Saturday, 11 July 2020

Little Doilie Project Finished

This was a lot of fun to’s the first time I tried this and must say, I really enjoyed this. Got the doilie from the local Op shop for a dollar and placed it in place with spraybasting. Not quite round, but close enough.
I ran out of ideas for the delicate border of the doilie, so left that alone. If I had stitched that down I think it would have turned out too flat. Could not resist though and hyperquilted a little bit in the feathers, then decided that that was enough.
If you have read my previous posts, I used Bethanne Nemesh’ Lily Line ruler 3 for the frame around the doilie. The frame turned a bit into an overall background fill, but I like it. The ruler was an incredible time saver and the design was easy to execute (once I had decided on which parts of the ruler I was going to use). Fantastic tool!

Had a few issues with my tension for the pebbles on the new Capri. Lots of flatlining and cursing. I used Aurifil 50/2 for the quilting and similar to the Sweet 16, the thread behaved quite fiddly. I recently purchased the horizontal spool holder and ended up putting the almost empty spool on that, this time threading the thread straight down rather than looping the thread around the thread guide (as you are
supposed to do)...and to my utter surprise, no more tension issues! Have long suspected that the fiddliness of the aurifil thread has to do with the thread path rather than the tension setting. Will do some more testing around this...tried it the other day with a different colour thread, but with the spool on the ‘normal’ thread mast, again threading the thread straight down the thread guide and again had much better tension. Go figure...


Monday, 6 July 2020

Process Stuff

I re-did my practice sample of  the Lily Line 3 ruler that I recently acquired from Bethanne Nemesh Lily Line series.
Came out much better second time around.

Still cannot tell you exactly how I shifted the ruler over to achieve the echo...a bit hard to describe. You carefully shift the ruler over to hit the stitching line while at the same time keeping the ruler against the sewing foot. A lot of looking and checking how you will stitch the echo and I was very surprised that it worked effortlessly the next time and looked identical. Then I also tried the curling feather again and it worked just as great as it did the first time.

Time to try this out on a real project. Our local Handiquilter group runs monthly challenges. This month we are supposed to stitch down a doilie, embellishing it, filling the spaces I decided to frame this with the Lily Line 3 ruler.

It is one thing to play around with this ruler and to actually apply it to a project. It is not difficult but I had to do a fair amount of planning and deciding how I wanted this to look like. As the ruler has so many options it took me a while to decide which section at what angle I wanted to use. Couple this with being the world's messiest marker, it became quite interesting. I decided to draw the first section in with one of those drawing disks to see what that would look like. Of course I changed my mind a couple of times and had to draw over it again and so it went, however I got there in the end.

In terms of marking, I again marked the ruler and the quilt where I wanted to start off and aligned it at a second point against the diagonal cross line, again making a tick on the ruler at that point. This gave me that heart-shaped arrangement. Then I used a different section of the ruler to branch out towards the outer center. I had a tick mark where I wanted this to stop so the curls would be identical on either side. In terms of alignment this was easy as I aligned it to the vertical crosshair line. The only problem I had was with the branching off. While I made a mark on the ruler, this did not always work for me and I ended up eye balling this point. In retrospect, I should have measured the point from the crosshair line if I wanted it to be a 100% correct.
As I did not want to stuff this up, I drew the first two sections with one of those drawing disks against the ruler as I did not feel like unpicking anything and wanted to get it right the first time.  As I went along, I was able to do it without prior drawing and felt confident enough to just rely on my marks on the ruler and the drawn crosshair lines. Worked like a dream!
Really like this frame and will fill it up with feathers as I do not feel like doing a lot of tiny background fill on this piece. Still have the middle section of the doilie to fill.
Not sure how this will turn out...might be too feathery. I am not used to stitching with coordinating thread...looks all a bit messy. Never mind, now I am committed and will continue with this and see what this looks like when finished. Almost think that the frame should have been further away maybe or the feathers maybe smaller.
Great learning though and a lot of fun to do!


Friday, 3 July 2020

Noah's Ark Quilt Finished

I finally finished the Noah's Ark quilt

This was a lot of stitching but I really enjoyed doing this. So much so, I am thinking of doing my own applique quilt at some stage. This was just so relaxing, going around the shapes, filling in and highlighting certain sections. Lots of fun. It helped of course that this quilt particularly cute.

I was worried about the elephant section as the fabric bulged out a bit in that block, but funny enough that one went without a hitch. The giraffe on the other hand gave me a headache and a half. Really started to bulge out in all the wrong places...I ended up quilting a few more circles in that one to counteract this a bit. Did not get rid of all of it but it looks better than before.

Hopefully the owner will like it.

Well, onto the next project...our local Handiquilter group's task is to stitch a doilie down on some background. This should be fun 


Wednesday, 1 July 2020

New Lily Line Ruler

The Lily Line 3 Ruler arrived yesterday. This is the third ruler in Bethanne Nemesh Lily Line series. There is another but that one looked a bit big to me so I held back.

Today I sat down and tried this one out for the first time. I had watched Bethanne Nemesh' FB videos (you can find them on her blog) about her rulers and was keen to put some of that into practice. This ruler is for smaller designs. From watching her video again the largest fits into a 6in border.

First I did one of my favourite designs in a 6in block (with the puffhead that is used for about 5in borders)
You can see that I struggled starting on the right upper quadrant. Bethanne makes it always looks so easy! So that was a bit of a fail in terms of moving the ruler over to get a bit of a channel happening. The next one underneath got too fat, however for the next two on the left I got it exactly right, i.e. at specific points about 1/4in away. This looks great! Writing about it now, I cannot remember how I exactly shifted the ruler to achieve this...will have to do it again and make myself a note. 
In terms of marking, I used the center and aligned the ruler 1/4in away from it and then placed the ruler with one of its precision holes directly on the diagonal line. For good measure I also placed a dot on the fabric exactly where the ruler sat, then measured it (7/8in) and placed the same dot in each quadrant. This is actually very cool and once you master this it is a very easy way to put a motif in an empty block. Without ruler I would have to trace this on.
Next I attempted the Amish Curl Feathers...let's just say, I managed. 
My pretend border was 4 1/2in and I used the medium puffhead for this one. I had made spaces in my border, approximately 5in apart, however had not really thought through how I would utilise this. My feather curl did not fill the space, so I just kept going which made it very confusing. Looking at it now, I also think that this curl is slightly too big for this space. I should have maybe made the curl smaller which would have given me more room around it. In any case, while stitching I got very confused as to how big I wanted my feathers and how long they should extend into the surrounding space. Not bad though for a first attempt. Definitely will need more practice on this and get a feel for how I like this to look. Again, the ruler was effortless...I aligned the precision hole on the center line which made it easy to repeat. Next time though, I also need to measure the distance from precision hole to curl (I think...might have to watch the video again to get my head straight on this). This is how this was aligned to stitch out the curls
As you can maybe see, I made heaps of marks with a black Sharpie on the ruler while I did my little exercises. Here is the ruler after...the marks come off with isopropyl alcohol...not a trace. However, I only mark the ruler on the top, not the bottom where the lines are etched in, as you could stain the etchings.
Well, this was fun...I am planning to do this again after watching parts of the video again today as there were a few things that I missed and I also want to try a few other things with this little beauty.


Monday, 15 June 2020

Noah's Ark Quilt

I am onto the next project, the Noah's Ark Quilt made by the mother of a friend of mine.  When I first saw this quilt, I thought it was so darn cute and deserved some TLC. This applique quilt would have been a lot of work to put together. It was purchased as a pattern many moons ago and was finished just recently. I started this last week thinking that this is going to take me a very long time, but to my surprise it is coming along much faster than I thought.
The space I have on the HQ Capri 18 makes this a joy to quilt. I have got a lot of room with the side extensions which take the bulk of the heaviness of the quilt. I finished outlining the Noah's block in no time at all. The only hassle was that I used different colours of Invisafil to do the outlining for the most unobtrusive look to further enhance the bold shapes, but the worst is over now. Many of the other animals I can outline with the off white thread.

There are a few issues with this is not entirely straight and I have got some fullness in some of the blocks, hence I am starting from the middle out to take in some of the fullness.
The elephant in particular has an alarming amount of background fabric in there. Initially I thought that I would do loops in the background but I am now thinking that I maybe will do a mix of meander and loops. I have found in the past that meandering is a good filler if you want to shift some fullness around. Mind you, as I go along I find that I am changing my original ideas so this might change still. At the moment I am still doing the outlining of all the shapes after having finished all the ditch quilting. Found another block today that has excess background fabric in there and will have to think carefully about the filler's scale to make this less obvious. 
Look at the cute is that!

I am really enjoying this as I do not usually do a lot of applique, so this is a real novelty. In terms of finishing it off I am thinking of using Aurifil 50/2 to fill the background areas and some minor embellishments in the bigger blocks to even out the quilting. Some of the sashings can be quilted down with simple Ribbon Candy which will distract from slightly not so straight seams. The idea will be to just notice the texture. However, I am also mindful not to 'over-quilt' this as I do not think that it needs it. The cuteness will speak for itself. Will even be able to do some ruler work in those yellow scallop sashings by using the Multi Clamshell ruler to emphasize the shapes (at least that is the idea at present). Not sure about the border yet, maybe a simple line design or just some wavy lines. We shall see...

Very curious on how this will turn out.


Saturday, 13 June 2020

Lily Line Rulers

I recently decided to practice more with these rulers. I have been watching Bethanne Nemesh' Facebook videos (you can find them on her blog White Arbor Quilting) on how to use the rulers. While I had them for over a year, I must say, they were sitting in the 'too hard' draw...I was forever getting muddled up and could not get my head around how to utilise these two rulers. Watching the videos has been great and it finally clicked where I had been going wrong. So, I am following along and practising some of the designs that Bethanne demonstrated in those videos. Last week I did some block designs and this week I tackled border designs.

Here is my sample
The first row is what Bethanne discussed in her video, i.e. how to make the shape with the top feather in place using the LilyLine ruler 1. That worked really well for me, except for making a 1/4in echo. For the life of me I cannot get that exactly right. The problem is that you have to make the echo on the inside which means just shifting the ruler over and trying to get an accurate 1/4in line. Definitely will need more practice on that.
The second row is me trying out something for a wholecloth I am working on with the exact space that I have to fill. Not sure whether I like it...I think I need a tighter curve for that space. Nevertheless making the curve with the ruler worked well.
This is what my ruler started to look like
I am now following Bethanne's method of marking the ruler religiously. Even if I think that I will remember what line I used on the ruler, I will now draw it on, because as soon as I turn the ruler, I have forgotten! With those marks on the ruler (they come off with isopropyl alcohol) and additional dots on the quilt you cannot really go wrong (other than the ruler shifting, of course).
Row 3 is my preferred shape. This time I was going to put the echo on the outside using the stitched line to align the ruler. However, my section of the ruler that I used was not long enough to allow this to happen, so I had to echo on the inside again. Again, I struggled, although the middle one was looking quite good. A little bit better aligned and it would have been right. Row 4 then I did a flatter curve and the last row is the end of the Lily Line 2 ruler making 2 1/2in shapes in a smaller border.

Lily Line 2 is the fat ruler on the right with that funny S curve at the end. 

This was good on the agenda are some feather curls in a border and trying out some frames around motifs.


Thursday, 11 June 2020

Heartfelt Wholecloth

The Heartfelt Wholecloth designed by Kelly Ashton for the Handiquilter Ruler of the Month Club 5 is finished!
Turned out really nice even though I am missing one of the borders as my piece of silk was just not big enough. The quilt comes out at 41in x42in, just a bit smaller than its original.
However, I have some chalk marks left in the silk which I could not erase...just will not come out, in fact I think I made it worse by rubbing them, so I am thinking that I have to wash this beast. Not ideal, but seeing that this was a bit of an experiment on how I would go with the silk, I may as well do it. Wish me luck! 
I have taken heaps of pictures today in preparation for this maybe not working out so great. At least I have some photos then of what this looked like. Would I do it again on silk...hmm, maybe not. Stitching on the silk was a pleasure, but the marking is a real problem as you do need the registration lines. In this wholecloth I had to have lines in each of the corners of the hexagon and they had to stay throughout the stitching of the design as all subsequent sections from the center out are based on those lines. I did those lines with the Quilters Choice Chalk pencil as I knew they would not disappear with handling the wholecloth. In between I also used the Bohin Chalk pencil and the Sewline ceramic pencil, both of which disapeared with handling (which is good, but not useful for the registration lines). In retrospect I think I should have used something like the Frixon pen for those important lines...that would have just lifted with heat and the dark fabric would have not shown the residue, I think. Well, as much as I love the look of silk, this has been really tricky, but at least I know now what I can use and what to avoid.

Linking up to Midweek Makers over at Quilt Fabrication.


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