my sewing room and ask myself that question.

Free Motion Quilting, Flowers, Sulky, Bernina

What about you?  How do you work through a project—start to finish or with many stops and starts?  Are there any quilts in your closet that you would be sad about if you didn’t finish?

Tuesday Tutorial: Townhouses

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

We’re moving!!! Remember the Rowhouses we built a few weeks ago?  (See that tutorial HERE.)  We are moving on to bigger and better things…today, we’re building a Townhouse!  

Before we start, please review the Greek Key tutorial HERE.  We will use it for the windows in our Townhouse.

This tutorial is a bit longer than most of the tutorials.  It is still very easy…don’t worry!  I think it might be useful for you to follow along with pen and paper.  Remember...if you can’t doodle a pattern, you won’t be able to quilt it!

Townhouses are constructed in three parts:  The windows, the door,  and then the roof...

Here’s a storyboard for today’s tutorial:

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Begin by drawing six lines spaced 1/2 inch apart.  These are our  “rails” or guidelines to keep things straight (plumb —for the carpenters out there).  If you are following along on paper, draw these lines with pencil and erase them later.

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Begin on the bottom line and stitch up to the fourth line (this forms the left side of our house).  Stitch two side by side Greek keys to form the windows.

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Stitch down to the bottom line again-forming the right side of the house.  Stitch a few stitches on the bottom line then begin stitching the door frame.  The door frame  is stitched from right to left.  The next several photos depict the door:

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

The door frame is centered under the windows and is stitched on the second “rail”–  (one inch) tall…

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

After completing the door frame, stitch on the inside of that line to create the door.  Stop on the right side of the door and stitch a small loop as a doorknob…

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Stitch down to the bottom “rail” to finish the door and then stitch to the left (under the door)…back to the starting point for the house…

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Next, stitch up the left side of the house next to the first line of stitching… then create the roof as seen below:

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

The roof has a small window which we will create in three steps:

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Stitch a half circle and then stitch on the inside of your circle.

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Stitch a cross in the window.

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Finish at the bottom of the window and continue to stitch to the left side of the house…

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Echo quilt around the roof and down the right side of the house …and you are ready to stitch another house…Amazing!  No stops and startsNO KNOTS!     A One-Pass Townhouse!

Townhouses.2002

Now of course, you can’t stop there…Make a row of houses…Change the windows, add steps, add chimneys, add trees, and flowerpots and dogs and cats and….kids…lots of kids…at least six (like me!)

Townhouses, FMQ Tutorial

Choosing Thread Color

Thread Color

Once again, I would like to welcome all the new followers from around the world who have joined us here at The Inbox Jaunt.  We have been joined by a large group of quilters from France, sent to us by Emma Coutancier of L’Atelier d Emma.  Thank you, Emma!  See her lovely blog HERE.

Today, I would like to discuss thread color choices.  For each project, it is a good idea to do a fairly large sample on the fabric and batting that you plan to use in your quilt.  This will give you a sense of how your thread color will look on the finished quilt.  You will be spending a great deal of time quilting your quilt, so don’t rush this step.

In the samples below, I compared rayon threads of three color types.

For the first sample, I chose a thread that is a shade darker than the fabric.  It blends in well and gives the quilt a slightly darker, heavier look.

Thread Color

Next, I tried a thread that is a shade lighter than the fabric.  It also blends in well, and gives a brighter feel to the project.  I definitely like this better.  The quilting “pops” and you can see the stitching quite well.

Thread Color

My third test was a variegated thread.  I rarely use variegated threads as I think they distract from the quilting line.  However, I  like how it looks in this motif.  Perhaps variegated thread seems more appropriate when stitching leaves and flowers because it mirrors nature.  Also, the choice of variations within the thread makes a big difference.  I tend to like the more subtle transitions of color within the thread.

Thread Color

Finally, I tried my favorite thread–an off white thread.  The quilting “pops” and the pattern is easy to see.

Thread Color

All are good choices depending on the project.  This time,  I am going to break out of my comfort zone a little  and go wild–I will use the variegated thread.

Thread Color

What would you chose?

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