Friday, August 19, 2016

Ten-minute Quilt Block Quilt


YES!!!! A Friday finish and it's mine!!

I was looking on the internet for quilty ideas for the quilt club I do the second Friday of every month over at Blakeman Vacuum & Sewing when I ran across a tutorial on for the 10 Minute Quilt Block by Suzanne McNeill.  Her samples are beautiful so I bought the book on ibooks and took a layer cake of Color Daze by Edyta Sitar along with my Bernina 350 to a friend's house for a one day mini retreat while her family was out of town.

This block is sooooo fast once you have the technique down.  I put six completed blocks together and then sliced the remaining 10" squares and put them together for a scrappy border.  The quilt finishes at about 47" x 67"; it's a great size for a throw, which is what I wanted, just for me!

And the most exciting part is the quilting: feathers, feathers, feathers!  The initial thought was to quilt around the center diamond of each block.  However, if you look real close at the quilt you can see two center circles created by putting the blocks together and then half circles surrounding them all around the inner part of the quilt.  That is where I decided to quilt large circle and half-circle feathers with a cross hatched center along with pearls on the outer part of the cross hatch and double pearls as the feather spine.  I think this will keep the quilt from looking too "blocky"  This is still a work in progress but it is coming together and I'm so excited!  Here's the first completed center block:

Quilting is being done with Aurifil 50 weight thread in a darker beige, color 2314.  It's just gorgeous! I think the quilt as a whole will be awesome!

SOOOOO excited about this quilt top finish and the 10 Minute Quilt Block.  This would be a great fabric stash project!  The 5 Minute Quilt Block looks even more fun!  

Have a great weekend and join me for some more quilty fun at the links on my side bar!

Next week I'll post a quilt I will be putting in a live auction in September for a local fund raiser so stay tuned!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Preparing for a Ruler Work Class

As with all of us, life has been busy as of late but I have made a purposeful decision to slow it down so I hope to be making more posts.

The past two weeks were spent busily preparing curriculum and samples for my Ruler Work classes in Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming and also Boulder, Colorado.  My first class was this past Saturday, August 6th.  I'll have another on September 10th and 24th and plan to do an exclusively Bernina Owner class in late October or Mid-November upon return from the Houston Quilt Festival.

The focus of this basic class is the use of rulers on a domestic machine.  However, I also have students from my free motion quilting classes attend who have purchased sit down machines and desire to use rulers.  They take the class with a domestic machine but can then just transfer the information at home to their sit down.

The class starts with using simple straight rulers and progresses to cross hatching.  We then move to using curved rulers and progress to curved cross hatching.  

The basic class culminates in a simple class project using the techniques learned so that students have something to show for their full day of practice.  

My final plan is to show how rulers can be combined with free motion quilting for some awesome designs.  So I start by showing my favorite:  feathers!

I call this a pansy feather and simply want to show how straight lines, combined with heavier background stitching, make for an awesome border.  This sample was stitched with variegated thread so the background stitching between the lines have an interesting effect.

For this classic and beautiful sample, I created and stitched out a very simple design with feathers and pebbles and then went back in and completed cross hatching with the pumpkin seed stitch as well as straight lines on the outside of the sample, mitered in the corners, all of which was completed with rulers.  Pumpkin seeds can certainly be done free hand, but this sample warranted a slight bit more perfection.

Needing a little more modern of a twist as well, this sample was a challenge to develop in my mind and I'm still not totally sure I care for it but it accomplished it's purpose.
It began by developing the rose as the center motif and producing some creative stitching.  A circle template and curved cross hatching were then used to surround the rose, along with a little echoing and squiggles for fill.  Then some arcs to border the main subject filled with feathers and pebbles and  some cross hatching to finish the final border.  This sample if FILLED with information!

We also look at specific rulers and how they can be intertwined, especially with feathers (my personal favorite), for special border designs and how simple straight lines are awesome for setting off designs in borders.

I kind of over-did the size on this Amish scroll!  Next time I'll make it a little smaller.

Circles are the latest craze in ruler work and work fantastic in dense quilting to take a break or to use when you don't know what to do in a block area.  However, they are an interior design, meaning you work inside the ruler, so they don't work well for domestic machines, but my sit down owners love them!  And I do too!

Finally, we touched on how blocks can be broken down for ruler work within a block and how the sky is the limit for creating designs.

So that's the Ruler Work class I've been working on.  I am learning a lot about using rulers with my domestic machine versus my Bernina Q20 long arm.  The main difference is that rulers pretty much do not work used behind the foot.  Some machines will not even allow the ruler to go behind the foot.  And all machines respond differently.  Add the equations of long arm users in to a class, who can do almost anything they want with rulers, and you have a very interesting but fun day.  

I love teaching and this class helped me to learn to enjoy being stretched.  I'm still learning that but it is a process.  Hope you enjoyed learning too!