No Words

December 23rd, 2016



     Rest in Peace, Ernie Bode, Sr.  We lost a very good guy this week.

Free Motion Quilting Designs

December 8th, 2016
If you love free motion quilting, sometimes the best part is being able to play around with different background fill designs.  Some designs require that a large expanse of the design be stitched out in order to appreciate the beauty of the design, while other designs can be “interrupted” by applique shapes or piecing and still look lovely.  Here are some shots of a day of playing around from a few years ago.  Hope they inspire you!
Can you tell how this last one is different than the traditional “plumify it” design?


December 4th, 2016
It’s been pretty quiet here on my blog because I have been indisposed for awhile.  We have a beloved family member who is dying and we have been caring for him at home with the help of our local hospice.  This means that I have not done any sewing or quilting for weeks, so that’s why you haven’t heard from me.  In the meantime, I’m going to post some photos of some free motion quilting designs that might help get you inspired to play around with your sewing machines.  This is the only way I know to “stay in touch” while we go through this family journey.
People often ask me how I choose quilting threads for a given project.  Sometimes, the most striking thread combination is a subtle one.  The photo below is a quilted pillow cover and the quilting is a white polyester thread on a 100% white cotton background:
The swirls that you see in green thread are actually not quilted. Those were free motion embroidered when this was just a top.  Once the pillow case was placed in the final quilt sandwich, I stitched around the green thread swirls with invisible thread, and this makes them a little bit protuberant, which makes them a bit more noticeable.  All the other thread work that you see along the edges of the applique shapes was also done as free motion embroidery, not as quilting.  That is why those applique shapes seems to “pop out” just a bit.  The slight 3-D effect is a bit more noticeable in this shot of the front of the pillow cover before I inserted it over the pillow:
This next shot is of a small wall hanging that also has a white background:
The quilting on this quilt is similar to the earlier one, although the quilting seems a bit more noticeable, doesn’t it?  That’s because the background white fabric is a white cotton sateen.  Cotton sateens all have a slight luster to them, so once they are quilted, they throw off more shadows.  That’s a fancy way of saying that fabrics with a luster or sheen will always make your quilting appear more dramatic.  Here’s a close up:
See what I mean?  This makes me think of royal icing and someone has taken a toothpick and drawn a fine line design.  When the goal of the quilting is solely to create a luscious texture and not to draw attention to the stitched line itself, think of matching the thread color to the background fabric or coming pretty close to a match.   Here’s some more white polyester thread on a white cotton sateen background:
and another:
One more:
 So nice to touch base with other quilters here; I feel a bit “cut-off” from my quilting life.  Hope to be in touch again soon.