Loose Threads: Quilting 101

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Quilting 101

I am really excited about the 505 Spray Baste I ordered, and I am basting everything in sight.  But before I got too carried away I decided I'd better try quilting one of these basted quilts.  I'm still hand sewing the binding down.  Here is the result:


I quilt on my trusty Bernina sewing machine, and the past few days I've been watching machine quilting videos by Leah Day, Patsy Thompson, and You Tube videos by Karen McTavish.  These ladies all make it look so easy.  They all recommend that you baste a practice quilt sandwich and start there, but I have at least a dozen of these table toppers like the one in the photo above, and I only have 2 tables so I figured why not just practice on one of those.  Most times when I sit down with a quilt like the one above I draw a blank and don't know what to try and quilt in which space.  So I just kept watching videos and jumped right in.  I tried some paisleys in the yellow, and just a little meandering in the white, and I don't know what that is in the square but it looks like it went very wrong.....but it does fill the space!


I know there are a lot of mistakes, but the only way to know if the spray baste did its job was to give it a try, and I like the results so much that I've ordered a second can.  I love watching the videos on McTavishing.  This is supposed to be Leah's version of McTavishing.  Instead of hitting the point on each swirl she only hits the point at one end and then echoes a quarter of an inch on the other end.  This was really a lot of fun.  It's kind of like a puzzle in a way because when you work yourself into a corner you have to figure a way out. 

I would really love to learn to do feathers.  When I go to quilt shows I love to look at the stencils, and I buy a few.  I mostly look for the ones that could be quilted with a continuous design.  But, I don't trace my stencil designs onto a quilt.  Instead I do this......

I trace the stencil onto a sketch pad, and then I use a marker and trace over and over those lines until hopefully my hands and my brain have that movement before I work on a quilt.  Then I prop this drawing up against the wall in front of my sewing machine just like I'm taking an open book test. 


And this is how it ended up on my quilt.  These look more like droopy balloons than feathers, but it's a start.

In between crochet projects, I've been doing a little hand quilting, too. 


I thread basted this redwork Santa top (wall hanging), and I marked the lines with the red Frixion pen.  These are the pens from Staples that disappear from fabric when heated with an iron. 


Earlier this week Marta at Polka Dot Classic Blog awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award.  Thank you so much Marta. 

As part of receiving this award I'm supposed to tell seven things about myself.  I received the Stylish Blogger Award back on January 20 of this year and in that post I told 8 things about myself.  You can read those here.
I'm also supposed to tag 15 of my favorite bloggers, but I have a list of you a mile long that I love to visit and couldn't possibly pick just 15.  I love visiting your blogs and reading each and every one of you. 

I hope all of you are doing a little stitching today.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

19 comments:

sunny said...

You're brave! I'm going to try my first stencil quilting in a couple of days. Fiona the Pfaff does all my quilting, and we need to expand our horizons. I'll definitely try the basting spray on your say-so!

Editfolt said...

Now I'm learning stapling. Now I organize training staple. You would be right far enough.

Janet O. said...

I took my first class on machine quilting today. It is fun to see what you are doing on your table toppers--inspires me to be a little more brave with my practice pieces.

Manoli C. said...

LuAnn Oh, the quilt is very nice.
The train machine is fine, the quilt has been great.
Congratulations on the award ...!!!

Heather said...

Thanks so much for the info on You Tube videos by Karen McTavish. I have wanted to try her style for a while but I've been nervous. I'll check the video out today and hopefully that will give me some confidence. Your quilting looks great.

Michelle said...

Wow LuAnn the quilt looks great.
I'm afraid I don't have the patience or the time to do anything to intricate.
I'm glad the basting spray held.

Staci said...

I've been interested to see what you thought of the spray baste. I really like the idea of it, of course. Crawling around the floor for ages pinning isn't fun at all. I have used it, but found the quilt sandwich moved a bit, the my quilt tops sort of slid around as I quilted. Also, there is something in that spray that I'm allergic to, as after using up a can of it, I won't be ordering more. I had one of those, Gee, how dumb can I be that it took me so long to figure out what was giving me this rash? sort of moments.

Connie said...

I use the spray baste for machine embroidery projects and just used it a few days ago to baste the hand stitchery sewalong Santa to some batting. Otherwise I baste with thread (machine or hand). It took me foreveer it seems to get my feathers looking good and also McTavishing. Karen McT showed me at a quilt show how she does it but it's going to take a lot of practice for me to reach her quality of stitching. I just love McTavishing as a background, it's gorgeous. Like everything else, maching quilting gets better with PPP, practice practice practice, they say. I don't quilt on a domestic machine since I have a longarm but to me it looks like it would be more difficult since you have to move the quilt around; on a longarm you move a needle around. Keep stitching and have fun! Your work looks great!

Ellen said...

You have been very busy! I saw a suggestion somewhere about tracing a design onto freezer paper and ironing it to the quilt top and then just follow the lines. I haven't tried it yet but it is on my list to check out - it might work for your feathers. I would guess that you would eventually develop a "memory" and then could just start free styling!

I quilt for fun said...

Goodness, LuAnn. You are one busy woman. May have to try 505. I tried basting a full size quilt with another brand (on the floor) and it wasn't pretty. But it was gooey. I'm pretty sure I was at least 60% of the problem. Since I no longer have easy access to a Gammill, I need to get back to practice my machine quilting and have a few small samples to practice on. I think your machine quilting is quite good, by the way. Jan

Linda said...

Quilting looks fabulous!! Your feathers are great!!!

Maureen said...

You are doing great! I agree with just jumping into a real project. You will try harder and why bother with something that won't be used. We all have so many tops waiting in the queue! When I've wanted a practice piece I've sandwiched a simple, busy top with a busy back and then donated it. Since a lot of those places just get tied quilts I don't think they mind. Maybe a few wobbles, but it will last a lot longer with the machine quilting.

Linda said...

You are making wonderful progress. Isn't it fun! So much to learn.

quilterinmotion said...

My first visit to your blog, and I found it very interesting. I, too, draw a continous design and hang it on the front of my machine (if small) or on the wall (if large). Focusing on it helps make the thread do what I want I guess.

I'll be back to see what you're doing. It's so interesting!

Jeanne said...

One of these days I'm going to give it another try! You did a great job!
FYI-the Frixion pen will reappear if you put your project in the freezer. I don't normally keep my stitching in there, but tried it. It did re-appear.

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

LuAnn your quilt is stunning love the quilting...

Pokey said...

What pretty stitching lines, I'm glad the sewing and spray worked so well. Your quilting is beautiful~
:-}pokey

Purple Pam said...

Your machine quilting looks good. I know, to get better it is practice, and more practice, and them some more practice! LOL! I get very impatient with practicing. I feel I want to get busy on a real project, but I know that "practice makes perfect" sorta.

I like your little witch project. I absolutely love pinwheels. They make your project sing with those bright colors.

Raewyn said...

Great work!!! Love what you are doing. Your feathers look especially good - they are not something I even attempt---YET!!

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