Thursday, June 13, 2013

Machine Quilting

Good Morning!
Today I'm working on finishing this quilt! I made the top ages ago when I fell in love with the color scheme I put together.  I call it 'Fruit Punch'.  
It's a simple Irish Chain. 
Initially I was going to applique Irish knot work (using the yellow material) on the large pink areas.
If you have done this type of work you know how labor intensive it is just do to one and then you much
stitch it down which begs the question: machine or hand applique?  
I've done both and the hand applique gives the nicer, softer finish for a bed type quilt (which this is). 
However, since I've run out of time 
and I realize that I need to get this done (there are three others pending finishing as well) so I can move on.  

Since I was only playing around with the colors and it was an exercise (i.e. something easy to do in between creating art quilts) I'm taking a different approach in completion.  

This will now be something to practice my machine quilting on.  I will use different motifs in the large pink areas.  I agree it's not the best idea given the pattern is such that the quilting won't be immediately visible but there you go.  

Since the other side of the quilt is a solid white it should be very interesting to look at on days when I leave it back side up, thus giving me two quilts really.  
While I love saturated color, I love an all white bed even more.  

So here we go... Some work in progress shots.  

You can see my domestic machine is a Brother PC2800.  It has decorative stitches but I don't use them anymore. My favorite pattern to do is the Random Baptist Fan so that's what I've put in pink variegated Aurifil thread on the green & yellow parts of the chain. 




I wasn't sure what color thread to use for the pink areas and after consulting my good friends online decided on the limey green isacord. (Because I didn't have lime green in Aurifil if you can believe that!)   
So if anyone doesn't know what to get me for my birthday;  (winkie) there ya go!


I find that the sharp contrast between the curve of the repeating leaves and straight lines gives much more interest to the design so that's what I've used here. 

If you are new to machine quilting the best advice I can give you is to create several 10" or 12" quilt sandwiches and just start doing samplers.  Play around with different motifs in only small sections.  It's both fun and very informative!  It takes muscle memory which requires a lot of practice to get the motif you really like to be consistent.  (keep those sandwiches handy when you sit down to quilt a work for inspiration)  I also keep a folder of sorts next to my machine, any patterns I really like I hang onto so I can peruse them when necessary.




Feathers?  Not so much.  I was trying to copy a design (of sorts) I found in the May/June issue of Machine Quilting Magazine.  I quilted this one from the back so I could see what in the hello kitty I was doing.  Didn't help much.  But as it was a first try I'm not beating myself up.  Feathers can be tricksy.  I haven't finished putting the 'pebbles' all around the edges, but you get the idea.  What I did learn is next time I will draw the grid lines in my blue pen first then quilt them.  it is evident that covering several inches in a straight line defeated me (with out a guide).  





Heehee!  THIS one was both fun and fast as a filler.  I love that it really is flat, flat, flat! and visible from the front as well. 




Now here's what happens when you don't have a plan and mark it out ahead of time.  (at least for me anyway).  Sort of a mess but I'm not all that worried given it's only for me & I learned a few things for this type of pattern.  

1.  You should draw out the concentric rings first, then draw in where your bubbles will go. THEN quilt it.  
I didn't drawn anything, just started a spiral shape then realized it would be very difficult manhandling all this quilt in that narrow harp all the while trying to keep a consisted circular pattern.  DUH!  So then I added pebbles (which in retrospect are not all that fun and why I hadn't exactly finished the other motif using them yet! LOL) .  Sadly both of my index fingers and thumbs start going to sleep after a bit so I have to take several breaks in between.  meh!
not very elegant but again, that's not exactly the point here.   

When it's done, I'll post the final shot on the bed, both sides.  :) 

4 comments:

  1. Sometimes you've just gotta fly by the seat of your pants! You go, girl!

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  2. I really enjoyed your process, you just went for it and learned on your way! Wish I could do the same..
    Thanks for sharing, it looks great!

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  4. The beautiful quilting makes it special!

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