Isabella's Whimsy

handmade with love

Kylie Bowers Art inspires me

 

I follow the up-and-coming artist Kylie Bowers on her blog, Kylie Bowers Art.  She has committed to 200+ days of studies and has just completed Day 4.  In the spirit of showing her studies, I think maybe I will try to imitate her and show my quilting-learning attempts…but I’m far too undisciplined to a daily schedule.

So, here is my 1st go at the quilt block called Flying Geese.  In this placemat the two panels of Flying Geese consists of 4 blocks each because 1 block equals 2 geese as a unit.

 

First time to make Flying Geese quilt blocks, side panels.

First time to make Flying Geese quilt blocks, side panels.

Here is another pic that shows the color more realistically:

Flying Geese best color

Maybe it’s just wonky enough to work.

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New Name for Quilting Stitch

Stitch-in-the-ditch is a well-known quilting stitch. It is made by stitching (by hand or machine) along the seam line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together. This stitch is not visible…well, it’s not supposed to be visible. I have not yet mastered this “simple” stitch, so in efforts to save my self-respect and to support fellow quilters I have named the forerunner to stitch-in-the-ditch and I have a couple of pictures to show you this newly-named stitch.

The new stitch name is Playing-in-the-Ditch. Think of times you played in a ditch. Did you walk along the bottom in a straight line? NO!! you jumped around, up and down the sides, in and out of the ditch, splashing water and mud, scattering stones and twigs. It was delightful, right? So is Playing-in-the-Ditch for quilters!
See for yourself-

The ditch is very evident here, so are the Playing stitches!

The ditch is very evident here, so are the Playing stitches!

Here is another example of the Playing-in-the-Ditch stitch. You can see how some stitches are in the ditch (seam line), some are on the red side and others are on the blue side...so much playful fun!

Here is another example of the Playing-in-the-Ditch stitch. You can see how some stitches are in the ditch (seam line), some are on the red side and others are on the blue side…so much playful fun!

 

A question I had when deciding to Play-in-the-Ditch was which foot would work best. No, I don’t mean left or right foot!  I mean which sewing machine attachment, the Quilting Foot or the Walking Foot.  Both of these attachments are pretty new to me because I have always hand quilted, but in trying to ward off Alzheimer’s I’m dedicated to learning new skills and concepts, hence, steps toward machine quilting.

You know what they say, A picture is worth a thousand words, so here are two pictures of the stitching results made by the Quilting Foot and the Walking Foot:

#1 was made with the quilting foot. #2 was made with the walking foot. It's clear to me which one to use for Playing-in-the-Ditch stitching.

#1 was made with the quilting foot. #2 was made with the walking foot. It’s clear to me which one to use for Playing-in-the-Ditch stitching.

 

Yes, the Quilting Foot has made loops in the thread, but also the stitches are tiny and irregular... The Walking Foot stitches are nice and even in size.

Yes, the Quilting Foot has made loops in the thread, but also the stitches are tiny and irregular… The Walking Foot stitches are nice and even in size.

 

It looks to me like the quilter has way too much responsibility for the outcome when using the Quilting Foot, and the machine provides reliable support for stitch length and thread control with the Walking Foot, so I’m sticking with the Walking Foot when I Play-in-the-Ditch!

~Isabella

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Hooray for Spring! Texas Wildflowers

Project QUILTING’s final challenge for Season 4 is due this week. The challenge presented last Sunday was Hooray for Spring! I just posted my entry, Texas Wildflowers.
Being the copycat I am, I decided to follow the lead of other quilters and tell you about the process behind my little wall quilt. Instead of making a new design for this challenge, I resized a design. The inspiration for the design came from a photo from last spring’s Texas bluebonnets. Some friends and I drove out to Independence, TX to take pictures of the bluebonnets. This inspiration photo was taken by one of my friends who really knows how to find the right pic.

Field with Wildflowers and Old Farmhouse

Field with Wildflowers and Old Farmhouse

To make the background I used three pieces of fabric: a tone-on-tone gray-blue print for the sky, a small bluebonnet floral print for the middle ground, and a larger Texas wildflower print for the foreground. I free-hand drew the trees from three green fabrics, dark, medium and light, and fused them onto the sky panel. The roof is made from a mottled rust cotton fabric and the farmhouse is a white-on-white print. The little chimney is a brown cotton with black swirls on it. After fusing on the house, roof and chimney I used a medium zigzag stitch with a short length to make a dense outline for the house pieces, using white for the house and rust for the roof and chimney. I used a medium green thread with a decorative feather stitch built into my sewing machine to applique the trees. Then I sewed the sky panel to the small bluebonnet print and them to the larger floral print.
In preparation of quilting I pressed open the two seams. Normally quilters press the seams toward the darker fabric and not open, but a video I watched recently suggested pressing the seams open if you are planning on stitching in the ditch. Since my previous luck with that ditch-stitching had been more like jumping in and out of the ditch, I was happy to try a new approach.

Next came the quilting. After layering the backing, cotton batting and quilt top, I used my machine to stitch in the ditch between the two florals. Then I drew three wavy lines and stitched them for the small floral panel.

small floral quilting before lines removed

I quilted the farmhouse and roof with straight lines and echo quilted around the treetops.

farmhouse and trees quilting

Again I drew wavy lines for the large floral panel, but made them vertical instead of horizontal as before. This was the first project for me to quilt on the sewing machine, and it worked out pretty well.

TX Wildflowers vertical quilting lines

Here is the back so you can see the quilting lines better.

TX Wildflowers back_quilting lines

Now for the reveal…

 

Copy of Texas Wildflowers

12″ X 14″ wall hanging.

See more about Project QUILTING.

See Project QUILTING’s Hooray for Spring! Entries.

See ya’ll!
~Isabella

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