Blogger’s Quilt Festival and Wacky Witchy Way

I’m entering Wacky Witchy Way into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival which starts today.  Voting will start November 1.

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I was inspired by the great fabric line from Maywood Studios, Black Cat Crossing.  Although it is a Halloween seasonal fabric line, most of the prints are very versatile and can be used in many quilt applications.  My houses could be witches are wearing hats put on with flair.  Or, my witches could be houses with crackled eyes.  I made free-motion free-standing lace spider webs, there is a tutorial here.  The spider web quilting is a design by Jessica Schick.

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Witchy Closeup

 

I will be adding my link to the Original Design Category in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  Don’t forget to vote!

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Black Cat Crossing and Wicked Witch-y Way

Thank you Wicked Wendy for leading us on a blog hop featuring fabric from the Black Cat Crossing by Maywood Studio.  Thank you Madame Samm for organizing such wonderful hops with interesting themes.  I promised a Halloween quilt and a tutorial.  Today’s quilt is a Quilt Design a Day finish–yippee!!  My first finish from the designs which I have posted on Quilt Design a Day is from September 11, 2014.  Here is the design as I originally posted it:

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And here is the finished quilt:

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A closer look at the scary/whimsical witch-y houses:

 

I fussy cut the eyes/windows in the witch-y houses so that the spiderweb prints would look like eyes.  Each house has a door/nose using a purple background print, the houses/faces are a green print and the roofs/hats are a black background print.  I used fabrics from the Black Cat Crossing line and some solids which were in my stash.  The web quilting design was by Jessica Schick.  The spiderweb embellishments were free-motion free-standing lace.  They were definitely a spooky addition and easy to make.

To make the webs I started with Aquamesh Plus, a water soluble stabilizer, Bridal organza and embroidery thread.

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I set up my machine for free motion stitching, lowered the feed dogs, installed the free motion foot, changed my needle for an embroidery needle and installed the straight stitch throat plate.  Please consult your sewing machine’s manual for how to do this.

IMG_1134-1Web Tutorial1In order to stitch the colored webs, I threaded both white and colored threads through the machine as if they were one thread following the same path.  Both threads should be threaded through the one needle.  Please consult your owner’s manual if this does not work on your machine or if you have excessive thread breakage.  I stuck the adhesive side of the stabilizer to the bridal organza ribbon (after removing the wire from the ribbon) then I hooped them together in an embroidery hoop.  I used a 7 inch diameter hoop.

IMG_1135-1Web Tutorial2If you are insecure with your free motion stitching drawing ability I suggest that you draw your web on the stabilizer/organza with a water soluble marker.  I drew my first web with a non-soluble pen and it transferred to the thread when I dissolved the stabilizer.  The resulting web looked very dirty.  After drawing a few webs I felt comfortable enough to go ‘off-road’ at the sewing machine.  The first stitches are an ‘asterisk’ shape which form the skeleton of the web.

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I found that setting the needle speed at approximately midway between the slowest and fastest kept thread breakage at a minimum.  The needle will be going fast, but your movements should be slow and deliberate.  First lay down the base stitches–I stitched the lines upon which I would build the design.  I usually went over the lines twice.  Next I went over the spiderweb ‘straight’ lines with a tight looping stitch.

IMG_1139-1Web Tutorial 3In the above picture you can see both the straight lines and the beginning of one line of the looping stitch.  Watch that you do not have excessive thread build-up in one place, you don’t want to pull your needle out of the needle bar or break your needle.  The width of each line when finished should be 1/8 inch.  When stitching the outer lines of the web be careful not to bump into the hoop with the presser foot.  Also I noticed that my hoop was not travelling  smoothly because my sewing surface was not completely flat–I used my Silicone Slider to fix that issue.

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After stitching the skeleton of the web and the outer shape I stitched the inner lines.

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Once you have completed stitching the web, remove it from the hoop and following the manufacturer’s instructions dissolve the water soluble stabilizer.

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Remove the webs from the water, dry them in a towel and press them.  I then carefully cut the organza out of sections of the web to add to the ‘webby’ illusion.   Arrange them on the quilt and tack them down with a few stitches.

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Thank you so much for your time.  Please visit the other blogs on today’s schedule:

VroomansQuilts

Lovelli Quilts

Pampered Pettit

TeaTimeCreations

Whims and Fancies

Have a quilty day!!

lovelliquilts.wordpress.com

Travelling Stash Box, 120 Day Qdad badge…

Welcome!!  It was so nice to send my son off to his first day as a Junior in high school.  How time flies!!!  It seems like yesterday that he was a babe, now he is 6’4″!!!  He views my quilting projects with a critical eye and knows where to find freezer paper in the grocery store.  Time has certainly flown this summer and I know I haven’t been blogging enough.  I have been busy off-blog working on projects which I will show you on September 8 for the See you in September blog hop.  I hope you will be pleased with my upcoming–‘What I sewed this summer’ projects.  Tomorrow is the first day of the hop, so please visit tomorrow’s blogs which I will list below.

 

 

I continue to design quilts for Quilt Design a Day, I earned the 120-day badge!! Here are my designs from August:

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In the slideshow you will see quilts from two weeks of Qdad challenges, including the Medallion Quilt challenge. Another challenge starts next week:  ‘Shapes in our neighborhood’.  I’m always amazed by the wonderful quilt designs which my fellow Qdad-ers post.  Come join in on the fun!!

Starting tomorrow check out my fellow blog-hoppers summer projects:

 

Wednesday, September 3

Sew Incredibly Crazy
Bumbleberry Cottage
Thimblemouse and Spouse
Mad Quilter’s Disease
In The Boon Docks

Thursday, September 4
Jane’s Quilting
Life in the Scrapatch
Sew Many Yarns
Gracie Oliver Arts
Everyone Deserves a Quilt

Friday, September 5
Stitchin’ By The Lake
Coeur d’Alene
Words & Stitches
TheSlowQuilter
Pig Tales and Quilts
All Thingz Sewn

Monday, September 8
Quilting Quietly
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Procrastination Queen
Lovelli Quilts
Cherry Blossoms

Tuesday, September 9
Just Let Me Quilt
Marjorie’s Busy Corner
The Quilting Queen Online Blog
Marla’s Crafts
K and S Sweets and Stitching

Wednesday, September 10
Secretly Stitching
Buzzing and Bumbling
Quilt n Queen
Quilted Delights

Grandmama’s Stories

Thursday, September 11
Susie’s World
Needled Mom
Cate’s Linens
How ART you?
I Like To QuiltBlog

Quiltscapes

Friday, September 12
Sunshine-quilting
Sew Peace to Peace
MoosestashQuilting
More Stars in Comanche
Living With Purpose

Monday, September 15
I Piece 2-Mary
Till We Quilt Again
Vroomans Quilts
Nini and the Sea
Seams To Be Sew

My Quilting Journey

Tuesday, September 16
Life, quilts and a cat too
Meadowbrook
Apple Avenue Quilts
Just Keep Swimming
Patchwork Sampler
Sew We Quilt

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Santa Fe Block Design Challenge, and a Giveaway

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A  friend of mine was talking about my designs at dinner a couple of weeks ago and she challenged me to take one block design and use it in several quilt designs.  I’ve really appreciated it when other designers on qdad (Quilt Design a Day) have done this.  The slide show above shows my designs for the week, the block in each one is the Santa Fe block.

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According to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, this block design was first printed in the Ladies Arts catalogue, Quilt Patterns:  Patchwork and Applique, published in 1922.  The seems complicated in that there are 77 pieces in it.  However, it can be pieced using beginner/advanced beginner skills.  Next week I’ll show you how to piece it to ensure accuracy.

In the mean time, I promised a giveaway today, and there will be one next Friday as well.  Next week the giveaway will be the Traveling Stash Box #5, it had a little adventure on its way to me, involving mis-deliveries, confused possessions, etc.  However, it is in my hands now and I have added some treasures to it.  I will give it away next Friday, so please come back.

Today I will be giving away a jelly roll from Edyta Sitar’s new collection at Moda fabrics.  The colors in this collection would be so pretty in the Santa Fe Block, in fact I will be using this collection in my tutorials for the block next week.  To enter the giveaway please leave a comment below, I will choose a winner on Monday at 12:00 pm, Central time.  I can only ship to addresses in the United States.

4329JR Have a quilty weekend!

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Quilt Design a Day featured on Sew Mama Sew

There are a series of interviews about Quilt Design a Day (Qdad) on the Sew Mama Sew blog: Amy Gunson of Badskirt, Anne Sullivan of Play-CraftsMichelle Wilkie from Factotum of Arts and Stacey Day of Stacey in Stitches.  Amy is featuring her first pattern and a giveaway.  I really enjoy designing for Qdad, it is daily practice for my creative ‘muscle’ and a wonderful, supportive community.

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My first design April 8, it took another month of fits and starts before I started posting regularly.

When I first started designing daily I was not sure that I would be able to keep it up, and I was afraid that my designs would not be ‘good enough.’  Now with a portfolio of more than 120 designs behind me, I still feel that fear, but now I know that I can use it to design and quilt.  There are stages we all go through as we design daily:

Fear–Can I do it?  Will it be good enough?  Will others like my designs?

Embrace the Rock
Embrace the Rock

Boredom–What, didn’t I see that rock/door/ice cream before????  We joke about seeing the rock/door/ice cream before, yet we still design.  Purple again?!?!?!  We don’t always like the palettes, but that is part of the challenge.  It has helped me to design in spite of my color ‘allergies.’

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My first design using EQ7’s Serendipity

Search for additional challenge–trying new software (purchasing new hardware just to try out new software, lol.), learning new functions in our design software, designing in a series, designing on a theme and designing with a particular block.  For example Anne Sullivan’s Alien Flora, and Amy Gunson’s Woven Slashes series.  Recently a longarming friend challenged me to design several designs using the same block.  I’m now halfway through my week of designing  with the same block.  Come back on Friday to see a slideshow of my designs with the Santa Fe block  and for my first giveaway.

Linking up with Anything Goes Monday and Patchwork Times’ Design Wall Monday

Have a quilty day!

lovelliquilts.wordpress.com

Using EQ7’s Serendipity to Design Original Blocks, part 2

Today I would like to show you some more quilts which I designed with the help of EQ7’s Block>Serendipity>Shrink and Flip.  You can find part 1 of the tutorial here.   In the galleries found below the first image is always the original block and the following blocks are the combinations from Shrink and Flip,  used in the quilt design and numbered to reflect the set of flags in the Shrink and Flip dialog box.

I took the “Palm” block in EQ7 and rearranged it for the following quilt design.

Barbed Wire
Barbed Wire

I find that by mixing and remixing the combinations in the Shrink and Flip dialog box I discover new blocks and fun new ways to arrange blocks.    Many times the combinations are unexpected and beautiful.  I hope you discover something new when you play with Shrink and Flip.

Feathers
Feathers

For the following quilt, I recolored some of the patches in each block once it was set into the quilt and I also darkened the background.

Cool Treats
Cool Treats

Finally here is the Orange Slice design which I showed you in part 1 of the tutorial:

Orange Slices
Orange Slices

Spend some time to play around with this neat feature!

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The Design Doldrums

 

 

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I am trying to do at least one Quilt Design a Day on Facebook.  Each day two palettes are chosen based on two photographs and then we are challenged to design at least one quilt, not spending more the 15-20 minutes on a design.  Today’s photo was taken from Design Seeds, it is a picture of the side of a building:  turquoise shutters with orange and blue siding.  Some days I jump for joy, because the palettes are so beautiful, or the inspiration photo is so beautiful; other days I just say to my self, “huh?? how am I going to use that color scheme?”  I saw today’s colors from the above photo and wondered if maybe I should go wash the dishes!  🙂

I looked at the photo, noticed the slats in the shutters and the lines of the colored siding.  I  tried several blocks which had similar lines, none of which seemed right to me.  I went in search of inspiration and searched for photos of American Southwest art.  I frequently look at art or photos to inspire me.  Most of the time I will pick up a shape, an idea, or a play on words, etc. which will jump start my brain.  Today, I saw a photo of a rug and thought I could adapt that to a block design  and this design was born:

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I was so relieved that I had come up with something, I quickly posted it…and then regretted.  I liked the horizontal lines, the feeling of movement, but I wasn’t completely happy.   I walked away and enjoyed a really stupid movie with my sick son.  (No, his illness was not caused by looking at this quilt!)  I definitely achieved a feeling of movement (maybe too much) in the quilt, when I really wanted to create more minimal design.  I needed to edit.  My next thought was to add some negative space, although I’m not sure that orange is that negative space and I rotated  half of the blocks 90 degrees.

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I think my “editing” further complicated my “minimal” design.  I looked some more at the original photo.  I thought that the shutters and the orange siding were important in the original photo, so the quilt should reference them.   As a result I drew the slats of the shutters, I placed them off-center to the left of the block and chose the darker blue as the background, and then placed the orange.   A minimal design.  It is so simple, why does it seem so difficult??  Which design do you like best?

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How do you get inspiration?

Have a quilty day,

lovelliquilts.wordpress.com

www.lovelliquilts.wordpress.com

On the longarm today.

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I am so lucky to be able to quilt on a beautiful client quilt.  My client and I decided to quilt using designs inspired by those in the fabric.   I combined several medallion designs from Anita Shackelford and from  Nancy Haake.  The fill function in Creative Studios (the software which runs my longarm) made it easy.  Here is my (very rough) design:

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I learn something new from every quilt, my lessons today:

  • size the medallions to the width of the longarm table in order to minimize stops and starts.
  • rotate the design so that the start of the design is behind the ‘trim’ border, enabling the rest of the design to sew continuously.
  • break apart designs to minimize stops/starts (it sounds counter-intuitive, but if the longarm quilter is going  to stop and start multiple times at the edge of a trim, then breaking the design apart and only sewing the portion which fits entirely on the sewing area will reduce the total number of stops/starts).

Next time I will try:

  • to plan the outlines of the design and layering the circle borders by themselves first, then stitch them (stabilizing the stitching area).  Next digitize the center medallions and stitch them.  There were quite a few areas where I attempted to remove stitches which retraced stitching lines but, these were difficult to remove in standalone mode and tedious to stitch.
  • to make sure that I take the time to manage the sewing order better.

I love to try new techniques and I’m so excited to learn something new with every quilt!  What have you learned today?

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Have a quilty day!

lovelliquilts.wordpress.com

On the Design Wall

 

Easy Peasy, Lime Squeezy
Easy Peasy, Lime Squeezy

We had some absolutely stunning palettes to work from over the weekend at Quilt Design a Day.  I had gobs of fun designing.  The colors reminded me of summers sitting by the pool, but in the shade with sunscreen and a hat, drinking cold drinks–heaven!!  I’ve been thinking about making this one.  It would be fun to do with Dale Fleming’s 6-minute circle method, which you can find here:  http://www.hgtv.com/video/easy-circle-quilt-blocks-video/index.html).
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I’d also like to sew the Ocean Waves quilt in the patriotic colors.  What a great idea for a July 4 picnic.  It would be tons of fun to quilt in the negative space–fireworks, exploding feathers, etc.

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Have you ever felt like the “odd bird” out?  I know that I sure have, just like the red bird above.  However, that is the bird that makes the quilt interesting I think.  Celebrate your unique-ness today!!

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Did you notice that most of my designs were inspired by things that happen in the summer??!!  “Orange Cream sickle”,  I loved them as a kid (if truth were to be known, I think I still like them 🙂 ).  Enjoy the spring!!

Linking up with:  Anything Goes Monday.

Have a quilty day!!

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