From My Carolina Home

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Quilt of Valor Barn Raising

This barn raising setting for the next Quilt of Valor was so interesting with the variety of patriotic prints and mix of colors with a bit of gold.  I liked the transition from a light beige to a darker beige background as the blocks go from center to edge.  I loaded it longways in order to get the maximum amount of quilting per row.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I folded it up to check the borders.  Look at that, perfectly straight!  What a joy!  I do not know who pieced the top, but she (he?) did a fabulous job.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

The pantograph is one I use a lot.  It is called Fascination by Lorien Quilting for Willow Leaf Studios, designed by Hermione Agee.  The gentle curves go so well with just about every quilt piecing design, and especially on those with lots of hard angles.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I didn’t even audition thread, I knew I wanted to use red from the moment I unwrapped it.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

This is Superior thread on top, with Bottom Line in the bobbin.  The batting is Warm and Natural cotton.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

The quilting went so easy because this quilt was so well pieced and flat, that I finished it in an afternoon.  Stitches were perfect without loops or issues.

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I hope the service person who receives it loves it as much as I enjoyed quilting it!

Quilt of Valor Barn Raising at From My Carolina Home

I want to get more QOVs done in the coming year, so I have hatched a plan to have friends come over and help me.  I will pick up my workhorse Kenmore today from the repair guy.  I had cleaned it as best as I could, but there was something just gumming up the gears.  Likely it was old grease or something that hardened with lack of use.  The hand crank would move but with a lot of drag.  With six sewing machines needing to be run regularly to stay in perfect sewing shape, it makes sense to have some sew days and use those machines to get some blocks made.  If you have any patriotic orphan blocks sitting around (any size), or you want to make a couple for this project, I’ll take any that you have.  Local friends, let’s sew!  Out of area friends, let me know and I’ll send you my mailing address.

I have talked on several forums recently about how I do Best Press, buying it by the gallon as I use a lot.  The price per ounce is the cheapest this way, plus I dilute it 50% with water so it goes twice as far.  It may seem like it is a bit expensive, but if you use a lot it really is the least expensive way to buy it, plus it will qualify for free shipping.  Click on my Amazon affiliate link – Best Press Unscented Gallon size.

What are you sewing now?

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Quilt of Valor – United We Stand Panel

This next Quilt of Valor was an asymmetrical quilt with a nice design to augment a panel.  The panel is the center section with the eagles.  The right side section has pieced friendship stars set in rows alternating with strips of star fabric.  On the left side is a sashed strip of alternating color background with white stars.  Altogether, it gives the quilt the look of a flag.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

Auditioning thread, I gave some thought to the variegated red.  But the backing was navy, so the blue seemed the better choice.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

I folded it up, and note that the edges are longer, and the center bows upward in the center indicating the borders are too long.  Yet again.  It wasn’t so much that I needed darts this time, but it did require a bit of manipulating the borders as I quilted to work in that extra fabric.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

Some of you have wanted to know what a pantograph looks like, so here is the one I used.  It is Tiger Swirl by Lisa Calle for Intelligent Quilting.  The paper is 12 feet long, and I follow the continuous line with a laser light on the machine.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

The navy thread is doing well on the dark red, providing some texture to the solid color.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

Looking good on the whiter areas too.  The panto has gentle curves to soften the sharp edges of all those stars.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

Getting down to the bottom, and all seems to be going well.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

The corner is pulled a bit off square to take out some of the fullness.  This can be cut off when the quilt is squared.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

A cursory view of the back, it is a bit difficult to see the quilting because the color is so close.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

So, I took it to the cutting table and trimmed the batting and backing to the quilt top, squaring it off.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

Folding it up, I noticed this, some little loops in two spots of the stitching.  Crap!  I didn’t see this until it was off the frame and trimmed.  It isn’t a lot, and to fix it I would have to reload the quilt and realign the pantograph, rip out all looped stitching and restitch it.  This isn’t as easy as that sounds.  Knowing that the committee will wash the quilt before it is awarded, I chose to leave it.  I think it will even out when it is washed, at least I hope so.  I wrote the director a note and pinned it to the quilt so she would be aware of it, and be sure it was presentable before awarding it.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

So, all done.  I do still have a few more to show, and I’ll get to them soon.

Quilt of Valor United We Stand ~ From My Carolina Home

What is in your UFO pile?

Need any stripes for your patriotic quilts?  Fat Quarter Shop (affiliate link) has the Moda Essentially Yours fabric line on sale to the end of August at 20% off.

 

 


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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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Quilt of Valor custom

I finished up the quilting on this Quilt of Valor as I had a lot of time over the weekend. I did a lot of stitch in the ditch around all the blocks, and around the stars or spools inside the blocks. I got a little more feather practice, and put egg-and-dart in the sashing using a new stencil.  I still have some work to do to get the over-the-top feather backtracking to look good.

QOV Custom 10

I got some ruler practice in with this block, there is quite a bit of SID on this one too.

QOV Custom 11

I did a wavy line in the thin border on several blocks. The wavy line in the middle is a mistake, where the ruler slipped.

QOV Custom 9

I got in more practice with the triangles, attempting to use the continuous route I learned over the summer.

QOV custom trangle

I put a touch and go feather in the border of this block.

QOV custom touch feather with twist

Feather wreath with lots of SID in the little triangle section.  You can see the ribbon candy border here too.

QOV custom SID with feather wreath

I don’t think the chalk marker is that good for a precise design, the darts here aren’t consistent.

QOV custom egg dart

Here are the borders, I showed this in the WIP post, but the whole quilt is now done with ribbon candy in the inner border, and piano keys in the outer border.

QOV Custom 4

Overall, it is OK, I think. I am sure someone will appreciate the quilt, and hopefully not look too closely at the quilting. I am still an amateur, and I have lots of practice to do.