Detail, OESD design for Mega Hoop
I do have a very short blog list here. When I started this blog about a year ago, blundering around in the blogger instructions, I added a few I knew about, and didn't think too much about it. I like that it is there, that you can see what's going on elsewhere with exciting quilters.
Although I don't spend a lot of time browsing the internet and other blogs at all, maybe once every month I see what quilt shops are featuring. Or I might click on one of you Followers, because you have so many fantastic blogs, quilts, activities, as well as lovely information and photos.
Last night I clicked on our Miss Ivory Spring and noted she did a wonderful post about quilting with Aurifil #50 cotton thread and YLI #100 silk thread, my personal favorites for my particular style, but of course not the "only" choices for machine quilting. Please go to her blog, now on my list at the right, and check out this entry and her beautiful work. Thanks Ivory Spring, your quilting and designs took my breath away.
Also related to threads to use, in an upcoming column for American Quilter Magazine I answer a question sent in by a reader about thread weights and style of quilting. I even devised a chart for you to clip out and save. I believe it is for the November issue, but will let you know. Yes, we work way way ahead of publication dates.
Questions arrive all the time about thread. It is such an important choice for you when quilting, as it determines the look and style of the quilt as much as perhaps the fabric choices and design. Well, maybe not as much, but it is very important. That's why there are zillions of threads out there now. And more on the way. There is the right thread for every person.
I'll be writing more on threads in the future. Basically, you need to know what thread weight and color will express the style or mood of a piece the best. Yes, you do have to get some experience, quilt out some prototypes, buy a bit of thread to experiment. Believe me, some day even if you don't use a spool for that project, it will come in handy.
Back to my blog, and for some reason, every time I type that word it shows up as "blot" instead, maybe some subconsious thing I have going on, who knows.
Anyway, I was showing my husband my blog last night (he wanted to see Oliver on the book) on his delightful new laptop, and showed him if you click on the squares by "followers" you get a nice big sample window of all the little personalized icons for each and every one of you. It is like a patchwork quilt, just beautiful.
You can scroll through and get a new "quilt" with each click. It's beautiful, you are all wonderful. I want to thank all of you for being a "follower" in your very busy lives, and for participating in the comment section. It keeps things interesting!
Truly this creates an incredible connection, a 'web' of quilters and information for all to share. Click on any one of you and a new adventure can begin.
Hope you have a great weekend, take some time for quilting if possible. I love seeing what you are doing.
Keep quilting, your work gets better every day!
You know, I think the best blogs lead you to another blog like yours does to Miss Ivory Spring! Thanks!
You're welcome, and I so agree. I have found wonderful things by "clicking" and seeing what is out there. Just keep an eye on the clock....:-)
I love blogland for all the connections I have made, all over the world, with other bloggers! There are so many nice, talented, funny, sweet people in this big old world and this is a great venue for meeting and enjoying our shared love of quilting together. Thank you, Diane, for your wonderful books, articles (I am an American Quilter Magazine subscriber), blog and inspiration. I really look forward to meeting you someday in a class!
kheli, It is amazing, isn't it? When I began this last June on a lark I had no idea all the people it would reach, and how it all connects. There are so many talented quilters adding to our knowledge and inspiration every day out here in blogland. Nice.
Your feathers are amazing. I bought your book years ago and keep trying to do feathers as well... eventually I'll get there. Now I'm getting to spend more time quilting since I bought a long arm but I'm still trying to get the feathers right.
I love your quilting designs. They are so beautiful and elegant. I don't like to copy others work, so I just try it free hand without using patterns. Every time I get so proud of myself because I did something I couldn't do before, it is quickly faded when I see someone else's quilting designs.. I love the talented people out there.
Thank you for sharing your talent and gift, and creativity with us.
I've been doing original feathers for more than 15 years, so they are as natural to me as breathing now.
I think they might be easier on a longarm, but definitely do-able freehand on a home machine. Once you get the hang of it, they become easy, and then they look even better the more you do them.
I am so glad that you have met Wendy from Ivory Spring. She is such a very lovely gal who does beautiful quilting on her quilts. There are so many lovely people out there in blog land that are generous and so creative. Thanks so much for all that you share here on your blog.
Always enjoy your blog and advice... I have practised heaps and things are coming together now. I visit Ivory Springs regularly and her quilting is wonderful too...I have been away over the weekend - and nearly missed that one, so the guide to her blog was timely.
I greatly admire the way you quilt your feathers...and indeed your designs of them. Your practise advice is so true.
Thanks HCQ and Joan! I do think Ivory Spring's quilting shows what you can do on a real quilt top and how wonderful it can look.
Feathers - they are so individual, that is what makes them beautiful. I think I like them all, yes, even the tongue depressors.
I have some new variations I've been doing on my own work, and hope to make a quilt with these instead of my usual style, soon. I think students will like them too.
One of the things I always recommend is to be open to visual inspiration, even the way the parallel lines run on the plastic of your remote control. Ok, far fetched, but it keeps our minds busy, inventive, inspired.
And play. Sit at your machine and let the designs come. Start with something familiar, then branch out, add a twist, something new, echo it, build it, keep on going.
Try it larger, do it with fine thread and your magnifier, vary it with threads. I can spend an entire afternoon playing at my machine, and always come up with something valuable.
As you quilt, soon you will forget about machine speed, hand position, stitch length and it will come naturally.
Wow, Diane -- I am honored that you mentioned me on your blog! You remain my heroine and inspiration. I hope to meet you in person one of these days... :)
Have a great weekend!
Ivory Spring, I think everyone will enjoy seeing your beautiful work, and I thank you for your kind words. Would love to meet you too!
Diane, not only did I find your blog through Ivory Spring, I also ordered both of your books from Amazon and just finished reading them from cover to cover because Wendy (Ivory Spring) says that everything she knows about machine quilting, she learned from you. Her quilts are breathtaking, and your books sure are encouraging. I had a hilighter handy and kept saying things like "I can try that" and "maybe that WOULD help!" I can't wait to get started!
I have a question. My faithful Bernina 180 which I have always used for my free motion quilting is now occasionally skipping a couple of stitches when I am quilting. This problem just developed in the last month. Have had it into the Bernina dealer to be fixed but so far, its still doing it. They have checked the timing, etc. Not sure what to do as they don't seem able to fix it other than to look into getting a new machine.
What home machine do you use for your free motion quilting? I was wondering if it might be better to get a machine (industrial type) that does strictly straight stitch but the feed dogs could be lowered for free motion quilting.
Any comments? I need advice.
Rebecca, Thanks, and glad the book has helped.
Sue, You shouldn't have skipped stitches on your machine if it is ok, and checked by the technician. My 180 has a lot of miles and never skips stitches.
Skipped stitches tend to occur if your batt is too flat and thin, or if you are using a free motion foot that leaves too much room between it and the quilt.
Or, you could have the pressure on that foot set too low, (the dial on the left side of the machine head). Set it at default ("6 o'clock") and see if it helps, and try a different free motion foot. Try the #29, 24, 9.
The most common cause of skipped stitches is a needle that is too small for the thread you are using.
Go up a size in the needle and see if that helps. If you have a 70 in and get skipped stitches with the thread you are using, go to #80.
Also, replacing the needle you have in the machine with the same size but a new one might make a difference.
Finally, a combination of all these things could be the culprit. Thin batt, foot floating too freely, needle too small for thread all combine to cause skipped stitches.
Running the machine fast enough for your hand speed is also vital.
Hope this helps!
Sue, forgot to answer the rest of your question, so here goes.
I use a Bernina 730 right now and love it. I don't want an industrial machine as I don't do industrial work. If you are looking for a new machine, do lots of research yourself, and try machines yourself.
Take a quilting sample, your threads, and quilt on a machine for awhile. Take some of your quilting from your current machine to compare stitch quality, and get a good feel for the machine as you are trying it out.
As a quilting teacher I've had the good fortune of being able to try out many machines in classes, like a parking valet driving many cars. And I always love coming home to my own machine.
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