Community Quilt 42

27 12 2012

This is the last quilt I quilted in my HOT sewing room 😉 I’ve now moved my Sweet Sixteen into the living room, where there’s air conditioning and where I can keep cool.

I love this quilt — I think my main attraction is the creator’s use of colour.


But how to quilt it? The easy option would’ve been stitch in the ditch. Instead, I decided to do feathers in the checkerboard ‘arms’ of each block, in variegated threads that matched the block’s colours.

quilt42_02  quilt42_04 quilt42_03

Then a central feather in the inner checkboard piece in the same threads, followed by ‘sort of’ feathers in the outer white spaces — these I did in either pale yellow or pale green thread, depending on the block’s colour. I went with a similar motif in the same colours around the central checkboards. I didn’t quilt the sashing strips, the borders, or the floral fabric stars.

Oh, and no marking except for the small central circle in the centre checkboards. Everything else was purely free motion quilting.

Threads used:

  • Top: Yellow, green, purple variegated (King Tut, ‘Passionfruit’ colour #931); green variegated (King Tut, ‘Oasis’ colour #988); pale yellow (Isacord, colour #5650); pale green (Isacord, colour #0640)
  • Bobbin: Various maroon and cream Invisifil and Deco-Bob threads from Wonderfil

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here:


Thread storage update

25 12 2012

Santa bought me a large-spool thread stand, with holders for 120 spools! 😉 Well, I bought the stand for $20 (down from $100) at my local quilt shop’s Christmas sale earlier in the week and thanked my husband for the lovely present he’d bought me for Christmas!


It’s a heavy stand and while it opens out, I just don’t have the floor space for it to stand up by itself. Equally, I don’t want to hang it on the wall, so I’ve leant it against a bookcase in my sewing room — I can easily move it from there if I need to get to the photo albums behind.

And I’ve added all my 1000 m and 5000 m spools to it, but there are lots of gaps, so I guess I need to buy more thread ;-). All the Isacords and Fil-Tec spools fit fine as do the Wonderfil Deco-Bobs and Invisifils, but my existing Robinson-Anton and Floriani 1000 m spools don’t as they have a inner core that narrows and therefore doesn’t fit the spool holders. I’ve put those threads in a plastic thread tray.

My smaller spools are still on their stand (below) — they definitely won’t fit on this new stand. The old stand is an old spice rack made by my ex brother-in-law many decades ago — works perfectly for the smaller spools.




Community Quilt 41

25 12 2012

Community quilt #41 was a very busy ‘I spy’ (or ‘eye spy’) quilt. An I Spy Quilt is made from fussy-cut fabrics, usually children’s prints and novelty fabrics with motifs that the recipient can ‘spy’ when looking at the quilt.

This one had everything from kittens to spiders, pegs to lemons, and everything in between! It was very ‘busy’ visually, and had every colour under the rainbow in it. The fussy cut pieces were hexagons, and most were on a pale blue or pale yellow background fabric. These blocks were separated by other novelty fabric blocks, and the whole top was bordered with a plain navy fabric.

How to quilt such a busy quilt? I thought of doing outline stitching around the motifs as I did for the lolly jar quilt, but I decided against this fairly quickly after examining some of the motifs more closely. I thought of the open headband motif — quick, easy; or a large all-over stipple. Then I decided to do a variation of the open headband motif — instead of points at each turn, I decided to square them off, giving a geometric look to the quilting.

As there were so many colours in this quilt, I used a pastel variegated thread to blend in with many of the fabrics. I also extended the stitching into the border as I didn’t want yet another different motif to draw the eye — there was already enough going on in this quilt!

(Click a photo to view it larger)




Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Harmony in variegated pastel pinks, yellows and blues (cotton; 40 wt; colour ‘Spring’ 14062)
  • Bobbin: Bobbinfil (white, 70 wt)

Community Quilt 40

22 12 2012

This pretty quilt didn’t take too long to quilt. It was a lap size quilt for starters. And I did very simple quilting on it, using long arcs to make the flower ‘petals’.

As all the fabrics were florals, I decided to quilt large flower shapes. To quilt from the centre out to the corners would’ve have taken too long, so instead from the point at one edge and did long sweeping up and down arcs crossing in the centre of each diamond and at the points. The effect is of large intersecting circles (‘cathedral windows’), or if you can’t see those (the back shows them better), then just flower petals 😉

Click on a photo to view it larger.









Threads used:

  • Top: Guterman Sulky in a soft variegated pink for the lighter diamonds (rayon, 40 wt; colour 2100); Superior King Tut variegated purple, blue, green and yellow for the darker diamonds (Egyptian cotton, colour ‘Cairo’ #932)
  • Bobbin: Wonderfil Deco-Bob (80 wt; colour DB 115)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here:


Community Quilt 39

16 12 2012

Another blue and cream quilt… Pinwheels this time.

Some of the fabrics had water, fish, water lilies, or water birds in them, so instead of following any of the very geometric shapes of the pinwheels, I went for something quite different — water! I used a pretty pale blue to mid blue variegated thread and I think it worked well for this all-over design. I like how it gives a ‘modern quilt’ feel to this traditional pinwheel pattern.

I timed this one properly and also reset the stitch counter on my Sweet Sixteen — the quilting took 3 hours and some 80,000 stitches.

Click on a photo to view it larger.



The back:quilt39_02

Threads used:

  • Top: Wonderfil Tutti (Egyptian cotton, 50 wt; colour TU 21)
  • Bobbin: Bobbinfil (white, 70wt)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here:

Community Quilt 38

16 12 2012

This was a big quilt, with well over 120 appliqued butterflies arranged in circles in each block. How to quilt it?

Click on a photo to view it larger.


Well, I wanted to make the butterflies ‘pop’, so I decided to do a small stipple around them, but I didn’t want the stipple to take over, so I grabbed a large bowl from the kitchen and marked a big circle. I figured I’d do something in the circle later…

After quilting around all the butterflies in all the blocks, I now had an empty circle in the middle. Well, that looked odd, so I thought maybe I could stitch a butterfly in the centre of each circle, but I needed the central butterfly to ‘pop’ too, so I went with a smaller inner circle (another kitchen bowl), then the butterfly in blue, with blue and pink in the wings (there was some pink in some of the blue fabrics), followed by more stippling around each butterfly to make it stand out.


About the centre butterfly: I could have hunted through all my books, magazines, tear-out templates from magazines etc. for a suitable butterfly outline, but I could have spent hours doing that and still not find the outline I wanted. So off to Google! I searched for butterfly outline then clicked on the Google Images link. Once I found the shape I wanted, I printed it out at the correct percentage to fit my centre (yes, I had to try a couple of % settings first!). Then I put the printout under a sheet of stiff plastic (the sort used as the outer cover of spiral- or coil-bound business reports), and marked the outline with a thin Sharpie. Then I cut out the plastic template and used a marker to go around this template in the centres. I stitched around each outline in blue, then did a very free motion design inside the wings in the same blue as well as the little banana-shaped stitches up and down the body, followed by the antenna also in the same blue. Once I’d done that, I added some free motion pink curlicues inside the free-motioned blue wing shapes. No patterns for any of that inside the butterfly — just from my head.

As all the blue sashing fabrics had a leaf motif, I stitches leaves in the sashing strips in the same blue thread as the centre butterflies.


I think it took about 8 to 12 hours to quilt this large quilt  — I did it over two days.

The back:


Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec Glide (‘Cream’, colour 20001; 40 wt polyester); Floriani (blue, colour PF373; 40 wt rayon (?)); Robison-Anton (‘Pale orchid’ [pink], colour 2423; 40wt rayon)
  • Bobbin: Bobbinfil (white, 70wt)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here:

Community Quilt 37

14 12 2012

The last of the small quilts in the latest batch was a very pretty ‘stained glass’ style quilt in Asian fabrics. Each fabric was quite different so how to quilt it? I thought of doing something different in each block, but figured that might make it too busy (the fabric is busy enough), and I thought of doing a water motif. But eventually I decided on a spiky grass motif in a gold coloured thread (not metallic). I repeated the same grass in each block and used a smaller version of it in the border.

(Click on a photo to view it larger.)



In the border I also used the technique I learned in the December FMQ Challenge of making the centre and corner elements ‘kiss’ each other.



Threads used:

  • Top: Robison-Anton rayon (color 2332 ‘Penny’; 40 wt)
  • Bobbin: Wonderfil Deco-Bob (DB 115, 80wt)

Photos of all the Community Quilts I’ve quilted are here: