Since I teach some beginner longarm classes at The Longarm Network I use the veterans quilts to practice and develop new quilting patterns that will be easy for beginner longarmers. The one I have today is an even simpler version of the Wavy Crosshatch, my favorite go-to quilting motif.
It's so simple that you can figure it out from this photo.
This quilt is made from 4-patches and that's usually a direct call for the Wavy Crosshatch but I wanted something even simpler. This is just a free-motion option to ruler work straight lines. Quilting a curved diagonal line is much easier than quilting a straight diagonal line. In this case I curved the lines down on left to right passes and curved the lines up on right to left passes.
For a beginner quilter you are building 2 skills here:
1 - Quilting smooth curves. The nice thing about this pattern is that a couple of wonky curves aren't going to stand out but by the time you get to the end of the quilt your curves will be pretty smooth.
2 - More importantly, you will be practicing stopping at specific points. Ideally you want your points on each row to touch so that anyone looking at the quilt can't be sure how you quilted it.You only learn to do that with practice and this is a perfect practice pattern.
When you are done you are better at both of those skills AND you have a quilt quilted!
Oh, but what if you have rectangles instead of squares?
No problem! In this case I used a purple air erasable pen to draw a line through the middle of the row. That gave me my stopping points. But I could have also simply made very long skinny diamonds and that would have looked good too.
Once you have this mastered you can come back and add all kinds of elements to dress it up:
It really is the simplest of simple patterns but it has a lovely overall effect.
Betty B. from my quilt club made this pretty quilt. I think it's manly but still calming and soothing.
This is the first quilt that I got to add our new quilt labels to! One of our members has been printing labels for the back of the quilts. Of course no one really likes sewing on quilt labels and I found these at Ikaprint on France. They are small but you can't beat 200 labels for less than $30 (including shipping). It's a lot less expensive than what Becky was paying for printer-ready fabric. The labels arrived quickly and now Terry and I can sew on the labels as we quilt the quilts. it's one less step for the binders to do!
If anyone looks on the back they will see this message.
I quilted this quilt on the 4th of July. It seemed only appropriate to quilt a quilt on our birthday.
I had a lot of birthdays in May and our Airbnb traffic has picked up. Since both audiences get fabric postcards I wen't through my last stockpile pretty quickly. I only had 2 left and lots of Airbnb guests coming up. I had to get buys and make some new cards.
I've been thinking about a fireworks theme for a long time but couldn't figure out how I wanted to execute it. Working on my little mandala quilt last month gave me the idea to get these done.
I've written up a tutorial if you want to make some for yourself. You can find it under the Tutorials tab above or just click here.
I worked through a few prototypes testing threads and technique. I decided that even the rejects looked good enough to keep.
I feel like I was very busy yesterday but it included a meeting in the morning and a concert last night so I don't have a whole lot to show for my efforts yesterday.
Except for this one lonely pet bed. Quilting the veterans quilts creates a lot of fabric and batting bits that are too small to save and use. I collect them in a separate trash can. Sometimes I can donate them to a group that makes pet beds but occasionally I find from free decorator weight fabric and I make my own. The friend that went with me to the concert last night also volunteers at Richmond Animal League so I stitched up a quick one to take to her. This one isn't stuffed quite enough but for a shelter dog it will be better than a flimsy towel for a bed. I have a tutorial if you want to make some for yourself.
My big project today is to gather up my piles of donation items and deliver it all to the local thrift store and then wait for the UPS driver to bring the king sized batting that I ordered for the Rainbow Quilt. I have the back loaded and ready to go and want to get started on it this weekend.
I also want to do some glass, make a special postcard for a friend and maybe start a new symmetry project. What are your plans?
Did anyone wonder where I was yesterday? I did mention a couple of days ago that my posting might not be regular while my friends were here but I didn't miss yesterday because we were having fun.
The evening before just as I was getting ready to leave to teach a class I decided to unload the dishwasher. On one of the bends my back decided to spasm. Don't you hat it when that happens?
I'm fine and mostly just sore today but I was really uncomfortable driving and teaching Tuesday night and spent yesterday just resting.
But Laura wasn't bothered by my lack of activity. She set herself up a little potholder factory in my sewing room.
A few years ago I made potholders for everyone for Christmas. I think I made over 20 sets of potholders. People loved them and I wrote a tutorial so I'd remember how I made them. Laura got some of them and wanted to make some to take home for Christmas presents. She had free and unlimited access to my stash and I had a couple of yards of Insul-Brite so she got to work. Here are 2 of her first 3 sets.
She even made a set for me. The ones that I made a few years ago are getting pretty ratty. I probably need to set up my own factory and make new ones for my family and friends.
While she was sewing and I was resting, the landscape guys are working as hard as they can between rainstorms. We have had so much rain lately that they are far behind. I'm not bothered by it. They are doing great work and are the nicest group of guys you could have working on your property.
One sidewalk is finished except for sanding. They have to wait for the weather to be dry to do that. We've had some serious rain since they put in the drains and it's really exciting to see them work.
But I love the new sidewalk. It's a huge improvement.
Don't ask me why this house has brick gutters in front. The guy who built this house was a history professor and, we think, he was trying to build himself a plantation. It all fell short of the mark because plantations cost a lot of money! Anyway, we have brick gutters so we had drains put at the end of them and now they are actually working like they are supposed to.
They should get this one laid out today before the rain starts again. The guy by the far door is the lead guy and his level of meticulousness makes me look like a slacker. We are lucky to have him and his crew. I can't wait to see it all finished.
It was great to be home and start to get back into my routine this weekend. FloMo and I spent some time together yesterday. I'm going to quilt a few veterans quilts before I load a quilt of my own. This quilt is made of these large house blocks with no borders. I really like the look of it and felt that wavy or curvy lines wouldn't really look great on it. I decided on straight lines.
Since I'm teaching the Innova New Owners class at The Longarm Network again this weekend it was timely to write up a tutorial on using channel locks. If you have a longarm and haven't used channel locks (installed or DIY) you might find the Channel Locks Tutorial helpful.
Do you remember when I was playing around with this design a few weeks ago? I've finally written up instructions and fabric requirements! Honestly there isn't much in the way of instructions but I've worked up layouts and fabric requirements for 6 sizes from crib to king. I've also put together 3 color palettes that I think would look great in this pattern. You can see the palettes and download the Rainbow Quilt Pattern here.
I am fortunate to be able to teach new longarm owners at The Longarm Network in Virginia. I also try to quilt at least 40 charity quilts each year from my local quilt club. I often use my quilting designs on these quilts to teach my students that they can be a good longarm quilter from the first quilt by following a path to proficiency. I show them many ways to quilt simply and easily while still creating nice designs and learning new skills.
Yesterday I shared this snowball block quilt. I pondered on this quilt for several days to come up with a quilting approach. I almost settled on an all-over design but really wanted a design that would show off the blocks. Now that I'm on the new website I'm going to do a better job of creating tutorials and am going to create lots of easy/beginner longarming tutorials....starting with this one!
This tutorial shows one way to quilt snowball or kaleidoscope-type blocks. It's fast and easy, a great way to build some longarm skills and it creates a great pattern on the back of the quilt. Get the tutorial here.
When I moved the old blog content to this new site I got to read through some of my older tutorials. A few of them weren't nearly as clear as then needed to be. One of those was my tutorial on centering a quilt back on the longarm. I used the QOV quilt this week to take all new photos and completely rewrite it. If you are a longarm quilter I hope you will find this technique useful.
Just so I don't leave you without photos. Here are the 2 quilts that forced me to figure out how to do this. You can read all about these special quilts here. These photos of the backs were taken after the quilts were quilted and bound.
If you are in need of a custom dyed quilt back I can dye one for you in any color combination or pattern.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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