Feathers that Fly

Beautiful warm autumn day here in Perth so most of the day has been spent in the garden. I did find some time for a little sewing this morning and chose to use the water erasable pen to mark guidelines for my free form feathers. Really enjoying quilting this quilt. I used So Fine in the bobbin and through the needle and it stitched like a dream.

Balloons – Flying High

Finally finished piecing my balloon quilt and started quilting it during last week. I started by quilting in the ditch to anchor the quilt ready for stitching out the quilting designs.

Now that I am ready to quilt a dilemma has arisen as I’m not sure what pen to use for marking. My go to marking pen is a blue water erasable pen which has never presented me with any problems. However, I am loathe to use this pen on the quilt as I used jelly rolls to make it and a lot of the strips are reds. We quilters all know how notorious red fabrics are for running when wet. I’m thinking I may have to use a Frixion pen but I am not keen on using that because of the chemicals and the tendency of Frixion pens to leave a white residue on coloured fabrics.

I am not sure whether to leave the balloons with only ditch quilting or to use a curved line design within the balloons. Still thinking about that.

I have decided that I will very likely quilt the alternating white curves with a feather design thinking ‘feathers that fly’ here so they will fit in with the quilt name if nothing else.

Quilt in a Day

Not quite a quilt in a day but very nearly. I have been busy sorting my fabric lately and came across a few metres of William Morris prints that I bought several years, so I thought I would make a quick quilt following  Joe Cunnningham’s style.

I attended Joe’s workshops at AQC last year and his ideas seem to be let’s see where the design takes you. Having done a few of Joe’s lesson I have noticed that he does have a recurring formula, that is cutting your strips at 5,1/2” 4,1/2” 3,1/2” 2,1/2” and 1,1/2”. It is quite easy to remember this formula once you have made a few quilts using this method.

I cut and made 50, 6,1/2” square blocks using Joe’s formula and following the instructions for his Fantasy Four Patch yesterday morning and laid them out in a design that I liked ready for sewing together.

In the afternoon I stitched the blocks together but because of a creative opportunity the design did not turn out the same as the original layout.

However, I prefer this design and will add the borders later today. In my estimation this quilt top will have taken about 8hrs to make including the addition of borders.

Finishing Touches

Over the last few days I have been working on several projects including the shot cotton quilt. As well as this I decided I should sort my fabric stash out to make sure I can find what I need in the coming weeks. However after sorting one box out last weekend, I felt quite overwhelmed by the amount of fabric I had and abandoned that idea and got back to quilting.

i decided to try some different designs on the quilt so used a wave ruler which gave me more design opportunities. I designed another 6 different blocks using the wave ruler, Op Curve Ruler and Line Tamer ruler to complete a total of 9 blocks.

This is one of my favourite designs using the Wave Ruler and Line Tamer.

The design underneath uses the Op Curve.

After quilting 9 blocks I am pleased to say that I was very happy with the way my machine performed having overcame the earlier tension issues I had when stitching the first couple of blocks. Absolutely delighted with the stitch quality and tension by the time I finished the quilt.

The Quilting Begins

There are 9 circles that make up this sample quilt and I have challenged myself to use a different design within each circle. I started quilting yesterday and the machine has run like a dream since I sorted the tension out. The only issues I have had are operator related. This happens when I start daydreaming or go to fast when doing minute designs. I usually quilt to music to develop rhythm but find I get lost in the music at times and then lose track of where I am going. As machine quilting can take intense concentration I take a break every 20 minutes to refresh the eyes and stretch.

Since I have started quilting the first circle I have really been enjoying working on this quilt. This quilt may not be perfect as there are a fair few creative design opportunities, but I am doing my best and I find my quilting is improving with each block which is satisfying.

The last image is the back of the quilt.