Quilt Big….

I am still trying to learn how to use Julio (my Juki Sit-down long-arm) and I think that it is going pretty well!!!

I am much more comfortable with using rulers and am seeing better speed control. But, I wanted to know if I could quilt BIG……fill a quilt with large format, unmarked designs.

I turned to another charity quilt for practice.

I visually divided the piece into four columns and started quilting using a different pattern in each area. The first was a simple side-to-side column down the middle of the quilt…..

Next was a simple stipple pattern…..

….followed by a loopy stipple…..

….and finishing with a funky flower with lots of echo quilting…..

The actual quilting only took about an hour….it took longer to baste and bind than it did to quilt!!!!

It was a great exercise in QUILTING BIG and was so much fun to just cut loose and quilt FAST….FAST…..FAST!!!

One thing that I learned is that I tend to clench my jaw when I am sewing on Julio, so guess I need to remedy that by putting loud music on and singing at the top of my lungs….you can’t clench and vocalize at the same time!!!

So….. if you are driving past my house and hear loud caterwauling, you will know that Julio and I are sharing some quality time!!

Fast and Furious

Michael, my husband, has been out of the country for the past two weeks and I have used that time to get my life organized….particularly the quilting/blogging/business portion!!! I am enjoying blogging a lot more and trying to turn it into more of a business, but it takes time….lots and lots of time!!!

The other night, I was TIRED of sitting at my computer, WRITING AND THINKING about quilting and decided that it was time to do some sewing.

I turned to a kit that my guild’s charity group had provided and was pleased to open it up and see the fabrics already cut and ready to go…..

The kit even had detailed instructions about how to complete the top…..

The first step was to sew 12 W-O-F strips to 12 other W-O-F strips!! I put on my 1/4 inch foot that provides a ledge to butt up against……

…set the speed to “SUPER RABBIT”……

….and off I flew!!

After doing a bit of ironing, sewing, sub-cutting, sewing, and even more ironing, I was pleased to have this wonderful quilt top ready to go…….

I spent 2 hours from go to whoa on it and, not only did it make something that can be given away to help those in need, it gave me the welcome relief of getting to touch fabric and actually create something!!

Many thanks to our guild charity group as they do much of the “dirty” work so that I can have fun with the fabric part!!!

What do you work on when you JUST WANNA SEW?

One quilt done….MANY more to come

I spent this afternoon at my new machine and was able to finish the Charity quilt that I started when I was shopping for Julio, my Juki 2200QVP Sit-Down machine.

To say that I am thrilled with the results would be the understatement of the year…..

I quilted 9 wreaths using the Westalee rulers and then just started adding bits and pieces to the open areas. I used rulers for fill designs, rulers for border designs, free motion squiggles and free motion straight lines……

I have found that the rulers work wonderfully and the larger doodling is easy to accomplish. I can see that I will need to practice on the smaller FMQ designs to gain the fine-motor skills needed!!

I even got brave and started working on the borders for the brown stripe quilt. You remember this one…..I was pulling my hair out over it about 10 days back (see my post “FMQ With rulers is NOT for the faint hearted).

AND, the results were spectacular……

So far I haven’t had a single moment of buyers remorse!!!

Quilting around the border

In an effort to continue the practice of using rulers for Free -Motion quilting, I brought another top home from our guild Charity bee…..

I hung it on my design wall for a few days and fairly quickly decided exactly what I wanted to do!!

I started with a big flower in the center and then started adding diagonal borders flowing out from the middle. The reason that I wanted to do borders was because of a Christmas present that I received last December……

…..the Westalee Border Sampler Template set.

I spent a lot of “treadmill time” watching videos about how to use these rulers and found them to be extremely simple and effective!!

The first border that I quilted was the Continuous Heart…..

Next was the Braid…..

Then came the continuous loop

…..and finally the continuous fill pattern……

The final quilt design was pleasing and I did learn a lot in the process…..

I did learn one other thing with this project. When I quilted the first big flower in the center of the quilt, I had trouble with the foot dragging on the seams. But, when I moved the foot up higher, then the tension started messing up. I thought back to the last project (Meadow Art) and remembered that I had successfully changed the bobbin tension many times and it produced no dire effects, so I increased the bobbin tension with my quilting and it fixed all of the tension problems.

One other comment……..

As I have been watching videos and learning about the various rulers, I have noticed that the Westalee company goes for accuracy. Each ruler has lots of registration marks designed to help you keep everything in line.

The rulers designed by Angela Walters seem to be designed for fun quilting…..not that you cant be accurate with them, but they are designed for you to get on with the job!!

I can see where each type of ruler can be useful and actually like that I have options depending on what effect that I am trying to convey.

Of course, the only problem is that I can easily start accumulating quilting rulers in the same way that I do with fabric or threads and THAT is definitely a ……

S-Curve Ruler for FMQ

I have been talking about the charity quilt that I quilted and used the time to practice free motion quilting using rulers. The first border that I quilted was using the S-Curve ruler from Angel Oak Stitchery…..

It took me a while to figure out how to use this ruler but it ended up being super simple to use and I love the design that it gives.

Here is a video showing how it works……

When I was exploring demonstration videos of using this shape, many of them used these lines as the spines for feather patterns. That would be interesting….something I need to try at some point.

So, one border is done…..three to go!!

Long Weekend fun!!!

Even though every day sort of melts into the other days, it was sweet to have an OFFICIAL 3 day weekend, and making it more fun was the fact that I spent almost the entire time in my studio!!!

Last week I visited the Charity Bee from our guild and picked up a quilt top with the idea that I was going to use it to further practice ruler machine quilting. It was the perfect quilt as it was smaller (33×40) and had 20 six inch blocks for me to play with. I decided to do most of them using different techniques and was so pleased with how they turned out.

I started with the easiest one…..the Square spiral that I have already shown here…..

After that I used a few of the rulers for their “intended” purpose……

The I just started playing around with the rulers. If I got stuck and didn’t know how to continue with one ruler, I would pick up another one and add something with it……

When I got to the sashing I had fun playing with Angela Walter’s ruler named “Chevy”. Here is a video of the process that I used to quilt the sashing….

After I had finished all of the quilting, I realized that this particular sashing design added another design element to the quilt which made me SO happy…..

For the borders, I quilted each one using a different technique and ruler and have made a video with each. I will post those over the next few days.

This is the finished quilt…..

It is sweet and cuddly and I am happy to know that some young child will enjoy the comfort that can only come from having a quilt of your own!!!

AND….many thanks to Sue L. for allowing me to quilt this top that she so lovingly pieced together!!!

A post about quilts…..really!!


I am reminded that the name of this blog is “Quilts and Other Stuff” and lately it seems that I have been posting almost entirely about OTHER STUFF.   So, it is with great enjoyment that I am finally getting to write about quilts!!

Sometime back I posted about making a “Disappearing Nine Patch” quilt (post is here) for one of our guild charity projects.  I wasn’t completely happy with the quilt top and decided to try it again but this time to plan my fabrics a bit more.

SO, instead of making it completely scrappy, I used the same fabric for each of the centers of the Nine-Patch and also used the same fabrics for the four surrounding squares so that the blocks looked like this…..


They were then sliced into quarters and formed into blocks that look like this….


The final top looked like this, although the photo doesn’t do the colors justice ….


The really fun thing about this top is that it only took 1 hour and 20 minutes to put it together, including the borders!!

It is now in the hands of the long-arm quilter and will soon be handed to a deserving individual.   I hope it brings them much joy!!!

Disappearing Nine Patch for charity


A few weeks ago one of our members brought information about making a “Disappearing Nine Patch” quilt.  I thought that it looked fun so combed thru the fabric squares that we had and came up with this set of fabrics…..


The first step was to put them together to make 6 Nine Patch blocks…..


Next was to cut them in half in both directions…..



…..then set them together into a “pleasing” arrangement……


I am not sure that this fills the “pleasing” requirement, but I think that it will be okay once a border is added.

I have learned a few things from this and feel that it would be better if I had organized my lights and darks better, maybe even having one fabric for all of the center blocks.

And that, in fact, is what I have done.  I have pulled fabrics for a second quilt, but wont get to it for a while. 

Tomorrow I head to Abilene, Texas to clean out my Mom’s house……50 years of stuff MUST go……

Conclusive proof that vacuuming is bad…..


At the Charity Bee last week, I cut out squares and fabrics to make a simple quilt that alternates plain squares with rail fence blocks.  There was not enough fabric to cut all of the blocks the same so I added a different fabric for a few of the squares.

I easily pieced the rail fence blocks and placed all of the pieces on my design wall…..DSC08558

We were having some friends over for dinner that night, so I decided to do a little bit of vacuuming…..a VERY bad idea.   As I maneuvered around my design wall, several of the pieces blew off and one got caught in the mechanism of the vacuum cleaner….


Of course it was the one that had a limited number……Oh no!!

I thought that there was one extra so I quickly pulled it out of the scraps only to find that it was not an entire block….


I ended up having to add another of the alternate blocks to the quilt…..


I like the look of the finished quilt but it would have been SO much easier if I had just never bothered to vacuum.   Believe me, I will not make that mistake again!!!!

Doing something for others…..


For many years I had been heavily involved with the Charity Bee in our local guild.  This group of 10-15 ladies meets weekly to create quilts for the local battered women’s shelter, the Prevent Child Abuse organization, local senior citizen groups and others who are so much in need.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to be involved much in the last 18 months, so last week I happily rejoined the group.  There was much laughing, sewing and even a bit of singing!!!  

I found some fun bug fabric in amongst our stash and started cutting out a small quilt which I just finished up……


It will be returned to the group and one of the women will use their long-arm machine to quilt it, someone else will bind it and it will wing it’s way to a happy owner.

It feels good to be giving something back……..