Community Quilt 147

3 06 2014

What a bright, vibrant kaleidoscope/stack-and-whack quilt! (and the back is even brighter!) But how to quilt it? All those colours, those designs in the fabrics, those triangular shapes…

First, I stitched in the ditch around the central black banner and all the borders. Then I laid some clear plastic over one of the motifs in the banner and drew a couple of ideas before committing to stitching them. My initial thought was to do a stylised flower pattern with squared off petals, echoing the stitching lines and the overall shape of each hexagon, but then I moved the plastic a tad and saw that I could do the same but off-centre, thus ‘cutting’ the seam lines with the straight top of each petal (see the second photo for what I mean — it shows it better than I can describe it). As each centre was full of seams, I wanted to avoid stitching there (I’ve had a needle break doing that and it wasn’t pretty… or cheap to fix!), so instead of stitching in to the centre of each ‘flower’ I left a gap to give the illusion of a centre.

I stitched the ‘flowers’ in the central banner first, in black, but I was having trouble with that thread breaking all the time, so I switched to one of the other threads I’d chosen — a deep pink/cerise Isacord thread, which gave me NO trouble at all for the rest of the quilt. I stitched all the flowers in the main quilt top and the black areas and the border with this thread and it went through my machine like a hot knife through butter. Where possible I also stitched in the ditch with this pink thread in the main areas to get from one hexagon to the next without stopping.

All stitching was free motion (except for the straight stitch-in-the-ditch lines when I used my Line Tamer ruler), so some of the flowers in the black areas and the borders have 5 petals, some have 6, others 7 or 8.

For the border, I stitched a half flower of the motif I used in the main quilt, again using free motion (no rulers or markings).

(Click on a photo to view it larger)




quilt147_02   quilt147_04




Threads used:

  • Top: Isacord (40 wt trilobal polyester, colour 2508); and Robison-Anton (40 wt rayon, colour 2632 ‘Jet Black’)
  • Bottom: Bobbinfil (70 wt cotton, black)


Community Quilt 146

3 06 2014

I was told when I picked up these Community Quilts for quilting that there was a ‘challenge’ quilt amongst them. I have a feeling this might have been it. Why? because someone had started quilting it (the long straight lines extending from the blocks into the borders) and had marked big circles randomly across the quilt, ready for quilting.

On pulling this one out of the bag, my first thought was to quilt it in yellow to set off the grey in the uneven width borders and to echo the yellow in the sashing strips (only on 3 sides). My second thought was to quilt the ‘white space’ in the borders with more circles (or pebbles or bubbles, or whatever you want to call them). I wasn’t quite sure what to do in the main top where the busy fabrics were.

I started by stitching around each of the circles, then free motion stitching an echo circle about one quarter inch in from the marked circle I’d just stitched. Then I continued stitching a wavy matrix inside each circle, leaving the gap between the two lines of circle stitching to act as a slightly puffy border. Even though my inner circle line wasn’t always exact (i didn’t mark it or use a ruler), with the extra stitching I don’t think it matters too much.

After I finished stitching all the circles and their centres, I had decided to do a simple all-over motif for the gaps between the circles in the very busy fabric of the main part of the quilt top. To echo the circular motif, I stitched a squared-off-end version of my ‘open headband‘ motif across all the open areas. And then I stitched circles/bubbles/pebbles in the open areas of the grey borders.

I liked the overall effect, especially the yellow thread against the grey fabric.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)



quilt146_02   quilt146_04



Threads used:

  • Top: Mettler Poly Sheen (40 wt polyester, color 0706 [bright yellow]) and when that ran out, Fil-Tec ‘Glide’ (40 wt trilobal polyester, colour 80116 ‘Mango’)
  • Bottom: Can’t remember, but likely a Wonderfil Invisifil (100 wt) in a dark brown thread.


Community Quilt 145

3 06 2014

This was a little quilt, with no batting. Instead, it had a bright red polar fleece for the backing, which served as batting as well. I took a photo of the back, but reds and my phone camera just don’t play nicely together, so I haven’t added it below.

How to quilt it? I started by stitching in the ditch around all the blocks and the border as my previous experience with polar fleece as a backing is that it slips a LOT, so I needed to stabilise the two layers. Then I used the plaid fabric in the alternate blocks as my inspiration and based the stitching in these blocks on a variation of that, using different sorts of cross-hatching motifs in each of those blocks. To counteract the geometric nature of the quilting in those blocks, I used curved motifs in the other blocks, finishing with a star in the centre.

Then I stitched the borders of each block with wobbly lines (yes, they are deliberate!), and stitched big circles/pebbles/bubbles in the outer border. I didn’t stitch the beige inner border at all.

I used the same variegated green thread for all the stitching.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)




Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec ‘Affinity’ (40 wt trilobal polyester, colour 60293 ‘Forest’)
  • Bottom: Wonderfil Invisifil (100 wt, colour IF202 [red])


Community Quilt 144

3 06 2014

I volunteered to do some quilting at the Community Quilts stand at the annual QuiltWest exhibition, and in the few hours I was there, I quilted a complete quilt and about half of another one, before I was called away to do White Glove and take-down duties.

I finished the other half of the partially completed one this past weekend. At the Community Quilts stand, I was using a Bernina and some supplied thread (a soft variegated pink of unknown composition, though I suspect cotton). Once at home, I used my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen machine to finish the quilting and a similar variegated pink thread, though from a different manufacturer.

As this quilt was very busy with lots of floral fabrics, I decided to quilt it using a ‘flower’ version of my ‘open headbands‘ motif — same as that motif, but instead of a curved line for the second arc, I just add in some petal-like mini-arcs, giving a floral effect (see the picture of the back of the quilt for details). I was talking to people as I was quilting so I wanted to make sure I was using a design for which I had a lot of ‘muscle memory’ so that I could carry on a conversation without worrying too much about the quilting.

(Click on a photo to view it larger)





Threads used:

  • Top: Fil-Tec ‘Affinity’ (40 wt trilobal polyester, colour 60149 ‘Mauve’)
  • Bottom: unknown beige cotton (at Community Quilts stand) and Fil-Tec Magna Glide pre-wound bobbin (white)