DWR:: Step 9: Hand Quilting

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Follow along as I make Free Spirit Fabric's Double Wedding Ring Quilt.

DWR:: Hand Quilting

Time to add some additional quilting designs to the double wedding ring quilt. I did an Amish/traditional rose in the middle of my medallions. It requires some paper template pieces and an invisible ink marking pen to get the design right. For the actual quilting, I use a quilting hoop, leather thimble, and gold-end quilting needles with some 100% cotton hand-quilting thread.

I absolutely adore the quilting in Carrie Strine's Double Wedding Ring Quilt, and it might be worth considering quilting two-connected leaves into the melons as a lovely add-on.

  1. Cut hand quilting templates out of card stock.
    1. Cut hand quilting templates out of card stock
  2. Center rose template in medallion, using medallion + crease as a guide
    2. Center rose template in medallion, using medallion + crease as a guide
  3. Trace rose with disappearing marker or dressmaker's pencil, indicating a starting divot.
    3. Trace rose with disappearing marker or dressmaker's pencil, indicating a starting divot.
  4. Quilter's knot the thread.
    You want about a full wingspan of thread to do the entirety of one motif! I try to avoid the number of thread breaks in a motif.
    4. Quilter's knot the thread.
  5. Pull needle from back to top of quilt, tugging on thread so the knot is secure in the batting.
    5. Pull needle from back to top of quilt, tugging on thread so the knot is secure in the batting.
  6. Use a Rocking Stitch to hand-quilt the traced rose pattern.
    6. Use a Rocking Stitch to hand-quilt the traced rose pattern.
  7. Trace the petal template just as before, and hand quilt just as before.
    7. Trace the petal template just as before, and hand quilt just as before.
  8. Hand quilt the traced leaf template.
    9. Hand quilt the traced leaf template
  9. Repeat Steps 8 & 9 for all leaves.
    10. Repeat Steps 8 & 9 for all leaves.
  10. Use a quilter's knot to secure the end of the thread.
    11. Use a quilter's knot to secure the end of the thread.
  11. Repeat quilting motif for all remaining medallions.
    12. Repeat quilting motif for all remaining medallions.

A more complex design can be reverse-printed from the computer, and then transferred with a heat transfer pencil
Completed hand-quilting, from the back

DWR:: Step 8: Beginning Machine Quilting - Avoiding Bottom Threads & Backstitching

Friday, June 23, 2017

Follow along as I make Free Spirit Fabric's Double Wedding Ring Quilt.

Carrie Strine's Double Wedding Ring Quilt involves a considerable amount of hand-quilting. More hand-quilting than I care to do in most cases. So, instead we're doing a mild amount of quilting - partially machine quilting. I think in the future I might do all the quilting by hand to be more consistent in appearance.

Before we get into machine quilting the double wedding ring quilt, it's handy to know that you should start the sewing slightly different from usual. You can't reverse over initial stitches to secure them, as that's not attractive, so we use tiny stitches. And you don't want the initial tails of the bobbin thread hanging out and getting in the way, so we do a little sneaky move to fish them up top. Photos will hopefully help, below.

  1. Place fabric where you want to begin. Hold top thread, drop needle.
    Starting machine quilting - pulling up the bottom thread so it doesn't get caught in stitching.
    DWR:: Place fabric where you want to begin. Hold top thread, drop needle.
  2. Hand-crank needle until bottom thread comes up in a loop. Tug on loop.
    Starting machine quilting - pulling up the bottom thread so it doesn't get caught in stitching.
    DWR:: Hand-crank needle until bottom thread comes up in a loop. Tug on loop.
  3. Tug on bottom thread loop until it comes up all the way.
    Starting machine quilting - pulling up the bottom thread so it doesn't get caught in stitching.
    DWR:: Tug on bottom thread loop until it comes up all the way.
  4. Do ~5 small stitches, on smallest setting you can to secure thread.
    Starting machine quilting - securing thread without reverse-stitching (looks better!)
    DWR:: Do ~5 small stitches, on smallest setting you can to secure thread
  5. Sew rest of quilt on a slightly looser setting than usual, due to the thickness of the quilt.
    Starting machine quilting - securing thread without reverse-stitching (looks better!)
    DWR:: Sew rest of quilt on a slightly looser setting than usual, due to the thickness of the quilt.
  6. Notice how the smaller stitches look cleaner than reverse-stitching.
    DWR:: Notice how the smaller stitches look cleaner than reverse-stitching.


Finishing Up the Machine Quilting

You'll notice that I'm only machine quilting through the middle of the arcs. It's tricky to have a standard sewing machine sew in circles, but if you're careful (and stop to reposition your guide after every half circle), then it can work. This level of machine quilting is not enough, I'm also hand-quilting some additional designs into the medallions.

DWR:: Machine Quilting

  1. After following instructions for starting, machine sew in middle of each arc. Be sure to use a quilting foot and guide.
    After sewing half of an arc, check that your guide is still centered in the arc! It moves.
    (it's possible to do 2 arcs without having to stop & re-secure thread, since each arc interacts with another arc)
    1. After following instructions for starting, machine sew in middle of each arc (it's possible to do 2 arcs without having to stop & re-secure thread, since each arc interacts with another arc)
  2. Secure final stitches with small stitches. Repeat process for all circles.
    (it's possible to do 2 arcs without having to stop & re-secure thread, since each arc interacts with another arc)
    2. Secure final stitches with small stitches. Repeat process for all circles.

Front of quilt with completed machine quilting, basting still in

DWR:: Step 7: Quilt Back & Quilt Sandwich

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Follow along as I make Free Spirit Fabric's Double Wedding Ring Quilt.

DWR:: Basting the Quilt Sandwich

Quilt sandwiching. I always refer to my previous recaps of quilt sandwiches, but here's what it looks like on the double wedding ring quilt.

  1. Make a quilt back.
    I like scrappy quilt backs, it's a good way to use up some leftovers. This one uses some fabric from the top, so you can see a larger piece of the design patterns. 'Just make sure it's larger than the quilt top.
    DWR:: Making the quilt back (just make sure it's larger than the quilt top!)
  2. Mark center of edges of quilt backing with safety pins and tape to floor with masking tape. Use "parachuting" method to ensure it lays flat.
    1. Mark center of edges of quilt backing with safety pins and tape to floor with masking tape. Use "parachuting" method to ensure it lays flat.
  3. Place quilt batting on top of quilt backing.
    2. Place quilt batting on top of quilt backing.
  4. Place quilt top on top, centering with quilt backing safety pins.
    3. Place quilt top on top, centering with quilt backing safety pins.
  5. Baste by handle with needle & thread, doing one quadrant at a time, sewing in opposite directions.
    4. Baste by handle with needle & thread, doing one quadrant at a time, sewing in opposite directions.
  6. Continue basting until entire quilt is done. I like to do some basting around the entire perimeter of the quilt, maybe ~1 inch from the edge. It makes it a pinch easier to attach the binding, and with these rounded edges, I needed all the help I could get.
    5. Continue basting until entire quilt is done, and edges of quilt are secured as well.

DWR:: Step 6: Attaching Circle Unit Rows

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Follow along as I make Free Spirit Fabric's Double Wedding Ring Quilt.

DWR: Attaching the circle unit rows

Normally, sewing rows of fabric together is fairly straightforward. But these rows are rather pointy. I've found that it's easiest to stop sewing at each point/corner, trim the thread, remove the fabric, reposition the fabric, and then start at that last corner from a different direction and start sewing again. I dunno. It makes no sense in words. Here's some photos to go with the words.

  1. Pin and sew the first circle units together as you would individual melon pieces.
    1. Pin and sew the first circle units together as you would individual melon pieces.
  2. Then take 2 corner-squares not sewn in last step, and re-align the fabric so they will be sewn. Pin.
    2. Then take 2 corner-squares not sewn in last step, and re-align the fabric so they will be sewn. Pin.
    Fabric re-alignment at the corner.
    Fabric re-alignment at the corner
  3. Start at a previous corner square, and sew along two corner squares and across medallion, easing in fabric as usual.
    3. Start at a previous corner square, and sew along two corner squares and across medallion, easing in fabric as usual.
  4. Check center seams for any flaws, and redo as necessary. Sometimes have to take out older seams and do new ones.
    4. Check center seams for any flaws, and redo as necessary. Sometimes have to take out older seams and do new ones.
  5. Iron.
    5. Iron.
  6. Repeat for all remaining units in row, and for all remaining rows.
    6. Repeat for all  remaining units in row, and for all remaining rows.

DWR:: Step 5: Assembling the Circle Units & Rows

Friday, June 16, 2017

Follow along as I make Free Spirit Fabric's Double Wedding Ring Quilt.

DWR:: Assembling the circle units (16 of 'em)

Now we've gotta put together a hodge podge of 16 circle units, with 4 basic shapes, according to the pattern

The curved sewing. It never ends. At least by the time you get to this stage, it's coming more naturally.

  1. Determine arrangement of all melons with medallions, so there's no repetition (color balance!)
    1. Determine arrangement of all melons with medallions, so there's no repetition (color balance!)
  2. Center & pin first medallion to melon
    2. Center & pin first medallion to melon
  3. Align the marked 1/4" seam intersection with the center-square's seam
    3. Align the marked 1/4" seam intersection with the center-square's seam
  4. Repeat for other side.
    4. Repeat for other side.
  5. Sew, easing in fabric.
    5. Sew, easing in fabric.
  6. Check for any flaws and fix. This whole process can involve a decent amount of seam-undoing and redoing. But it's worth it.
    6. Check for any flaws and fix.
  7. Snip seam allowance with scissors and iron toward melon.
    7. Snip seam allowance with scissors and iron toward melon.
  8. As you add more medallions to the melon, be sure to tuck the excess 1/4" seam intersection up and out of the way
    8. As you add more medallions to the melon, be sure to tuck the excess 1/4" seam intersection up and out of the way
  9. Also, make sure when ironing that the excess intersection fabric is flat.
    9. Also, make sure when ironing that the excess intersection fabric is flat.
    It gets trickier and trickier as you add more melons...
    It gets trickier and trickier as you add more melons...
    It may seem unlikely, but with easing in the fabric carefully, it can be sewn together
    It may seem unlikely, but with easing in the fabric carefully, it can be sewn together
    And the medallions come out looking okay.
    And the medallions come out looking okay.
  10. Repeat for remaining melons to create a circle unit. The pattern instructions will tell you how many circles with how many melons you need.
    10. Repeat steps 2-9 for remaining melons.
    Arc-side of last melon being attached. Corner squares at both ends must be pinned.
    Arc-side of last melon being attached. Corner squares at both ends must be pinned.
    A finished circle unit:
    A finished circle unit.
  11. Repeat according to instructions ~16 times. Not all circle units are a full circle!!!
    11. Repeat according to instructions ~16 times. Not all circle units are a full circle!!!
  12. Sew individual circle units together to form rows.
    12. Sew individual circle units together to form rows.
  13. Sew individual circle units together to form rows. It's pretty much the same as assembling the circle units.
    12. Sew individual circle units together to form rows.
    Please note: Tiny California apartment.

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