Tulip Quilt Top Revisited and a Holiday Sale!

November 30th, 2009

tulip top FME 1

This is another portion of that tulip quilt I started a few weeks ago. This particular section is along the outside and I have begun adding free motion machine embroidered grapevine curly cues to the fused applique vines. I used various hand dyed size 12 pearl cotton embroidery threads for this but any heavy weight thread will work well here. These are very fun and easy to do, especially because you do this stitching when it’s still just a quilt top. I use an iron-on stabilizer (Sulky is my favorite brand for this) and I just place a piece behind the area in which I plan to stitch a curly cue. Here’s a shot of the backside as I was working and it shows just how quick and easy this step is:


Once the stitching is done and the thread ends have been tied off and cut, you just tear away that stabilizer. (You may be able to see some grapevine curly cues higher up that have already had the stabilizer removed.) Now you may be asking yourself just what that big area of batting is all about, and that is the second trapunto layer that underlies the center section. You may remember that center section from an earlier post but if not, this may jog your memory:


This was before I had altered the edges into nice curvaceous edges but it should orient you to the stages of this project. All of the tulips and swirls in that center section were trapuntoed and then the entire center section had a second layer of batting added, so once this is placed in the final quilt sandwich, portions of the center will have 3 layers of batting! Hope that doesn’t get TOO bulky when I go to do that final quilting-full report to follow! This week, I’m finishing up the trapuntoed tulips that line the edges of this quilt. Here’s a shot of the backside so you’ll get an idea of where this is going:


…and here’s one last shot of the center bottom of the quilt…looks like I’ve got some ripping out to do of my satin stitching…

Rats! That is so aggravating! But, I’ve had a really wonderful week and a great Thanksgiving where I got to visit with my mom and all my sibs and their families, so it’s going to take more than flubbed up sewing to get me down! To celebrate our good fortune, we’re having a sale! Beginning today (11/29/09), all threads, Bendable Bright Lights, applique pressing sheets, Flexible Curve Rulers, and other notions and patterns are 20% off! Enter “Holiday” in the discount code line during checkout and the discount will be applied to your purchase. The sale will last through midnight on Sunday, 12/6/09. Happy Holidays!

Let the Sun Shine In!

November 23rd, 2009


This is the center portion of a quilt top that I began about one year ago; it is a “fun version” of a sun and this part is actually pretty large, maybe 45 inches by about 55-60 inches. Isn’t it weird how so much time can pass before you find yourself time to get back to a project that was started so long ago? Anyway, here’s a close up of the center section:


(As before, click to enlarge any pictures). The center part has a “ruffly” yarn that I couched around the outer edges. The main body of the sun is quilted in the irregular swirl design and the blue area just has a long string of spirals quilted to fill it. I forgot to mention that this is just the quilt TOP so far and all these areas are trapuntoed. My favorite part of this are all the sun rays. Here’s a ray that is just starting to be developed. Each ray has a wonky-kind of feather filling it and I used a very heavy thread for that part, a size 12 pearl cotton hand dyed embroidery thread:


After I’d stitched all the feathers, I went back to begin hyperquilting them. The first 2 came out kind of ho-hum because I don’t think I made the greatest thread choice. Here’s a ho-hum version using Robison-Anton 24 Karat Gold rayon thread for the hyperquilting:


For all the other feathers, I went in with the “big guns” and used the trilobal polyester Highlights threads that are part of the Super Brights Collection that Superior Threads makes. I use these threads a lot when I hyperquilt vines and leaves, and you can pretty much count on them to really add some cool effects! Here’s a feather that is just starting to come to life on the machine bed:


…and here’s one after hyperquilting. Trust me, these photos don’t do these justice! This is one of those situations where the thread does all the work on a quilt:


Initial Run of Quilting Stencils Is Now Available!

November 11th, 2009


After months of work, we are now happy to offer a new line of quilting stencils! These can be used in the same way as regular quilting stencils, but they are actually devised to give you some flexibility to create a number of “offshoot designs” and also to create more detailed quilting designs than a regular stencil could provide. For the most part, they were inspired by designs from the 3rd volume of “Free Motion Fun With Feathers” DVD, but there are numerous designs which were not part of that DVD simply because I didn’t think of them until after the DVD was made!

So, how does this all work? Here’s a quick example. If you start with a design like the following stencil:


you will be able to stitch out a square feathered wreath that has multiple spine zones that you may fill with whatever design you wish. But, let’s say you don’t want to fill those spine areas with freehand work and you’re wishing you had some stencils that could fill those zones as well. No problem! That’s where these cool “secondary stencils” fit in. Once you’ve marked your first stencil, you remove it and then line up the secondary stencil over the registration marks. Once you mark your secondary stencil, you’ve got a more detailed design. here’s just one example:


There are all kinds of design options to choose from-each of those square wreaths has 10 different center designs! We’ve got stencils for 3 different sizes of square wreaths, a circular wreath with multiple spine options, and a feathered heart with a scroll spine! Here is just one example of a square wreath block that has been quilted using one of these stencil sets:


Of course, if you’ve watched the second volume of Free Motion Fun With Feathers DVD, then you know that you could also go back in and hyperquilt that wreath to REALLY make it special! If you’re into feathers and want to see the full line of stencil options, go here.