Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Even Spaced Straight Line Stitching

Time to explain how to stitch the evenly space straight lines on Baby Feet.

After many design ideas, I decided on the straight line design.  And while looking through One Line at a Time, Encore (affiliate link) by Charlotte Warr Andersen
my answer to perfectly spaced straight lines lay on page 20.

Blue painters tape!  No measuring, no marking, no worries! And it worked terrific for this pattern!  Definitely easy to use  when a lot of straight line quilting is involved, as it makes the process so much more enjoyable.

Here's how the pattern is set up.
Always start with a starter tape, the one everything else will be based off of.  Here, it's the tape that goes from  the corners of the block, point to point.  The arrows in the picture are on that tape, with the left side of it at the corners.  Same with the last tape at the bottom left of the picture.  It, too, goes corner to corner.  The rest of the tapes are added next to each other, with the intersections meeting at the seam line between the two blocks.  Once the tapes are set up, it's time to stitch!

Starting next to the last piece of tape in the corner, the first straight line was stitched, with stitching in the ditch to get to the next tape (follow the arrow from the triangle below).
When the applique appeared, the stitching went around it and continued on.
Sometimes jumping over the applique was necessary (see below).  A few tiny locking stitches were taken to secure the thread, then the applique was jumped over (arrow).  More tiny stitches were taken on the other side to secure the start of the stitching.
In the above picture, the needle is now at the corner of the block.  Time to change direction and stitch into the adjoining block to continue stitching the design without stopping.
A previously stitched line going to the opposite corners of this block provided the stopping point (where the needle is).  Stitching could go along this line to then continue along the tape, to the seam line to change direction, and continue back around the applique.
Once that area was done, and jump stitches trimmed top and bottom (so they don't catch on the foot or table), it's time to set up the next tape area.
Once again, the starter tape lines up with the two corners (arrows), and the others are laid against it.  In the above picture, the area outlined was not completed at this time.  The top row of blocks were done, the quilt was advanced, then this area was done with it's adjoining block.  Then there would be no starts and stops in the seam lines.

This may all be confusing, but with a little planning, the stitching goes quickly once all the tapes are laid out.  I would definitely recommend using tape when there's a lot of straight line stitching that needs even spacing.  For a line here and there, probably not--I'd just use the ruler to line it up.

Now I need to see what other size tapes I can find.  And I'll possibly be investing in some inchie tape.  Opens up a whole new set of quilting options!

Happy Quilting!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Baby Feet

My Dual Image Applique (affiliate link) project is finished!

These little feet where done on my embroidery machine, and because of the left/right aspect, were done a bit differently than the book suggests.  But once that was figured out, they turned out nicely.  

The final quilt wasn't the original layout I intended because of course, I ran out of the pink on white fabric.  Fortunately, my stash had a pink that worked for the alternate blocks. 

Then there was the quilting decision.  Since the feet and diagonals provided such a strong direction to this quilt, I was a bit stumped. Here's some of the ideas I went through
I thought of pebbles or swirls, but thought the toes would get lost.  Traditional echoing made the feet look like they were stomping.  Different designs in the plain blocks didn't connect with the diagonals.  And designs that worked through just the diagonals made the directional aspect much more prominent (see the lower right design). 

Ultimately, I went with a straight line design, changing it up at the diagonals.  Here are some up close pictures

And a detail shot

The border is a simple alternating swirl that is echoed on both sides.

The next post will be how I stitched all those straight lines.  Definitely a great technique that I will use again.  Stay tuned!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Book of the Month

Can't believe it's August already!  Time for back to school and a new Book of the Month!  And the quilting honor goes to Dual Image Applique (affiliate link) by Dilys Fronks.

I've had this one sitting on my nightstand for a quite awhile, and need something less intense than last month.  And I've already got a few ideas--just need to sit down and work them out.  Should be fun! 

As usual, I'll post progress reports.  Now, back to sewing last month's top!

Happy Quilting!