Category Archives: Tips Tools Techniques

Tulasa’s Quilt

A very hot Kaffe – vibrant and bright!

Using domestic machine quilting rulers are fun and fast. This small 9 block quilt has been waiting for inspiration to strike – that’s okay, there’s a few of them quietly laying around, but this one called out to be done.

So UFO #2 for 2019 is finished!

Using Isacord thread in a matching colour lets the fabric do all the talking. After all, trying to compete with Kaffe is a tall ask!

Tulasa’s Quilt: Block 1

Tulasa’s Quilt: Back of the block showing the quilting pattern.

So a more subdued fabric on the back allows the quilting to be seen.

Tulasa’s Quilt: Block 2

Tulasa’s Quilt: Back of block 2.

Block 2 used part of Westalee Rulers ‘London Collection’.

Tulasa’s Quilt: Block 3

Tulasa’s Quilt: Back of block 3.

Oops! a tangled thread right in the middle of the back of the quilt – oh well, better finished than perfect!

Tulasa’s Quilt

This small offering is off to a new home, gladly waving goodbye after being so patient to be finished!

Which one will be next I wonder?

RobynsPatch

‘Snowflake Fury’

UFO #1 for 2019 Finished!

This one was four large blocks left over from a quilt, just laying around waiting patiently for being put together and quilted.

Joining up the blocks was the easy bit.

What quilting to put on it was the hard bit. A dark thread wouldn’t show up on the black and a light thread wouldn’t show up on the red, and ditch quilting would make it very bland.

Which thread – a variegated grey on top and in the bobbin.

What to quilt became easy using the Westalee Ruler Foot  ‘Spin-e-fex Snowflake Templates 1 and 2, and the straight edge of the 12″ arc ruler,  to make the patterns.

So the block centres became the framed snowflake…

Block centre

The centre of the quilt became a smaller version, which also sat on the centre side edges …

Centre of the quilt

While a simpler version sat along the block joins, and the corners …

Block joins

When quilted and bound it became ‘Snowflake Fury’!

‘Snowflake Fury’ – 4 large block quilt.

Now to go and pick out the next UFO project!

RobynsPatch

 

Getting organised!

When DS-in-L asked for a particular thread by number, it was ‘Oh Dear – where is it?’ Most of my threads are ‘organised’, but these ones looked like this.

01 getting organised

‘Isacord’ quilting threads collected over a few years, a jumbled mess in a big box!

Threads don’t like being jumbled, they develop a life of their own, unravelling and tangling together. So the ‘put-off’ task became ‘get it done now’.  Time to go a-hunting for a storage solution. Took a couple of reels with me for measuring against boxes all over the suburb. At last, when in despair on the way home – the last stop was where I should have gone in the first place – a fabulous local $2 shop with exactly what I needed!

 

Next step was to sit and untangle threads and sort them into their colours according to the colour card. Yes, that’s blu-tac on most of the bobbins, I’ve never had a problem with it and it’s a lot cheaper, easier, and less fiddly than bobbin holders.

02 getting organised

Threads sorted – like marching soldiers!

Into their new home – photocopy on the lid, compartments numbered to match the colour card, and all’s well – except I need another box, so if you happen to see one on your shopping travels – let me know!

04 getting organised

Now I can’t say ‘I can’t find it!”

 

RobynsPatch

 

Quilting ruler patterns!

So now it’s time to quilt Alyce’s baby quilt. I’ve decided to use machine quilting ruler-work. Using rulers by hobbyists is a quickly developing area, many professionals like Leah Day and Angela Waters are producing rulers for domestic machines. Leonie and Bill from ‘Westalee’ have been doing this for a few years, so my collection of theirs and others is growing.

So, for this quilt, I’ve decided that each block will have its own pattern, instead of an allover pattern. I prefer to work on an already pieced quilt, rather than the other way around of quilting a pattern and making it into a quilt.

So where does ruler work fit in amongst domestic machine quilting techniques? At one end of the range is walking foot quilting, and at the other end of the range is free motion quilting. Ruler work sits in the middle. It has the look of free motion, yet has the stability of controlled quilting.

What’s my process? In the beginning, it’s paper and pencil planning, then as that becomes embedded it’s to seek out patterns amongst the squillion on the Internet, and interpret them into ruler work. Of course following specialist quilting bloggers is a sure way to fast track learning!

The first step is to draft up the block, Layer a piece of tracing paper over the top, if one ‘pattern’ works, but doesn’t quite suit the quilt – don’t rub out the drawing, keep it for another quilt. This builds up not only a pattern library, but it also trains the brain into seeing other possibilities. So use another piece of tracing paper. (There are great classes using this technique on the Internet.)

Draft 01

Get out the rulers, a pencil and a tracing circle – the most expensive gadget in the toolbox! Look at the block and work out how much quilting is needed. Would lines or curves be best to enhance the block as compared to an all over pattern? Match the idea up with a ruler and start to draw. Drawing helps plan the actual quilting on the machine – where to start and finish; which direction to go in first; how the quilt will sit or fit under the machine.

Draft 02

The results are patterns that enhance the quilt. Arrows show direction, —— show stitching in the ditch (previously ditch-stitched).

Draft 04

Draft 03

So let the quilting begin!

Ruler 01

Two days later it’s all quilted – nothing like an imminent birth for a deadline!

Finished Quilt

Hope you like the choices for this quilt – I’m sure the new mum and baby boy loves it!

RobynsPatch