The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting

Have you seen the new book by not one, but two of the most prominent (and awesome!) current modern quilters?  Angela Walters and Christa Watson have joined forces to create The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, a resource that is a must have for any quilter.  The title of this book is perfect because it really does embrace machine quilters of all types:

  • Longarm Quilters
  • Sit-Down or Domestic Machine Quilters
  • Anyone contemplating purchasing a longarm or sit-down longarm
  • A Quilter who is interested in sending a quilt out to be longarm quilted (more on this later)
Image Courtesy of Martingale

Image Courtesy of Brent Kane and Martingale

The format of this book moves fluidly between longarm quilting with Angela and sit down machine techniques with Christa.  This creates a conversation between the experts and the reader.  The projects provide a common starting point for each artist to demonstrate quilting options on their respective machines.  This is where things get really interesting- for each quilt pattern in the book we are given two possible quilting options.  So many people worry about making the “right” choice when it comes time to quilt their painstakingly created quilt tops.  By showing multiple options for quilting the same top, the idea that there is only one correct design is thrown out the window.

Image Courtesy of Martingale

Image Courtesy of Brent Kane and Martingale

Beyond showing us quilting options, Christa and Angela openly discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of each type of machine.  This is a topic that I have hardly ever seen discussed, and this is some seriously useful information for everyone who quilts.  I love my longarm, and I do use it for almost all of my quilting, but if my sit-down machine would be a better option for a design that I would like to do, I’m going to use it instead.  It can be really tricky to determine what is the best tool for the job, so it is exciting to see these comparisons included throughout the text.  This information is valuable for everyone, even quilters who send their projects out to be quilted.  Longarm machines do have some limitations, so this will help quilt top creators to have an informed conversation with their quilters.  A perfect example of this is the “Exploding Star” Quilt on page 104.  Christa quilts this project with large, stunning spirals, and then Angela tells you why a spiral design would not be the best choice for a longarm before offering up her lovely quilting options.

Image Courtesy of Martingale

Image Courtesy of Brent Kane and Martingale

Even more than the specific projects, I love the information at the beginning of the book and all of the fantastic tips in the sidebars of the pages.   The first 19 pages are packed with information regarding the different machine types, thread options, tool recommendations, and general quilting tips.  Then as you work your way through the book, the sidebars provide tips that specifically address the techniques and challenges presented in specific projects.  Directional quilting, thread amounts and weights, starting and stopping (or how to avoid it!), using two layers of batting, quilting fusible appliqué, and turning corners are just a few tips found throughout the book.

This is one of the most exciting machine quilting books I have used, and I really think most of you would like it too!  It is available on Christa’s website, Angela’s Website, Martingale, and Amazon as well as other quilt shops and book stores.  (Full disclosure:  I receive no compensation for your purchase through any of these websites, but I did receive an advanced digital copy of the book for this review. This review is my honest opinion of the book.)

Color Challenge Mini Quilt

In February the Central Ohio Modern Quilt Guild began its first member challenge, and I was excited that it was based on color.  Each participant drew two crayons from a bag and combined them with their tints/shades and a single neutral to create a quilted project.  I pulled out carnation pink and cornflower blue crayons and this mini is the result.  For an added bonus, these colors are pretty much the Pantone colors of the year!Finished EPP Challenge Quilt

The initial designing was done on AutoCad, and from there I was able to print out my templates for English paper piecing (EPP).  Pattern Drafting

I debated about which technique to use for assembling this design, but ultimately I decided that EPP would allow me to eliminate some of the seams, creating a more streamlined visual design.EPP on Challenge Quilt

I was intrigued by the idea of embracing the color gradients as a design element for this project, so I decided that the most effective way to achieve this look would be to dye a set of fabrics in each color.  Since this was not a particularly difficult dye process, I went with the relatively simple (and mostly mess-free) liquid RIT dye.  I had a large piece of white American Brand Cotton, and used it throughout the project.Detail Finished EPP Challenge Quilt

Recently I have done quite a bit of ruler work with lots of starts and stops in my quilting, so for this project I challenged myself to quilt with no rulers and no design based starts and stops.  This was a lot of fun, turned out cute, and went super fast!Back EPP Challenge Quilt

We have had lots of wind this month which has made it challenging to get decent photos, but this shot of the quilt trying to blow away does show the quilting off nicely!EPP Challenge Back Detail

Quilt Stats

Title: Gradient Geese

Size:  24″ x 24″

Techniques:  English Paper Piecing

Quilting:  Free motion quilting with A-1 Longarm

Fabrics:  American Brand Cotton Solid, dyed in gradients with RIT dye

Batting:  Warm and White

Thread:  White Aurifil

Binding:  Dyed blue bias, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back

This project was my One Monthly Goal for April.

 

Goal #19 is Finished!

Goal #19 is Finished!

2016 Second Quarter Finish Goals

Its already time for the second quarter of the year, and another long list of desired goals!2016 Finish Along Q2

The 2016 Finish Along is being hosted by several people around the globe.

2016 FAL

1.  Hoffman Challenge QuiltHoffman Challenge Fabric

2.  “Construction” baby quilt for my nephew’s new addition that will arrive this summerConstruction Quilt Fabric

3.  Riley Blake MQG Challenge Quilt- Awesome Fabric, now I just need an idea to go with it!Riley Blake Challenge Fabric

4.  “Happy New Year” Star QuiltStarburst process

5.  Grey Diamond QuiltDiamond Quilt

6.  Mystery QuiltMeadow Mist process

7.  Plus QuiltPlus Fabric

8.  “Waves” PillowPillow Top

9.  Sand Dollar Star Pillow or Mini QuiltSand Dollar Star

10.  Green Baby QuiltGreen Baby Quilt

11.  Coral Baby QuiltPeach Baby Quilt

12.  Peppermint Forest Mini QuiltPeppermint Forest

13.  Broken Circle Mini QuiltBroken Circle

14.  Lemondrops and Gumdrops MiniLemon Drop Mini

15.  Blue Wholecloth Mini

16.  Radiating MiniRadiating Mini

17.  Wool “needle-minding” MiniNeedle Minding Mini

18.  Cotton Felting Mini

19.  Color Challenge Mini (Finished already this quarter, but still needs to be blogged about)Pattern Drafting

20.  “Secret” MiniSecret Mini

21.  Polar Bear Mini
Polar Bear Mini

22. Medallion MiniMedallion Mini

April One Monthly Goal

This month, I am so excited to be going to Paducah for the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Week.  My Mom and I have gone at least six times before, but this is the first time that we both have quilts exhibited, and it will be my first time attending the awards ceremony and preview night.  Since this is coming up in less than two weeks (how did that happen?), I am selecting a project I have to have finished prior to leaving!

The Central Ohio Modern Quilt Guild has our presentation of our color challenge quilts this month.  Each person drew two crayons from a bag and we had to make a quilted item using just those colors, tones/shades of that color, and one neutral.  I drew Carnation Pink and Cornflower Blue.Pattern Drafting

So far I have Drafted the pattern in AutoCad, dyed the fabrics in a gradient, and done the English Paper Piecing.  In the next week I  will need to add the borders then quilt and bind it.  Its a good thing its small!EPP on Challenge Quilt

 

 

This and That: March Edition

There has been so much happening in my quilt-y world lately, but not everything needs its own post, so I’m combining a bunch of cool stuff into a single post!

Quilt Shows

I had a wonderful time at QuiltCon and it was just as exciting to have my quilt returned to me the following week.

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts hanging at QuiltCon

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts hanging at QuiltCon

Next up in quilt shows: I have THREE quilts heading to the American Quilter’s Society Show in Paducah this Spring!  I was stunned and thrilled to receive three positive notifications, and I am eagerly awaiting the show.

Quilts that are heading to AQS Paducah

Quilts that are heading to AQS Paducah

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts will continue its show tour in the Large Wall Quilt: Modern category, and will be joined by both Can You See (m)E Now? in the Small Wall Quilt: Pictorial category and Rainbow Rotary in the Miniature category.  Even more exciting than having my quilts in the show is seeing that these, as well as several other quilts in the modern aesthetic are being accepted into the show in categories stretching well beyond the modern category.  It is fabulous to see wonderful, long established shows, embrace the differences in the quilt world.

The Collection Quilt Class

The Collection Quilt block of the month classes I have been teaching at Sew to Speak in Columbus, Ohio have been going well, and it is so much fun to work through this delightful quilt with such a wonderful group of women.  I have been making a version of this quilt that is perfect for a princess loving little girl.  The first month’s block features this cute frog print.

Section One of the Collection Quilt

Section One of the Collection Quilt

Block two is especially fun due to the opportunities to incorporate lots of fussy cutting!

Collection Quilt Section Two

Section Two of The Collection Quilt

If you are in the Columbus area, and would like to join the class, we would love to have you!  There is still plenty of time to learn the technique and come out of the class with a fantastic quilt.  Please contact Sew to Speak to get signed up!

Quilting Bee

I am in my first block bee this year with The Columbus Modern Quilters.  I signed up for the six month version since this is my first time, and I never know exactly where or how busy I’ll be in a year.

In January our queen selected the Wanta Fanta block, and I was thrilled by how quickly it went together.

January Bee Blocks

January Bee Blocks

This month we are making the same block for another queen, and I am even more excited to see how both of these quilts go together.

March Bee Blocks

March Bee Blocks

February was my month, and everyone made a filmstrip block that I will be incorporating into a border of a medallion quilt.  I just love the blocks that everyone brought- Aren’t they awesome?!  I have the free pattern available on Craftsy if you are interested in making some filmstrip blocks of your own.

Filmstrip Bee Blocks

Filmstrip Bee Blocks

A Win

Have you been participating in One Monthly Goal hosted by Red Letter Quilts?  It is great for me to be able to set a single goal for the month, because my quarterly lists are ridiculous- they help me keep an overview of large goals, but all of those goals are never getting finished in a single quarter 😉

 

My February goal came with an added bonus: when names were drawn from the completion link-up, mine was selected!

OMG February Prize

This lovely bundle of fabric arrived a few days ago, and I can’t thank Heidi of Red Letter Quilts enough for hosting this event every month and supplying lovely fabric for a prize!

Block Hop

Last year I had a great time participating in the New Blogger’s Block Hop, so when the opportunity arose to participate in another New Block Blog Hop, I jumped at the chance.  Paintbrush Studios sent out fabric to each blogger in the Ocean Sunrise Palette which was curated by our wonderful hosts.
2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop

You’ll want to mark your calendars for March 28-30 to stop by and see all of the wonderful new block patterns that are being given to you by more than three dozen bloggers!  What makes this project even better is that all of the blocks created for this blog hop are collected by our hosts to make into some gorgeous charity quilts.

Publication

For the first time I have a quilt design making an appearance in the pattern section of a magazine.  If you’re interested in making this Italicized Hashtag Quilt, make sure you check it out in Generation Q.  I’ll be writing more about this quilt soon!

Spring Issue of Generation Q Magazine

Spring Issue of Generation Q Magazine