Thursday, March 24, 2011

Butterfly quilt

Penny B. made this quilt out of her father's old shirts.  After making the background, she fused the butterflies on top and finished with a satin stitch.  It will be a nice memory quilt for their family.

Penny wanted very simply quilting.  All the squared are SID, the butterflies are SID with a meander inside and there are simple flowing lines between the butterflies across the quilt.  It turned out just like she imagined.    

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Piecing It All Together

My friends Chris Moline and JoAnne Louis published a new quilting book titled Piecing It All Together.  It is about English Paper Piecing and includes 10 Projects.  The book is 68 pages, with lots of photographs, diagrams, easy to follow instructions and piecing pointers.  It can be purchased at  your local quilt shop (if they don't have it yet, ask for it) or at  Click on the title of this post and it will take you to the website.

I quilted a couple of the quilts in the book including the one on the cover page, called Jessie's Gems.
Here are a couple close up shots of the quilting...

 I also quilted the one on the back page - it's called Spin Out.

These are some close up photos of Star Cluster... 

Congratulations to Chris and JoAnne on your first book!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Irish Chain

This is an Irish chain quilt pieced by Judy T.  I can never tell if it's a single, double or triple, but I think this on is a double chain.  I quilted it with a feather pattern.  

Block one
Block two
There a look at the back of the quilt.
The feathered quilting has a shamrock shape to it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Scrappy 4-Patch

This wonderful quilt was made by Patsy M. with tiny, tiny 4-patches.  It was fun to see all the different fabrics used.  A small stipple is the best way to ensure all the squares are quilted.  The red bars were SID and free-hand feathers were sewn in the gold areas.  

 Here is the back of the quilt.

She also made a couple cute quilts for charity.  Both were the same, but I quilted them with different designs.  A great setting idea for those charity quilts.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

National Quilting Month

The official National Quilt Day is March 19th, but they extended it to the whole month.  Enjoy!  Hope you are quilting today!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Superior Tension


This information is from Superior Threads.  An excellent illustration of tension.

If the threads are identical and you are sewing on a single layer of fabric and the tension settings are perfect so both sides have equal strength, the result will be a draw. The sewing should therefore produce perfectly even stitches with no top thread showing underneath and no bobbin thread showing on top. However, in the real world, the teams are rarely equal. One team will be stronger or bigger or faster or smoother than the other. We sometimes use decorative or sensitive threads on top. We often use different fibers for the top and bottom threads. We also add stabilizer or batting. Sometimes we might use a cotton bobbin thread and other times we use a polyester bobbin thread. All these factors make it necessary to adjust the tension for each project. By adjusting the top tension either up or down, we are able to add or take away strength on the top thread team to equalize the tug of war battle. Following is a list of things that affect stitch results:
1. Batting. This adds drag on the top thread. Cotton batting tends to grab the thread more than poly batting, adding more friction on the thread.
2. Fabric type. Dense fabric puts more stress on the thread.
3. Top thread thickness and type. Metallic is less flexible than cotton or poly. Poly is usually stronger than cotton or rayon.
4. Bobbin thread type. Cotton bobbin thread tends to grab more than a smooth filament polyester. Sometimes grabbing is preferred (when piecing) and sometimes it causes problems (with metallic thread). A smooth filament poly thread (not spun poly) in the bobbin will work better with metallic and other sensitive threads because its smooth finish acts almost like a lubricant, sliding nicely with the thread.

Conclusion: We cannot rely on automatic tension settings.  There are too many variables.  As illustrated in the diagram (click on link below), if the top thread is showing underneath, either the top tension is too lose or the bobbin tension is too tight.  Either tighten the top or loosen the bobbin. If the bobbin thread is poking through the top, either the top is too tight or the bobbin is too loose.  Loosen the top or tighten the bobbin.  When making adjustments, begin with the top tension.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I had an opportunity to go on a retreat and had a great time.  Here are some photos of quilts and friends.