Aug 30, 2014

Addie's Quilt - FMQ

Hello everyone!

Addie's quilt series is practically finished. But it HAD TO include a post just about FMQ.

The most challenging thing about this post are the pictures!  There are a bunch of things that can go wrong and sometimes the actual picture does not capture what we want to.  Or, it shows exactly that itty bitty thing that makes the quilt!

OK, I'm not a professional photographer, but I knew what kind of pictures I wanted.  Let's begin the experimentation with light.

Light enhances either the texture (a.k.a. quilting) or the piecing in a quilt. I had a hard time finding a place that would show details, but I really like how the next picture turned out.

This is in the same area, at a different time of the day. The quilt wasn't finished, but I think the flowers in the middle of the diamond are easier to see... Well, sort of...

I knew I wanted the quilting to emphasize the piecing; hence the diamonds in the intersections. Some of them got to have wavy lines to give yet another dimension to the quilted diamonds; they were like medallions scattered all over the quilt! I had an idea of how I wanted it to look, but the final results just blew my mind!

And here are close-ups of the flowers. It all starts with a simple spiral surrounded by loops that flow around the center.

Here is the back. The diamonds are easier to see, and you can get a glimpse of the loopy quilted flowers.

And here are the corners with the floating strips. The quilting is also a loopy flower surrounded by stippling.

The lines of the quilted diamonds created a nice boundary for the design.

I always like to enjoy the back of quilts as well. In this picture of a corner, the loopy quilted flower created a lot of movement in that lattice-like print.  Happy accident indeed!

Here is another back view of the diamonds. Every other one got wavy lines. This simple addition made a huge difference, simple to make and so classy!

And another happy accident... Two diamonds intersect on the back, right by Addie's name, forming a nice frame to the two embroidered legends. I guess my centering abilities are getting sharpened!  :)

This was an amazing journey for me. Little by little, sometimes just five minutes a time... Addie's quilt is finished and a stepping stone for more learning experiences has just been set!

Thank you for stopping by.  Stay blessed!


Aug 2, 2014

Addie's Quilt - Sandwich and FMQ beginnings!

August is here!!  YAY!!  :)

OK, ok... Yes, I'm making a reference to my previous post, which was suprisingly close this one.  I figured that I'd better take advantage of precious time while I can sit at the computer and finally finish this post that has been in the draft mode for a while now...
Little Addie time it is!  She's growing too fast, and she is super cute!  I wonder if she'll ever visit this post and enjoy seeing how her quilt was made.  Who knows! Maybe it will be the perfect motivation for a sweet little girl to make friends with needles and threads! 

We left off in the back of Addie's quilt, which means that the next step was the quilt sandwich. I don't have much room to pin a quilt sandwich, so I use a wonderful flat space: the floor!  :)  

I use regular masking tape to secure the back.  It actually works great!  I was able to keep everything from moving, but I also got a bit of tension.

Now, the batting...

...and making sure it's all straightened out.

And here comes the top with all the strippy diamonds!!  :)

After some knee work, it is all pinned and ready to be quilted!

I had a hard time finding a good angle for this picture.  Despite all my efforts, light was kind of dark, so I tried to enhance the colors with the computer.  I'm not really happy with the results, but I hope you can get a general idea of how close the pins are. This really depends on the kind of batting you are using; however, I like having things secure while shifting and squishing and wiggling the quilt around the sewing machine. 

Of course, the more pins around the sewing area, the more careful you should be when moving the quilt. Just be ready to bump into one; and yes, I said "be ready."  Once you are familiar with the pattern you are quilting (either by sketching or quilting), you know the direction, curves, angles and movement.  This definitely helps with when and where to expect a pin bump.

Here are two other angles. Note that there are two pins in each diamond, in opposite squares, there is one in each intersection and one more in the sashing, close to the middle of the block.  I like doing this to keep seams where they should be. 

I really didn't have a specific plan for the quilting. I watched Crafty's free QuiltCon Lecture Series 2013; in it, there is a seminar by Angela Walters and she mentioned that she likes the quilting to enhance the piecing - brilliant! That idea has stayed with me and I always think of it whenever I think of quilting, whether it is admiring already finished quilts, or me being in the process of deciding how to quilt.
So, use your imagination and take a look at one intersection...  Can you see the invisible lines going from one block into the adjacent ones?  It's almost as if there were an invisible diamond in each intersection!  

After this eureka kind of moment, I used my smaller square ruler to roughly mark a diamond at each intersection, to enhance the piecing.  Note that I did not remove the pins at all; I just worked with it, remove the caps, marked and capped them again.

FMQ beginnings - what an exciting and fuzzy moment of crafty thoughts twinkling all around.  Aaaah!  The beauty of a non-perfect chalked diamond that will transform into a bit of wonder...  And that's the stuff the next post will be about!  :)

That's the right moment I try to stop and enjoy the moment.  I thank God for the abilitites He has given me and just awe at the marvels He has created... Looking out the window, a cardinal sits majestically on the wired fence and a gorgeous lily flutters behind it, playing with the wind...

Stay blessed!