I attended QuiltCon last week, so my quilting was suspended! I’m back on this beautiful, wholecloth quilt. You can see the beginnings on my post from Jan. 28 if you scroll down. It’s a slow process, especially filling all the backgrounds that I decided to fill. Sometimes I wonder WHY I did something, not thinking about how many times I might have to repeat the process. That’s usually when I get bored! I love the challenge of new projects and figuring things out, but once I’ve done that and the first stitching, the rest may be monotonous. Do you feel this way when you create? The morning light across a quilt does get me excited though, so you’ll find me in my studio all day today!! Have a great Wednesday!
YES, this may seem like a strange post coming from a quilter, but you guys, these are the BEST SUITCASES EVER!! I travel A LOT and put a lot of miles on my luggage. I bought this set of 3 hard cases about 2 years ago on Amazon. I liked the thought of a hard case so if there was anything wet or sharp, it wouldn’t penetrate a cloth suitcase and touch my quilts. On my last big trip overseas, the largest case broke a wheel and cracked the case where the wheel is attached. I took my time writing the company because hey, that takes time out of my quilting day! 😉
Yesterday, I sent a picture and a short note about the wheel. By the way, there is a 2 year warranty on this luggage!!! I had a quick response that they would refund me $70 for the large case, since sending it back would be inefficient. Score!!! I paid $139 for the set almost 2 years ago (2 more months before my 2 years is up!) and used it hard. I plan to buy another set with the $70 refund because I LOVE these suitcases!!!
This is how my dear case looks these days. A little beat up, but what a good travel companion it has been!
PS. If you have AD blocker on your computer or phone, this link may not show up that I’ve posted above. They are called, Coolife luggage, 3 piece set. (affiliate link)
I’ve got a new project on the frame, it’s a vintage cutwork tablecloth. I actually went at this a little backwards because I saw a fabulous design by Telene Jeffrey, AKA Lady Jane Quilting. Telene is a phenomenal quilter and designer and has just published a few of her designs that can be purchased in PDF form. I knew I had to have one immediately when I saw her post these on her Facebook page. This is the one I chose. When you purchase them, they come to you in a PDF file (these are not digitized designs) and you have the freedom to enlarge or reduce as you wish. Telene gives very specific directions, once purchased, on how to do this.
I didn’t want to spend time changing the size of the design, so in my lazy way I picked a tablecloth that would fit the print out! Yup, that’s how I roll!! If I wasn’t so anxious to start quilting, I might have taken that time, but I didn’t. I printed out the quadrant that she provides and decided my best light box would be my glass kitchen table. If you don’t have a glass table, tape your design to a window or door, it works great too! I put a lamp, without the shade, under my table and voila, a very large light box!
I spent the afternoon tracing the design, a quadrant at a time. Once I had half of the design traced, I flipped the entire half over and then traced the other half. I used a blue water soluble pen for the marking. Any brand will do. To remove when finished, I use a mix of 1 heaping teaspoon of baking soda, dissolved in 1 cup of ice cold water. I’ve been told that this mix changes the PH of the pen and it’s always worked for me. Do NOT let an iron or heat touch this until you have removed the markings. Heat will permanently set the markings, yikes!!
I printed out one detailed section and one with just the base lines, this way I could get an idea of the spacial relationships AND I wouldn’t need to refer back to her drawings when I started quilting. Telene said feel free to change fills, etc., but I really want it just like she designed.
This may be the biggest ‘chore’ for me. I’m always so anxious to get started that planning and drawing are not my strong suits. Many times I will load right on the frame and start stitching a drawing there and then while I work, letting the design come as it may. This time, it’s all about the planning!
I put the tablecloth (roughly 36″ square) on top of a piece of Antique Gold, Dupioni silk. I buy my silk on Etsy from Fabric Supplier. They have great colors and it’s $15 a yard with free shipping. You can’t beat that! They usually ship within a day or two of ordering.
The first thing I do on the longarm is use my channel locks to square the tablecloth. This gives me a great frame to work within and I know it’s square. Linen fabric has a loose weave, so I can manipulate the fabric to make it square. Sometimes, I spritz some water to make it more manageable, but since that would remove my blue line work, I couldn’t do that. I was able to square it up very easily without the water.
At this point, I use my Notched Ruler to help stabilize areas of the linen. It nests nicely in my hopping foot for precision stitching around all the cutwork. You can see how this ruler works here in a YouTube video.
This gives you an idea of the kind of exacting work I can do with that ruler. I love the way the Dupioni silk shows through the cutwork!
I’m using one of my smallest rulers that I call the 1/2 Slim (1 1/2″ x 5″) to do most of the line work. It fits in my hand easily and I can move it quickly. Yes, my stitches are tiny too, 16 SPI (stitches per inch). When doing these tiny feathers and curves, small is best. I’m filling the areas with a scribble stitch to make the open areas really pop!
I couldn’t wait to see how this looked without the blue line, so I use a Q-tip dipped in my removal mix, to take away just a bit of the design. LOVE how this looks! My thread colors, you ask? Glide 40 weight thread, in colors Coffee and Cleopatra. I love the gold because it looks like metallic, but I don’t need to fight with that. Admittedly, I have struggled with using metallic threads, therefore, I don’t! 😉
This is what I have so far. I’ll post again at some point, but wanted to get the beginnings put to words so I could inspire you all to do this as well. Honestly, it’s not difficult, it’s just a process. As I tell folks, it just takes practice, as does riding a bicycle, learning cursive, playing an instrument, or anything we do well. It’s a habit that takes time and you can’t expect it overnight. If you want to be good at something, practice. Quilting is just that for me, something I love and want to do well!
You can also follow me on my Facebook page for daily posts. Enjoy your day folks, whatever you are doing!
I am frugal and I rarely buy fabric. I collect vintage, mid-century tablecloths and they have stacked up. A few years ago, I was at a loss for a quick backing, so I thought ‘why not use one of these tablecloths”? I did and it’s now my favorite backing! Last week in that, IT’S AFTER CHRISTMAS AND I GOTTA ORGANIZE SOMETHING mood, I started in on my vintage tablecloths to put some order to the mess. When I saw these beautiful colors, I HAD to create a top to go with it, of course! I set out to quickly cut some appropriate blocks from my stash and thought I’d whip up a simple 4 patch quilt. Well, the top grew, then I had to add borders to the tablecloth, then border the top. Each kept growing and finally I was ready to quilt the whole thing.
I sure didn’t mean for this to be a week long project, but it quickly “asked” for more! I never know what a quilt will be until it goes on the longarm frame. They start talking back once they arrive!
I further complicated my quilting life by adding this flange. Super cute I thought when I was sewing, but a bit of a pain in the you-know-what once I started quilting! This required lots of ditch stitching and ruler work. Thankful for my favorite 9″ Slim Ruler to make this job enjoyable! Honestly, I do love ruler work.
This quilt is a mix and match of a computer digitized motif and free motion quilting. The white blocks are done with the Handi Quilter Pro-Stitcher computer. The 4 patch blocks and outer borders were done with rulers and free motion quilting.
I love this double sided curvy ruler by Jane Hauprich. You can order it on her website.
A quilted top begins to take on a personality, if you can call it that, very quickly. At the end of a day I stand back and take it all in. Something about that texture is just exciting to me!
Probably the best part of the adventure is the end! I flip it over my back rail to get a good look at my stitching. I’ve learned over time to take a moment and study it all. There is nothing worse than taking a whole quilt off the frame and then realizing you missed a spot and have to put it back on, UGGGHHHH!!! Isn’t she a beauty!!!
Much better to see in natural light! I always take my photos in front of my front door, snapping the photo TOWARD the light. You get incredible shadowing over your quilt this way and don’t we want to show that off?!!
Details on this quilt…….55″ square, Hobbs 80/20 batting, and Glide thread. I quilt on a Handi Quilter Forte with Pro-Stitcher, new to me this year. Before that, I quilted on a Handi Quilter Fusion. I love this new machine with all it’s bells and whistles! The digitized design is called Serenity, by Christy Dillon, My Creative Stitches is her website.
The question I keep getting most on my Facebook page page is, “how did you center the back to the front?” The real answer is, I don’t know!! Really, I did a quick eye ball and then winged it! I know, not very helpful, but I figured it would end up as a kids’ quilt and they really aren’t too picky. Where WILL this go, you ask? I’ve added it to my trunk show collection for a great, ‘use a tablecloth’ example. I hope you’ve enjoyed this quilt as much as I have! Enjoy your day folks!
If you know me or have heard me speak, you know I am passionate about the needles I use in my Handi Quilter long arm. They are labeled as an embroidery ball point FOR THE LONGARM Schmetz needle, to be specific, a light ball point. System 134 SES is generally used in single needle lockstitch industrial sewing machines. It is also known as 135×5 SES, 135×7 SES, 135×25 SES, 1901 SES, DPx5 SES, and DPx7 SES, and these are the reasons why I love them………
1. Ball-point tip spreads fibers instead of cutting them,
preventing holes in fibers. (forget what you think about
ball point needles only being for jersey knits. These are
not for sewing, they are for quilting purposes)
2. Reduces thread breaks when machine goes from right
3. Round shank needles, for muliti-directional use
4. For use with most machines HandiQuilter, Gammill,
Prodigy, Nolting, and Innova.
***** (these are a round shank top, with a thread groove
in the front and scarf in the back) I don’t believe these
will work on an APQS, A1 or a Bernina
longarm. They will work on an HQ Infinity at lower speed.
5. Prevents skipped stitches
6. High stability and prevents deflection.
7. Precise stitches
8. Reduces wear on machine parts
9. Lasts 10x longer than a sharp needle. I change my
needle 3X per year, YES!!! Your 10 pack of needles
should last for 3 years. (You will not get a burr on
this needle tip)
They are for sale here on my website. You can add as many packs as you like for one shipping cost of $3. I am NOT a machine expert, so I can’t tell you if these will absolutely work with your machine or not, but have listed above the machines I know that will use them, according to customers who have purchased and used the needles. They compare to a Groz-Beckert 134 needle in the green package. Give them a try! You’ll never look back!
Many thanks to all who followed me and also inspired me throughout the year! 2018 was a great year for quilting and I plan for 2019 to be just as fun! I am currently booking teaching and speaking dates for 2019. My spring and summer are mostly full, but fall still has a few openings. Click the LECTURES/WORKSHOPS tab for more information.
All ruler shipments will resume Dec. 28th as I will be spending time with my family. Enjoy your holiday everyone and I’ll see you again in the new year!
Photo compliments of Kelsey Leigh Photography, Nashville, TN.
Starch and steam are my best friends on a quilt that needs a little help. Lots of piecing, hand stitching and over handling of fabric, can cause a quilt to change shape. Sometimes this isn’t known until a top is on the frame and the quilting has begun. This particular quilt was found by some friends at a garage sale for $5!! Oh my gosh, all that piecing! I finished it for their church raffle coming soon. All the starch and steam was worth the beautiful finish. I’ve got a video at the end to show the flattening process.
Before starch there is quite a bit of wave to the border.
This is after the starch and steam trick. I did have about 8 ‘sessions’ with the starch and iron. If it doesn’t happen on the first go over, don’t be afraid to do it again. After the first spray of starch, I only use water on the next rounds.
The finish is fabulous! I used thjis digitized design by Anne Bright Designs, Snowballs. It’s a great design that also settles down any of the puckering that might have been in the quilt top.
There you have it! If you’ve ever had this wavy border on a quilt top, check out my YouTube video.
Have a great day everyone!!
I’ve done 3 live feeds on my Facebook page on quilting a vintage hankie. I’ve figured out how to take that to YouTube, so you can see how I start, design and then begin quilting on my longarm. I hope these help and inspire you to get started! I’ll post photos here when I finish, but if you want to follow the process, find me at Kelly Cline-Quilt Artist on Facebook for daily updates.
I sometimes get so busy making ‘stuff’, that I forget to either take photos or talk about it. I’m SOOO not a writer, but love my right brain, artistic tendencies! I could make things all day, all night, and really never sleep. Except, I love sleep!! 😉
I recently made this pillow for a class sample, using a random vintage block that I’m sure I picked up in a pile of other things at an antique shop. I did a quick sew on my domestic machine, just to put on an extra border and some rick-rack. The rest was done directly on the longarm.
I’ll take you through my steps and we’ll start from laying it out on the longarm. I’ve used a piece of muslin for the backing since it really won’t be seen when finished.
I used a tatted coaster for the middle. I had recently picked up a set of these and just LOVE the tatted edges. I start by using channel locks to square the piece on the longarm, horizontally and vertically. Makes for a great square ‘canvas’ to work inside. ***If you spritz a bit of regular water on your small piece, it can easily be manipulated and directed where to stretch!***
I like the grid stencils that Dorie Hruska sells and I always use a blue, water soluble pen to make my marks.*** Don’t let these get heat set or “sunshine” set before you remove them. My favorite mix is 1 cup of ice cold water with 1 heaping teaspoon of baking soda. Put this in a spray bottle and remove marks. They shouldn’t reappear.***
Once I had the quilting done on the front, I needed to quilt a backing. I like to use vintage tea towels or tablecloths for backing. Uses them up and they keep the piece in the era.
From this, to that!
I made my life easy and used a digitized computer design for an all over pattern. Stitched up in less than 5 minutes! I have a new, Handi Quilter Forte with Prostitcher computer, an upgrade from my 5 year old Fusion. Loved my Fusion, but maybe love the Forte more!
My favorite type of pillow is an envelope pillow. I’ll pop along the photos for a brief look at the process. Try looking for a YouTube video, I’m sure there are many!
I split the piece in half (it began about 4-5″ wider than my pillow top)
I turned under both edges for a finished edge, machine stitched.
Then overlap these two edges about 2-3″.
At this point you simply lay the right sides together, adjusting your backing to be the same size as your pillow top.
Take this sandwich of pillow top and back, pin the two halves together, and sew around the entire perimeter. You’ll be able to turn the pillow inside out by using the opening in the middle.
I also stitched 1″ inside the perimeter to have a nice flange around the pillow.
Here’s a flat look at the finished product! I usually make a stuffed muslin pillow specifically for the inside, using leftover batting scraps. Each pillow finishes in different sizes, so makes me not conform to specific pillow forms. This pillow is about 20″ square.
Here is the super cute backing!
So there you have it! Let me know if you have any questions, I’m always happy to help or guide you. I just love making things like this from forgotten or tossed out vintage parts and pieces. I always think someone is looking down and smiling over my shoulder. Have a great week folks!