My sweet friend Susan made three darling pieces for Christmas and told me I could quilt them however I wanted. I was so excited to try some new things! (I went a little crazy.)
First, this really fun table runner. Susan thought it would be fun to have a giant swirl in the middle of the ornaments, so that is what I did. Then, in the remaining background space, I echo quilted around the ornaments. That echo quilting is harder than I thought! By the end I had gotten the hang of it, but let just say at the beginning there were a few lines that got unpicked. :) I did a loose weave-type pattern in the borders, which was a lot of fun.
Second, this long wall hanging. I outlined each of the panel prints, and did some loop-de-loops in the frames and swirls in the borders. I even tried my hand at micro-stippling, which is much harder than it looks, and also takes a lot of muscle control.
Finally, the one I went crazy on. This wall hanging was so cute, and had so many different places to have fun with! I did a different design in each of the panel backgrounds, and then some fun swag borders around each of the panels. Some figure eights in the borders, and voila! The back looks pretty cool, too. Looking at it now, I wonder if I should have dome something to the actual images in the panels, but at the time I wasn’t sure what to do. What do you think?
We had no idea what to give her for Christmas.
Especially because she was quite adamant in saying she didn’t want anything (which is of course not acceptable).
She doesn’t need anything.
But she’s always cold.
Turns out, that, I know how to fix.
A darling layer cake of American Jane’s Fairy Tale Friends (thanks Moda!) some really snuggly backing, and a few hours later?
She loved it.
“Oh, I’ve just never felt something so soft!”
It just might have been the only gift that got her to smile this year.
But I might be biased.
It now lives on her bed along with the matching pillowcase.
That, my friends, is what quilting is all about.
Sue (she’s on a roll, I tell you) brought me this quilt to quilt, too. It was fun to do an allover loop on it, it went so fast! I’ve got to say, I’m having so much fun with my longarm. I think I’ve done 14 quilts in the 6 weeks since I’ve had it. I have a ton to show you.
I machine quilted this cute version of my Prep School Knockout pattern made by my sweet pattern tester, Lynnette. She made it for me nearly a year ago, and I just haven’t had the chance to get it done. At first, I thought I would try big squared off spirals in each of the squares made by the ric rac intersecting. I gave it a shot on the first row of squares and realized it’s really, really hard. Apparently, it’s much easier to make curvy lines on a longarm, and straight lines on a conventional machine.
The things you learn!
I was persistent, though, and kept at it, hoping I would get better as I went. It was definitely slow going, and I wasn’t super happy with how it looked. I mean, the straight lines weren’t really…straight. You may not know this about me, but that kind of thing drives me crazy.
I forced myself to keep at it, knowing that it takes practice, and that this quilt was staying with me so I wasn’t disappointing anyone. Then, I advanced the quilt, and realized the tension was AWFUL on the back. Aha! An excuse to undo the unevenness! I spent the next 2 days unpicking the nearly 900 square inches of yucky not straight lines. Call me crazy.
I started over doing a double spiral, which I have done a million times on my little Bernina. It was so fun, and easy, and looks awesome! Guess I shouldn’t have forced the straight lines. It worked out great, too, because the spirals could fit in the curves of the ric rac, making it puff out a bit. I love it!
So there you go, the double spiral. Also, the adventures and misadventures of a newbie longarm quilter!
PS The fabric on this quilt is Bliss from the lovely Bonnie and Camille for Moda. Such an awesome line! You probably can’t find much of it around anymore, but their new line Ruby is equally darling, and is in stores now.