Friday, April 20, 2012

Playtime on the Frame

I cannot leave you with those awful images of spiders all day long!  I couldn't stand the idea of them taking over my studio.  Everything seems a little brighter and cleaner after the vacuum treatment.

So to cleanse the palette of icky images, I'll share the latest practice I'm doing to prepare for a customer quilt.  The quilt top has hand embroidered scenes of children.  My plan is to encircle each picture with a feathered wreath.  However, the wreath needs to be 7.5" , which does not match any of my circle templates.

Here's a sample wreath on some leftover fabric used for a jacket lining.  It should show up as a light pink.  The finished block size was 10.25 inches.  I wanted to make absolutely sure there would be enough room to make those feathers look graceful and not to stubby.

And here's my makeshift template.
Of course, I'd have to warn anyone who wants to try this to be very safety aware.  I swapped to a template hopping foot and dropped the foot as low as I thought I could manage.   For a Tin Lizzie 18, the screw loosens and the hopping foot can slide up or down on the post.  I also put the template base on my machine.

Working slowly, I was able to trace around the plastic circle.  The inner metal spring was left inside to add stability.  When I had to stop to move my hands and fingers, I rotated the metal spring around so the 2 ends weren't in the way for the remainder of the circle.

It's not a perfect template, but it works for me.  I'm glad to have found a solution, so I can get this quilt top quilted.  It is my preference not to simply trace the circle and try to follow it.  That would be an easier solution, but might have more wiggles in the final circle.

Even though it's just practice and I don't have plans for it, I just had to play a little bit inside that large circle.  Maybe I'll make a second one and turn it into a pouch.  Wish I'd used the same variegated thread for the wreath.  The pale blue was leftover from last night's quilting-with-the-spiders.  It was fine for busy fabrics, but looks bland here.

I have Jamie Wallen's DVDs for longarm quilting, but haven't watched the advanced one all the way through yet.  But I still decided to try a little dragonfly, just for fun.  Shhhh.  Don't tell him that I haven't tried all the exercises in order.  Don't want to be labelled as a Rebel.

Enjoy your day!
- SeeingStars


  1. You really do quilt beautifully! I tried a long arm at a show, and, well, I kinda sucked.haha. I suppose it's something you have to get used to. I kept running out of room.

  2. Glad you found the CT sale :) I think the long arm is a wonderful tool and looks like you are mastering it! I am glad the spiders are all cleared up. ewwww!