Monday, May 29, 2017

#MachineQuiltingBlogHop Week 5 - Quatrefoil Applique

machine quilting blog hop

Welcome to Week 5 of the Machine Quilting Blog Hop!

Christa Watson Angela Walters ultimate guide to machine quilting

Today we are working on Chapter 6 of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson, Quatrefoil Applique. If you've been paying attention, you may have noticed that we skipped Chapter 4 and moved right on to Chapter 5 last week. That's because, when Vicki, Kristin, HollyAnne and I looked at Chapter 4, we all decided we were not ready for that one yet. Chapter 4 has been renamed Chapter 10, and we'll work up to that one at the end! 

So, even though it's week 5, we're working on Chapter 6. Clear as mud?

This week we move into the free motion quilting designs that are more in my wheelhouse; the curvy, loopy ones that come easier for me. In Christa's class back in February, she mentioned that most people have a preference for either the straight line designs or the rounder designs, and I definitely prefer the latter. I've done lots of loopy hearts and flowers going back to my earliest attempts at FMQ.

That's why I wasn't worried about what to do this week - I was already doing it! Remember how the String Spider Web quilt has to be dropped off by Saturday? Yes, I'm almost done quilting it! And I've been taking a few pages out of this awesome book for inspiration.

Some of these are easier to see from the back, so I'll try to show them to you from both sides.

Christa Watson Angela Walters ultimate guide to machine quilting bonnie hunter string spider web switchbacks

Christa Watson Angela Walters ultimate guide to machine quilting bonnie hunter string spider web switchbacks

I used Switchbacks in the background stars.

Christa Watson Angela Walters ultimate guide to machine quilting bonnie hunter string spider web spiral

Christa Watson Angela Walters ultimate guide to machine quilting bonnie hunter string spider web spiral

I used spirals in the spider web blocks. I'm sure it's obvious that I didn't mark them, and this is the one thing I may go back and redo after the show. Unfortunately I don't think I have time before the drop off to fix them ahead of time.

Christa Watson Angela Walters ultimate guide to machine quilting bonnie hunter string spider web echo plume paisley leaves pearl pebbling

I used variations of Echo Plumes and Echo Leaves and Paisley and Pearls all along the border, and more switchbacks on the edges.

Christa Watson Angela Walters ultimate guide to machine quilting bonnie hunter string spider web echo plume paisley leaves pearl pebbling

I really love how this is turning out. Even though it is far from perfect, and my stitch length is not even remotely consistent, it is still a giant leap forward in the complexity of my quilting. I just have to keep reminding myself that this quilt is practice for the next one.

If you haven't yet, please join us as we practice our way through this book and improve our machine quilting for our future quilts. You don't have to have a blog to participate - just use the hashtag #machinequiltingbloghop on your favorite social media channel.

One more thing I keep forgetting to mention is that the book is on sale over at the Martingale site. Now is a perfect time to buy it and start quilting along with us.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

WiP Wednesday - Bordering on Insanity

It's WiP Wednesday, and this week I've been working on finishing my String Spider Web quilt. I have to have it finished by June 3 so I can turn it in for the East Cobb Quilters Guild Quilt Show, so I need to stay focused.

bonnie hunter string spider web angela walters scroll border east cobb quilt guild show

I decided to use the scrolling swirls that I learned in Angela Walters's class at QuiltCon. It's okay, but I'm at that point where I think it all looks terrible, it's not good enough for the show, and I'm wondering why I even decided to enter in the first place.

Luckily I've been here before and I know this feeling will pass. At least I hope it will! 

bonnie hunter string spider web angela walters scroll border east cobb quilt guild show

Next I have to figure out what to do in the corners. Suggestions are welcome. Seriously, what do I do with this?

What are you working on?


Monday, May 22, 2017

#MachineQuiltingBlogHop Week 4 - Fractured Squares



#machinequiltingbloghop christa watson angela walters ultimate guide to machine quilting

Welcome to Week 4 of the Machine Quilting Blog Hop!

machine quilting blog hop angela walters christa watson fractured squares

Today we are working on Chapter 4 of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson, Fractured Squares

machine quilting blog hop angela walters christa watson fractured squares modern blocks night and day

I decided that this orphan Night and Day block left over from the Modern Blocks Quilt Along would be a great place to practice these walking foot designs.

machine quilting blog hop angela walters christa watson fractured squares clover chaco liner

I used the Clover Chaco Liner to make some registration marks, but mostly I just used the edge of my walking foot and aimed for the next dot. 

machine quilting blog hop angela walters christa watson fractured squares clover chaco liner mark tool

I still prefer free motion quilting to straight line quilting, but this was a fun exercise. The straight line spiral kind of bugs the OCD side of me, but I love how the triangles with the overlapping grid turned out.

machine quilting blog hop angela walters christa watson fractured squares night and day

There's still time to jump in and join me, HollyAnne, Kristin, and Vicki as we work through this book. You don't have to have a blog - just post on your favorite social media channel using the hashtag #machinequiltingbloghop and show us what you're working on.

Monday, May 15, 2017

#MachineQuiltingBlogHop Week 3 - Directionally Challenged

machine quilting blog hop

Welcome to Week 3 of the Machine Quilting Blog Hop!

ultimate guide to machine quilting blog hop directionally challenged angela walters christa watson

Today we are working on Chapter 3 of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson, Directionally Challenged


ultimate guide to machine quilting blog hop directionally challenged angela walters christa watson

Remember last week how I thought I might be done with this piece? Well, after looking at some of the cool designs for triangles, I knew I had to add just a little bit more.


ultimate guide to machine quilting blog hop directionally challenged angela walters christa watson

First we did some simple echoing. Since this area was so small, I just did it with freemotion and used the edge of the darning foot as my guide. It's not perfect, but it's also not noticeable unless you really look. I love how this echoes the straight lines on the purple border!
ultimate guide to machine quilting blog hop directionally challenged angela walters christa watson


This continuous curve design is where I really had a good time, though. I love how easy it is to get this gentle, leafy curve without having to mark. I just used my zigzags to check my spacing and create a focal point. 



If you'd like to see Angela in action using these same designs, check out this episode of The Midnight Quilt Show

ultimate guide to machine quilting blog hop directionally challenged angela walters christa watson

Now I think I really am done with this little quilt. Check out what Kristin, HollyAnne, and Vicki did with this week's designs, and follow us on your favorite social media channel with the hashtag #machinequiltingbloghop. Jump in a join us anytime!


Saturday, May 13, 2017

What's On? Mostly Murder

Some of my favorite recommendations for books, movies, podcasts and TV shows have come from my quilty friends. There are exceptions, of course, (looking at you, Pam and The OA) but for the most part I find that you all have fabulous taste. I thought I'd return the favor and share what's on my Kindle, my podcatcher, and my TV screen. Mostly it's a lot of murder.

What I'm reading:

On Pam's recommendation, I decided to give Karin Slaughter one more chance after she broke my heart with her Grant County Series. I have torn through all seven books in the Will Trent Series in just a couple of week. Karin and Pam have now both redeemed themselves. 



Next I jumped into Golden Prey by John Sandford. I'm not sure how Sandford has avoided the danger, after writing over twenty books in a series, of phoning it in like some authors (~cough~ Janet Evanovich, John Grisham, Stuart Woods ~cough~). His writing still sucks me in, and I still love his characters. Even better, the characters grow and change, and his dialogue is fantastic. This lived up to his reputation.

What I'm Watching: 

HBO's Big Little Lies, based on the awesome novel by Liane Moriarty, is one of those rare productions that lives up to the book. If anything, it enhances the story by bringing it so truly to life. The Pit Boss and I started watching this just a week before the final episode aired, which made for some excellent binging. This is one of those recommendations that goes full circle, since I think I was originally pointed to Moriarty's books by Tanesha over at Crafty Garden Mom.



What I'm listening to:

Aside from all my fave quilty podcasts, I really am a true crime junkie. My latest guilty pleasures have been S-Town and Missing Richard Simmons.  



Neither of these turns out to be murder-y at all, but they both involve a good mystery and high production values. 



Now it's your turn to tell me. What's on?




Wednesday, May 10, 2017

WiP Wednesday - Bee-hind!

It's WiP Wednesday and I'm a little behind on my #Twilters bee blocks. I hadn't made April's blocks, and now May's are posted!


bow tie quilt block scrap leader ender swap twilters

Don't you love these cute bow tie blocks that Kelly requested? They are so quick and easy to make. I started with two, but they make perfect leader/ender blocks, so I'll make a few more while I finish the May block.

Would you like to make some? Here's the tutorial by the fabulous Jenny Doan.




Next I needed to make the Pins and Paws block that Sharon chose. Once again, Jenny Doan gave us this adorable free pattern. 


pins and paws quilt block scrap swap twilters

Honestly, isn't she just the best? So generous with her ideas, talent, and smile!




What are you working on?


Monday, May 8, 2017

#MachineQuiltingBlogHop Week 2 - Choosing Colors

machine quilting blog hop

Welcome to Week 2 of the Machine Quilting Blog Hop!

Choosing Colors for machine quilting with Angela Walters and Christa Watson

Today we are working on Chapter 2 of The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters and Christa Watson, Choosing Colors.

flame stitch violet Aurifil thread freemotion quilting

We're back to work on the quilt from last week's post. I chose to do the wood grain or flame stitch design in the star points. I thought it would give the star a little bit of movement and interest, but this stitch is much harder than I guessed. I have to say it's also not my favorite.


aurifil 2520 violet 50 weight large spool

One of the topics in this chapter is about choosing thread color. So far I've used a violet Aurifil 50 wt cotton thread for all of the areas. I love the purple and green together, but for the next section of pebbling in the background, I decided I should switch to a neutral.

pebbing freemotion quilting

While I was working on these pebbles, I was listening to Frances's latest podcast. Ironically, as I was just hitting the point of the pebbling where you start to wonder why you even started, Frances was talking about the pendulum swing away from really dense quilting in the modern movement. 


#machinequiltingbloghop pebbling flame stitch wood grain freemotion quilting

Last, I'm wondering about leaving some areas unquilted, and I'd love some feedback. Can I leave the purple star points and the corner triangles unquilted? Is that a design choice or am I just being lazy? What do you think?


#machinequiltingbloghop freemotion quilting blog hop

Please join us even if you don't have a blog. Use the hashtag #machinequiltingbloghop on your favorite social medial channel and get quilting. Remember, the only way to get better is to practice, practice, practice!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Ceremony

Wow! What a week!



I have been going non-stop for the last few weeks getting ready for the last few days. 


On Thursday, our company held a ground breaking ceremony for the impending campus expansion. It was kind of a big deal - in fact, Governor Nathan Deal was there.


We had every detail planned down to the little shovel-shaped spoons to put the dirt in the commemorative jars, but the one thing we couldn't control was the weather. 


Luckily we had a big tent and everything went off without a hitch. Our company president gave a moving speech about how we've let go of so many of the ceremonies in life, and why they chose to stand on ceremony for this occasion because of what it means to the whole company and its associates. I may have been a little extra sentimental because of the timing, but the whole day was beautiful despite the rain.




I came home from work, exhausted and ready for a nap, but there was no time for that! We packed a bag, and left early Friday morning for Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for Deuce's graduation from the University of Alabama. #RollTide




More rain couldn't wash away our excitement and pride! We didn't get to bring him home with us since he's "taking a victory lap" and staying another year to get his Master's degree.



Now it's time to get back to quilting and work on Monday's post for the #machinequiltingblog hop. I hope you join us! 


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Going to Guild - Diane Knott of Butterfly Threads Quilting

Last night was guild night, and our speaker was local quilt celebrity Diane Knott of Butterfly Threads Quilting. Diane has visited our guild before, but that was back before she was famous for her fabulous book, Scrap Quilt Secrets.


scrap quilt secrets diane knott design techniques book

Diane shared several quilts from the book and also gave us a few teasers about a new book she has in the works. Each chapter of Scrap Quilt Secrets focuses on a key element for success with S.C.R.A.P.S.


scrap quilt secrets diane knott design techniques book

Diane is funny and smart, but she's also a generous quilter. Her website is overflowing with free patterns and tutorials. I love that she created a mystery quilt out of bits and pieces from the patterns in her book to create the medallion quilt (above). 


scrap quilt secrets diane knott design techniques book selvedge baskets

How awesome are these Gift Baskets made of selvedges and rick rack? I love this quilt and may have to choose this pattern for my growing collection of selvedges.


scrap quilt secrets diane knott design techniques book label citrus squeezescrap quilt secrets diane knott design techniques book label paper chain


scrap quilt secrets medallion diane knott design techniques book label









Diane likes to have fun with her quilts, even on the back. In addition to interesting piecing and "turndown surprise" - the bit of piecing that shows when you fold back the edge of quilt - Diane also adds whimsy with her labels. Whether it's a cute border, a leftover block, or a motif carried over from the front, each quilt gets Diane's finishing touch.

Keep Diane in mind when your guild is looking for a fun speaker with loads of great quilts to share! You can also follow her on Facebook or Instagram.


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