I have admitted before that I am easily sidetracked from my goal of completing one of my PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks) every month. This month is no exception.
I finished a bed-size quilt the end of June and then went on vacation. You can see that bed-size quilt in my blog here.
Now I know I’m supposed to be finishing PIGS but this book looks like it has some great ideas, information and inspiration.
I enjoy quilting on my domestic machine. I really do … I no longer quilt bed-size quilts on my domestic machine because it’s physically hard work to move the bulk of a bed-size quilt but smaller quilts are delightful to do. It was all I could do not to start reading the book at work but I had tasks that I had to do first since I’d been on vacation.
Evening #1, I skimmed over the first chapter. I know I should have read it carefully but I was impatient. It goes over all the basics so if you are a beginning machine quilter, it has great information.
The second chapter is about walking-foot quilting. I read the first twelve pages of that chapter and then found some orphan blocks (PIGS) to practice what I’d read. (See how I did that, I’m reading the book, playing with new techniques and still working on PIGS.)
I wanted to use the orphan blocks because the smaller area of a single block made the project go quickly and allowed me to experiment with several different ideas from the book.
This little block is 9½” square. I’m not sure what its purpose is. I didn’t use Insul-Bright by The Warm Company so it wouldn’t be the best potholder in the world. It’s too large for a mug rug and too small for a table topper but maybe it’s something to put under a houseplant.
The second project was still straight-stitch quilting but this time per Catherine’s instructions, I quilted a plaid.
This block is 10¼”. I may need to get more houseplants.
Evening #2, I read just four more pages and got into one of the things that sets Catherine’s book apart from other books on machine quilting.
Catherine has charts to record the settings on your machine. That means that if I want to duplicate the quilting on this project, all I have to do is look at the chart in my book and all the information I need is there.
This project is a cute 18” table topper. I quilted with two different serpentine stitches as well as straight stitches. Because I quilted each segment of color with matching thread, I changed the thread color, brand and weight for different parts of the quilting.
Catherine ends this section with explanations and illustrations on quilting both circular and straight-line spirals. I’ve done circular spirals several times and have discovered that you have to be very careful so the quilt doesn’t get distorted on the corners. Catherine has a fix for that. I’m going to try spiral quilting again. Watch for it in an upcoming blog.
Evening #3, I went on to the section on free-motion quilting. Catherine has many designs shown in the book with the suggestion that you enlarge the designs and trace in order to build muscle memory. I copied five designs at the office and thought about them on the drive home and even drew the mussels design on the passenger seat when I was stopped in traffic.
I am obsessive and a perfectionist. I admit it. So when I started quilting the mussels design I was stitching very slowly and carefully – and making it very small.
I didn’t intend to make it small and I didn’t realize how very small it was until too late to change it so I guess mine are baby mussels. I put the quarter in both the photos so you can see the difference.
For my final project, I went back to the chapter on walking-foot quilting. There are several ideas there that I still want to try.
I combined straight stitch and decorative stitches in the same row of quilting and I used two different decorative stitches as quilting. I really like how this one turned out.
The next section of the book is the gallery – photos of 24 beautifully quilted quilts with close-ups of many of them and the last part of the book is projects. There are instructions for placemats and three different quilts.
What a nice book. And in looking it over and trying Catherine’s ideas and instructions, I finished five, yes, FIVE PIGS! And it only took me three evenings. AND it’s still early in the month. I am way ahead of the game.
Catherine’s book is available at quiltandsewshop.com in hard copy and digital format. Check it out … I think you’ll like it.
And now, until next time, happy quilting!