WIP. Stencil Tips. And a Giveaway!!!

Shamrock Quilt, Geranium Stencil, The Stencil Company, Free motion quilting

This week I am working on a few colorful projects.   This stencil, from The Stencil Company, is called “Geranium“.  However, if I stitch it on green fabric, I think it will pass as a shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day.

Shamrock Quilt, Geranium Stencil, The Stencil Company, Free motion quilting

I like this stencil because it can be used in six ways:

  1. It can be stitched as is-with a cross-hatch center and leafy outer border
  2. It can be stitched with the cross-hatch center and your own “doodle” design in the outer border.
  3. The outer leafy border can be quilted around a pieced or appliqued block.
  4. This stencil can be used to draw just the inner and outer square–leaving a blank slate for doodles–easier than using rulers.
  5. Individual leaf/flowers can be repeated in a row to make a geranium border.
  6. Finally, the cross hatch pattern can be used as the “rails” for other designs…again much easier than using a ruler.  I will add a tutorial on this in an upcoming post.

Shamrock Quilt, Geranium Stencil, The Stencil Company, Free motion quilting

After I draw the stencil as it is cut…I trace over the lines and fill in the gaps.  This makes the lines easier to follow while free motion quilting.  Also, it helps plan out the stitch order and understand the design.

Shamrock Quilt, Geranium Stencil, The Stencil Company, Free motion quilting

Once I finish drawing the stencil, I will make the “quilt sandwich”.  Finally, I plan to audition a few thread/needle combinations.

Shamrock Quilt, Geranium Stencil, The Stencil Company, Free motion quilting

Now for THE BEST part…sharing with YOU!  The Stencil Company is going to provide two “Geranium # SCL-513″  to TWO lucky readers of The Inbox Jaunt!

Here’s the deal:  In order to be entered into the drawing–simply answer the following three questions in the Comment section.  Entries will be accepted through Saturday, February 9th and the winners will be announced on Monday, February 11th.  (If you are not a quilter–don’t worry,  we’re offering a Shamrock Doodle Quilt giveaway before St. Patrick’s Day!)

The Questions:

  1. Do you know how to set your machine for free motion quilting?
  2. How many total hours have you spent free motion quilting: Less than 20 hours, Between 20 and 100 hours, more than 100 hours.
  3. What is the hardest part of free motion quilting for you?

That’s it!  There are several more stencil tutorials to come, and The Stencil Company will be offering several more giveaways through The Inbox Jaunt...so check in often!

You might also like this post on stencils.

The Sweetheart Border

Sweetheart Border, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Today’s motif is the Sweetheart Border.  It is fun to use for Valentine’s Day, but it looks great as a border on any “girlie” quilts.

Sweetheart Border, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

I like to start by drawing two parallel lines to serve as guidelines or “rails”.  For this tutorial, the rails are one inch apart, but any size that suits your quilt will work.

Sweetheart Border, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Starting on the bottom rail, curve up and to left, then circle around toward the top and back down again.  This is the left side of your first heart.

Sweetheart Border, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Stitch back down again, trying to mirror the left side of your motif.  Do not worry if it’s not perfect–that’s what gives free motion quilting it’s character–it is not machine perfect!

As you reach the bottom rail–curve back up, creating the left half of the “upside down” heart…

Sweetheart Border, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Mirror the other half of the upside down heart—

Sweetheart Border, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

And you are ready to go again!

Sweetheart Border, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

Once you develop a rhythm, you will finish an entire row in a heartbeat!

Sweetheart Border, Free Motion Quilting Tutorial

I hope you will LUV this pattern as much as I do!

Tuesday Tutorial–Let’s Twist Again

Twist Again, Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

I hope you are still singing a happy tune, after a twisting tutorial last Tuesday…If you thought that was fun, wait until you give this a twirl…(okay, enough with the T’s…)  This border and filler design looks much harder than it is…I promise!

Start by drawing your “rails”. These rails are one inch apart.  Begin stitching on the bottom rail and stitch upward at a slight angle to the top rail. Stop.  Stitch a few stitches along the top rail and to the left…Stop here…

Twist Again, Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Next, stitch back to the bottom rail–angling slightly…

Stitch to left, along the rail again…

TwistAgain002

Then repeat…

Twist Again, Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

Here are the three steps…

Twist Again, Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

You may choose to space the twists…this is a great border…

Twist Again, Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

or bring the repeats close together creating a complicated looking Diamond Pattern Border.

Twist Again, Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

The final variation for your consideration today:  place a small twist in between each large twist…let’s call it the Bow Tie Border...(I’m making these names up as we go along–so if you have any better suggestions speak up!)

Twist Again, Free Motion Quilt Tutorial

The Twist and The Twist Again make great borders, but will also fill odd spaces nicely….hmm…I’m thinking of a few more tutorials on how to use all of these patterns…

Please give these twists and turns a try before next Tuesday’s Tutorials on Tabletopper Tangles (just kidding…)