Carolina Tulips in Machine Quilting Level 2 Class

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Hello Friends, thank you for stopping by again!  I hope you are well.   I had shared with you in detail two of the projects included in my online quilting class Machine Quilting Level 2 here and here.  Today, I am sharing with you another project included in the class, Carolina Tulips.

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Carolina Tulips is a project specifically targeting quilting around applique blocks.  Each applique block is quilted differently using the quilting motifs covered in the class.  You can see a sample of the motifs here.

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I have been asked about my quilting stitch length.  I like my stitches short for a finer look.  So, for the setting on my BSR (Bernina Stitch Regulator), I set my stitch length to be at anywhere between 1.6-2.0 depending on what I am quilting.  Naturally, if the curves are tight, I would stitch tight. Because of the tight stitches I do, I like to quilt with finer threads (silk, and almost exclusively Aurifil Mako 50 cotton).

It is my aim to give quilters some fun ideas on how to quilt their applique quilts through Carolina Tulips.

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You may click here to sign up for the class.  This online class (available for PC and Tablets), once purchased, is yours to keep indefinitely.  And if you ever run into a problem, it’s easy to contact me with your questions through the “Ask The Instructor” option.  I will do my best to help you over the hump.

You may also click here to purchase the DVD if doing an online class isn’t your thing.

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I am honored that I am able to be a part of your quilting journey, and be your quilting friend!  I hope you have enjoyed our visit today…. tootles for now!  I shall check in with you again soon.

Fanciful in MACHINE QUILTING LEVEL 2 Class

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Happy Monday, Friends!  I hope you had a lovely Father’s Day weekend.

I am happy to share with you today Fanciful, one of three “real” quilts included in my DVD or online machine quilting class, Machine Quilting Level 2, offered by Annies, with which you can practice the quilting skills you learn from the class presentation.  You will receive complete instructions, as well as full-sized applique templates, on how to construct the quilt top for Fanciful with the purchase of the class.

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In constructing Fanciful, I mixed regular cotton quilting fabrics with batiks to see if I would like the effect.  The star blocks and the white and light taupe you see are of regular cotton quilting fabrics, while the rest are batik fabrics.  I have to say I am really pleased with the visual effect of mixing batiks and regular cotton fabrics in the same quilt. And of course, this exclusive project was designed with LOTS of quilting opportunities in mind… thus the vast expanse of negative space!

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You will be able to see the quilting close-up in the class presentation toward the conclusion of the class as I walk you through on how I quilted all three of the real quilt projects presented in the class.

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If you have been visiting here for a while, you will know that I am an Aurifil addict, specifically for their Mako 50 weight thread, with which I had quilted nearly all my quilts, including Fanciful. The batting used for this quilt is Hobbs Tuscany silk batting.

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You may click here for a free preview of the class.  Of course, if you have any questions – you know where to find me. :)  I hope you are having a good summer.

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We are traipsing about here and there… while I am attempting to find time to work on some very exciting things for the coming Fall and the coming year.

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Thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have a lovely week!

Annie’s Online Class: Machine Quilting Level 2 & Giveaway!

Happy Friday, Friends!  I hope you have had a good week – so, what’s in store for the weekend? It’s been a rushed week for me trying to meet a few deadlines before Memorial Day weekend! Today I would like to share a little more with you about my Annie’s Online Machine Quilting Level 2 Class.

Level2This class builds on the foundational skills established in the first Annie’s online class Learn to Machine Quilt, which focuses on getting quilters used to moving the quilt sandwich by introducing carefully selected motifs that quilters can practically quilt on their quilts.  Click here to explore more about this first class.  To my absolute delight, many who took the class told me they have greatly benefited from the class, and are ready to take their machine quilting skills to the next level.  So, drawing from my own machine quilting journey, Annie’s and I worked together on Machine Quilting Level 2.

If you liked the format of the first class, you will have no trouble following this second class.  The second class follows closely the format of the first class – a short show and tell of real life quilts, short lectures on each motif, actual doodling of each motif captured on screen, and this time, we will go through all the steps in quilting the class project.

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Here are a couple of still shots from the class:

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If you follow along, you will have opportunities in trying out MANY motifs —

1.  Swirly Flower: perfect for an allover quilting motif

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2.  Swirly Variations: work for borders, sashings, and easily personalized by adding your own what-nots between swirls.

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3.  Pool Reflections: work for small areas (easily extended to large if desired) and borders

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4.  Snaky Spirals

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5.  Little S’s: My way to quilt McTavishing

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6.  Sushi rolls – a very forgiving motif perfect for quilting borders, as well as all over the quilt top

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7.  Mark without marking Quilting – easy if quilting simple shapes, but will also have tips for quilting complex shapes using this method

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8.  And…. FEATHERS!!!!  I mean FEATHERS: the basic feathering principles are covered in this class.

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9.  Options in border treatments:  hopefully this will jumpstart for you many more options!

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Annie’s classes, whether in online or DVD format, are wonderful because they are yours to keep forever once purchased.  The other thing is that you can re-watch any segments as many times as you wish, and consequently attempt to quilt any motif you choose and not necessarily follow the order as presented in the class.   You will also receive supplementary class notes consisting instructions to construct the projects.  And of course, you will be able to interact with me should you have any questions.  You know where to find me anyway. :)

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If you prefer the class in DVD format, they are now available as well.  Some friends just told me they purchased the DVD’s, and are liking them.

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All the quilts you see in this class are constructed and quilted using Aurifil‘s Mako 50 cotton thread!  I have been most gratified when quilters I have met recently in person tell me how they switched to using Aurifil’s thread because of me, and more importantly how Aurifil threads have made them happier quilters!!!  Truer words have never been said — Aurifil has definitely made me the happiest of quilters!  A big thank you to Bernina for letting me use their 560B machine in the filming of this class.

Machine Quilting Level 2 class also comes with three (!) exclusively designed projects for the students to apply the quilting skills they acquire from working through the class project.  I will show before the end of the class how I have quilted these three “wow” projects – a pieced runner, an applique topper and a WOW/Medallion quilt.  I will also be posting about each project in separate posts.

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Now for the GIVEAWAY:  Between now and May 25, you will have a chance to win a copy of the Machine Quilting Level 2 DVD — just leave a comment in the comment section.  Winner will be announced on May 28.

Meanwhile, you can:

click here to preview and purchase Learn to Machine Quilt online class

click here to preview and purchase Learn to Machine Quilt DVD

click here to preview and purchase Machine Quilting Level 2 online class

click here to preview and purchase Machine Quilting Level 2 DVD

Besides frantically working on my Aussie-bound quilt, I am also working on a few new projects.  Stay tuned for details! Thank you for dropping in.  I hope you have a lovely weekend!  See you next week.

Thread Talk from My Sewing Machine #62

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Hello Friends!  As promised, here is my tutorial for my “Riley Blake”-ish flower motif from yesterday’s post.  In order to quilt this motif, you will need a marking pen and something that will allow you to draw a circle, besides your usual free-motion quilting notions.

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Here goes the tutorial.  First I used my marking pen to draw a circle that serves as a boundary for my flower.  Then, I just eyeballed and drew a much smaller circle in the center of the large circle.

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Then, I started by quilting the small circle, following (sort of) the drawn outline, before finishing off with a small swirl within the small circle.  And after that I started my first swirl in the big circle.

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Easy peasy – I just kept swirling within that drawn boundary, until I came to the very last swirl…. at this point, I didn’t complete my swirl as you can see from the picture.

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This is because at this point, my swirls look more like an octopus’ tentacles rather than a flower.  So, to transform the tentacles into a flower, I needed to “close off” those swirls by doing some echo quilting.

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I like that this motif is very forgiving.  The swirls do not all have to be identical to look good, and the echoes do not have to be exactly spaced.  And I can also challenge myself further in the precision department by quilting the swirls and echoes perfectly to see how far I can push myself.  I hope you will give this motif a try, and let me know how you like it.  Since this is a new motif for me, I have ideas swimming in my head on how to further develop the applications of the motif… but only after I have met some of my immediate deadlines that includes playing with some REAL Riley Blake fabrics!

Thank you for stopping by, and Happy Quilting!

p.s.  For my new friends and followers, click on the feather quilting image at the top of this post for more free-motion quilting tips!

Spring Stitching: Sneak Peek

Hello Friends, it’s been a super busy week.  I have been doing some spring stitching… with Aurifil‘s 2423 sweet and pink thread.   I actually should be doing some spring cleaning, but… I don’t want to think or talk about that just yet! :)

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And because it is spring, I quilted some springy flowers on a recently finished project.  Come back for a Thread Talk tutorial tomorrow on how to quilt this sweet “Riley Blake-ish” flower!  If you like Riley Blake’s fabrics, you will know what I mean!

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I need to get back to work.  Do tell me how your Holy Week is shaping up, and I do hope you have a most blessed rest of the week!  Hugs to you all.

Boxing Day: Final Sneak Peeks

Hello Friends!  I hope you are doing well.  I finished my Boxing Day quilt, and it is all ready to leave for its photo shoot.  Here are a couple of final peeks before the quilt becomes “official”:
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You can see I quilted super-sized Jester’s Hat motif on the quilt.  The trick for quilting large-sized motifs using a domestic machine is to first master the stitching path of the motif in smaller scale.  That way when you quilt super-sized, you don’t have to worry as much about where to go next, and can focus better on keeping the curves smooth.

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The Jester’s Hat motif is covered in my online “Learn to Machine Quilt” class.  Click here to find out more.  Quite a few of you had written you signed up for the class this last week (AWESOME, and THANK YOU!).  The class is still offered at 50% (Use keycode EYGHOFF – valid at the time of posting) if you have never taken an online class with Annie’s.  You only have to pay $17.50 for the class that you can keep forever!

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I am sharing with you in the following how the Jester’s Hat motif has left its mark in some of my quilts…

In an “unnamed” quilt (published pending):

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In Home Sweet Home (publish pending):

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In Watercolor Sketches (Quilts and More, Spring 2013)

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In Greeting Cards (The Quilter, Holiday 2012)

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In Warm Blessings (Quilter’s World, December 2012)

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In Sweet Shoppe (Simple Quilts & Sewing, Winter 2012)

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You can read my past Thread Talk post on Jester’s Hat here, here and here.

And with that, I shall wrap up the week at Ivory Spring!  Have a great weekend, and I shall chat with you again next week!  Take care.

Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #43

Hello Friends, I hope you are doing well.  I am sharing with you a quilting trick I fortuitously discovered when I was quilting my Home Sweet Home quilt.  [I love that word “fortuitous” — it was a word taught to me by a dear Chemical Engineering professor in college when I would go see him in his office.  More often than not, he would give me the “word of the day” after he was done teaching me engineering stuff.]

If you look at the image below, you will see that I added little “what-nots” at the tip of some feathers to fill in the geometry of either square or triangle patches.

The reason I did that is because I was trying to fit rounded feather lobes into the geometry of a square or a triangle, and sometimes it’s just impossible to quilt a feather large or narrow enough to fit the quilting area and have the feathers still look decent.  So I came up with the “what-not-companion” approach.  See the below images to see what I mean…

You can see in the following the aforementioned “what-nots” in action.  You will need to study the images a bit to find the “what-nots” since the quilting was done tone-on-tone.

I hope the “what-nots” trick would come in handy for you when you are quilting feathers to fit quilting area of fixed geometry.  Notice this post does not deal with how to quilt feathers — that topic is already covered here.

Thanks for stopping by!  A huge quilty hug to all my friends!

Sarah’s Feathers

Sarah made my day when she sent me a sweet email:

“Wendy, thank you so much for your blog.  You have changed my whole attitude toward quilting feathers.  And I can do it now… I finally have success for the first time and love it!”

Below is the picture Sarah sent with her email showing me her feathers.  I say Sarah did a most excellent job, wouldn’t you say so?  I am going to see if Sarah would send us a picture of her completed quilt.  I, for one, am very interested to see what the whole quilt looks like.

She added, “Not perfect, but I’m learning and having fun.”  That’s really the key attitude to have for quilting, wouldn’t you agree?  Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

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Click here, here, here and here if you would like to check out my Thread Talk articles on feather quilting.

It seems like free-motion-quilting is the buzz for the month of August on Ivory Spring.  Click here if you haven’t check out my tutorial on SewCalGal’s FMQ Challenge August – lots of fun on that site!

Okay, it’s another day running around getting ready for a big project in my life.  I can’t quite reveal what it is… but I am not “big” as in with child, hahahaha!  Stay tuned for details. :)  Blessings to you all!

Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #31

Hello Everyone!  I hope you have had a good week.  We are making the most of the last few days of my hiatus.  We saw this hand-carved boat a few days ago.  The craftsmanship is incredible.

The roof of the boat has different carved motifs that would make great quilting motifs.

I will post pictures when I do get to try the motifs out on my sewing machine.  Stay tune for more pictures and the schematic diagrams you can use on your quilting project.

Till next time, take care!

Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #30

So I have for the most part been quilting tone on tone on all my quilts, like my Candied Pomegranate quilt.  I started getting a bit more adventurous using a contrasting color scheme on my quilt backs (see here, and here).  Well for my latest completed quilt, I decided to try bringing the contrasting color scheme from the quilt back to the quilt front.  I had always been too chicken to do that.  But one never knows unless one tries… so… here it is:

My thoughts on the effect:

I like it.  It adds a colored texture to the light background – almost like adding a print design to the fabric.  I like that it also adds a feeling of informal fun and cheer to my piece.  Will I do it again?  Answer is yes, when the project calls for it.

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Inevitably, with a contrasting thread on a light background, any little mistakes will be magnified visually because for some reasons the eyes start to get really nit-picky.  Forgiveness isn’t quite apparent in this situation.  A few things that I found extremely helpful are as follow:

1.  Be very familiar with the flow of the feathers, especially if they are being free-handed.  Any jerky stops along the way WILL show up much more visibly.  Having a good flow of things will definitely minimize that problem.  Have you read my post on the essentials of good feathers here?

2.  Since it is not very forgiving visually to quilt a contrasting thread on a light background, I changed out my needles whenever I was in doubt about the stitch quality.  I can see that the stitch quality was preserved that way.  I have posted my thoughts about needles here.

3. I needed extra concentration and focus to keep things going.  If you look at the picture more closely, any bumps you see were resulted from me not paying 150% attention.  As a result, I took more breaks  quilting this piece.

That’s all, folks!  I would love to hear what you are thinking.

Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #29

Hello Friends!  A sick Miss Baby and a tight quilt deadline got in the  way of blogging! :(  Thanks so much for your kind words on my Candied Pomegranate quilt.  Many of you mentioned you liked the feathers… thanks!  Feathers are one of those elements that just add a special touch to a quilt.  Some of you also wrote and asked about the sizes of my feathers.  I thought it would be easier to show you in pictures:

As you can see, my feathers aren’t terribly big.  It’s harder for me to quilt big feathers on my domestic machine.  So, I generally keep mine on the small side.  I tend to have a better control on the flow of the individual feather lobes.  If you have trouble quilting your feathers to your satisfaction even after applying this principle, you might try tweaking with the size you are quilting your feathers.  Let me hear from you if that helps!  Till next time.

Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #28

Heike Weber is a German artist who draws  with markers on walls and floors to create interesting wall and floor patterns.  When I saw pictures of the artist’s work, I have one thought on my mind…. (the following pictures are all from the artist’s website)

….. yeah, QUILTING!  A few thoughts…

1.  Inspiration for quilting motifs is everywhere.  Our “quilting feelers” just need to be trained to be a bit more sensitive!

2.  It’s all about the texture.  Quilting motifs don’t always have to be quilted perfectly — go for the texture.

3.  When you run out of paper to practice drawing your quilting motif, don’t be shy, draw on your walls and your floors!  What visual effects you will have in your home.  Oh, while you are at it, do it Weber-style, use permanent markers!! The youngens in your family will absolutely LOVE you! ;)  I am looking for a quilter who dares to be the one who practices her quilting motif by drawing on her formal dining room wall!!!

Happy Quilting, everyone!  Thanks for stopping by.