Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bloomin' Quiltin'

Like every quilter - or so I keep telling myself - I stew and fret about choosing just the right FMQing designs. Wanting to put thoughtful, quality quilting into Bloom, I'm going through the typical, challenging process of deciding what to quilt where.
It was easy to start quilting because every bloom needs to be appli-quilted along its outside edges. I'm appli-quilting with 50-weight Aurifil in the same color as the bloom. In the bobbin is white, 60-weight Bottomline.

I've known exactly what I wanted to quilt around each bloom - these concentric rings. I'm matching the quilting thread color to the bloom color. Now, I'm almost done appli-quilting and quilting around each bloom, using about eight different thread colors for the 15 blooms. 

By the way, for those who wanted to know... the wool batt, layered using 505 Spray and Fix aerosol adhesive, is working wonderfully! Nothing is shifting, even though I've been moving this quilt around a whole lot. 

When the blooms are appliqu├ęd and quilted... well, to be honest, I'm stumped as to what to quilt next. The past three days have been about trying to figure that out - looking through several favorite FMQ blogs, and Flickr pages. A couple days ago I remembered something blog friend Lyn (WhataHootQuilts) shared about creating quilting designs, and I hurried out Home Depot and Sam's Club to buy supplies.

A FMQ Design Tool
From Home Depot I bought this 18" X 24", .093"-thick sheet of clear lucite. It cost $10.49. At Sam's Club I bought a set of 12 Expo dry erase markers, an eraser, and white board cleaner for $12. I edged the lucite with silver duct tape.

Then, I put the lucite sheet on top of the quilt, and drew quilting designs.

Though my drawings are rough, the process has been helping me at least decide what I don't want to quilt! Nope, I haven't yet landed on the just-right design. But this new tool is sure giving me a better perspective on quilting possibilities. I expect to use this tool a lot.

A Little More Info
1) Lucite sheets come in several sizes, so you can choose the one that suits your needs. Lyn has a really big sheet that she uses to create designs for an entire baby-sized quilt top!
2) If you shop at Home Depot, look for this product in the back center of the store, where you find doors. The entire selection of lucite sheets was at the end of the aisle.
3) Don't neglect to put duct tape around the outside of the lucite sheet. It not only protects your hands from sharp edges, but the tape is a visual indicator of where the lucite ends - a must-know so you don't get dry erase marker on your quilt!

This afternoon sees me prepping for teaching. Five weeks of "First Time Quiltmaking" lessons begin tomorrow (Thursday) morning. Eighteen women are enrolled! Hand-outs are ready, and I'll be loading the car next. I'm excited about teaching again since it's been since November 2011, in Clive, Iowa, that I last taught. I'm expecting Floridians to be as amenable and excited to learning quiltmaking as Iowans were. Linda


  1. Not sure if lucite is available here? Next best thing would be clear overhead projector sheets, but they are not very thick! But I love the process you are going through here....I'm sure you will come up with something beautiful soon! Good luck with the new class- wish I was there!

  2. I'm just loving your machine quilting, it's gorgeous! The quilt is going to be stunning when you've finished with it. What a brilliant idea to audition your ideas on the lucite.

  3. Love, love, love seeing your process! Thank you for sharing it!

  4. This is very clever and should work great for the beautiful quilting designs that you have mastered, Linda. I have no doubt that this quilt is going to be stunning. Have fun teaching in the morning...I'll be thinking of you!

  5. Your quilting is so great Linda! I'm still mastering straight lines!

  6. You're machine appli-quilting is coming out beautifully! I am so impressed. Leave it to Lynn to come up with such a perfect way to create just the fight quilting designs!! I know you will hit upon the perfect one!! Can't wait to see this beauty finished!

  7. That's an ingenious method to trial quilting designs. Might have to look for some Lucite (perspex over here I think), to have a go. Your quilt is looking good, that's for sure.

  8. What a great idea to audition your quilting designs. It saves a lot of ripping out!
    I love to teach though I have not done a lot of it. Have fun!

  9. I really love this quilt. The quilting behind the blooms is perfect!

  10. You amaze me (again) with how fast you get going once you start a new quilt. It's looking fab. My long arm quilter does something similar to audition different quilt designs. Very clever indeed. Good luck with teaching your first quilting lesson.

  11. What a wonderful way to work out your quilting design. Your quilting is amazing Linda. A real inspiration!

  12. Your Bloom quilt is looking great so far. I love what you did around each bloom. Very nice. I too use a similar method when trying to settle on a design. My "final" drawings are not nearly as good as your "rough" drawings. You are such a talented artist. Can't wait to see the finished quilt.

  13. What a beautiful quilt!! It will be completely stunning when you decide on your final quilting motif.

  14. Nice quilt! We taught many Appliquilt classes at our shop using Tonee Whites books. They were always popular. I see she's still teaching and still using her unique method.
    I think I'll try the lucite trick. Great idea.

  15. Another useful quilting tool to make a life a little easier.
    Good luck with the lessons.

  16. That is a really clever way to visually see what's to come, I've never considered doing that before. I love "a-hah" moments, thanks for the bright light shining the way. The quilt is really pretty, too ~

  17. So glad you left me this link Linda, don't know how I missed it!
    Love the idea of the plastic sheet, I'm going to get some.
    I love how you quilted around the blooms.
    I'm sure your class was a big success.
    Julia ♥


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