I would like to welcome all the new quilters that found us this week! Welcome to The Inbox Jaunt! It seems we received a very nice recommendation from quilt-fiction author, Marie Bostwick. You can find her on Facebook HERE or find her books HERE. Thank you to Marie, and all her fans who have joined us! Also, thank you to those of you who mentioned how you found us– I am always curious!
Like most Free Motion Quilt enthusiasts, I have tried every product that claims to aid in creating even stitching… I have used aloe on my fingers, small red hoops…and the dreaded white gloves…
Why do I say dreaded? I know a lot of you love them– But you have to admit…every time you don them—your nose begins to itch, your phone rings, or you have to go to the bathroom…
They drive me crazy! I get claustrophobic just thinking about them! ( I do use one white glove on my right hand for pin-basting large quilts–when my hand gets sore from pinching the pins closed.)
There are only two products that I really love for free motion quilting: The Supreme Slider (read about that HERE) and Viking Husqvarna’s Free Motion Guide Grip. Viking’s Guide Grip is larger than other hoops and because it is not a full circle hoop, it is easier to move during stitching. The curved handles are very comfortable for my hands–(allowing my hand muscles to relax) and the two rubber strips on the bottom of the guide hold the quilt beautifully—No need for hot and sticky little white gloves!
I purchased my hoop for $50 at JoAnn fabrics several years ago–and I really think my quilting is improved because of it. (JoAnn’s sells Viking sewing machines.)
Here is Viking’s Website: Husqvarna Viking
While this post may sound like a commercial–I am not affiliated with Viking in any way…just thought I’d pass along one of my favorite free motion quilting products–My Secret Weapon!
Don’t forget to visit the Tabs above, including the Quilts/Tutorials and the Bookshelf…I have been updating them…lots of news you can use!
I like to keep a file of colorful photos to use as a starting point for most of my quilts. Color experts design magazine pages, so why not learn (or steal?) from them?! As I am planning a new quilt, I go through this file. Usually one of the photos will jump out…
Then I go to my stash and see if I can pull fabrics to match the photo.
It is important to add all the colors in the photo-as sometimes it is the small accent color that makes all the difference in whether or not a quilt “pops”. Also proportion is important here. For example, there is only a small amount of the rose-flower color in the photo, so that might give you a clue to use only a small amount of rose pink in your quilt.
After I have found all the photos colors, I audition fabrics from my stash that might blend well. I add transition fabrics and fabrics that are lighter and darker.
This becomes the quilt stash. Each block is made from these fabrics only. As I progress making blocks, I constantly put them up on a design wall. If my quilt is not “singing”, I refer back to the original photo. I check to see if I have all colors and in similar proportions and that usually does the trick.
So start shredding your magazines, and start your own color file. Give this little tip a try the next time you are making a block or a quilt!
An Orphan Block is an affectionate name given to a block that is all alone in the world. It might be an extra block leftover from a larger quilt. It might be a practice block–a block made in order to learn a technique…Most quilters have a box full of orphan blocks–too pretty to throw away…I probably have two boxes full (I have been quilting longer) If that wasn’t enough, I actually purchased the center block of this quilt! (For the non-quilters out there–I purchased just the inner square–the green and blue pin wheel part of the quilt below.) Sometimes I think I’m crazy, but it was at an auction and it was for a good cause…
I then challenged myself to turn that center block into a quilt…
By setting the center square “on point” I was able to achieve a nice balance.
I used stencils for the feathered circles and the feathered corners.
The most time-consuming part was picking the colors and the layout. I used my digital camera to test several options–this is very helpful when laying out blocks.
So dig out those Little Orphan Annies and see what you can do!
Don’t forget to leave a comment on The Valentine’s Day giveaway.
I am greatly enjoying all the suggestions for new posts and will answer ALL of the questions…
Whenever I want to try a new technique or have an “orphan” block, I like to make what I call a vase quilt.
This pattern is called Dresden Plate by Edyta Sitar. I liked the fall colors in the block, so I added a few simple borders–an opportunity to practice free motion quilting– and in just a few hours I had a Fall Vase Quilt.
I was disappointed that the pattern in the gold fabric, didn’t allow the elaborate acorn and leaf pattern to show through clearly.
A solid fabric is a better choice when sewing complex free motion quilting patterns or when you want your quilting lines to be the star.
It was a fun small study--a quilting etude- (sounds more important that way?!) and a great way to use a practice block. I’m sure all of the quilters out there have a few blocks that could become a lovely “vase quilt”!
I’d love to see them….