Monday, February 20, 2017

Getting Ready for QuiltCon

I can't believe that QuiltCon is almost here, I am so excited to see the quilt show, take some workshops, and most of all meet up with some wonderful quilters.  

I'll be at QuiltCon all 4 days, so if you see me, please stop me and say hi!

I have my buttons ready to hand out...


The four quilts I will have hanging in the show...



I hope to meet as many of you at QuiltCon as I can, come swap buttons with me :) 

During QuiltCon, I will be posting pics to my Instagram account, MeadowMistDesigns if you would like to follow along.







Friday, February 17, 2017

Bonnie and Camille Postage Stamp Quilt

A bright and happy finish for charity today :)

I made this quilt to test out an orange peel quilting pattern I was considering using on another quilt.  I had a made quilt top which had a postage stamp section made in solids and I wanted to test out the orange peel quilting design to see how it would look (and how well I could execute the design).


I made the quilt entirely with 2 ½" square pieces from different Bonnie and Camille (for Moda) collections and I don't think I made even a little dent in my B&C scrap basket :)  I tried to piece the squares as randomly as possible.

I love how all of Bonnie & Camille's prints look so good together.


I typically press all seams open and pin at every intersection.  For speed on this quilt, I pressed all of the seams to the side to nest the seams and did not pin (and my points were surprising pretty decent).

I did have one little oops where two dark red squares were right next to each other.  This was bugging me so I appliqued on a little heart onto one of them 💛 (I stitched the heart down while quilting.)


For the orange peel quilting design, I simply used my free motion foot and working from the top of the quilt to the bottom, making a curve in the fabric square and trying to pass through the seam intersection.

My orange peels were far from perfect but I think that it works for these bright and busy prints.  


I decided that an orange peel was not the way to go for my other quilt.  The squares are all solid and the thread is going to blend with some of the squares and have some contrast with other squares.  I decided that the orange peel design was going to look too busy and that all of my oops and bobbles while quilting would show up too much for my liking.

This quilt is going to be donated through the Greenville Modern Quilt Guild's charity program.

Quilt details:

Size: 32" x 40"
Pattern: Postage stamp made from 2" (finished) squares
Fabrics: Quilt top - assorted Bonnie and Camille fabrics
Quilting: Orange peel design using cream Aurifil thread in 50wt

Thanks for stopping by!



I am linking up to Link a Finish FridayWhoop Whoop FridayThank Goodness Its Finished FridayFinish It Up FridayFabric Frenzy FridaySewjo @ My Go Go Life, and Show Off Saturday @ Sew She Can.





Saturday, February 11, 2017

2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

The registration for the 6th annual New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop is open!  

I was a participant in the New Bloggers Hop in 2014 and then co-hosted the hop in 2015 and 2016.  I have learned so much during the hops (both as a participant and a host) and have made some life long friends from it.  If you are a new quilt blogger, I encourage you to join in!
Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl is co-hosting again this year along with new co-hosts Leanne @she can quilt and Beth @Cooking Up Quilts.
2017 New Quilt Bloggers Participation / Sign Up Criteria
The technical criteria to participate in the 2017 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop is as follows:
  1. If you have been blogging mainly about quilting (this is, after all, the New QUILT Bloggers Blog Hop),
  2. for more than 2 months and less than 3 years,
  3. writing at least 4 posts a month,
  4. are willing to agree to be actively involved in the blog hop through visiting and commenting on the other blogger’s hop posts,
  5. and are willing to participate in the group discussions by signing up to join Slack (available for desktop and as an app for mobile devices).
You can find out more about the hop and register to join on Yvonne's blog.



Friday, February 10, 2017

Meadow Mystery Quilt {My Quilt Top}

The quilt design was revealed for the Meadow Mystery Quilt this month!  I am loving seeing all of the different quilt tops and finished quilts being posted in the Facebook group.

The big reveal parade for all of the finished quilt tops and quilts will be on April 5th-7th :)


Some links for more information:

Link to sign up for printer friendly pdf monthly instructions
FAQ - Reveal parade and prize eligibility

I admit that I made this quilt top back last spring to test out of the mystery quilt pattern and it has been sitting as a flimsy for too long.  I need to figure out a quilting design and get this thing finished!

Here is my finished quilt top... (You can find more info on the fabrics I picked on my post here.)



I am linking up to Link a Finish Friday, Whoop Whoop Friday, Thank Goodness Its Finished Friday, Finish It Up Friday, Fabric Frenzy Friday, Sewjo @ My Go Go Life, and Show Off Saturday @ Sew She Can.






Thursday, February 9, 2017

Five Tips for Successful Domestic Ruler Quilting



I was so excited when Bernina finally released its Ruler Foot! I have been playing around with the foot with a few rulers and wanted to share five tips for successful ruler quilting that I have learned along the way.

1. Rulers

You always want to use a ruler that is 1/4" thick (typically call longarm rulers) and always use a foot designed for ruler work.  The ruler thickness and special foot prevent the ruler from slipping beneath the foot and being hit by the needle.

There are so many awesome longarm rulers out there but they are definitely not cheap. You do not need every specialty longarm ruler made.  Just like regular rulers, you can get by and do most of the quilting designs you would like using just a couple of rulers.  You want to pick a ruler that is easy to hold and not too large for your machine (for example, it might be very difficult to use a large 24" ruler on a smaller throat domestic machine).

I own only two rulers:

1.  12" ruler similar to this HQ Straight Edge Ruler 3in x 12in by Handi Quilter*.  I think that the one foot size is a very nice size.  It is long enough that I can draw most of the designs I come up with without re-positioning the ruler, but is small enough to be manageable.  I quilted the stars in the plus signs using a straight 12" ruler.



2.  The HQ Versa Tool from Handi Gadgets*.  I find that it fits nicely in my hand and I have good control over it.  Plus it has 4 shapes in one.  I quilted the clam shells with this ruler.







2.  Moving the ruler and the quilt together

In longarm quilting, you hold the ruler on the fabric and move the machine head.  In domestic quilting, you have to move the ruler and fabric together against the stationery sewing machine head.

You want to make sure that your ruler and fabric do not slide relative to each other.  The first ruler I purchased had a sticky/tacky strip in the middle which stuck the ruler and fabric together allowing them to move as one.  This worked well for the first few passes, but after re-positioning the ruler a few times, the adhesive gets linty and does not stick as well (then you have to stop quilting, wash and dry the ruler and resume.

Beth from Cooking up Quilts gave me the tip of using Handi Grip Adhesive Grip Strips*.  The adhesive comes in strips that you just cut and stick to the bottom of your ruler.  The grip strips are kind of a combination between sand paper and the hook part of hook and loop Velcro.  I have found this to be a great way to preventing the ruler from slipping on the fabric. They are pretty clear also (you can see them on the clamshell ruler above, those two little squares were all I needed for that ruler).


You also need to make sure that your hands do not slip on the ruler and/or the fabric. When ever I am doing ruler work I use my quilting gloves for extra grip. My favorite quilting gloves are Machingers Sewing Gloves* (I get mine at my LQS but they are available on Amazon too.)




3.  Ergonomics


I think that this might be one of the most important aspects of quilting on a domestic machine with a ruler.  This is going to help prevent aches, stiffness, and fatigue.

When longarm quilting, you can move the longarm machine such that you are pressing down the ruler onto the fabric.  You have good leverage in this position.

Many quilters' domestic machines (like mine) sit on a table and so the machine bed sits higher.  When the bed of the machine is higher than your elbows, it is more difficult and less ergonomic to apply downwards pressure.

If at all possible, lower your machine or raise yourself up so the machine is lower than your elbows.  I put a big pillow on my chair and it helps a lot.


4.  Pressure

How hard do you have to press the ruler against the fabric to make sure that they do not move relative to one another?  How hard do you have to press the ruler against the ruler foot to make sure the foot follows the ruler?  The answer to both of these is probably less than you think.

When I first started ruler work I was pressing super hard to make sure my lines would be perfect with no slipping.  When quilting like this, I would have to stop quilting after 20 minutes because my wrists would start to hurt.  I tested using lower and lower amounts of downward pressure until I found the point where the ruler started to slip against the fabric.  It was surprising less than I thought was needed.

So when you are using your ruler foot, test out a variety of applied pressures on a test sandwich to find how much you really need to use (your wrists will thank you).

Also, you do not (typically) need two hands pressing down on the ruler and moving the fabric.  I have found that it works better if you have one hand on the ruler, one hand on the fabric, move your hands together.


5.  Hand position

Another thing I did when I started ruler work was to try to always quilt an entire shape without moving my hands off of the ruler.  I was convinced that if I lifted my hands, the ruler would move and my quilting would be messed up.  This caused some awkward movements, bad ergonomics, and sore wrists.

I have found that with the needle down on the sewing machine and the grip strips on the back of the ruler, I can lift and re-position my hands with little to no movement of the fabric and ruler relative to the needle.

For example, when I quilted the clamshell shapes, to start each hump I had my right hand on the ruler and my left on the fabric.  Then I stopped at the top of the hump and rearranged my hands so that my left hand was on the ruler and my right was on the fabric.  This made quilting easier and more accurate for me.




Do you have any tips and/or learnings about ruler work on a domestic machine?  Please share your knowledge in a comment below, thanks!

* This post contains affiliate links

I am linking up with Let's Bee Social at Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at Kelly @My Quilt Infatuation, and Tips and Tutorials Tuesday @ Quilting Jetgirl