Monday, April 14, 2014

More new quilt patterns & KISMIF 12

Hello all!  I'd like to share with you two of my newest layer cake quilt patterns (their coordinating charm square versions are coming soon).  I had two pattern testers piece these for me and they did a fabulous job.  Many thanks ladies!

These patterns are currently available on my Etsy Shop, Modern Tradition Quilts, Craftsy and PatternSpot.  In the coming weeks, it will also be available--with its charm square counterparts on my blog sponsor, Connecting Threads.

This is  the Diamond Jubilee Pattern created using the Simple Marks Layer cake by Moda fabrics.  A special thank-you goes out to Karen Perry for doing the pattern checking and pieces of this quilt top.

Measuring 84 inches square, this quilt top fits a queen-sized bed nicely.

This is the Ohio Starburst Quilt pattern created using a Scrumptious layer  cake by Moda fabrics.  A special thank-you goes out to Ketty Nester for checking the pattern and piecing this quilt top.

Measuring 84 inches square, this easily fits a queen-size bed. is another "Keep It Simple, Make It Fun" (KISMIF) machine quilting thread-path for you.  This is a simple back-ground filler.  I call it a "watermark".  Its similar to basic stippling but I elongate the back-and-forth part of the stippling.  It creates a great look of calm water when done edge-to-edge across your quilt.  Have fun tracing this quilt path and add it to your repertoire!

Modern Tradition Quilts

And now for my weekly linky party, please feel free to share anything fun in the home-arts that you've been working on.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fat Quarterly Issue 17--Spinning Pinwheel Quilt

I'm excited to share with you my next pattern--the Spinning Pinwheel Quilt.  This quilt is featured in Fat Quarterly Issue 17.  This issue is all about using pre-cut fabrics and if you have been following my blog during this past year, you may have noticed that I really enjoy designing with them.

For this stunning quilt, I was able to play with Moda Fabrics new line April Showers by Bonnie and Camille.  It is so much fun to have a completed quilt and pattern created as soon as the fabric arrives at your local shop.  The fun umbrella prints added a juvenile feel to the fabrics along with a touch of nostalgia.  The plaids have an antique gingham feel which accented the larger scale polka dots.  To compliment the fabrics, I used solid cream, lime and red for the sashing. The spring green is in honor of my mother--whose favorite color is green.  I feel solids appropriately placed can add to the nostalgia feel, yet adding a "modern" flare.  It was a fun project to make.

Here are some more photos:

To quilt this, I stayed relatively simple (for one of my quilts).  I used a tight stipple in each of the blocks, ditched all of the blocks and borders, did a leaf vine (naturally) in all of the lime green sashing and an alternating swirl in all of the cream setting sashing.  It turned out precious!

Now it's your turn to share for KISMIF 12.  Feel free to share your favorite links of thinks you've been working on.  Remember to "Keep It Simple and Make It Fun"!

Monday, March 31, 2014

KISMIF 11--Sorry about the break!

Modern Tradition Quilts

Whoa, sorry about the 6-week break from blogging.  I had mononucleosis and it was all I could do to keep up with my machine quilting orders and my family.  Sometimes, you just get sick.  However, stay tuned because I also have another quilt being published in Issue 17 of Fat Quarterly magazine and another Moda Bakeshop feature coming soon!  Yay!

At any rate, I was showing different feather threadpaths for machine quilters.  There were two ideas left that I wanted to share.

Bump-back feathers.  But why do them when we can do longarm feathers (as taught in previous posts)?  They are more traditional and mimic the antique hand-quilted look.  In antique feathers, there are no separation between the plumes of the feather--which commonly occurs in longarm feathers.

These feathers are an advanced skill as they require back-tracking, or going twice over the same spot twice.  With care and practice, this is doable.

Stitch regulators help with the "bump-back" part of these feathers.  However, I do not have a stitch regulator, so...Is there a way to do the traditional feathers without back-tracking?  

Yes!  It's an awesome "secret".  Instead of tracing back over the plume, go and and so some of your back-ground filler and then come back.  I admit this next diagram looks messy, but you'll get the idea.  For simplicity, the back-ground filler is basic stippling but this trick works with any filler, loop the loops and etc.

  I hope you like this post.  Please feel free to join this week's linky party--open all week and share anything in the home-arts that you've been working on.  Until next week, Happy Quilting!

Monday, February 10, 2014

KISMIF #10--Long-Arm Feathers

I think long-arm feathers are some of the most versatile feathers around.  They are rather simple to learn as well, but do take some practice.  Several books teach different ways to do these and each have their respective strengths and weaknesses.  To simplify the discussion, there are basically two methods of doing these--the "Top-down" and "Bottom-up".  I have found that my personal motor-skills affect how my feathers look and which technique I prefer.  Play around sketching and decide what works best for you.
  • Top-Down Long-Arm Feather


After practicing this a few times, something began to stick out that really bugged me.  I'll give you a hint, look a t the red lines drawn in Step 3.  The angles of the plumes are not the same.  It didn't matter how hard I tried, these angles did not match the top and bottom passes.  It was okay for a beginner...but once it bugged me, I had to try a new method.  This one wasn't cooperating with my motor skills.  Also, my plumes were rather straight and boring-looking, not curvy.

  • Bottom-Up Long-Arm Feather
I found a book showing the bottom-up method was recommended for those of us who quilt sitting down.    As it would turn out, both on the long-arm machine and off, this method works well with my innate motor skills.  Now, it is the only method I use.
For me, this basic plume shape has a  better curve to it.  As you recall from last week, this is the same shape we use to start our hook-feathers.

If you look at the angle drawn in red, they're matching up nicely at about 90 degrees.  Not flat and not mis-matched. 

Now...for some fun.  Let's use it!  Here's how I used this bottom-up long-arm feather in combination with some continuous curve quilting on my Moda BakeShop feature Quilting Bee Sampler.  I am using the Crescent Moon Ruler by Ronda Beyer, manufactured and purchased from Quilter's Rule.

Step One: Quilt the bottom arc of the cross-hatching to ground it, then rotated the ruler 90 degrees and quilt the other bottom arc of the cross hatching.  This defines the cross-hatching space and divides it from the feather space.

Step Two: Use the arc and grid-lines on it to evenly space all arcs, traveling in the ditch as necessary.  Then rotate 90 dgrees to complete the other arc half.

Here, both sides of the cross-hatching are complete.  Travel in the ditch to reach where we need to quilt the long-arm feathers.  I went straight down so I could do my feathers from the bottom-up.

All done!  I like to "watch" the curve of the previous plume so that I don't accidentally quilt over the top of it.

 Here are some other examples: it's your turn to share what you've been working on.  Thanks for linking up.

Modern Tradition Quilts

Monday, February 3, 2014

KISMIF #9--Easy Feathers

Just as promised, my Keep It Simple Make It Fun (KISMIF) posts in February for free-motion machine quilting (FMQ) are going to be about feathers.

Here's the plan:
  • Today: Feb. 4, 2014--Hook Feathers--the easiest I know of!
  • Next Week: Feb. 11, 2014--Long-arm Feathers two ways--the most versatile but takes some practice along with some continuous curve ruler quilting.
  •  Feb. 18, 2014--Heirloom Feathers, also nick-named "bump-back" feathers (you'll see why)--and announce the winner of the Giveaway.
  • Feb. 25, 2014--Heirloom Feathers without the "bump-back".  Is it REALLY possible?  Yep, I'll show you two ways to get around the conundrum.
Inside this triangle in the photo is shown a hook-feather.

STEP ONE: Start by choosing a vine.  It can simply be "chosen" as a the ditch of a border--as in the photo above, drawn on with a wash-away or air-eraseable pen or traced & quilted at the same time using a long-arm ruler.

STEP TWO: Quilt your starting plume.

STEP THREE: Hook to the starting plume and thinly echo out.  The trick to making the feather appear is to make this hook going out as thin as possible.

STEP FOUR: If doing this as an entire border, go back and repeat from the same staring point to create the second side.
Here are some photos of this done as a vine.  It's great for beginners as it look good as long as you keep those echos back "skinny".

The bottom border of this photo is from the first time I ever quilted one of these feathers.  I took a class from Irena Blum at HMQS where she taught "bump-back" feathers.  Convinced that I couldn't do them after leaving the class as my machine does not have a stitch regulator, I tried this hook-feather from a Sally Terry book.  I  really loved how it turned out.  But as you will see, my fascination with feathers did not end until I could flawlessly quilt all types of feathers--even bump-backs without a stitch regulator.  I think I was a crazy "woman on a mission" for a year learning and practicing these techniques to my satisfaction.  Obviously, I like quilted feathers.  :)

Well, I'd sure love to see what you've been working on.  Please feel free to join the linky party below and show off your fun projects!

Modern Tradition Quilts