Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Jingle Status Update: Designing, Planning, and Online Shopping

This needs to be short and sweet today, as I have about a bazillion errands to run before choir rehearsal tonight and if I even stop to blink, my clock will spin from 10 AM to 5 PM while I'm not looking!

Current Favorite Quilting Plan for Jingle, iPad Sketch Detail
I haven't had a chance to get this quilt loaded yet, or even spent any time at all in my studio since I last posted about it, but my iPad is with me everywhere I go so I've continued to experiment with sketching different quilting ideas on top of a photo of the quilt top in my Notes Plus app.  I'm currently leaning towards doing the feathery thing on the red and green inner setting triangles, along with the two different geometric ruler work designs on the outer setting triangles, all of the red triangles in one style and all of the green ones in the other style.  Then each of the pieced blocks will get some kind of custom quilting and the applique blocks will be quilted in the ditch and then the backgrounds will be quilted down with different fill designs, cross hatching, etc.

iPad Sketch & Notes, Zoomed Out

At first I was drawing the feathers in ALL of the setting triangles, and I decided that was boring so then I started changing up the outer setting triangles.  I'm liking the idea of alternating between the two designs for the outer setting triangles but keeping those feathery things on all of the inner triangles at the moment -- provided I can actually QUILT those feather designs.  Just because I can draw something on my iPad does NOT automatically mean I can quilt it with my longarm machine!  I think I'm going to have to mark them somehow and/or use a template for that center pointy petal shape in the middle of each feather.  I'm remembering how Judi Madsen uses tagboard templates for curvy shapes that she uses in her quilting; need to find her Quilting Wide Open Spaces book and review her method.

Threads for this quilt will be Superior's invisible monofilament Monopoly for all stitching in the ditch, both pieced blocks and appliqué, because it's so forgiving of the oopses and wobbles, paired with Bottom Line 60 weight polyester in the bobbin.

Then I've got some lovely Antique Gold Metallic from Superior planned for the feathers and ruler work in my red and green setting triangles.  Yippee!!  I ordered a Medium Brown Bottom Line thread to use in the bobbin with my Antique Gold Metallic thread.  If the metallic thread behaves nicely, I might use it in the pieced blocks as well.  

Detail of Irish Lass by Judi Madsen, photographed at APQS Quilt Week in April 2019
As some of you remember, I traveled to Paducah, Kentucky to take LOTS of longarm quilting workshops with Judi Madsen and Lisa Calle back in April.  There was a special exhibit of Judi Madsen's quilts at the show and it was wonderful to be able to go and look at them between classes, with all of that fresh, front-of-mind information about how and why she quilted them the way she did.  I was surprised to discover that Madsen's Irish Lass quilt, from her Quilting Wide Open Spaces book (detail pictured above) used Superior's Antique Gold thread over all of the non-white fabrics, with white thread against the white backgrounds.  That's what inspired me to buy a giant cone of the Antique Gold Metallic thread from Superior's booth in the vendor mall.  This is also the quilt that Judi refers to in her book when she talks about making templates to mark shapes on her quilt, such as the dragonflies and some of the larger swirly hook shapes.

Finally, my off white appliqué backgrounds will get quilted with an off-white thread, probably So Fine since I have the right color on hand already, and then I'll likely add some details to the larger appliqué shapes in matching threads.

In addition to the bobbin thread that I'm waiting on, I also ordered LOTS of Quilter's Groove longarm quilting rulers from Lisa Calle's web site.  I purchased a 5" Pro Circle template and a Pro Echo 11 arc template from her when I took her Rulers for Rookies class and I really like all of the markings on her rulers that some of the others don't have.  So I've ordered all of the remaining sizes of Pro Circles and Pro Echo arcs to have a complete set of options for curved crosshatching and all sorts of block designs.  When they get here I'll be able to pick out a few options to use on Jingle and then I'll let Santa wrap up the rest for Christmas.


One more goodie on the way is this adjustable height saddle stool so I can sit at the longarm when I'm working on the detail quilting around all of that appliqué.  I'm looking forward to seeing whether I have better control for detail work when I'm seated at the machine as well as whether I can quilt comfortably for longer if I can switch between sitting and standing.  This particular stool had quite a few positive reviews from customers who mentioned using it with their longarm quilting machines, so I'm hopeful that it will work well for me.

Meanwhile, the "quick blog post" has taken nearly an hour to write, as usual.  Gotta get out the door and get busy on those errands!  Have a wonderful week, everyone.

I'm linking up today's post with:


·       Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
·       “WOW” WIPs on Wednesday at Esther's Blog


·       Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation  


·       Whoop Whoop Fridays at Confessions of a Fabric Addict
·       Beauty Pageant at From Bolt to Beauty
·       Finished Or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Tentative Quilting Plan for Jingle and More Spirit Song Birds In the Air

Alright, you guys -- my #1 priority quilting goal for the month of December is to get as much of this Christmas themed Jingle project quilted as I can.  It's not loaded on my frame yet, but here's what I've accomplished since I posted about it a few days ago:

  • Located a package of Hobbs 80/20 Cotton/Poly batting in my stash that can be cut down for this quilt
  • Ordered and received a package of Quilter's Dream Wool batting to layer over the 80/20
  • Located the 108" wide backing fabric and prewashed it in HOT water to shrink it as much as possible (all of the blocks in this quilt had to be soaked repeatedly in boiling hot water with Dawn dish detergent due to a dye bleed, so I'm certain that most of their shrinkage has already taken place)
  • Reviewed my notes from the longarm quilting workshops I took with both Lisa Calle and Judi Madsen during Spring Quilt Week in Paducah earlier this year
  • Ordered and received a new ruler gadget from Lisa Calle's online shop to assist with stitching in the ditch around all of this applique
  • Started a tentative custom quilting plan on my iPad in the Notes Plus app -- I just import the photo to the app from my iCloud photos, stretch it to fill the page, and then I can sketch quilting designs directly on the photo as you see below:

Tentative Quilting Plan for Jingle Quilt
Cool, huh?  I know quilters have a lot of different ways they try out quilting motifs on a quilt, like dry erase markers on vinyl, etc., but doing it on my iPad means I can doodle through a gazillion options whenever I have some down time.  What do you think so far?  I like those ruler work designs that I put on the inner setting triangles and I know that if I mark them carefully, I should have no trouble executing them on the longarm.  The feathers in the outer setting triangles I'm not so sure of.  I think I'd have to mark them all ahead of time and follow the marked lines to avoid the dreaded String of Ogre Toes look, but if I can do that successfully on a practice piece, I might give it a go on the real quilt.  Otherwise/instead, I'll do one of those piano key things where every other stripe is filled in (I tested that idea out on some of the red setting triangles near the top).  I don't know how well the yellow "ink" shows up on your screen, but all I did for the center medallion is come up with reference points to make a giant X behind the applique, so I can break that area up and do one fill inside the X and a different fill design in the V-shaped areas outside of the X.  Not sure what either of those fills might be, but I'll definitely have to mark the big X prior to loading the quilt.

I picked the doodling "inks" based on what would show up on the photo, but I'm actually planning to use Superior's Antique Gold Metallic thread on those red and green setting triangles if all goes well.  I'll use monofilament for all of the stitch in the ditch between borders, blocks, and around the applique, and an off-white shade of So Fine for the background fills behind the applique.  I think I want to get some lighter weight Bottom Line thread to put in the bobbin with my metallic and monofilament threads, and I don't have any of that on hand, so that's on my To Do list for this week:

  1. Locate my Superior Bottom Line thread color chart and select bobbin colors to coordinate with quilt backing (for monofilament), metallic threads, and possibly for background fills as well.  Order cones of thread from Superior.
  2. See whether I already have an arc template for the spine of those triangle feathers.  If not, figure out what size I need and order it.
  3. Test out feather design on sample quilt
  4. Mark medallion X and feather spines on quilt top
  5. Load the Jingle quilt on the frame!

Meanwhile, I spent some time sewing up some more Birds In the Air blocks for my Spirit Song Dress Code quilt today:

121 Blocks Complete out of 192 Needed; 71 Blocks to Go

This one is also reminding me of pink lemonade.  I know it's obnoxiously bright, and I don't care.  If I can just finish the blocks, I can clean up the giant fabric mess and refocus my attention on the longarm machine.  I keep telling myself that, and then I say I'll just sew a couple more of these HSTs and then I'll stop...

Well, I've got church in the morning and then we'll spend the entirety of Sunday afternoon returning Son the Elder to his college campus.  It was a very low-key but restful Thanksgiving holiday at our house -- just what the doctor ordered!

I'm linking today's post with:

SATURDAY·       UFO Busting at Tish in Wonderland


       One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts:  

·       Oh Scrap! at Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework


·       Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts  
·       Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt
·       Moving it Forward at Em's Scrap Bag
·       BOMs Away Katie Mae Quilts  


·       Colour and Inspiration Tuesday at Clever Chameleon
·       To-Do Tuesday at Home Sewn By Us

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