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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Irish Baby Quilt


My sister requested that I make an irish-themed baby quilt for her dear friends who are Irish and expecting their first child soon.   

She decided that we should use the Irish Flag AND shamrocks in the final quilt.   But I didn't like the Irish flag , and couldn't find a good place to put it, so instead I used the colors from the Irish Flag and cut out shamrocks and put them around the inside borders of the quilt.  

The best thing about this quilt was the fun text around the borders.  We used the first 4 lines from "The Old Irish Blessing"   I have made a tutorial on how to quilt text on dark fabric to use in your quilt and it can be found ON THIS BLOG POST.    A video tutorial is included.  


For the back of the quilt, I used strips of fabric from the front, and a leprauchan-doggie fabric ;c)  
I also made this cute label with fabric markers!  

Here is the finished project!
 I did an echo stitch around the text, and did a funky fun shamrock echo in each of the 4 corners.
 For the center I did a thick zigzag stitch outline around the appliqued name "Keelan"

Oh, and sometimes when I am stuck on a project, I will ask my MOTHER if she has any suggestions.  And the things she comes up with are SO random and "out there" it's comical!  For this project, she suggested that I put "white fluffy sheep" on the quilt.   Which is not such a crazy idea. . but we had shamrocks and flags. .. the sheep were just from her head!
So, to be funny, I decided to make a little stuffed sheep and I shipped it to my sister with the quilt to surprise her!  ;c)

How to quilt text on fabrics






I have made many quilts for people that wanted different texts somewhere on the quilt.   Sometimes a family has special "sayings" or nicknames they want included somewhere on their memory quilt.  There are several ways to go about doing this, but I will describe the way I have found works best for me.

What you will need for this project:

* A general knowledge of sewing, quilting, and free-motion
* A laptop or computer with access to the internet
* A good working sewing machine with a straight and zigzag stitch option
* A sandwiched and basted quilt
* Scissors, Tweezers, Seam Ripper, Cheater Needle,
* Good-quality threads - (details later)
* Darning Foot
* Tracing Paper, (or you can use a large phone book)


Start by finding a font you would like to use for your quilt.   Go to DAFONT.COM and type in the text you want to use in the "preview" box.   This allows you to preview the ACTUAL text the way it will look in your finished quilt.





For less starts and stops, choose a font that is cursive -  Please see THIS BLOG POST for more details on how to choose a font for quilting text.

Once you have chosen your font, you can either download it to your computer, and then pull it up in a word processor program or a program like MS Paint.   I prefer PAINT because you can easily resize it little-by-little until it fits perfectly into your quilt.


Lay your phonebook or tracing paper directly over your computer screen and trace the text with a dark inkpen.   Line up the bottom edge of the paper with the bottom edge of your computer screen to keep your text straight.

(if you are using white or LIGHT fabrics, you can lay your fabric directly on the computer screen before piecing it into your quilt, and use a thin pencil or erasable ink to mark your fabric)






Next you will take your marked paper and pin it directly on your sandwiched quilt with quilting pins or safety pins.

Now you are ready to quilt!
Quilt directly over the marked text just as you would if you were quilting and following a marked line.   So you don't have ugly knots, leave a thread tail when you start and stop a line of stitching, and you will go and bury those threads later.




Once you are done with a section of text, remove the quilt completely from the machine.  Carefully remove the paper and then bury your threads.  It helps if you have a Cheater Needle for this task.



Here is the video I made explaining this method:  


If you want your text to show up with just a single line of stitches, I recommedn using a thick thread such as Spaghetti by Wonderfil which is a 12wt but is able to go through your machine.   Use a 40 or 50wt thread in a matching color in the bobbin. ( I recommend Gutterman Sew-All Polyester)

If you don't have 12wt thread, you will need to go over the text several times for it really show up in the finished quilt.

Another option would be to use a satin stitch, which also gives the text a calligraphy-like effect.
See again THIS BLOG POST for examples of each of these options


And ya know, you COULD print the text out.  But I am cheap, errr I mean FRUGAL.. and cannot stand using expensive printer ink and paper. so I recommend just copying it directly onto your tracing paper or fabric from the computer screen.  The computer monitor makes an EXCELLENT lightbox!

To see the finished quilt go to THIS BLOG POST





Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Red and White Scrap Quilt

Just finished this Red and White Flying Geese and String block quilt!
The red fabrics are all swaps from QuiltvilleSwap.  In the quiltville swap yahoo group we swap strips and sometimes, pieced blocks.  For this particular swap, it was around the time Bonnie was giving instructions for her "Orca Bay" mystery quilt.  So we decided to swap a set amount of string blocks, and also 4" strips!   I have SO MAnY leftover even after making this whole quilt!!!
I just love it.  I'm going to hopefully be able to hang this at my Mom's house, because she has red and black accents in her house.  And also I stole all of my quilts back when i moved into my own house ;c)


This is what I started with.   I had  the finished red scrappy string blocks that were 5.5" unfinished.   And I used the Fons and Porter Flying Geese ruler to cut triangles from the remaining red strips and white fabric to use as the sashing.  
I only had 2" and 1.5" red strips remaining, and I didn't want to cut into my red yardage, so I decided to cut the 1.5" strips into squares and make 4-patches for the cornerstones.   I used the 4 patches and white in alternating cornerstones.  
After I finished the quilt top, I felt like it neededddddd. . . SOMETHING. . .
So  went round and round with it and decided to add a wide red border and do scalloped edges.   I really wanted to soften up the sharp edges and I think the curvs does the trick perfectly!
I stitched together the 2" strips in 5.5" sections, and as luck would have it. . . I had exactly FOUR string blocks remaining. . so I used those 4 blocks in the 4 corners of my borders!   (love when things work out so perfectly like that!) 

I couldn't decide whether to use black or white binding. . . so I went to facebook for suggestions ;c)
Here we are before binding and after.  
For the back I used the remaining 5.5" strips of 2" sections sewn together, and put them in between two 4" white bands.  
The red that I used for this quilt's backing, is what was leftover from a T-shirt quilt.  So I didn't have quite enough for the whole back of the quilt. But that's okay because this forced me to make a cute pieced backing!  

I just used a plate from the kitchen to do the scallops, and I attached the binding totally by machine.  

Love the way this turned out and love the photos in the snow ;c)








Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fonts for Quilting Text

Here are some of my favorite fonts to use when quilting text.  When we write text on our quilt and use it on our quilt top or in place of quilting it is called free-hand machine embroidery.
Depending on the font,  I will use a zig-zag stitch for a calligraphy effect, OR, I will use a thick thread (12wt) and just a straight stitch.   Both options are done free-motion with a darning foot.

 (click photo to zoom-in/closeup) 

So what does one look for when choosing a font for text quilting?  What aspects of a font make for an ideal free-hand machine embroidery?


  • 1. The lines that make up the font are a similar width.   

It's difficult for us to recreate with thread the various widths made with a calligraphy pen or marker  We can use a wide zigzag stitch and by pretending your quilt is the paper, and your needle is the "PEN," we can give somewhat of a calligraphy effect, but it will NOT be the same as what is on the font.  If you do the zigzag stitch then that is just your creative vision.  So it's still best to just choose a font that uses the same width throughout the font.

  • 2.  There are not many stops and starts,  

It's unlikely you'll find a font in which the letters are all attached.  For machine quilting, we want as FEW stops and starts, (or KNOTS) as possible.   Just keep this in mind when choosing a font.

  • 3.  Simple is best.  

Some of the most beautiful fonts include lots of curly-Q's and beautiful decorative swirls and whirls.  But that's not really going to look best when transferred to thread on your quilt.   Plus it's a pain in the butt!  So we should look for a font that is SIMPLY beautiful.


Here are some examples of text in my past quilts:

4 memorial quilts I made using this gentleman's clothing, Ford fabric, and photos.  Each quilt contained "sayings" and nicknames in the borders.  Each of the sayings were unique to the quilt's recipients (the 4 siblings.)  The borders were done with a 12 wt thread and straight stitch.  The center/middle section that contained the name was done with a zigzag stitch.  
Here's a link to the thread I used on amazon:  


For this quilt I wanted the initials to look like a monogram.  I used an extra wide zigzag stitch.  

The text on both of these quilts were  done with a medium zigzag stitch


for this advent calendar I used a 12wt thread by wonderfil called "spaghetti"
Here's a link to the thread I used on amazon: Spagetti Thread, Eggplant


Since the name on this child's clothing quilt was somewhat large, I decided to use a font that looked more juvenile.   I would typically stick to cursive but I like the way this turned out.  It was worth the extra knots.  

For Isabella's clothing quilt, I wanted something that looked more modern and elegant.  Again worth the extra knots ;c)  

I include free personalization with all of my T-shirt quilts.  




I DO want to do a tutorial on how to actually do the text on the quilt.   Stay tuned for that sometime in the near future!! 



Monday, January 5, 2015

"Girly"-themed Quilt for Shauna

This quilt was a gift for a dear sweet customer - She has been toying with this idea for almost a year now, and we nailed down a pattern (after much back and forth) and here is the final result!!
It was fun getting to design an applique quilt from scratch.   Of course I couldn't make it just a normal sashed applique quilt!  I made the blocks "framed" and TILTED.   (gluten for punishment I guess) But doesn't it look great??   Such fun bold colors, and just perfect.
Here are all the fabrics that we chose for this quilt.   

 Photos of the finished quilt!  


 a phtoo of the back -
 Here are some closeups of the quilting.  
 For the white areas I did my version of McTavishing. . . ORRR..  S's and Comets (because I think thats what they look like, and S stand for SHAUNA!)     Shauna is a big fan of chocolate chip cookies, and although a challenge, I found a way to include that next to her name ;c)
 I quilted straight lines in the background areas of the blocks, and I left the "frames" empty, because they poofed up and looked cute that way.   For the center black frame, I did a large half feather.  For the colored inner frame, I did a checkerboard.

The appliques incluce a female silhouette, high heel, flowy dress, pearl necklace, lipstick, perfume, purse, diamond ring, iphone, martini glass, and sunglasses.  



New Baby Clothes Quilt!



 This might be my favorite baby clothes quilt yet!   Just look at all of the details and fun stuff that is included.  There are 3D elements such as butterflies with moveable wings.  There are several bibs that seem to jump off the quilt, and even a santa hat.  The Disney costumes/dresses/tutus were cut using the skirts left full. So that the skirt area could flow freely or be moved by your hand.
I added a soft little bootie, kept all of the buttons and original areas that I possibly could, There's even a HAIRBOW.  And to top it all off, I embroidered the name in the center with a pretty curly font!

a photo of the completed quilt TOP 

. . . andddd the finished quilt! 
 a peek at the back!


If you would like to order your own custom T-quilt made of baby clothes.  Please email me at KatiesQuiltsAndCrafts@gmail.com

Here is my price list 

Here is the photo album that contains all of my previous T-quilts.