Second Annual Machine Quilt-a-Long–A Mystery Sampler

Quilting Fabric, Lori Kennedy

Good Morning, Quilters!

Thank you all for participating in last week’s Open Line Friday about “Sewers, Sewists, Seamstresses, Tailors….”  

It was a fascinating discussion!

CHANGE OF SCHEDULE

Our Mystery Quilt-a-long was so popular last year that I decided to make it an annual project!

For the next several weeks, we will be replacing our “Tuesday Tutorials” with a Mystery Quilt-a-Long!

If you follow along, you will learn

  • new motifs
  • marking techniques
  • thread tips
  • design and composition tips
  • so much more…

In addition, you will have a gorgeous wall hanging for your sewing room (or to use as a gift!)

The only clue I will give you…this sampler will have a nautical theme.

Quilting Fabric, Lori Kennedy

THE QUILT SANDWICH

This week we will focus on the Quilt Sandwich.

The final quilt size will be 16 inches wide by 21 inches long.

Begin with a fat quarter of solid fabric in red, blue or aqua…for the top of the quilt.  

I will be using a Kona cotton fabric from Robert Kaufman fabrics.  I usually purchase my Kona cotton from JoAnn Fabrics or Hancock’s of Paducah.

NOTE-Robert Kaufman only makes one Kona cotton–so it will be great quality wherever you find it.

CHOOSING BACKING FABRIC

I like to use novelty fabrics in my quilt’s theme whenever possible.  For this quilt, I will be using a nautically themed cotton fabric.

I recommend that you avoid batiks and white on white fabrics for the backing.

Batiks and hand dyed fabrics are very tightly woven fabrics and are  harder for the needle to penetrate and make a good lockstitch.  The slight needle deflections can show up as a slightly imperfect stitch.

White on white fabrics have a coating of paint that also cause needle deflections.

Whenever possible I avoid these fabrics just to make things a little easier…

CHOOSING BATTING

For small wall quilts, I like to use Warm and Natural cotton batting.  It tolerates heavy quilting well and remains flat.

Cotton batting also has a natural tackiness and grips the top and backing fabric when the layers are ironed together–no basting required!

PREPARING THE SANDWICH

It is very important to iron all three layers of the quilt sandwich.

Iron each layer separately first.

Next, iron all three layers together.  Check the back and add spray starch to the back to help it glide more easily if desired.

Iron the top layer one last time–everything should hold together.

Quilting Fabric, Lori Kennedy

MARKING THE QUILT SANDWICH

Use your favorite marking tool to draw a 21 x 16 inch rectangle.

(This is not like stitching a 1/4 inch seam…if you are off a little, it will be just fine!)  (That’s what I call “FREE motion quilting!)

I like to use the Clover Chalk wheel for straight lines, a ceramic pencil (Fons and Porter or SewLine) or a Dritz Chalk Cartridge-

All of these marking tools are easy to see, easy to remove, and don’t break too easily.

Quilt Marking Tools, Lori Kennedy

CHOOSING THREAD

We will start stitching next week.

I like to use a heavy weight thread for a bold quilting line.

Some of my favorite machine quilting threads are :  Aurifil 28wt Cotton, Sulky 40 wt Rayon, King Tut- 40 wt Cotton, Magnifico–40wt Trilobal Polyester.

Choose white thread or a light-colored thread for high contrast.

Quilting Thread, Lori Kennedy

In the bobbin, I always use Aurifil 50 wt cotton (orange spool)…It is a fine weight thread, low lint and lock stitches beautifully with slippery top threads like Rayon and Polyester.

(It is much finer weight than Aurifil’s 28 wt cotton (gray spool)–which is better for using on top as a decorative thread.

Quilting Thread, Lori Kennedy

That’s it for this week!

Create a well-ironed quilt sandwich and mark a 16 x 21 inch rectangle.

Choose your threads and we will begin sewing next week.

Happy quilting!

Lori

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

 

 

Looking Back-Open Line Friday

Good Morning, Quilters!

January means cleaning, organizing, new calendars and planning.

First, a moment to look back…

2015 in Review

2015 was a very exciting year for me.

Henry, our first grandchild, was born!  The photo says it all!FullSizeRenderI became a BERNINA Ambassador and started writing posts for We All Sew: We All Sew-Snowman Quilt and Scissors pin cushion tutorialScissors, Free Motion Quilting, KennedyI had a great time writing and filming a Craftsy video. Divide and Conquer:  Creative QuiltingLori Kennedy CraftsyIn April, I represented Sulky at Quilt Market in Minneapolis…would love to do that again–(Hint, Hint…)Sulky Thread, Free Motion QuiltingIn addition, I overcame my fear of public speaking with several speaking engagements and guild lectures;  I was interviewed by Pat Sloan in a podcast and created an  F/W Media Webinar:  Meander no More.

I did a lot of writing too–here at The Inbox Jaunt where we reached 2 million views and in every issue of American Quilter Magazine.

AQ Magazine, LKennedy

All of this was the direct result of YOU– getting the word out about our FMQ community and YOUR notes to companies like Craftsy and BERNINA.  Thank YOU!  None of this would have happened without your support, encouragement and active engagement here at The Inbox Jaunt.!

(of course there’s an even longer list of things that didn’t get done–THE Book was put on hold, most of the quilts I planned to complete, 10,000 steps/day….That’s what 2016 is for, right?….We’ll look forward on next Open Line Friday…)

WHAT WERE YOUR BEST/MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF 2015?

What were YOUR big moments in 2015?

Any babies? Grand babies? Weddings?  Career accomplishments?  Goals achieved? Fears overcome?  Boundaries hurdled?  Events endured? Mountains scaled?

Please SHARE!

We’d LOVE to hear!

When you leave your comment, please consider telling us where you live.

Lori

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

 

 

 

 

FMQ Quick Tip–Throat Plates

ThroatPlate.LKennedy002Good Morning, Quilters!

Recently, I was stitching along and my quilting just didn’t seem right…

The needle had a hard time penetrating the fabric and I thought I had a dull needle.

The real culprit:  I had the wrong needle plate!

Most machines come with a zig-zag needle plate.  The hole is wide enough for the needle to create zig zag or decorative stitches.

However, this is not the BEST choice for Free Motion Quilting or for normal piecing.

The BEST choice is a single hole throat plate.  It supports the fabric better and allows the needle to penetrate the fabric more readily.

This leads to better stitch formation–in other words…PRETTIER STITCHES!

Single Hole Throat PlateOnce I realized the error…

Everything was better.Single Hole Throat PlatePretty stitches!

Hope YOUR stitches are happy today!

Lori

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