How to Machine Quilt a Candle-Tuesday Tutorial

Lori Kennedy Quilting, FMQ, Candle

Good Morning, Quilters!

Whether you are celebrating Advent or Hanukkah, candles are central to the holiday season.  Today, we will learn to machine quilt a candle.  This tutorial works whether you are stitching on a domestic sewing machine–like I do, or on a long arm.  Candles are great border motifs, or stitch a single candle or several candles together in the center of the block.

Christians celebrate Advent-a quiet time of preparation and waiting.  We light four candles on each Sunday of Advent.  The candles represent the light coming into the world as we prepare for Christ’s birth.  Read more at Loyola Press.

For Jews, Hanukkah is a celebration of the victorious Maccabean Revolt and the rededication of the Temple.  During the celebration, the candles are lit on eight nights to represent the miracle that one days worth of oil lasted eight days.  Read more at My Jewish Learning

HOW TO MACHINE QUILT A CANDLE

Begin by drawing two parallel lines.  In the sample below, the lines are 3/4″ apart.

Machine Quilting, Candle, Lori KennedyBegin stitching on the bottom of the candle.  Stitch the left side of the candle, then stitch a small eye shape.  Leave a small gap on the left side.

Lori Kennedy quilting, Candle

Curl in and stop at the center.  Stitch a small straight line extending above the oval.

Lori Kennedy quilting, Candle

Add a flame shape and a smaller flame inside of the first one.

Lori Kennedy quilting, Candle

 

Stitch down into the oval and to the left side of the candle.
Lori Kennedy Quilting, FMQ, Candle

Add a wavy line of dripping wax.

Lori Kennedy quilting, Candle

Stitch the right side of the candle and add a curved line from right to left.  Echo stitch the line.Lori Kennedy Quilting, FMQ, Candle

Add another line from right to left and echo stitch back to the right lower side of the candle.  Begin the next candle in the row..

Lori Kennedy quilting, CandleAdd candles to a wreath, Menorah, a birthday cupcake!Lori Kennedy Quilting, FMQ, Candle

The only trick to machine quilting a candle is to begin with a drawn line or a ruler to keep the edges straight.

I can see this on any holiday or celebration quilt.

How will YOU use the Candle FMQ Tutorial?

We’d LOVE to hear!

Lori

You might also like How to Machine Quilt a Dreidel HERE

PS…If you like these motifs and tips, be sure to check out my book, Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 or any of my Craftsy Videos!

PPS…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 or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

 

 

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Invisible Thread-Open Line Friday-We Need YOUR Advice!

Invisible Thread, Quilting Tips

Good Morning, Quilters!

Do YOU know what the photo above is?

It’s Invisible Thread!

LOLOL

(The hardest part about blogging–you can’t tell if YOU have the same lame sense of humor that I have!?)

Last week, a reader asked about invisible thread and I thought we needed The Whole Group’s help on this one.  (10,000 heads are better!)

WHAT IS INVISIBLE THREAD?

Well, it’s thread you can’t see…

When used for machine quilting, one notices texture and the motif, not the thread.

Invisible thread can be used for top and/or bobbin thread.

Usually, invisible thread is another name for monofilament thread.

WHAT IS MONOFILAMENT THREAD?

Monofilament thread is a single, (mono) extruded line of nylon or polyester.  (Think of a garlic press with one very tiny hole…Press down and you create monofilament garlic-yum!)

Monofilament usually comes in two colors: clear and smoke…(Hmmm….how does that work–invisible colors???)

NYLON v. POLYESTER MONOFILAMENT

The quilting debate:  Which is better nylon or polyester monofilament thread?

Advocates for nylon say nylon has a better “hand”-it is softer and machines like it better.  A few popular nylon monofilaments include: Aurifil 1000 Invisible   YLI Wonder Invisible Thread,

Advocates for polyester say nylon stretches too much, can be brittle and sometimes turns yellow.  Polyester monofilaments include:  Sulky Invisible and Superior’s MonoPoly

MY EXPERIENCE WITH MONOFILAMENT

When I first started machine quilting, my favorite quilter, Diane Gaudynski, frequently used monofilament thread for her award-winning quilts. Naturally, I experimented with monofilaments.  Unfortunately, my sewing machine HATED the monofilament and I needed to have my machine serviced after using it. I was stitching on a BERNINA, just like Ms. Gaudynski–so it must have been user error.  I don’t remember if I was using nylon or poly.  Ever since then, I have steered clear of monofilament thread.

Whenever I wanted an “invisible thread” I used a thread color that matched my fabric.  Superior MicroQuilter Thread

A NEW ADDITION TO MY THREAD BOX

Recently, I tried Superior’s new thread line, MicroQuilter.

MicroQuilter is 100 wt polyester thread and my machine LOVES it!

The thread is very fine and almost invisible like monofilament, but behaves like a well-mannered polyester!

While I was teaching at The John Campbell Folk School, several students tried it and loved it too.

BERNINA, Lori Kennedy

OPEN LINE FRIDAY–SHARE YOUR “INVISIBLE” THREAD FAVORITES

It’s important to understand that one of the criteria for choosing a thread is:   Does YOUR machine like it?

We all have different machines and we all work a little differently.

Threads that work for Diane Gaudynski do not work for me…What works for me, may not work for you…

Don’t be discouraged if a new thread isn’t working.  Give it to a quilt friend and try something else!

Half the challenge (and fun) of learning machine quilting is finding YOUR favorites!

What about YOU?

Do YOU use invisible thread?

What brand?  Nylon? Polyester?

Do YOU use something else?

We’d LOVE to hear!

Your Thread Maven,

Lo   (the other letters are invisible)

PS…If you like these motifs and tips, be sure to check out my book, Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 or any of my Craftsy Videos!  

PPS…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 or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

 

 

 

 

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Doodling Trees and Designing a Quilt Block

 

How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori KennedyGood Morning, Quilters and Doodlers!  (and maybe a few Zentanglers!)

I hope you had fun doodling Christmas trees last week.  Trees are a simple design and can be decorated in so many ways.

(Tree Doodles are HERE)

This week, let’s combine the trees in compositions to create either a quilt block or a whole cloth doodle quilt!

The easiest composition is one central motif with a background.

Choose one motif to fill in the tree and one for the background.  Add a third motif in the foreground for more depth.

Try a few gumdrops for brain fuel…I think peppermint is supposed to make one smarter?  (The things that make one more creative aren’t very healthy!)

How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori Kennedy

Create a horizontal composition by doodling a row of trees and several rows of other motifs.


How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori Kennedy

Another one of my favorite compositions is the radiating composition.  

Place the trees along the diagonal and straight axes.  Fill in with a background motif or leave the background plain.How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori Kennedy

 

The most complex looking is the overlapping horizontal composition.

It looks complicated, but it is easy!

First add the lowest row of trees.

Add a wavy line that connects just below the tip of each tree.

Draw the second row of trees on that line.

Repeat with as many rows as needed to fill the page.

We’ve had so much peppermint by now–it was a breeze, right!?

Once you have the basic composition doodled, decorate the trees and the background.

How whimsical!  (and easy!)How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori KennedyAdd more gumdrops and peppermint sticks to keep the ideas flowing…

How to Doodle a Christmas Tree, Lori Kennedy

When you run out of candy…well, the gig is up!

So either buy a big bag of gumdrops or chew slowly!

Remember, if you have fun when you’re quilting, your quilts will be fun!

I’ve got to go for a walk…

Your candy hound quilter,

Lori

If you like these motifs and tips, be sure to check out my book, Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 or any of my Craftsy Videos!  

(My Craftsy video: Divide and Conquer-Creative Quilting for Any Space includes several compositional styles and examples of quilts in each style.)

PPS…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 or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

 

 

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