Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Project 3: Log Cabin Quilting

The holidays are over, and I'm back to the sewing room!

Here is my log cabin pieced top, 32" x 32":

I spent 2 weeks on trying to figure out how to quilt this top.  I got 2 new quilting books for Christmas, Thanks Sis :) : Shape by Shape by Angela Walters, and Quilting Inside the Lines by Pam Clarke.  My goal with this quilt was to quilt from the front in a free motion style. My last 2 have been by pantograph, which I'm comfortable with and find rather easy and not very exciting.

I decided to use these two patterns:

The top one I decided would be for all the smaller squares.  The bottom pattern I wanted to use for the big center block of 4 squares.

The idea here is to only make the guidelines through center, with dots to help know where to make the rounded circles.
I chickened out, and made a few marks to help with the center square.  However, I think for the first time on free motion, I would have done better to pick a pattern that I could draw on the quilt first! But, that isn't my goal to follow lines, and draw them all over, so I kept to the guidelines and dots.

Because this is my first attempt, I am giving myself some leniency.  I could be practicing the Long Arm Quilting on large sheets of fabric, and never get anything done, or I can use these "learning" quilts and learn both aspects together along the way.  I've decided to use these quilts :)

So, please, don't be too critical... I'm going to show you my progress!
This is my first square.  It only took me 45 minutes to set up the machine and actually do this one square. LOL.  I practiced moving the machine in the manner I thought would get me there. It was a good thing to do that, as it was very different than practicing with my finger at home.
I found it was very hard to bring up my bobbin thread and take the small locking stitches to start.  And, I couldn't see where I was going when I was at the bottom and working back up to the left and top, which is why you see such a rounded left side in the middle.  

It took me the entire top row to get used to going slow, pausing at the corners, and figuring out how to see beyond the machine when I was at the bottom going back up. Sometimes, I didn't even get the quilting in the right square.  Twice I went into the next square with my point :(
This is much different than a pattern you follow by laser from the back of the machine!

Here is my center square:
I drew in the arcs, since I wasn't sure I could make the arcs consistent.  I didn't need to do that, since that wasn't really my problem.  I was supposed to come to within a couple stitches in the middle, so there wouldn't be big knots of thread, but I didn't get nearly close enough. I liked the design for the square though.

And, by the time I was done, here is my last square:
I see much improvement, but its far from good.  It will take much more practice before I can say I know what I'm doing.  This took a total of 1.5 hrs. I'm amazed at how much can be accomplished on the Long Arm.  I LOVE the no basting aspect.

Now, off to binding and it will be another project completed from Quilter's Academy Freshman Year.

I made another appt. at my Local Quilt Store to quilt my next project next week. I plan on skipping the table runner for now, and move onto the next one, which requires a border, so I better get sewing!

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