Monday, May 11, 2015

Richard's Stacked Squares

This quilt is being shipped to my cousin today. I'm hoping it will bring him some comfort through cancer treatments. Cancer sucks.

So, back in February, I went fabric shopping with a friend. We bought the same focus fabric- mine in blue, hers in red. I knew it would be perfect with the stacked squares pattern from the Moda Bake Shop. I didn't have pre-cuts, but even with extra cutting, the top came together really quickly. Like two days. I know I get a little obsessive when I'm piecing. It's my happy place!

The quilting had to wait until after the wedding and baby quilts were done. The free motion quilting design compliments the pattern perfectly. 

The back is mostly the focus fabric: iHaus from Cloud 9 Fabrics. The solid blue is Kona Pacific, the dark gray is Kona Charcoal, the taupe is not Kona. The other prints are an assortment of fat quarters from stash. There are a couple of prints with flowers, but I hope it's not too girly.

Bound in charcoal. Labelled, washed, and ready to go. Yeah, this photo was taken before washing. It's crinkly and cozy now.

Stacked Squares
60" X 76" (after washing)
Started 3/31/15 
Completed 5/10/15
Pieced on Singer Featherweight 221
Quilted on Bernina 153
 Working time 5 days

Friday, May 1, 2015

Free Motion Embroidery on a Featherweight

Happy May Day!

I want to share with you my process for embroidering the eyes on my Elephant Parade baby quilt. In the quilt along pattern by Sew Fresh Quilts, Lorna suggests embroidering the eyes on the elephants and other animals. I had pieced the blocks on my Featherweight, so I decided to try some free motion embroidery. (I was too lazy to set up the Bernina for a zigzag!) It worked out pretty well. Here's how I did it...

1. Cut a small square of interfacing or stabilizer and press to the back of the block. (Not pictured here, but you'll see it later.)

2. Draw a circle with a Frixion pen or marking tool of your choice. You will be hitting it with an iron later, so keep that in mind when choosing your marking tool.

3. Set the stitch length to a high number so it makes tiny stitches. Pull up the bobbin thread to the top so it doesn't make a knotted mess on the back. You can't drop the feed dogs, so just start stitching. Push the block around under the needle, making the circle first, then filling in. I used a black quilting thread that I had in my stash. A thicker thread fills in quicker.
After reading some posts about machine quilting on a FW, I would suggest covering the feed dogs with a piece of template plastic or teflon. Cut a small hole for the needle and tape it to the bed of the machine. If you have a darning foot, use it. I don't, so it was hard to see where I was going.

4. All filled in.

5. Thread a needle with the thread tails and bring them to the back.

6. Tie the ends in a knot. Trim ends to about 1/2". (See the interfacing?)

7. To prevent the black tails from shadowing through, I added another bit of interfacing on top to sandwich the threads. This bit of ironing also erased the markings from the Frixion pen.

So there you have it. Let me know if it works for you.