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Quilting tips, tricks and ideas

Additional Information

 Wave of Flowers

Quilting is such a tactile art form.  Your fabric is the paper, the needle becomes the pen while the thread is your ink. After years of pen and ink drawings I immediately fell in love with the process of creating a quilt. 

My mom had taught me to sew before I could drive. Sewing became a creative process I loved.  However, as a mom and a teacher I had very little time.  Every summer I would ask my sons to bring up my sewing machine, table and tools from the basement and I would create Christmas gifts.  The week before school would start, I would have them carry it all back to the basement for the school year. Instead of sewing I would write.  In the back of my mind I was developing a quilting story.

In the spring of my last year of teaching I was writing quite a bit for online publications which allowed me to develop a voice.  I felt I was ready to write my book.  There was one problem.  I didn’t really know how to quilt.  How could I write about something I had no real experience in?  Fortunately, the answer was right down the hall.  My teaching friend’s (-soon to become my quilting buddy.) office was right down the hall, and I knew she quilted. All I had to do is ask. (We all know creative people love to share.)  She soon had me in a class, then another.  I was hooked.  My sons, now grown, had move into homes of their own.  My husband created a place for me to quilt out of one of their bedrooms.  All my tools could be ready to use anytime.  As we travel I visit quilt stores, meeting with quilting artists in the area.  I take online classes, read books, joined a guild, and a bee.  Mostly, I listen to quilters, fantastic artists from all walks of life that inspire me to try new things with fabric.

When I began I would follow patterns and instructions faithfully. Soon I began veering off into my own creations.  Wave of Flowers is one of my original designs.  With the help of my son, his engineering ability as well as his 3d printer, not only could I create the pattern but a template. Now, when I walk into my quilting room my mind shifts from left brain mode to right brain. I am in my place of inspiration. 

Clear off both the kitchen table and your time to find your inspiration,

-R.Cratty
 

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  Waves of Flowers: Wall quilt 48” x 58” pattern

Pattern includes: Fabric requirements, Basic Tool requirements, Cutting tips, Special Sewing Tips, Wave Illustration. $8.50

Wave Template/ Longarm Quilting Ruler is a waved shaped piece of material that is used for tracing and rotary cutting to form quilt blocks. Because it is 1/4” thick it can also be used as a Longarm quilting ruler. The wave is smooth so it can be easily cut and sewn around.  It has three sections each with four magnets. You can use one, two or all three templates and they hook together. $27.00 or $9.00 for each section.

$30.00 for pattern and three Wave Templates. 

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Quilting Ideas

Christmas Swirls

 Machine quilting, whether it’s on a long-arm or a domestic sewing machine, takes practice. Panel quilts are wonderful for practicing.

It takes time and practice for the quality of our stitches, the smoothness of our curves or the straightness of our lines to improve.  We have to invest the time to train our muscles to perform the way our brain is telling them to perform, this is called muscle memory.

To become a successful quilter, you must teach your muscles to remember what it feels like to make smooth curves, flowing lines, and graceful shapes by practicing over and over again. This is something that can’t be learned in a book or watching another quilter.  The best way to learn to machine quilt is by repeating a single design until your mind and your muscles work together. Using a panel quilt will not only get you to the quilting sooner than piecing but it will also give you a smoother surface to practice on.

 I purchased this All Aglow Quilt Kit from Keepsake Quilting. It is a preprinted Hoffman Spectrum Digital panel. I added a border and sandwiched the quilt top, batting and backing. I then practiced using my basting.  A wall-size quilt is an easy way to turn practicing into a real quilt.

I ended up not only getting the practice I needed for my muscle memory , but also a beautiful quilt. 

Enjoy this wonderful learning experience.

-Rhonda 

Muscle Memory

Digital panels make the perfect training ground for building free-motion quilting muscle memory.  



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