Do You Hate to Mark your Quilts? Open Line Friday Q & A

Quilt Marking toolsIf you’re like me, once you finish a quilt top, you want to start quilting as soon as possible.  I hate sewing the back of a quilt.  I dislike basting a quilt, and I will do anything to avoid marking my quilts.  I use the seam lines from piecing as my “rails” whenever I can, and I often design free motion quilt patterns that fit within each block.  However, some marking is usually necessary.

Quilt Marking tools

I have a few tools that I regularly use.  I like stencils for drawing parallel lines.  I use SCL-461-00 and SCL-457-10 from the Stencil Company frequently and I use these vintage yardsticks regularly as well.  They are great for the long straight lines.

Quilt Marking toolsI also like this triangle engineering ruler I found at an office supply store.    It’s easy to grip while drawing around.

Quilt Marking toolsOn all of my quilts, I use a system I call Divide and Conquer.  You can read more about Divide and Conquer HERE.

Quilt Marking toolsI begin by drawing a square in the middle of the quilt–or a rectangle for rectangular quilts.  Then I divide the square into quarters, and then divide the square diagonally…see image below.  Next I add a few borders…

Quilt Marking toolsAnd then I pull out my rulers (I have many odd shapes I’ve collected over the years) and I continue to subdivide the space.  On a large quilt, I will draw a few borders around the edges and a few squares in the center of the quilt and then I begin quilting.  I divide the space more as I go along.

Quilt Marking tools

In a small quilt like  The Valentine Quilt (see HERE and HERE)  and the Shamrock Quilt HERE and HERE.  The Pumpkin Quilt –-see that quilt HERE--I drew a few round shapes around the square so that I can see that they are fairly evenly space and to make sure the composition appears balanced.  That’s it!  I look at my sketchbook or my samples and I begin quilting.  When I run out of ideas, I go back through my samples…

Quilt Marking tools

My goal is to keep the quilting balanced in each of the sections.

Quilt Marking tools

This minimal marking method works well for me.  What do you do?  How do YOU mark your quilts?  I’d love to hear!!

Thank you to all who participated in last week’s Open Line Friday discussion about marking pens and pencils.  I have placed an order for several new markers to try!

Happy quilting,

Lori

We have a lot more quilting in November!  We are going to work on a series of “Winter Leaves”  and next Friday we’ll be discussing needles!    Let me know if there is anything YOU would like to talk about on Open Line Friday–when it comes to quilting…I can talk all day!

This Week’s Tutorial-The Basic Leaf

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting TutorialGood Morning, Patient Quilters!  Sorry about the delay this week.  A little busy here at the Kennedy household…

Minnesota trees are in full color right now and I am inspired every time I look out the window.  In honor of the season, I am offering The Basic Leaf.

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting TutorialStart by drawing three “rails”.  In the sample below, the lines are one inch apart.

Begin stitching on the middle “rail”.  Stitch a curved line and stop on the middle rail.

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Reverse direction and stitch the mirror image back to your starting point.  (Leave a small gap–see photo below.)

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Next, stitch a squiggly line to create the veins on the left side of your leaf.  Keep the lines away from the center line.

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

At the top of the leaf, stop and then stitch a straight line down the center rail.

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Stitch the right veins with the squiggle stitch.  Then stitch out of the leaf and you are ready to begin the next leaf in the row!

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

For variation- replace the squiggle lines with pointy lines.

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

This motif is a great leaf on ANY quilt.  The leaf is a classic motif.  It can look modern and it can look traditional.

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

After you complete the row of leaves, experiment with filling in the open space.

In the photos below, I added a few curls and swirls.

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Each one is a little different, so I can’t do a tutorial on it, but if you would like I could design a repeatable pattern for a tutorial.  Try a few variations.  See what you come up with–and post them on Flickr HERE!–Perhaps a challenge???

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Have fun with this design, and try your own variations within the leaf as well!

The Basic Leaf Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Happy Halloween!

Lori

PS-All designs, photos and tutorials are copyrighted by Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt.  Feel free to pin and re-blog with attribution.  Commercial use requires permission from the author.

Tuesday Tutorial-Postponed

Free motion quilting, yellow, flour-de-lisGood morning, Quilters!  Usually I find that creative deadlines are very helpful.  At other times, it seems one can’t rush the creative process. (Last time I did, I stitched through my finger!)  I find that I must post pone today’s tutorial until Thursday–but I promise it will be worth the wait!

Thanks for understanding,

Lori

PS…Until then, check out all of the other tutorials HERE–and see what’s on Flickr HERE