Quilted UFOs: The Redwork Quilt

The Redwork Quilt has moved up in status from a UFO (unfinished object) to a WIP (work in progress).  I have had to take a break for technical reasons.  When I went to change my needle yesterday, I found I was out of my favorite, Schmetz Quilting Needle 90/14.  Since I had some 75/11’s, I tried it in the sashing where I was free-motion quilting and the thread only broke once.  I am using Invisafil 100-wt. in top and in bobbin. Today, however, the thread broke again while stitching in the ditch so I have decided to wait until tomorrow when I can go to town.

I’m not sure when I started this quilt (late 2011 perhaps) but I didn’t like the setting or the size so I started working on it again in 2012.  Here you can see the dark blue flap I had placed on the red and white bubble fabric border.  I love this fabric but it just did not work for this quilt.

RedworkTakenApart

RedworkTakenApart

Auditioning a new border.

AuditioningNew Border

AuditioningNew Border

Here is the quilt put back together, measuring 27-inches square.

Redwork

Redwork

Last spring I dug this out again and decided I wanted to make it bigger.  I have too many more or less useless small quilts so I am making quilts that can hang in my dining room, maximum 42-inches wide and around 45-50 inches long.  In order to make this larger, I dug into my 2-1/2 inch red squares and cut more squares from every piece of red I own and then added a 4-inch black border.  When I want solid black, I use Kona–it’s a nice, consistent very dark black.  Sometimes I’m even able to find it locally.  The quilt is now 41-inches square.

WIPRedwork

WIPRedwork

I started in the center and outlined each square motif and the inside of the white square.  Then I outlined them again.  I think I am going to add some more lines of stitching so it will lie flatter.  If I start in the center, I should be able to go around all four squares without breaking the thread.

Redwork Quilt Center

Redwork Quilt Center

Next, I was able to quilt the first border with a simple meander.  Is there a difference between meandering and stippling?  I used to be the world’s worst meanderer.  I just couldn’t get anything to come together between my brain and the needle.  So I started practicing.  And practicing.  And practicing.  Every time I was going to free-motion a quilt, I would practice meandering whether I was going to actually use it or not.   I have a small stencil which I would trace onto my practice piece and stitch over the lines.  Then I would try to do it on my own.  I still have to practice before putting it on a quilt but it has gotten much better.  Sometimes I do just a plain meander but usually I add some kind of design, in this case flowers and leaves.  I had a strip leftover from the Cotton+Steel quilt which was just the size I needed.  If you want to add to your quilting repertoire, practice some simple motifs with meandering.  I have added different flowers with leaves, stars, pumpkins, and Christmas motifs.  Try to practice making these motifs upside down to add variety without pivoting the quilt.  If you run into a problem, you can just rip back to the motif, and start there again–no one will be the wiser.

FMQ Practice, Meander w/Flowers

FMQ Practice, Meander w/Flowers

When I was cleaning out my files this spring, I got rid of the red work booklet with the embroidery design I used.  I found it online: The Red Book, designed by Diane Arthurs from the Powder Mill.  I saw it on a resale website for $30.  I assure you I did not pay that much for it but it must be out of print now, which somehow has translated into giving people license to sell books at outrageous prices.  Grrr.  Go to the library, check with a friend, look for any line drawing available to you.  Because the motifs were small, I used one strand of floss and a backstitch.  I just couldn’t get the outline stitch to look good.  I also lined the white-on-white fabric with a stretch knit interfacing so that the knots and traveling would not show.  Of course when I started quilting, I noticed a knot had migrated through the interfacing but If anyone notices that, then they are just looking too dang hard.

So that’s my story for today.  I’m over the recommended word count.  Sorry.  I’ll be back next week with an update.

About icandyet.com

Hi—I’m Candy P. I live in beautiful Northwest Arkansas and write this blog about quilting. I love the entire process of quilting from design to piecing and appliqué, to free-motion quilting on my Janome. I have been sewing since I was five and started quilting in 1991 with a group in NE Minnesota. We used cardboard templates and scissors and did everything by hand. I have since made traditional quilts, donation quilts and Quilts of Valor; I’ve done paper piecing and foundation quilting but now really enjoy improvisational piecing using scraps from my stash or my hand dyed fabrics and making art quilts. I am also currently trying to finish any and all unfinished projects. I am so far behind I can never die. I have always been a maker, a sewist and needleworker, running the gamut from hand embroidery to macramé, knitting, crocheting, crafts, book binding and mixed media projects. I have taught a lot of handicraft classes including fabric painting, origami, and calligraphy, Dancercise (who remembers that) and my own exercise classes. When I’m not in the garage dyeing fabric or in my studio, I’m at Zumba or walking on local trails and photographing art or whatever catches my eye. I currently belong to Crystal Bridges, AQS, The Quilt Show, NWA Modern Quilt Guild and the Van Go-Go Girls (a local art quilt group). I occasionally make it to the piano and the golf course and enjoy cooking with my husband and generally wreaking some kind of havoc with my daughter. You can read my previous blog at Kandykwilts.blogspot.com but you cannot read my blog as northwind at The Quilt Show, apparently lost forever. I write about my current projects, mistakes and all, and often tell you what products I use (with no compensation). I am open to suggestions about blog posts and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about my projects or posts. Comment or email me. Feedback is most welcome—just be kind.

Posted on July 1, 2015, in quilting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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