Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Couple Moe Customer Quilts

I finished a couple more customer quilts that were very nice.  Now I'm taking a break from customer quilts and finally quilting my brown quilt.  It has been waiting for over 2 years to be quilted.  I took pictures of the quilt in black and white, drew different design ideas on the photo and now it's on the machine and ready to start in the morning.  I'll post pictures along the way if I remember.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Customer Quilt

Quilt is done.  I had a hard time getting a good photo of the quilt.  It's such a dark dreary day that even with a lot of lights on the quilt, the quilting barely shows.  The thread used on the quilt was several shades darker than the fabric.  I tend to use that as a rule of thumb on most quilts.  A little darker stands out but doesn't overpower the quilt with a thread look. 

I'm already on to the next customer quilt and really scratching my head about this one.  It's black and gold and even though it's a classic pattern the fabrics are not.  I have already looked through hundreds of photos and several books trying to decide on a quilting design.  Sometimes the most frustrating part of the quilting is the decision making process of what to do.  I often think it's best to start with one idea, quilt it, and then see where it leads.  So I'm off to the studio with my one idea :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Customer Quilt

Sometimes I get carried away with the quilting.  This is one of those quilts.  It's beautiful and with so much 'plain read' areas there was a lot of beautiful quilting that could be done.  I decided to try a new border design.  I'm using curved crosshatching in a chocolate kiss shape!  My hope is when the quilt is taken off and looked at as a whole you'll see the extension of each block into the border with the quilting.  I'll post pictures when it's all done

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Free Hand Designs

All of my quilting is done freehand.  The example below is a freehand design though I am using markings and I use the circle tool that you see in the photograph to get me from one heart to the next.  Doing freehand work and making it look good requires a lot of practice, Trace out the design on paper that also has your markings.  As you see where the design intersects with your markings you'll also get familiar with how the design 'feels'.  There are often places in a design where you need the help of a ruler to get your line perfect.  In the design below, I needed a circle ruler to go from the center of one heart to the next.  If I were to freehand that part, chances are the irregularities would be really noticeable.  Sometimes I'll put the first design on a quilt and realize I need a ruler in a particular spot to get my stitching line correct.  Probably the other factor in executing a good freehand design is finding the correct speed to move your machine at.  That will vary from person to person.  I tend to run my machine at a fast enough speed to that my lines look smooth but slow enough that I can maintain good control over the pattern.  I don't have a stitch regulated machine (when I've quilted with them I feel like they impede my ability to get smooth looking lines) so my speed is usually set around 50.  Hopefully this will help some you machine quilters out there who read my blog!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

I'm working this week on a Double Wedding Ring quilt. It's unique in the color choices; dark colors and lots of plaids.  The customer wanted to keep the quilting simple and no feathers.  This was the pattern we chose, a heart with some petal designs in the center of each heart.  It requires marking each space with 4 diagonal lines and then tracing a circle in the center so I have my points to keep the pattern on track.  I practiced a bunch of times on paper so that I would have the 'feel' of the design.  It's turning out very well and I think the customer will be pleased.