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Posts Tagged ‘free motion quilting’

I’ve made lots of bags decorated with machine quilting (actually, I only make bags to show off the fabric embellished with my free machine quilting!).  I started making machine quilted bags many years ago when I started teaching – they were a fun and practical way to show off my passion.

Here are some of my first bags.blue bag 5589

I love thGreen 6877e rounded shape and the shoulder strap ties.

 

 

 

 

I taught a workshop to make this bag, but the workshop was two days long – with *homework required* in between the two days.

I decided I needed a simpler bag.

Red-bag-6511

 

Later,  I needed a special occasion bag for myself, and made this bag out of silk sateen.

 

I designed the bag to be easy to quilt, and to show off the machine quilting, but it lacked a bit in the area of sturdy construction details.

 

 

 

 

I discovered Lisa Lam’s website and blog, and learned the finer points of bag construction from her books and patterns.

I made a bag based on one of her patterns to carry an iPad, and then I had lots of fun (and spent lots of time…..) making a ‘fancy’ bag that I love to carry.

bluebag-front-4302 bluebag-back-4303

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I put all that I had learned together….   Stay tuned for the rest of the Machine Quilted Bag story!

 

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Yes, I have been away from blogging for a while — no better time to restart than with happy news to share!

My silver quilt ‘Reflections of Tao’ is at MQX East in Manchester, New Hampshire.  The show is open from Thursday 4/10 to Saturday 4/12, and there are hundreds of amazing quilts on display and lots of fantastic vendors — be sure to visit if you can.

I attended the awards ceremony and was excited to find out that Reflections of Tao won first place in the category of small wholecloth quilts.

I was stunned and thrilled when Reflections of Tao also won Best Machine Quilting of the ‘Sit Down’ quilted quilts.   This little quilt is 24″ square  – I think the signage and ribbons are almost as big as the quilt!

Reflections of Tao at MQX East

You have to see this quilt in person to appreciate the subtleties and shading created by the many different colors of silk thread I used.   I also used trapunto to create more dimension in the major motifs.

The wholecloth quilts are hanging in the Armory at the Radisson – you’ll see the Expo Center when you first arrive, but the Armory is the smaller, cozy exhibit and vendor hall on the other side of the hotel area.  I hope to see you there!

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When I decided to sandwich a small a piece of solid silver silk blend sateen (Radiance by Robert Kaufman), I had no idea what I would discover.  This silver fabric has been in my stash for years because the color didn’t really ‘speak’ to me off the bolt.  Here is the “raw material” (next to ivory and gold for contrast)

Silver silk sateen fabric

When I started quilting and experimenting with different colors of thread, I was amazed!  I have taken too many photos and spent too much time experimenting with Photoshop to get the best [at least, the best that I can] color balanced photos to show you the amazing effect of different colored silk threads on this fabric.  The photo to the left is the feather plume that started it all.  The feather looks lavender (instead of silver)  because I used lavender thread to quilt and outline the feather.  Then I switched to shades of aqua / light green thread for the outline stitching, and the fabric takes on the greenish hue of the threads.

I used the silver silk fabric for the ‘Reflections of Tao’ wholecloth wall hanging to experiment more with different colors of silk thread quilted into this fabric. The center of the ‘Reflections of Tao’ wall hanging features the chinese character ‘tao’ (meaning ‘the way’, or ‘the path’) which is trapunto’d to make it stand out even more.

Center detail of Reflections of Tao

This detail photograph of the upper right feather and corner border shows the variety of colors of silk thread used in the machine quilting:Corner border detail of Reflections of Tao

This quilt is now on display at the New England Quilt Museum as a part of the Silver Threads Challenge exhibit.  The best way to see this quilt is in person, so be sure visit the Quilt Museum and look for ‘Reflections of Tao’ if you are in the Lowell, Massachusetts area in the next month.  The Silver Threads Challenge quilts will be on display until late November.

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I love SewCalGal’s July FMQ challenge and the Tiles design Angela Walters shared with us.

The Tiles motif includes one of my favorite free motion techniques, stitching straight lines with a free motion quilting foot. And even better, you get to quilt up, down, left, and right!  Because the Tile lines are not too long,  they are a great opportunity to practice straight line free motion quilting.   I can imagine many more ways to use this structured yet flexible technique, to quilt both large and small spaces.

Test free motion quilting for SewCalGal's July FMQ Challenge by Diane LoomisI quilted a small sample to test the pattern first.  The top fabric is pink Kona cotton solid, layered with cotton batting, and muslin backing. The cotton batting is different from the wool batting I usually use, and results in a lower loft / flatter look and feel to the quilting.  I used slightly contrasting thread [still #100 silk) and this combination worked nicely for the Tile practice sandwiches.

I was excited to get started on a larger quilted sample.  I changed thread colors from the lavender to dark pink, and started quilting away.  At first I used the same design in each ‘Tile’ rectangle because I wasn’t happy with the way the different motifs in each tile looked in my test sample.  After filling a few tiles with feathers, I decided to try one – or two – more different fill patterns – but I repeated the fill in more than one tile (mostly…).

July 2012 FMQ Challenge - Tile motif - machine quilted by Diane Loomis

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I finally finished binding my feather plume sample from the February FMQ Challenge tutorial by Diane Gaudynski.  (I highly recommend you read through Diane’s tutorial at least once – it is packed with excellent instruction and advice on free motion quilting.) I call the sampler ‘Rogue Feathers’ –  my friend Jenny named the little feathers at the bottom ‘rogue feathers’, surrounding the circle.  I quilted the feathers there because I couldn’t bear echo quilting any more!  I am pleased with my little silver sampler.Rogue Feathers a free motion quilted sampler on silver silk by Diane Loomis

Free motion quilting detail of Rogue Feathers by Diane LoomisOne of the reasons I love this fabric is the way it subtly changes to the shade of the silk thread used for free motion quilting.  I’m having trouble showing this in photographs,  so here’s another view that shows the color changes in a different light.

(I haven’t stopped participating in SewCalGal‘s 2012 FMQ Challenge -just running late with my posts.  Look for a new blog entry before the end of the month with my July challenge entry! In case you haven’t followed SewCalGal’s blog recently, she generously featured my quilt Five Bar Blues earlier this month in a post about the Road to California quilt show.  )

2012 is the 25th anniversary of the New England Quilt Museum and in honor of this silver anniversary the Museum has issued a ‘Silver Threads Quilt Challenge’.  The challenge is to create a quilt inspired by the word ‘silver’, and I had a project in mind using this beautiful silver fabric before I discovered the challenge.

Here is a sneak peek at the wall hanging … not surprisingly, it has feathers…

sneak peek at silver feathers on the Silver Anniversay Quilt Challenge for the NEQM by Diane Loomis

I just finished machine quilting my silver-inspired quilt, so it is ready to be blocked, bound, and finished.   The bright blue is from the water soluble blue marker that I use to mark my quilts (the blue markings are already gone since the quilt’s first immersion today in clean, cool water.)  The quilts will be on display at a special exhibit at the 2012 Lowell Quilt Festival from August 9-11.

From another perspective you can see my signature as well as my favorite circle-spirals.

silver circles on the Silver Anniversay Quilt Challenge for the NEQM by Diane Loomis

Want to see the finished quilt?  Mark your calendar to visit the Lowell Quilt Festival, Thursday August 9 – Saturday August 11.  Visit the Lowell Quilt Festival website for more information about activities, lectures, and exhibits.

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IQA notified the finalists selected for the 2012 “Quilts: A World of Beauty” judged show in Houston yesterday and Five Bar Blues is going to the Houston International Quilt Festival this year!  Although it’s always tough to pack and ship any quilt (it feels like I am giving my quilt away to the shipping company) — I’m always very excited to have the opportunity to show my quilts, especially outside of the New England area.

Square in Square I award winning miniature quilt by Diane Loomis

This is the second year the Houston Quilt Festival judged show will include one of my quilts in the exhibit.   Last year, my miniature quilt Square In Square I was a finalist in the IQA Houston show and won 3rd place in the miniature category!

Square in Square I has traveled to the 2012 spring and summer IQA venues as part of the IQA special exhibit “Quilts: A World of Beauty 2011“.  Next week is the last stop for this exhibit at the  International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, from July 27-29, 2012.  If you are going to the Long Beach show, check out this special exhibit and look for Square in Square I  (it is only 14″ square!).

More Five Bar Blues News…..
Did you see Five Bar Blues on the cover of the 2012 Paducah Show Catalog??

AQS Paducah 2012 Show Catalog with Five Bar Blues by Diane Loomis on the cover

Since the AQS Paducah show was in April, I’m afraid this news is “better late than never”…

(In my defense….) I did not know in advance that the America Quilter’s Society planned to use a photograph of Five Bar Blues on the cover of the 2012 Paducah Show Catalog,  and  didn’t find out until a few weeks after the show was over.  When a dedicated fan and friend emailed to congratulate me after she saw that Five Bar Blues was ‘all over’ the Paducah catalog…. I had no idea what she was referring to!  I finally saw a copy of the catalog and understood her excitement.

2012 American Quilters Society Paducah Show Catalog page header with Five Bar Blues by Diane Loomis

Feathered Wreath from border of Five Bar Blues award winning quilt by Diane Loomis

In addition to the cover, images of Five Bar Blues are on every page in the catalog.   Yes – the AQS icon sits nicely centered inside one of the feathered wreaths from the border of Five Bar Blues.

The 2012 AQS Paducah catalog is available for sale from AQS here and (also, of course) has photographs of all the stunning quilts entered in the 2012 AQS Paducah quilt show.  Check it out!

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Celtic spirals, circles and swirls a machine quilting workshop by Diane Loomis

 I am working on the class sample for my new machine quilting workshop “Celtic Spirals, Circles, and Swirls”.   This is one of the four mini-workshops I will be teaching at A Quilters’ Sampler™, in  Nashua, NH on May 10 and 11.

I’m am offering four different machine quilting workshops at A Quilters Sampler™.  Each of these mini-workshops is an introduction to a different set of free motion quilting techniques — for your home sewing machine, of course!

Trapunto by Machine

Class sample for Trapunto Machine quilting class by Diane Loomis

Celtic Spirals, Circles, and Swirls

(NEW Workshop!!)Celtic spirals, circles, and swirls machine quilting workshop

Elegant Quilted Backgrounds: Classic Designs for Your Quilt

Elegant quilted background patterns for your quilt

Fabulous Free Motion Fills

Fabulous Free Motion Fills class sample

You can register for more than one workshop – I’ll be teaching different techniques in each class, and you’ll have a more time to machine quilt!  I am not scheduling any more workshops this spring, so if you have asked about taking a class from me, I encourage you to sign up for one of my machine quilting workshops at A Quilters’ Sampler™.

The Eastcoast Quilters’ Alliance 3, LLC, the same folks who bring us The Quilters’ Gathering™ to New England every November, are sponsoring this quilting event.   A Quilters’ Sampler™ offers three-hour mini-classes, luncheon lectures, May Market for shopping, and a ticket to one of the local quilt guild shows or Museum exhibits.  Check it out – there is still time to register for classes!

A Quilters Sampler 2012 quilt classes and events

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