Volume 2 DVD “Ruler Work for the Sit-Down Quilter”

November 18th, 2017
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The ruler work feathered wreath above will be one of the ruler work designs we’ll cover in the 2nd volume of our Ruler Work DVD.  This DVD has been a lllooonnggg time coming.  We filmed portions of it 1 1/2 years ago but we put the project on the back burner when Erns dad became ill shortly after we began shooting.  His dad died last Christmas, but we didn’t feel like we could resume work on any major projects as both of our moms were having some issues.  Both our moms have done well for the last many months, though, so we’ve resumed the DVD project but literally started over from scratch.  I am guessing this DVD wll be out in late winter to early spring, providing there are no health emergencies.  The design above will be the hardest thing on the DVD, but trust me, it’s a lot easier than you might think.  I won’t detail all the steps below, but if you look closely, you’ll be able to see the step-wise progression.  Here’s the initial ruler work framework:
 
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(The circular soap line around the outside is the boundary for when the plumes are added at the very end.)
 
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This next shot will confuse you…The wreath above was stitched as a trapunto design, so the next photo shows the wreath once it’s been placed into the final quilt sandwich and various “zones” have been outlined with invisible thread.  This is what helps the viewer’s eye see the compound spine area as discrete “design zones:”
 
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…and now the background has been quilted using the “igloos” design:
 
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Flanged Binding

July 25th, 2017
 
I bound my small donation quilt last week, it measures 25 in x 25 inches:
 
 
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I used a binding technique I’ve never tried before.  This is a binding that has a flange that’s actually part of the binding itself.  I followed a tutorial that can be found by clicking here. 
 My highlight fabric, or flange fabric (solid orange) was cut at 1.75 inches wide and my “regular” binding fabric was cut at 1.5 inches wide.  They were sewn together with a 1/4 inch seam:
 
 
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…and once they are pressed with good sides facing outward, you can get a sense of how the binding will actually appear:
 
 
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The binding is then sewn to the wrong side of the quilt:
 
 
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…and then it’s turned around and stitched down to the good side of the quilt.  My only regret is that I was on a hurry, so I left pins in place.  You can see in the photo below that this results in a not so even width of flange:
 
 
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Next time, I will remove all pins before I stitch and I’ll slow down and make a better effort to stitch right at the ditch.  Still, for my first attempt, this was a good experience.
 
 
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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!

Using Ruler Work to Frame an Important Motif

May 17th, 2017
 
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When you have an important motif (and that motif could be a quilted, appliqued, or pieced motif), you can frame it with your quilting design.  The trapuntoed feathered wreath in the center block is important, and it’s been highlighted  further through framing.  Unfortunately, the overall size of my block didn’t leave me much room for framing, but there was enough room for a small frame design.
 
I began by using my original temporary marks that I used to create the trapuntoed section.  The only thing new here, (and it’s hard to see), was that I added small tick marks 2 inches from either side of the short center lines:
 
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I used those marks as my starting/stopping points and then used my PTD 8 arc ruler and PTD 6.5 ruler to create the first round of framework:
 
 
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I then went back in with the PTD 12 arc to create tapered swags on the larger curves, and used the same PTD 6.5 arc on the small center arches to create a tapered swag:
 
 
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If you look closely at the long diagonal soap lines in the corners, you’ll see a small tick mark about 1 inch from the swag cleavage points.  I used those tick marks as may new starting/stopping points and then took my Quilted Pineapple 22 arc ruler to add in another arc.  Once that arc was stitched, I added a new tick mark 1/2 inches down further and then used the same ruler to create a channel:
 
 
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Now that all the ruler work framing has been finished, the fill in work begins.  I first added featherettes inside the widest channels:
 
 
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Next, I used a dark blue thread to stipple in the zone between the wreath and the frame. This will serve to highlight both the wreath and the frame:
 
 
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Lastly, I added another featherette, stitched in the same dark blue polyester thread, in the remaining space between the block’s edge and the ruler work framework.  Here is a shot of one corner as it is being stitched:
 
 
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The goal in stitching these featherettes is to completely fill the empty space with the featherette.  If you do that consistently, that will give the look of identical and mirror image featherettes.  Of course,  you are stitching everything freehand, so it is not identical at all, but it will give the illusion that it is.  Here are some other shots:
 
 
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You can appreciate the texture better in tangential shots:
 
 
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Learning to create custom featherettes to fill spaces on a quilt is a very, very useful skill to develop.  If you are interested in learning more, this is an old blog post that talks about them a bit and you can find it by clicking here.
 
 
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An even more in-depth instruction can be found in my Craftsy class called Ultimate Free Motion Feathers and you can find it by clicking here.
 
 
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