I was determined to have these trees finished in time to decorate for Christmas and it happened….
I am super pleased with how they look!!
But, the last time you saw them they were in lots of pieces so let’s talk about how they got from there to here….
I finished the paper piecing and was ready to add the borders. I trimmed down the entire tree leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance around the pattern lines. Then, I removed the paper just along the edges….
That way the edges were free of paper but the rest of the piece stayed stabilized.
After adding the borders it was time to remove the rest of the paper and I found a new tool while doing it. I normally used a seam ripper to help get under the paper…..
…but was always concerned that I would accidentally clip the threads or, even worse, cut a hole in the fabric!!
Then I remembered my “Purple Thing”!! It was perfect for this task…..
Another reason why I am not fond of paper piecing….
Now it was time to think about quilting. I tried a few designs on paper…..
…but decided that I wanted to see it in the real size.
You may be tired of videos but I wanted to share one more that shows how I planned the quilting and then how easy it was to actually perform the design…..
I kept the rest of the quilting really simple and am especially happy with the striped binding…..
I haven’t been quilting with rulers for long, but I have wondered how I could see what a pattern would look like before I started quilting it. I have asked myself how to know if a design would fit into the block or border that I was working on.
Westalee Rulers has provided the perfect solution to this dilemma….
Check out this video for a demonstration of how they work…..
This system could also be used to mark quilts for hand quilting or for Free-motion-quilting without a ruler.
Personally, I am excited to find out what happens when I mix and match my rulers and designs and this method sure beats having to quilt it out to see if I like it!!
As I started using rulers on my home machine, I had tons of trouble getting over all of the seams, especially since I had OVERLY pieced the backing. This meant that there was just too much bulk under the needle.
Then I met Julio and he came home to make my quilting life easier…..but he didn’t…..at least at first!! But then I finally figured out how to make him work for me and, before I knew it, the quilting was done!!
I quilted all of the strip designs in the same manner, starting with a square in the center of the strip and then radiating parallel lines out toward the point of the strip.
For the alternating white blocks, I used a series of spinning rulers from Westalee and tried to do a different pattern in almost every block…..
I debated long and hard about how to quilt the background of the border pieces and started out with just a 1/4 inch echo along each of the blocks. Since that looked so good, I decided to add another echo line down the middle of the white border and am very happy with how it worked out.
I did do a bit of marking before I stitched….just to give me a registration point to know when and where to stop or to turn, etc…….
The final quilt looks great……
I have been reading a lot recently about staging your quilt photos so I decided to take this one outside and see what I could do. Michael went out to help…..
….and we got a few good photos, but my favorite one is when the wind caught the edge and threatened to send it into the neighbors yard!!
I am glad that this quilt is finally off of my To-Do list!!!
It proved to be a great learning experience and I am looking forward to starting another scrap strip quilt in the near future……
As I posted previously, I am enjoying learning more and more about Julio, my Juki Sit-Down long arm machine.
My first attempts at free-motion quilting were to get the FEEL of the machine but now it is time to start working on precision….and I am going to need a lot of work!!
Firstly, I need to learn how to go slow. You can adjust the speed of the machine, but it is still super hard to just take one or two slow stitches. I use this technique constantly when I need to move the quilt just a little bit!! I could probably fix this problem by putting a stitch-regulator on the machine, but I really don’t want to do that!!
I also found that when I stopped and re-positioned the fabric, it was easy for the fabric to shift just a bit when I started back again. I need to practice holding the fabric well and taking one stitch in the same place before I start moving the fabric.
This machine really notices when the fabric drags so it became quickly apparent that I needed to add something to the table to help that problem. The machine table sits up against my other machine so there is a table on the left side, but I needed something to support the right side as well. I added a fold-up table and that seemed to do the trick…..
I was doing all ruler quilting for this piece and Julio schooled me in a few other practices as well!!
First of all, I needed to make sure that the fabric wasn’t bunched up under the ruler but was instead laying flat. This was especially important when I was doing designs that needed to meet in exactly the same place each time.
I also learned not to look at the needle when I was using a ruler. Instead, I looked at the line on the ruler that I was using for registration. This meant that I wasn’t as likely to let the ruler slide as I quilted.
Finally, I learned about ruler heights!! These are the two rulers that I was using for straight lines. The one on the left is an Angela Walters ruler and the one on the right is from Westalee. You can see that there is a significant difference in their height.
Once I had raised the foot high enough to cruise over all of the seams (see previous post), it was too high for the Westalee ruler. I used it for a few lines but realized that it would sometimes slip under the presser foot and that was not good.
The problem that I had with the Walters ruler is that, when I am holding the ruler directly behind the foot, it is too tall to completely butt up against the ruler foot!!
I never did come up with a perfect solution to this problem but did find ways to re-position the ruler so that it was never DIRECTLY behind the foot.
All in all, I am pleased with my purchase!! I recognize that most of these “problems” can be fixed with attention to detail and with lots of practice.
So, it’s off to design more quilt tops so that I have more to quilt!!!