Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Improv in Shelburne Falls

Shelburne Falls quilt

All finished!  This little baby quilt began one quiet March day, in which I found myself improv piecing for the fun of it and enjoying the use of a design wall for improv for the first time.  Such a delight! 

and then... a quilt top.

The fabrics are mostly Shelburne Falls by Denyse Scmidt, with a few odds and ends thrown in.  It's so easy to improv within a tight color scheme or collection.   Everything goes anyways!

Free motion quilting!

I'd had my heart set on chrysanthemum quilting, which meant I was first waiting on my new Juki and then some new free motion quilting tools and then my replacement Juki....  Finally the stars aligned and here we are.

this barn in spring...

So, the quilting?  Love it.  Fun to do, soft to the touch, kind of gorgeous....  I mostly can't believe that I can do this now.  It seems like so long I wanted to try things like this and the dogwood quilting and just didn't.  Because of fear.  And because of machine failure.  And because I thought I should take a class or something.  Turns out the machine failure was the only relevant point for me.

If you find yourself in the same boat, get a machine that's not temperamental for free motion quilting (this Juki is awesome, btw) and make some small practice quilt sandwiches.  I find that practicing my design a few times on a quilt sandwich gives me the guts to go for it on the real deal. And once you commit to the real deal, you can't help but get better and better!

Oh, also start pinning or saving the free motion ideas you really like.   You can take a day and just practice different styles to see what's easiest for you.  I find that defined paterns, like both of these flowers, are easier for me than stippling. 

Let's chat more tomorrow about my free motion experience on this quilt and the tools I used!

backed in Flea Market Fancy dots

I backed this baby quilt in one large cut of Flea Market Fancy dots.  The little flowers between the dots echo the chrysanthemums, at least in my head.

Zigzag binding!

For the binding, Shelburne Falls Plaid & Dot in maple.  Love how that little diamond-y pattern looks as a binding!  It's a zigzag binding finish, as usual.  Don't think I've even once done a straight stitch binding since trying the zigzag.  Check out my tutorial if you're ready for a quick and foolproof binding experience.  I think you'll be so glad you tried!

Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt can be found online in Canada at Mad About Patchwork & Fabric Spot, or in the States at fabricworm, Pink Chalk Fabrics, Sew Modern, The Intrepid Thread & Fat Quarter Shop.  

34 comments:

  1. Beautiful!! Love the fabric & style! :)

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  2. What a beauty. I love how it does have direction to it, sort of like a rail fence quilt. So lovely.

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  3. Your quilting is just lovely!

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  4. Oh it's gorgeous!! I am such a walking foot kind of quilter these days, probably because I too have "fear" of the free motion foot. That Juki just keeps calling my name---I hope to be able to conquer my fear and end up with beautiful quiting lines like your someday!! Love your improv too! :-)

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  5. Beautiful quilt! Fantastic job. I love the fabric used and the quilting is awesome. Thank you for sharing and the tips.

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  6. Beautiful,wish I could quilt in lovely patterns,Only just got to grips with Wobbly lines.lol xx

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    1. Eventually you will try and you'll get there! It takes time, but it's definitely doable!

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  7. Beautiful quilt. I love the quilting. Gorgeous work!
    I must try the zigzag binding finish :)

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  8. I am intrigued by your comment that defined designs are easier for you than stippling. I have been tentative about trying things other than stippling but your comment gives me pause. What do I have to lose? :-)

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    1. Totally! I find defined designs easier because I know where to go/what to do next. With stippling I panic because of all the possibilities! Also, I get myself "stuck" by taking a wrong turn. With defined patterns, I know where to turn.

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  9. Rachel, what a beautiful finish! I just love DS fabrics too. Your quilting pattern is perfect for this darling little quilt. I'm anxious to learn more on how you did this yourself :)

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  10. I just finished a quilt with that same quilting pattern. I used to do only straight lines and stipple, but the chrysanthemum is surprisingly easy! Used my new Juki, too. I've found that I really like the "no pedal" setting for free motion.

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  11. What a sweet, sweet quilt! Your FMQ is unbelievably gorgeous - love the design you used. I hope to one day lose my own fear of FMQ! In the meantime, I'll admire yours :)

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  12. I starting pinning FMQ ideas with this post. LOVE IT!

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  13. how perfectly lovely. The quilting looks amazing, such a wonderful contrast to all those improv shapes.

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    1. Thanks! I hadn't thought of it in terms of contrast, but you're right.

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  14. I adore your chrysanthemum quilting!! I've only every straight line machine quilted, but that chrysanthemum makes me want to try FMQ right now!

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  15. I love the chrysanthemum quilting!

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  16. I really, really love the quilting on this one. It is so lovely! I haven't stepped beyond my walking foot yet, mostly out of fear of failure. That, and I don't have a foot for FMQ yet. I was actually rather surprised to discover that my Janome 3160 didn't come with one.

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  17. It's superb! I don't find stippling particularly easy,and have been thinking about chrysanthemum quilting but thought it a bit beyond me. You've given me the courage to give it a go!

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  18. I love the quilting! It's so pretty.

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  19. I love the chrysanthemum quilting, would you mind if I stole it for a baby quilt I am making? Too perfect! ... I adore the binding fabric... I may have to spoil myself a little ;)

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    1. Yes, by all means, have at the quilting! Enjoy!

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  20. Such a lovely quilt, simply gorgeous! And your quilting is perfect :)

    Hugs,
    Tatyana

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  21. Gosh, I just LOVE this chrysanthemum quiltimg, Rachel. Stunning.

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  22. Sweet quilt and the flower quilting is lovely!
    I've been thinking of getting a Juki ~ but I just don't have enough room for it ~ darn it anyway. I need a bigger home so I can have a dedicated room for all my sewing needs.

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  23. I want to quilt like that too! I can only do straight lines... How do I find the "directions?"

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  24. The quilt and quilting are gorgeous, I have been wanting to try that FMQ style but it's a scary one for me :)

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  25. I'm excited to hear more details tomorrow! Great job!

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  26. I'm so excited about this post! I've basted Evie's quilt ready for my first FMQ adventure on my new machine. I've done a couple of little practices and I felt the same - that I can totally do this, and it was just my old machine that made it impossible. Yours is just beautiful!

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  27. the quilting is wonderful. The quilt is still soft? That's important to me as I don't like the stiffness of a quilt that's quilted too tight and too much.

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    1. I'm with you on that. I typically like sparse quilting for that reason, but I am coming around as it's clear that more quilting makes quilts last longer. I think this style is about medium. The bigger the flowers the softer it is. also, you can plan to allow more space between the flowers that I did. I feel like it is soft except for those places where I chose to add a small flower to fill space between regular sized flowers.

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  28. Improv on the design wall is my new favorite process! I love this binding too, it looks lovely.

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  29. Hey Rach! I know you posted this a while ago, but I had to tell you-- I keep coming back to it just to look at the photos, I am so in love with this quilt. I may have just order some more shelburne falls (on sale!) so I can make one for myself :)

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