From My Carolina Home

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Quilt of Valor Four Patch

Moving to the next Quilt of Valor, this one was a four patch design, alternating with printed large squares, and a red border. It had a masculine look to it, so I decided to use a pantograph called Tiger Swirl on it. The points have a flame-like feel, meant to be like a tiger’s stripes, with curved lines.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

Folding it up to check the borders, there was a little bit extra but not too bad. You can see how the outer edge of the red angles just a bit downward at the edge compared to the joining seam on the inner edge of the border.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

I steamed it after loading, and the top edge was looking pretty good.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

First pass looking good, the pantograph seems like a good fit.  You can see the curved lines ending in points here, it does kind of look like a tiger’s stripes.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

I forgot to get a picture of my thread audition, but you can see I decided on a light ecru color thread. It gave the darker block areas a bit of punch as those were solid colors.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

It disappears over the busy print with the ecru background.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

And then I messed up again. I didn’t pay close enough attention when I advanced the quilt, and overlapped the stitching a bit on the next pass.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

I noticed the little extra in the borders made some wrinkles in the fabric when quilting. This isn’t too bad and hopefully will be camouflaged after it is washed and draws up a bit. You can see the overlapped pass here too.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

Ugh. I cannot believe I did that.  I thought about this for quite a while, ripping it out would take me a long time, literally hours, and this was a charity quilt.  I was doing the quilting for free. If someone was paying for the quilting, I would have just started in fixing it without a second thought. Ultimately, I decided to leave it.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

The backing is predominately white, so the thread color did well for that print. You can see the backing print on the roller here as I got to the bottom edge.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

Two of the blocks had handwritten messages with signatures. Hopefully, that is what you notice looking at the quilt, not my quilting mistake.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

Overall, I hope it looks nice.

Quilt of Valor Four Patch at From My Carolina Home

So the question of the day, would you have ripped out this mistake on a charity quilt?  Or did I make a reasonable decision to leave it?

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Quilt of Valor – Eagle Squares

Moving on to the next Quilt of Valor, each one has been unique and interesting.  This one had foundation pieced stripes on a muslin base, alternating those squares with an eagle print.  I was concerned that the difference in weight between the squares might make quilting a challenge.  I laid it on the longarm bar to check the size of the backing and batting.  The batting is Warm and Natural all cotton.  It was nice that this piecer did a good job on her borders.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

The stripes had to be precise so that they would seem to move behind the eagle print squares. Foundation piecing made sense for this. But the difference in weight between the muslin backed squares and the others was noticeable.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

I loaded it on the longarm, and chose a lighter color thread than I usually choose to use.   I picked a lighter ecru color Essentials thread, with the same thread in the bobbin.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

The backing fabric was a light beige, and anything dark would show every little wobble or glitch. I don’t plan to do that but it usually happens anyway. The first pass across the quilt did nicely, thank heaven no tension issues with this one.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

That was a relief, as it was very apparent to me with the additional drag on the machine when I was stitching in the striped blocks. Quilting on the eagle print squares had less drag, so I tended to speed up just a tiny bit. I think the stitching does the best when I can maintain a consistent speed in movement of the machine.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Still, it really didn’t seem to matter, the stitching was good over the stripes too.  The pantograph is called Fascination by Lorien Quilting for Willow Leaf Studios, designed by Hermione Agee.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Looking at the two different blocks after quilting, side by side,  the size is pretty consistent.  The stitches get a bit longer when I am changing directions, so I adjusted the cruise to a higher speed to compensate.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Going over the borders, the thread color blended well.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

The seams where the corners joined had some excess bulk due to the extra muslin layer. It would have been better to clip out some of this excess muslin before sending it for quilting. But, I just tried to do my best.  Here you can see the rounded seam and a bit of gathering in the blue on the left.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

Most of the time I was lucky and the stitching line on the pantograph went around the point where there was extra bulk.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

But you can see how the extra fabric in the seam allowance makes that point pop up a bit where four blocks come together.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

It quilted quickly, and I trimmed it before folding it up to add to the shipment back to the guild.

QOV Eagle Squares at From My Carolina Home

As usual, I learn something with every quilt. This one taught me that differences in block weight didn’t make a difference in the stitches, but I should trim excess foundation from the joining seams where possible. I have a couple of friends with longarm machines helping me with these, but I still have several more to show you. I’ll get to most of them between the end of August and through September. I am working on doing another Autumn Jubilee in October, and I already have some fantastic plans in the works. More on that later!

What are you working on? Have you ever done a quilt with foundation piecing?

 

My blog is about a variety of topics, quilting and sewing, crafting and cooking, reading and travel, mountain living and gardening, and more.  I have lots of free patterns for quilters, mystery quilt alongs, holiday quilt alongs, and seasonal events with giveaways.  Please follow me for all the fun!  New projects coming up!!  I do new tutorials and patterns quite often, along with a variety of other subjects on my blog. I would like to invite you to follow if you want, by using the sidebar buttons for your favorite blog reader, or enter your email to follow via email. I post usually about 4 times a week, not excessively. My annual Autumn Jubilee is coming up in October, and I’ll have a lot of new things to show, projects to do, a quilt along and giveaways.

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Quilts of Valor – Diamonds

Loading the next Quilt of Valor, this one is a really nice diamond pattern. The red, white and blue prints go really well together. The pattern is so simple, just large half square triangles arranged in a nice pattern with red squares.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Loading it on the longarm, ready to begin quilting. I auditioned thread, and decided on red for a bit of punch on the white areas.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

This one had a different issue that I have frankly never seen before. The middle border is larger than the outer border.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

I think part of the reason that this happened, is the quilter used bias seams in the borders. I have no idea why piecers do this. You need a bias seam in binding, but not in borders. Using straight border seams to join border strips will result in a more stable border, just like piecing the blocks.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Luckily, a bit of stretching of the final border and steaming the middle border flattened it out for easier quilting. I stitched the edges down to hold it in place.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

The backing gave me a bit of a fit in the quilting process. These raveling edges produced strings that got wrapped around the encoder wheels on the longarm machine head, and made a mess with the quilting. There was a section I had to take out, as the machine started skipping stitches and not sewing at all while I moved the head. When the encoders don’t spin, the machine doesn’t stitch. If you have a backing like this, pink the edges to prevent the raveling.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

With this linear pantograph, it was so obvious when a glitch happened.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

The pantograph is a modern design called Contempo by Lorien Quilting. I thought it would be suitable for a more masculine design.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

It does well with the backing too, a perfect starry print for this QOV.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Aurifil in the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin, made for subtle quilting.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Here’s a closer look at the corner.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Once again, my favorite thing to do is pick threads that show in the backgrounds of the piecing and blend with the colors in the quilt top.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Even though the pantograph is quite linear, I think it works well with this design.  So, all done and ready to give back to the piecer for binding.

Quilt of Valor Diamonds at From My Carolina Home

Are you quilting today?

 

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Eagle Panel Quilt of Valor

Continuing on with the Quilts of Valor for the Grand Strand Quilters, the next one is a panel with an eagle in the center surrounded with borders. The backing provided was a dark blue.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Once again, the borders are a bit full, and I suspect that they were not measured. The cornerstone blocks are not straight.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

There is fullness in the middle too.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Folding it up from the bottom, you can see how the middle of the quilt is smaller than the edges, indicating too much fabric in the borders.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I removed it from the frame and steam pressed the entire quilt with the 50/50 solution I make of Best Press and water. I do use a spritz bottle, never put this solution in the iron itself. After some pulling and pressing, I was able to get the quilt a bit more squared up, with only a couple of problem areas left.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Next is auditioning thread. The important consideration with thread this time was not only the color of the backing, but the thickness of the thread. In order to minimize the impact of the quilting on the eagle, I needed a thin thread that would not obscure the eagle’s face.  The blue Aurifil thread was perfect, and matched the backing.  Yes, I often quilt with Aurifil, both the top thread and the bobbin.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I decided on the gentle swirl of this pantograph, as it was suggestive of clouds like on the panel.  Here is one of the many puckers that appeared on the side.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

You can see some puckering of the fabric due to the excess of border fabric at the bottom of this picture. I really didn’t like this, but I didn’t want to rip it out.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I think the quilting looks good on the background sky of the panel.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Some of the excess fabric on the border edges created fullness in the middle as I tried to keep the border seam lines straight.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Once again, as I got to the bottom, the fullness and wonky corner became apparent.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

It seemed to be worse on the bottom blue border, as this much fullness was too much to work in.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

So, I made a pleat with the excess and stitched it down. I ended up doing four of these, one on each side and two on the bottom.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Even so, there is still puckering in the bottom border.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I know I harp on this a lot, but you can see what your longarmer has to go through when the borders are put on with the slap and sew method. I just wish I could get this message out to everyone. If you haven’t seen my tutorial on properly applied borders, click HERE to understand the difference between measuring and not measuring.

Puckers at the top of the picture too. Yes, these will be minimized with washing, but I don’t think these quilts are laundered prior to presentation.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

All done, I am not happy with the sides, but I did the best I could.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

I was pleased with the Aurifil thread for quilting, as it is thin and doesn’t detract from the eagle.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

Ready for binding, it was sent back to Myrtle Beach.

Quilt of Valor Eagle Panel

What are you working on today?

 

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Quilt of Valor- Stars and Bars

When I visited the Grand Strand Quilters in Myrtle Beach, I agreed to be a part of their drive to get their backlog of 150 QOV quilts quilted and delivered.  I came home with 10 to do, and pulled out the first bundle. I like what they have done here, each quilt is tied with the top, backing and batting, ready to go. It has a label on it saying who the piecer was, and who quilted it. There is more information here too, and I think it is great to have a way to track where quilts have gone.  This quilt is 68×88, and I think they all are close to that in size.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Opening it up and laying it over the longarm, the piecing has nice stars and bars, with a gold fabric (shown on the left) for backing. I was thrilled to see a nice quality, wide backing with no seams, lovely!

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

So I got to work and loaded it. It has just a bit of fullness here and there that I could see at the beginning.  I believe this is Warm and Natural batting.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

I auditioned several thread colors and settled on the golden beige polyester thread that has a bit of sheen. It went great with the metallic golden stars on the fabric.  Bottom Line was in the bobbin.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

I think it did well on the solid blue and solid red, as well as the prints.  I used a pantograph that has mostly curves to soften the hard edges and angles of the stars and bars in the piecing.  The pantograph is called Fascination by Lorien Quilting for Willow Leaf Studios, designed by Hermione Agee.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

As the quilting progressed, there were a couple of pieces that had more fullness than the others, and a bit of wrinkling showed up. This becomes more apparent as I was trying to keep the seams straight.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

So, out comes my new iron. It doesn’t do the shot of steam nearly as well as the old iron, but it will stay on for 30 minutes before shutting itself off.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

This is the same gold section after steaming with the solution of 50% Best Press and 50% water, and smoothing.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Then after quilting.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Here is a blue section after steaming….

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

then quilted. This works many times when there isn’t a lot of fullness, and the fabric is nice quality cotton.  It doesn’t work on batiks.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

The borders seem to be applied correctly, and quilted easily.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Checking the back, no problems, whew!!

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

Trimmed and ready for pickup.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

The pattern looks nice in either direction.

Quilt of Valor at From My Carolina Home

I rolled it up again with the bits of trimmed backing that could possibly be used for binding, added my name to the ‘quilted by’ line, and attached the paper to the quilt. So, one down, nine to go!

Are you doing any charity quilting?

 

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Quilting on the Grand Strand, part 2

Picking up from yesterday, the Grand Strand Quilters meeting was so much fun. I really enjoyed making new quilter friends, but had no idea what would happen next. One of the charities the Grand Strand Quilters support is the Quilts of Valor program. I didn’t get this quilter’s name (with the microphone) before the end of the meeting, and her quilt would be very nice for the veterans, but I don’t remember if she said who it was for.

Grand Strand Quilters 13

Batting is cut at each meeting for finished tops, here an Anita’s Arrowhead with patriotic borders.

Grand Strand Quilters 1

After the meeting, while I was chatting with members, Joan came up to me explaining that she was the QOV coordinator for the group as well as part of the national organization. She wondered if I would be willing to quilt some tops for them. She said they have a backlog of 150 quilt tops ready to be quilted, but a serious lack of longarmers willing to help. I hesitated a moment, knowing that there would be some logistics involved, and I just couldn’t do them by mail. But she already had a plan. It seems that about a third of their members are snowbirds, spending the winter in Myrtle Beach and the summers up north. Some go through my area twice a year. So, if I took some quilts to do, then in six months or so, someone would be coming through to pick them up. Well, then, sure!! Knowing I had a bit of stuff from shopping, I agreed to take 10. Joan ran home, cut batting for 10 quilts, packed them up in 5 large bags, and met me at my hotel (with her charming husband, Jim) to hand them off.  They completely filled the back seat of our rented Jeep. I think this will become a regular thing for us!  So, I think I may have become an honorary member of the Grand Strand Quilters, at least I’d like to think so.  Yes, I’ll share them with all of you as I put them on the frame for quilting around my other projects.

Grand Strand Quilters QOV

There are two really wonderful quilt stores in the area, and I visited both, along with a Crafter’s mall where one of the vendors had lots of fun fabrics and notions. On Tuesday, I drove to Murrells Inlet to Accent Sewing. What a wonderful store!! There were fun fabrics, lots of notions and thread, classroom space and machines.

Accent Sewing 3

I chatted only a little with their longarmer who was busy with a quilt right then, so I didn’t want to bother her too much. All the ladies were so friendly and helpful. Diane helped me find a pebble fabric for my Be My Neighbor quilt to use as the streets.  The owner, Sheryl, was so nice and helpful too. It is a bright and colorful store to visit, I wish I could do their mini quilt of the month quilt along, the samples were just joyful!

Accent Sewing 2

Then on Wednesday, I visited Quilting on the Beach, where again I met Barb and Anna, two lovely, friendly ladies willing to chat a bit. I spent the most time with Maureen, their longarm quilter as she worked on this beautiful quilt.  The piecer, Anne, was there too, getting a lesson in what a longarmer needs.  Just look at how perfect all her points are on those triangles!  As usual, I picked up a new-to-me, stupidly simple, brilliant idea for dealing with quilt backings that are too small. She uses long straight pins to secure a piece of fabric to the edge, allowing the longarm more space so it doesn’t bump into the clips. As she rolls the quilt, she moves the bit of extra fabric.  Why didn’t I ever think of this?

Quilting at the Beach 2

Pretty store, lots of fabrics!! When I mentioned the Be My Neighbor quilt, Barb found another pebble fabric in lighter colors, so I got some of that too. I’ll show you those tomorrow.

Quilting at the Beach 4

Then, down the road a bit was Homespun Crafter’s Mall, with new crafted items and vintage treasures. The fabric vendor had a lot of choices too. I understand this is a relatively new expansion for the vendor.  This dealer mall satisfied both my quilter self and my vintage side.

Homespun Crafter's Mall 3

So, that was my quilting adventure in Myrtle Beach.   If you missed part one of Quilting on the Grand Strand, click HERE.

Do you look for quilting fun when you take a trip?

More adventures in Myrtle Beach posts –

Myrtle Beach Ocean and Gardens

Visiting Brookgreen Gardens

Myrtle Beach Foodie

Thrifting Myrtle Beach

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WIP Wednesday October 29

I went to five wonderful longarm classes at the AQS Show in Charlotte this past summer.  I have done a little practice of what I learned on the muslin pieces provided to us, but up to now I haven’t had a suitable quilt top to play with.  At the last meeting of the quilt club, the charity quilt chairperson gave me a Quilt of Valor to quilt.  This one looks like it is just made for a custom job, and I get to practice some of my new techniques.

QOVcustom-1

Loaded on the frame, now I have to decide what to put in each block.

QOVcustom-2

QOVcustom-3

I started by doing some SID (stitch in the ditch) around the blocks, sashing, and border.  Then, I warmed up with two motifs I have done before – piano keys in the outer border, and ribbon candy in the narrow sashing.

QOV Custom 4

OK, deep breath, and get over my fear of marking! I am just terrified that the water soluable pen won’t come out. I have new chalk markers too, and I am a little less afraid of them. But, here goes, marked the curved lines using Jamie Wallen’s Quilter’s Apothecary curved ruler and went for it.

QOVcustom-5

Yikes, lots of wobbles!!  I do need more practice, but you have to start somewhere! I’ll be working on this one for a few weeks around my day job.

What are you working on this week?

 

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