Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sharing Orange Peel Grid Tutorial and Do You Have a Favorite Blogger ?

Greetings fellow quilters!  I hope you're having a fine week and finding time to stitch. 

In Upstate NY, USA we're having wild weather again.  Lots of rain last week -- then some days in the 70's -- and tonight they are calling for snow.

Before the snow reins down on us I decided to get a shot of a sweet daffodil in my overgrown front garden.  What a sight for eyes that have seen far too much snow this year.    

Long live the daffodils!
As always, there is a lot going on here at home - I'm getting caught up from my first overnight Lecture and Workshop with the First Dutchess Quilters in the Hudson Valley area of NY.   It was a great trip and fantastic experience with a bunch of talented, warm, and fun-loving quilters. I'll share more about that event in another post.

Today I wanted to share a new tutorial with you -- a quilting design I'm referring to as "Orange Peel Grid".   This design takes a crosshatched grid and turns it into a design full of texture and movement.  It's really simple to setup and to stitch and is a design you MUST add to your Design Motif list.
The design has been floating around the Free Motion Quilting world for a while now -- I was first inspired by a similar design shared by Diane Gaudynski in her AQS "Quilt Savvy" book. If you're into Free Motion Quilting, Diane's book is a must have.  She shares all sorts of FMQ tips and tricks and quilting designs -- I love thumbing through it (the quilting and images are out of this world!).

After seeing Diane's work, and some other beautiful variations on the internet, I decided to give this a try but with an added twist.  Instead of just marking the straight line grid, I used the walking foot on my Janome Horizon 7700 and stitched the grid.   The stitched grid provides you a blueprint to complete the rest of the design with FMQ Continuous Curve stitching.
On the sample above I 'marked' the grid on the fabric using a Clover Hera Marker to put a crease in the fabric.  It works out wonderfully and allows me to skip putting actual marks on the fabric.

For the grid marking details you can review this You Tube video "Orange Peel Grid Design - Part I - Preparing the Grid on Paper". 

After I creased the fabric, I used the walking foot on my Janome Horizon 7700, some Aurifil 50Wt thread and two layers of Quilter's Dream - Dream Wool to stitch the straight lines.   If you like, you could also use a free motion quilting foot and a straight line ruler to stitch the grid. 

Once the grid was stitched, (video above) I used a free motion quilting Ruler foot (you could use any FMQ foot, a darning foot, open toe darning foot, couching foot, etc) to quilt continuous curve lines around the grid.

This next video outlines (on paper) how to stitch the continuous curve design.  Click here => "Orange Peel Grid Design - Part II Continuous Curve on Paper
Lastly, there is one more video showing me actually stitching the Continuous Curve design using my domestic/home machine, Janome Horizon 7700.   You can view that video here:  "Orange Peel Grid Quilting Design - Continuous Curve on a Domestic Machine"
I would LOVE to know what you think about the videos and their tutorial value.  Thanks for any feedback you can provide, it helps me improve things over time.  To stay in-tune with future tutorials and demonstrations, subscribe to my YouTube channel at this link.

Lastly, before I go, I wanted to tell you about the National Quilters Circle Blogger Awards (currently open for nominations through April 29th).  The National Quilters Circle is an organization that provides technique and project tutorials and videos to the world of quilters.  You can read more about their mission here.
They currently are hosting a fun new online competition where YOU get to determine this year’s best quilting blogs in any one of these 7 nomination categories:

• Best Traditional Quilting Blog
• Best Modern Quilting Blog
• Best Quilting Patterns Blog
• Best Fiber Arts Blog
• Best Art Quilts Blog
• Most Humorous Blog
• Best Overall Quilting Blog

It looks like a fun competition and I'm sure it will open our eyes to some great new Quilting related blogs.  You can read more about the competition and nominate your favorite blog at this link..   Stay tuned to the NQS blog for the voting stage that begins in early May and ends May 15th!

Do you have a favorite blogger (or two ?).

Thanks for stopping by - I have a sleeve to stitch down before I call it a night.  Have a great remainder of the week!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

AQS Quilt Week - Paducah Bound!

Well.... not me -- but I am excited and honored that you'll find two of my quilts in the Moda/United Notions Booth #4508 at Paducah 2015!!  Woohoo!
Downtown Paducah - Image Courtesy AQS
How cool is that ??   Thank you Moda Bake Shop!!

Yep -- be on the lookout for Chevron with a Twist
Showing off a sweet little Redbird and Faux Ruched Flowers
And quilted using my Janome Horizon and The QP Curve Templates...

I do hope you have a chance to see it in person.
And while you're there -- be sure to look for the Original Hearts Content Decorative Pillow

The 2nd Heart's Content Decorative Pillow
It will also be located in the Moda/United Notions booth...
The pillow shown above is the 2nd Heart's Content Decorative pillow - made from Jelly roll strips leftover from the original Jelly Roll -- I love that you can make two pillows with one Jelly Roll.

Both "quilts" are sporting shiny new labels -- attached just prior to being packaged for shipping...

Both quilts were
  • designed and shared as tutorials (aka recipes) on the Moda Bake Shop!
  • made with the lovely Heart's Content fabric by Edyta Sitar/Laundry Basket Quilts for Moda 
  • made using Aurifil thread and Quilters Dream Wool batting
  • quilted on my home sewing machine (Janome Horizon 7700)

I'm just so honored to have them there - and very thankful to Moda/United Notions and the Moda Bake Shop for providing many the opportunity to design with their awesome fabric...  It's so much fun!!

You can find the original Chevron with a Twist recipe here: Moda Bake Shop Chevron w/ a Twist
You can find the original Heart's Content Decorative Pillow recipe here: Moda Bake Shop HC Pillow
You can find tutorials for quilting Chevron with a Twist here: Karen's Blog Chevron w/ a Twist

If you happen to see either quilt - I would LOVE to see pictures -- just email to redbirdquiltco at gmail dot com...  post on my Facebook page (RedbirdQuiltCo) or on Instagram tagging @redbirdquiltco -- Thank you so much!!

Have a fantastic time at Paducah!   Tell the crew at the Moda booth "Hello" and "Thank You" from me....

Maybe next year I'll meet you there...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Half Square Triangle Love Winner!

Oh goodness -- how did I let the week get by without announcing the winner of the Heart's Content Charm Pack donated by Cindy at Sew It Is Quilt Shop ?

50 Lashes with a wet Jelly Roll Strip!   
I do apologize and hope you forgive me.

It was a ton of fun to hear which Half Square Triangle layout was your favorite.   I'll put my vote in for the Focus Layout being mine - well, besides the original Chevron with a Twist layout of course.   I just love the way Focus sends your eye to the applique, and because I love applique this layout is perfect! 

I would really enjoy hiding away with a Moda Charm pack and preparing this layout.  Wouldn't that mini be sweet?   Does anyone else want to miniaturize this ? or am I the only crazy person out here ?  It's now on my official wish list of Quilts to Make!!

If you decide to make 'Focus' or any of the other layouts, be sure to reference the original recipe for whipping up Chevron with a twist - it's so fast and easy.  You can find the recipe here ==> Chevron with a Twist on the Moda Bake Shop.  I would also LOVE to see an picture of it.  Please do send it along via email.  Thank you!

If you're interested in seeing larger images of the other layout options use this link ==>  For the Love of Half Square Triangles on the Moda Bake Shop.
Thanks again for playing... and many thanks to Cindy at Sew It Is Quilt Shop for sponsoring the giveaway.   Cindy has some fantastic prices in her online shop and is one of the sweetest shop owners alive !!  Notice I said "one of" - I'm really blessed to know some great shop owners (near and far!).  Lucky Me!!

OK - lets announce a winner of the beautiful Charm Pack of Laundry Basket Quilts Heart's Content Fabric...  It's the same fabric I used in the original Chevron with A Twist. 

There were a total of 74 participants in the Giveaway.  I used Mr. Random.ORG and he chose Comment #40!!
Woohoo - lucky number 40 is Miss Jean! 
Congratulations Miss Jean -- I've sent you an email!!!   You'll just LOVE this fabric. 

Well - I'd better turn in... We're celebrating my Aunt's 100th Birthday on Saturday so we have a bit of traveling to get in.   

I'll check back with everyone real soon - have a blessed weekend.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Free Motion Feather Sampler and Aurifil Giveaway Winner

Hi fellow quilters...
thanks for stopping by!    

Before we announce the winner of the Aurifil thread (so exciting) I wanted to share a neat new Free Motion Feather sampler that I quilted on my domestic machine this week.
(Of course I used Aurifil thread ;)
The center motif was inspired by an Instagram post from Mary of Addicted to Fabric a few weeks ago.  

After a little doodling on paper and fabric we unearthed the appropriately named "Feather Galaxy" motif.  It's sew fun to stitch.
...Below is the back of one of my first attempts to actually stitch it out...   
Have I mentioned how much I love using Aurifil 50Wt Mako Cotton Thread for lint free - break free dense machine quilting ?   NO ?
You've gotta Love that thread!!
Happily, this sweet motif will be included in upcoming FMQ Feather Workshops being held at Quilter's Corner Ithaca, NY later this summer.  You can keep up on my class, lecture and workshop dates on my Facebook events page by clicking here

A Workshop Sampler was in order.

I started with a selection of the beautiful Grunge Fabric by BASICGREY for Moda.   
Oh how I LOVE Grunge - Those Colors!!
Just fabulous...  
If you haven't checked out Grunge you really should... I know you can find some online here.  Be careful - it's addicting!
  Oh! Don't forget to add the 12Wt and 50Wt Aurifil threads (Insert Happy Dance Here !)
 I pieced a little 23" x 25" sample, starting with a 10" x 12" center, adding a 2.5" sashing and a 5" border.  Very quick and simple (you know me and piecing - I would rather NOT ;)   
Add two layers of Quilter's Dream 100% Dream Wool and pin baste to prepare to quilt on a Janome Horizon.
To start I used a walking foot and Aurifil 50Wt #2805 thread to Stitch in the Ditch - it stabilizes for quilting.

After Stitching in Ditch, I used a 90/14 Needle, 12Wt Aurifil #5005 to top stitch a 1/4" around the seams.  Oh you've got to LOVE the texture and sheen the 12Wt thread adds to the piece...
I used 50Wt in the bobbin when top stitching with the 12Wt thread.  It's important to use that 90/14 needle though.
Next, the center panel was quilted using the "Feather Galaxy" motif (diagram below) and adding a neat swirl/feather vine in the sashing.   I kinda made it up -- but I love the way it stitched out.
Here's a finish / close-up of the feather vine and the lovely top stitching... Swoon!  After I finished quilting I decided to add that extra line of top stitching with 12Wt Aurifil in Color #1147    I really liked the way it framed the center.
On the outer border I did a gentle wave bump-back feather - it's always good to practice those feathers!!  They come out differently each time.   Next time I think a little Amish Swirl is in order!
If you're interested in quilting the "Feather Galaxy" motif, here is the step by step diagram I prepared to walk you through it:
Personally, I love to practice with pencil and paper before putting it on fabric.  When I do quilt,  I create small table runners or place-mats with my practice pieces.

If you need a good laugh  - checkout the quick YouTube video recorded right after the Facebook  Free Motion Quilting Frenzy group started stitching this motif.  My friend Doreen from TreadleMusic Blog was the first to stitch it once the diagram was out -- and me next.  Click the image below to watch on YouTube - don't laugh!!
Because I finished the binding while sitting in my car, I don't have an actual finished image (oops) -- but do have these two I took before leaving home:
In the image below the binding is only pinned - still love the way it came out.
I hope you enjoyed the FMQ Feathers Sampler and Feather Galaxy Motif.  If you're in the area I'll be sharing Feathers I and II at Quilters Corner in August -- do get signed up!  We'll have some fun!

Now onto our Aurifil Thread winner from the Sew We Stitch Blog Hop

This beautiful designer Thread Collection is being provided by Aurifil and includes 12 large spools of 12Wt Mako Cotton thread.  This weight works perfectly for machine top stitching (above) and for all sorts of hand work -- from wool applique, to cross stitch, to beautiful embellishments.
There were 258 entries on the Sew We Stitch - Meet and Greet post and Mr. Random.Org selected comment number 55!!  Lucky 55!

Congratulations go out to Kathryn -- what a coincidence that Kathryn went to college in Ithaca years back!!   Kathryn, I've sent you an email  - I look forward to hearing from you!
Many thanks again to Aurifil thread for their generosity.
What a wonderful bunch of individuals and a fantastic team at Aurifil.
On my bucket list at Spring Market is to finally meet the folks that create this awesome thread!

I leave you with an image of our granddaughter Angelina - just after finishing the piecing on her very first quilt.  She choose grunge for her main blocks and setting triangles - is that cool or what ?   This quilt will be showing locally next month at the Common Threads Guild Show in Endicott, NY.  Do stop by if you're in the area!   So proud of Angelina.

Oh, and if you're interested there is one open Giveaway on my blog through end of day April 4th -- you can see it here.

Have a blessed weekend all,