This week, I have grabbed every second I could to work on Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project Quilt Along #10, #11 & #12 and I enjoyed every moment!
At times I thought I would never get it done in time, but I surprised myself. I have to admit that I had a few obstacles like not having a light box, and because our window frames are in very small it was impossible using my windows to trace the picture to my fabric. So I regret to say it, I used a 'light' fabric to trace the pattern, even though I am happy with the result, I am not so happy with the colour.
But I will definitely give it another go, I enjoyed doing it, so I'm sure with my next attempt things will go better, having had a good practice round.
Before I stared with the Hearts & Feather Whole Cloth, I washed the fabric. As soon as it was dry, I starched and ironed it twice, once on each side, both the front and back pieces of fabric.
So for Quilt Along # 10 - Preparing a Whole cloth Quilt I printed the pattern I downloaded from Leah's website. I have added it here and used clear tape to stick it down to my table. Because I didn't have light box I had to rely on the thickness of the fabric that allowed me to see through it.
When I mentioned this to my husband (after I had finished with with the whole project) he quickly showed me a simple and easy way to use our coffee table, as it has a glass top. We have these portable battery operated lights we have used when we went camping, so I placed it underneath the glass, the printed sheet beneath the fabric and viola IT WORKED, had I known or thought of this before I stared the project I would have definitely used other fabric. But what is done is done...
I used a water erasable marker to trace the picture onto my fabric, what I did a bit differently was use a ruler for the straight lines, even the heart's straight lines was traced with a ruler, I'm afraid my free hand is sometimes not as steady as I would have liked, after which I just added to loops of the hearts.
I also added a frame around the whole pattern which would act as a guide for when I did the stippling around the picture.
To baste my quilt I use a different technique, unfortunately I don't have a big enough table so I have to use my carpet, which works great. On larger projects I have to crawl around to get the fabric straight and flat.
My 1st step is to lay my backing fabric, right side down on the carpet. Using pins I start pushing them towards the inside of the block, to keep the fabric smooth and stretched. Every time I add a pin to the backing I will place it right across from the other, always making sure the fabric is smooth.
Once the fabric is smooth and tightly secured down, I lay the batting and front piece of fabric on top. I use extra long pearl head pins to secure it in place, always tucking the sharp end of the pin into the batting not to pinch myself while handling the quilt. After I'm done securing the front, I remove the pins lifting the quilt slowly from the carpet as sometimes I have pinched the carpet to the fabric, but its usually very lightly, so I'll just pull the pin out slowly to release it, and push it back as I'm pulling away.
Of course I double check to make sure I've collected all the pins, I don't want any of us to step into one of these very sharp pins, ...ouch!
Quilt Along # 11 - Outline Quilting Not even sure why, but I did not take any photos of my progress doing the outline quilting. I started with the center hearts working my way to the outside of the quilt, adding the feathers last. I did a lot of travel stitching, which was the hard part. I really struggled to stay on my stitched lines, and I am not too proud of what it looks like when seeing it up close. None the less, I enjoyed doing it, and as I looked at the quilt as a whole it looked great.
Quilt Along #12 - Microstippling was the part I was looking forward to the most, and I have to say, I enjoyed it so much, that I cant wait to do another.
I believe I still need to practice microstippling a lot before I know I'm doing it right. My scale is not as small as Leah's but I think for my 1st try at doing a whole cloth with microstippling its a great attempt. I'm sure I'll get better with a lot of practice.
Once again I started in the center of the cloth, and decided to use the same colour thread, I think because I wanted to get this challenge done before Wednesday, I did not break thread in every single piece I had to stipple, instead I travel stitched where possible. With the close up photos you can see clearly that I need a lot of practice with outline quilting...
My biggest challenge was the narrow spaces, as the scale of my stippling is not as small as I wanted it, it made it quite difficult to stipple between the lines, but I managed and got it done.
I continued with the quilt moving from the center to the outside, again travel stitching where possible.
As I got closer to the end of the quilt, I realized I should have cut the fabric for the front a bit bigger, as the stippling goes right to the edge of the quilt. When I have another go, I will definitely remember to have a few extra inches to play with.
Dont you just love how the feathers and hearts pop out when looking at the quilt from a different angle
I am looking forward to Wednesdays to see what we're doing next, I am learning so much!
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