Feathered Star Quilt

I must say that I think that this quilt is one of the prettiest I’ve done.  My customer chose a scrappy 1930’s repro’ look in soft and medium pastels.  While not all of the fabrics are 1930 reprints they all blend together beautifully.  Here is a picture of the flimsy.

Feather Star Quilt

Feathered Star

I do not have the name of this particular quilt layout and if anyone does know please leave me a comment or note about it and I will give credit where credit is due.  Thanks to Karen S. for letting me know about the quilt and the link for you!

My customer left me with a photocopy of the magazine layout showing ‘some’ (some) of the quilting and asked that I do it as much like the picture as I could.

Feathered Star magazine image

Feathered Star

While some of it could be made out a great deal could not so the finished quilt is a mixture of the quilting that had been suggested and my own.

I first started out by taking the flimsy picture and a few more close-ups of the centre, stars, corners, borders and so on.  I printed them out in black and white and used them to draw my quilting ideas on. I use this method a great deal when I’m deciding on quilting designs.  I find that I can see immediately whether or not my ideas will work.  I chose Superior’s So Fine #403 Putty and it blended in perfectly with all the colours so I didn’t have to change out my thread at all.  To make the arch for the feathered triangles in the centre I used the oval template so they would be consistent throughout.  I also used the end of the oval to make the outer border design.

Some areas looked to have very basic teardrop feather shapes but I decided to do a more formal feather instead but still keep the simple look over all.

Feathered Star Medallion Quilt

Here are a few close-ups

Feathered Star Quilt

Feathered Star Centre

Feathered Star Quilt

Feathered Star 8pt star

Feathered Star Quilt

Feathered Star corner 1

Feathered Star Quilt

Feathered Star corner 2

Feathered Star Quilt

Feathered Star fan border

I could paint my spare bedroom again in a soft buttery yellow … I wonder if she’ll let me have this quilt!

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Sailboat Quilt – planning custom quilt design

I’ve managed to scan a few pictures of the sailboat quilt and doodle some design ideas on it.  If you are ever pondering over what design to do this is  a good method.  Simply take a picture of the whole quilt, specific block areas if you want to do some custom work and then print them out in black and white.  You can make more than one copy or just put them into plastic sleeve protectors and use a dry erase (or wet erase) marker on them and doodle away to your hearts content!  It is a good way to get an overall feel for the quilt and what your ideas will look like.  Here’s a picture of the sail boat quilt again,

BAILEY'S BOATYARD

BAILEY'S BOATYARD

I spent a couple of days just doodling sea themed pictures.  You don’t have to be an artists – this is simply to get your quilting design ideas down on paper and sort through them.  Unless you are an artist you will still be using templates and rulers and other paraphernalia when it comes time to quilt the quilt.

This is a good first step especially if you are planning on custom quilting.  I went through three or four different layout ideas before zeroing in on my final choice.  Even if you are just doing an all-over e2e it is a great way to get an idea of what it will look like before you put thread to quilt!  Keep in mind that you will still have to audition the design full size as this is in miniature.

 

Bailey's BoatYard design 1

Bailey's BoatYard design 1

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the first sketch that I did on the whole quilt – this was after I doodled shapes on paper.  A simple water meander around some seaweed on the left, Seahorses on the right, swirls around the boats with what are supposed to be seagulls flying around.  A treasure chest neslted into the rocky sea bottom.

I’m trying stretch my comfort zone which is the reason my side borders don’t match (little miss symmetry here 😉 ) and I need more practice on the longarm making pebbles. While I like the overall look of this I wasn’t happy with the blocks around the sailboats.  Too busy for me and I don’t think one would even see the seagulls amongst the swirls.

 

Bailey's Boatyard design 2

Bailey's Boatyard design 2

Here’s my second sketch – I like this one better because the centre of the quilt is not so heavy.  A simple seaweed design up the left side and over the top, Seahorses down the right side and bottom still with the treasure chest.  The swirls in the dark patches respresent coiled rope and the background fill around the boats is a simple water meander.  I’m drawn to this more simply because the quilting is not so heavy.  That is another area that I have to work on because I tend to do fairly light quilting and then once I get it off the frame I realize that I could have done more.  This still wasn’t quite right.  I like the ocean theme around the borders but truth is I don’t think we have Seahorses in my particular stretch of the ocean and I want this quilt to represent my little corner of the world – the West Coast of BC – so back to the drawing board.

Bailey's Boatyard design 3

Bailey's Boatyard design 3

I’m going to keep the centre of the quilt with the water meander around the boats and ‘rope coils’ in the dark patches.  Now I’m showing West Coast BC – a seagull perched on a piling, the mountains, settting sun, cedar trees and a rocky shore line.

I think this quilt has good balance (very important to us Libras 🙂 ) and I may change the single cedar tree on the right to a grouping of three to look more like a forest and, yes, so that I’m not so symmetrical!

OK – the next step is for me to sample these ideas onto the quilt top.  I’ll post my progress and how-to’s as I go.

Fine Line Quilters Ruler

I have been terribly remiss in keeping up with this blog.  What is the saying?  Life gets in the way when one makes plans?  That about sums it up.  I’ve been working sporadically on a few projects, namely Piccadilly Square; a small disappearing nine-patch PACH (PAramedis Care and Help) quilt, and organizing a class I’m going to be teaching at our local Quilt Shop, “Creative Essentials”.  Who said retirement was boring?

What I wanted to post about was the new ruler I was fortunate enough to be a test quilter for called the  “Fine Line Quilters Ruler”.  This ruler is specifically for anyone that does machine quilting on a frame, or; as I’ve heard some refer to it as, ‘stand up quilting’.  Making a straight line is relatively easy (with some practice) when using a domestic machine because you are either following a seam line, a line you’ve marked on the fabric or using the edge of your pressure foot and the dog teeth pull the quilt sandwich through.  When you’re trying to make a straight line with a long arm machine it is much different and requires a lot more practice.  

 

HQ16 quilting machine and frame

HQ16 quilting machine and frame

 

 

 

Imagine trying to control a 45 pound machine that’s resting on ball bearings and keep it in a straight line!  Pretty hard especially if you are trying to quilt on the diagonal.  We have to add a table base to the machine and use special rulers that are thick enough so that the hopping foot wont go over top of it.  Typically they are 1/4″ thick, some with markings at 1/4″, 3/4″ and so on so we can do grid work and such.  Basically, you just hang on to the ruler as comfortably and firmly as possible and guide the hopping foot along the edge.

 

 

 

Fine Line Quilters Ruler

Fine Line Quilters Ruler

This new ruler was developed by a quilter that was frustrated trying to control the ruler, keep fingers and hands out of the way so you don’t bump the hopping foot and end up with a ‘bump’ in the line that you have to stop, rip it out and re-do.  When you are doing this professionally this all takes time and costs $$.  She developed a ruler with finger and fabric grips to solve these issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 I couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was to to some background grid work.  My hands didn’t get sore and the ruler was not sliding around on the quilt top and not once did I find my hands or fingers in the way!

Fine Line Quilters Ruler

Fine Line Quilters Ruler

I’ve always stayed away from ruler work because of the frustration level but no more.  I finished up my practice piece and started looking around at what I had ready that I could do some more grid-work on!

 

 

 

 

If you would like more information about this ruler just let me and I will get it to you.  They are not in Canada yet but I will get the information to you so that you can order directly from the manufacturer.  They are running about $15 US for an 8″ ruler (perfect for mid-arm machines) and she has 12″ as well.  I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with!

 

Fine Line finger grips

Fine Line finger grips