Cross Hatch Stitching Path

Yesterday I talked about the cross hatch design I used on the most recent quilt I worked on, and told you I would share my quilting path in order to avoid starts/stops. So, here it is. 🙂

The block in the quilt measured 8-1/2″ x 6-1/2″. Because the diagonal measured longer than the straight ruler I had, I marked a line on each diagonal to align the ruler. These marks will not be necessary if your ruler is long enough to extend diagonally from corner to corner.

TIP: Remember when using a ruler and ruler foot for quilting, the stitch line will be 1/4″ away from the edge of the ruler. Be sure to place the ruler 1/4″ from the diagonal line you have drawn so the stitching will be on the line and start/end in each corner and not a quarter inch to the side of the corner. 

cross hatch quilting design

Step 1 – Mark Diagonal Line

You can start in any corner you wish. I chose to start stitching in the bottom right corner, probably because I’m right-handed and it just made sense to me to start there.

Cross Hatch Quilting DesignBegin stitching on the first diagonal line, following the direction of the arrows in the photo. When you get to the edge of the block, travel down the seam line to start the next diagonal line. In the quilt I did, I spaced the lines 3/4″ apart. Continue stitching the lines and traveling in the seam lines until you reach the opposite corner. See the star in the bottom left corner? That is where the stitching will end for the first section. You can see you are ready to start stitching on the second diagonal line.

Cross Hatch Quilting Design

The next section is quilted the same as the first, and will end on the right side (where the two ** stars are.) You will be traveling in the seam on the travel lines previously stitched along the bottom of the block.

You are now ready to stitch the top half of the block.

Starting where the double stars are shown on the right of the block, stitch Section 3 as shown in the photo below.

cross hatch quilting design

The third section ends where the three *** stars are shown in the photo below – top right corner. To begin stitching the last of the design, travel along the seam line to the next starting point (shown in the upper right hand corner below).

Cross Hatch Quilt DesignThe design will end in the opposite corner from where you started.

This is an easy way to cross hatch an entire block without a lot of traveling or starts/stops. I hope my explanation of how I stitch this design is helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions!

 

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MCM #96 – Barn Quilt Repeat

Last week I had the pleasure of custom quilting a gorgeous barn panel quilt. I know, you’re probably saying didn’t you already do that? (Read about the first one here.) Yes I did, but this is a different panel, different colors and layout, and quilted in a totally different way.

Barn Quilt Custom Quilting

Each quilt I work on teaches me something new. For this quilt, the designs I used were all angular lines and 100% ruler work. I’m comfortable quilting with rulers so that isn’t new to me. What was different about this quilt is all the marking I did.

I was recently gifted an AQS  DVD “Progressive Detail Quilting with Judi Madsen”. (Thank you my sweet friend!) I’ve admired Judi’s work for a long time and can only hope to be a fraction as good as she is someday. In the DVD, Judi walks us through marking the same quilt in three different ways, each one with more quilting detail. Even though I have marked quilt tops before, seeing how Judi does it made something inside me click. She uses lots of registration lines and plans her quilting path before starting to stitch.

I loaded the quilt, basted it, and then stared at it waiting for inspiration to hit. Do you ever do that? I do it a lot! So while I was waiting I started poking around Pinterest to see if I could find a design for the border.

What I found was a design by Melissa Marginet from her book Walking Foot Quilting Designs. The link leads to the website for the book, and shows how to quilt the ‘Knot’ design. I thought it would be perfect for the barn quilt, so I marked the border with registration marks in preparation for stitching.

Marking Your Quilt

Registration marks for stitching the knot border design

 

Finished Border Design

Finished Border Design

I love it! It is a fun design to stitch and I love the way it looks on this quilt.

After choosing the design for the border, I moved on to the four patch blocks. At first I thought I might do a curvy design, but it just didn’t feel right. I remembered the Craftsy class I purchased a couple weeks ago by Angela Walters, ‘Dot to Dot: Quilting with Piecing as your Guide’. Angela’s dot to dot technique would be perfect for these four patches, and it would be my first time using it in a ‘real’ quilt.

Dot to Dot Quilting Technique

Dot to Dot Quilting Technique

For this design I marked five dots in each square. Angela says you can mark the dots or not, but I chose to make the marks just to keep me on track with the design. You can see my diamonds are not perfect, but according is Angela – finished is better than perfect, and that’s something I totally agree with!

The last major decision I had to make was how to quilt the barn blocks. They are so colorful and I was having difficulty choosing a thread color. I needed something that would blend and wouldn’t be too dark on the lighter sections of the blocks.

I thought Mono-Poly (often called invisible thread) would work, but it blended SO well I couldn’t see the lines that were already stitched. So I decided to try MicroQuilter, a 100# thread from Superior that is often used for, you guessed it!, micro quilting. 🙂  This thread is so fine, it blends beautifully, and all you really see is the texture. I will definitely use this thread again.

I stitched a simple cross hatch design. The only marking I had to do was two lines on the diagonal. Tomorrow I will post the stitching path I used in order to stitch the entire block without cutting the thread.

Cross Hatch Quilting

My customer told me to quilt this top any way I wanted with a couple of guidelines: 1) Don’t quilt too densely – she wants it to be a snuggly quilt, and 2) no shiny thread. I stayed within those parameters, and I’m very happy with the finished quilt. This project was a fun one to work on, and I appreciate the opportunity. I pushed myself, tried some new designs and new thread, and love the way it all worked out.

Barn Quilt Texture

The back shows off the texture beautifully:

Quilting Texture

Have you stitched any ‘new to you’ quilting designs lately? I’d love to hear about your favorites as I’m always looking for something new to try. Ruler work takes extra time, but it is something I love to do.

Quilting this barn quilt is my crush for this weeks Main Crush Monday. Now it’s time for you to share yours. What has you excited to be in your sewing space? You can link any blog post, Instagram, or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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Music Saturday – Mirror Man

I’ve been doing a lot of quilting this week, which means there’s been a lot of music playing on my tower speaker. I love that thing! It gets loud when I want it to and has a great sound with a deep bass. I’m not so sure the neighbors like it as much as I do, but I haven’t heard any complaints yet. Maybe they like listening to my playlist too…

Music Saturday

This week my pick song has been Ella Henderson’s ‘Mirror Man’. It has a smooth easy beat, the words are easy to remember, and it’s fun to sing. The line “I think you’re falling for you” tickles me, but best of all it’s a good tune to dance around to when I’m quilting.

You can check it out on You Tube by clicking on this link.

Have fun, and sing on!

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MCM #95 – It’s a Texture Thing

I have a difficult time eating shrimp, scallops, crab, actually most seafood. It’s a texture thing with me. I want to like these things, I do! But I just can’t get past how they feel when I take a bite. Ugh. All you seafood lovers – don’t hate me. I’ve tried. Seriously. But I just can’t handle the texture.

I don’t have that problem with quilty texture though. Thank goodness! I can play with scrumptious quilt texture all day long and it never leaves a weird taste in my mouth. Not even when I lick the fabric… 😀

Over the weekend I worked on a lovely customer quilt. Shirley asked for an all over design using variegated blue thread on the top and variegated green thread on the back. We decided to use the loopy flower design and it created some fabulous texture!

Variegated green thread

Back of Quilt

At first I had my doubts about using two variegated threads but they worked together beautifully. The thread on the back is Omni-V, and the top thread is Fantastico. Both are by Superior and are 40#. Fantastico is a bit shiny, like Glide, and Omni-V has a more matte finish. I’m so happy they worked together, as my customer had her heart set on variegated threads on both sides.

Quilting textureYou can see more of the texture on the front in the picture above. Once this quilt is washed, I can only imagine how cuddly it will feel!

I took the quilt outside to take a full picture of the front of the quilt on the deck. After laying it out I stepped back to get my shot and the wind took over. It blew up the back to fold over perfectly. I think this quilt was telling me which side it likes best! So I grabbed the shot and called it a day.

The next quilt I’ll be working on will have more custom quilting. I’m excited to come up with a quilting plan and get it loaded. Time to get those creative juices flowing!

So there’s my quilting crush for Main Crush Monday. Now it’s time for you to share yours! What has you excited to be in your sewing space? You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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Update to ‘My Favorite Longarm Tools’ – Loading the Backing

After posting about my favorite longarm tools last week, I received several questions about using a fine mist water bottle to remove wrinkles when loading the backing fabric. Today I loaded another quilt and took some pictures of the process. While it’s much easier to see the technique in a video, I hope these pictures are helpful in explaining what I do.

First, I attach the backing fabric to the front leader and drape it over the back, allowing it to hang below the table. I give the fabric a good spray of water – all over.

Backing Fabric Attached to Front

Backing fabric attached to front leader

Backing draped over table

Backing draped over table in back. See how wrinkled it is?

TIP: See that white strip of fabric along the bottom edge? The backing fabric wasn’t large enough to allow me to attach it to the leaders. So I sewed a 6″ strip of fabric along each end. This gives me enough fabric to attach to the leaders, front and back, and allows the entire piece of backing fabric to be used for the quilting. The white fabric will be cut off when I trim the quilt after quilting. This can also be done if extra fabric is needed to clamp the sides. I use fabric pieces I have saved from the backing fabric of other quilts I have quilted, so it is not an expense to me.

Also, you’ll notice the backing was pieced with a seam running down the middle. I am loading the quilt sideways so the seam will run parallel to the bars. This puts less stress on the seam, and makes it easier to keep the seam straight to the quilt top when quilting.

Okay, back to loading and misting the backing….

Removing wrinkles from backing fabricAfter spraying the backing, I start rolling it on the backing bar smoothing the fabric as I go. I usually advance the fabric 8 – 10 inches and then spray and smooth again. In the picture above I have just sprayed the fabric – you can see the wrinkles are starting to loosen.

In the picture below, the same wrinkles are almost gone:

Removing Wrinkles from Backing Fabric

Keep up the good work – spray, smooth, roll, smooth, spray, smooth, roll, smooth. (Repeat that a few times in your head, it will put you in a meditative state.)  🙂

When you get to the end of the backing, attach it to the leader on the take up bar. Tighten everything up, and voila! wrinkle free backing without an iron!

Backing Loaded

You can see some of the water on the backing here where I have smoothed the fabric. Don’t worry. It will dry in about 2.1 seconds. Or maybe 5.1. You get the idea.

One of my readers, Carole of From My Carolina Home, says she uses this method with one difference. She adds a bit of Best Press to the water in her water bottle. I haven’t tried that yet, but I think it’s a great idea.

I hope this helps answer any questions you had after last week’s post. I’d love to hear how you handle big backings – just leave a comment!

Have a great weekend,
Beth

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