Trapuntoed Dresden Plate Wall Hanging

July 15th, 2017
 
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I outlined the steps to creating a trapunto layer in my last post.  That means I began this next phase by quilting curvy swirl chains inside each blade of the Dreden plate as you can see below:
 
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I then quilted a feather inside the center circle and in the photo below you can see that I hyperquilted it:
 
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Here’s what things looked like once the trapuntoed Dresden plate had all its decorative FMQing completed:
 
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It’s actually much easier to see all the quilting from the backside:
 
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I placed it into the final quilt sandwich and then began by outlining all the applique pieces with invisible thread.  You can just barely start to see the texture developing in this next shot:
 
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…and here all the pieces have been outlined with invisible thread and I’ve marked soap lines that will be my guides for stitching a feather frame surrounding the Dresden plate:
 
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This next shot shows the feathers once they’ve been stitched:
 
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And this last shot shows the feathers after hyperquilting:
 
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Wonder how long it will take me to get around to adding that binding…

Making Something out of Leftovers from Other Leftovers

July 4th, 2017
 
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I cut a lot of squares for another chevron quilt last week, then used the small pieces at the end of each strip to cut fans for a Dresden plate quilt.  I was so excited by working with these beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics that I cut up far more fans than I needed for the Dresden plate quilt I wanted to make.  The Asheville Quilt Guild always has a small quilt auction to raise money each fall, so I stitched up a 25 in square block to donate.  The shot above shows the beginnings of it.  I’m hand appliquing the Dresden plates for my “real quilt,” and thought I’d machine applique it on my donation quilt.  These are fairly large Dresden plates; I think they measure about 19 inches in diameter.  You can see in the shot below that in my haste, I didn’t make the world’s greatest choice about the color of the thread or the size of blanket stitch:
 
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Oh well, chalk that up to being in too much of a hurry.  In this next shot, you can see that I fused a layer of interfacing to the back side:
 
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This was to stabilize it so the edge stitching wouldn’t cause any puckering.  Next up, I cut away the background fabric that falls inside the applique:
 
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And just for fun, I decided to add a layer of trapunto.  I zig-zagged a couple of batting scraps together for the trapunto layer:
 
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…and then used invisible thread in my top needle to attach the batting to the applique section.  In this last shot you can see the backside after the batting has been cut away:
 
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Now the fun part can begin!  I am hoping to get this quilted within the next week, so stay tuned!

A Border Design in a Table Runner Format

June 30th, 2017
 
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This is a new machine embroidery applique border design, but I set it in a mirror-image format to use it as a table runner here.  The swags and flowers can actually be repeated countless times so that it can fit pretty much any border size.  Here is a closer shot of some of the ruler work quilting:
 
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The end sections of the pea-green areas have some arc ruler work that was stitched without thought about what I would put in the blue sections at end side:
 
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When I went to quilt the blue sections, I did a double Art Deco border design and then threw featherettes into the center triangle zones.  Even though the blue areas are stitched in a different color thread, it appears that the designs blend seamlessly into one another:
 
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This stitched up very quickly and was fun all the way through…
 
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Love, love, love all the textures here:
 
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Another Ruler Work Border Design

June 24th, 2017
 
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I can’t stop playing with this stuff!  This design couples curves and straight line quilting in the same border swag design.  It starts out as a basic arched swag border design with a scant 1/4 inch channel.  I used my PTD 12 arc ruler for this.  The next step is to add the straight line channels and I used the PTD straight lie ruler for that.  There is a 1/4 inch channel, then a 1/2 inch channel, then another 1/4 inch channel.  In this next shot, you can see the framework in one arched swag and the beginning of the fill-in work on the other:
 
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You can see that I swapped thread colors as I moved to a new zone.  That’s not necessary but I am a thread lover so it adds to the fun of stitching this stuff out.  In this next shot, you can see that more fill-in work is done:
 
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…and then the final fill-in is added and I used my original thread color for the final section:
 
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(Sorry about the colors changing.  The final shot is the “real color.”)

Lessons in Ruler Work for the Sit-Down Quilter: Experimenting with The Westalee Continuous Rope Border Templates

May 23rd, 2017

 

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O.M.G!

The photo above is my first experiment playing with the Westalee rope templates.  I have drooled over these Westalee continuous rope border templates for many months, but I was totally stumped by 2 issues:
 
1.  If I begin my rope at the miter line in a corner, how do I ensure that the design will arrive at “just the right place” (meaning the neighboring miter line)when I reach the opposite corner?
2.  Even if I get right to the miter line in the 2nd corner, how in the world do I turn that corner?
 
I wracked my brain, trying to figure these issues out for months, and I didn’t buy a set of templates because I just couldn’t “crack the code.”  Enter quiltshopgal, whose blog is an endless resource for information on all things quilt-related. (If you don’t read her blog, you can find it by clicking here.)  A couple months ago, she contacted me because she was writing a post about Westalee Rope Templates, and she wanted to add some info about designs I’ve made playing with their rope wreath, like the one shown below:
 
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(The photo above is the wreath formed by using the Westalee Circles on Quilts Wreath #3 Template, which you can find in our store by clicking here.)  When I read her entire post, (which you can find by clicking here), she also wrote about the continuous rope border templates, and she had a diagram that showed the perfect way to handle the those 4 corners and the center “meetup.”  Here is the image from her blog post that blew open the world of continuous rope border designs for me:
 
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Talk about a eureka moment!  I’m going to outline the steps I took to handle the corners and “meet up” in the center.  For this experiment, I am using the Westalee 1.5B Continuous Rope Template.  (This template can be found in our online store by clicking here.) I created a “fake border” for my experiment that is 1 3/4 inches wide. (Note: This means I made my border 1/4 inch wider than the actual stitched design.  I did this on purpose because it gives me roughly 1/8th of an inch of wiggle room on each edge of the border zone.  This is my way of hedging since I know I’m human and likely to not stitch this out perfectly.  As it turned out, this paid off well for me.)
 
Step 1A:  Using a temporary marker, place a diagonal line in each corner at the miter   line, as well as a perpendicular line in the dead center of each of the 4 borders:
 
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Step 1B:  Using the same temporary marker, make a line across the mid-point of the border’s width, as shown below:
 
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The template in the photo is the one I’m using for this experiment.  If you look closely, you’ll see a dotted line etched into the template.  This dotted line is important, as you’ll be placing it directly over your midway line that moves all the way across your border.
 
 
Step 2:  Begin in the corner of your choice, and place the template so the needle will pierce the miter line AND the dotted line on the template will be directly over the temporary mid-line on your border.  The photo below shows my starting placement:
 
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Step 3:  Following the inside edge of the template, stitch out a sequence of ropes.  When you reach the last rope you
can stitch before crossing the center line, stop stitching and end your thread line as below:
 
 
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Now, before I go any further, I need to point something out.  It is a complete coincidence that the final rope cable terminates at the center point.  This was not planned and you should be prepared to have to deal with a way to connect the 2 center rope cables that don’t actually meet at the center.  You will just have to wait for another day when I encounter this for an example of how I will deal with this down the road!  For now, know that the first side is done and now we move to the opposite corner and begin just as we did before.  The only difference is that the cables are oriented in the opposite direction, so I had to flip the template over and use it in the opposite way.
 
 
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Step 4:  From there, I went back to the corner and pierced my needle in the miter line, then aligned my fabric line with the dotted line on the template.  Here is how things ended up with merging rope cables at the corner and in the center:
 
 
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Things weren’t quite as perfect at the center as I would like, but I disguised my error by throwing a small “fleur-de-lis” in between the center ropes:
 
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I thought this came out great as my first experiment  with the Westalee rope templates, but I had to carry it one step further.  I swapped my thread to a Floriani gold polyester thread and hyperquilted the rope cables.  I think it gives them more of a twisting movement:
 
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…and here’s a closeup of the center and corner meetups:
 
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Totally fun!  Can’t wait to try this on a real quilt!  Thank you, quiltshopgal!