Blankets from Very EZ to Somewhat EZ

Ahhh blankets! How great it is to cover up with a soft and fluffy one.

This one is the easiest possible: get a piece of fleece and just serge around the edge. You don’t even really have to finish a fleece blanket; it won’t ravel, but the serged edge makes it look nice and done.

Serged-edge fleece blanket

It’s possible to find a remnant of fleece that is a yard or more, which will give it to you for 1/2 price! Cheap and good!

This one is adapted from my go-to receiving blanket, see the free pattern on youcanmakethis.com. This one is made without an edging at all. I used flannel for one side and minky for the other, which made for a little uneven seaming. To compensate, I used a roller foot for the machine, and pinned the edges together prior to sewing. Sew with the minky layer on top, keeping the pinned edges aligned until you get right up to removing the pins: the roller foot will not let the fabric stretch. Once turned inside out, I like to top-stitch the edges with the flannel side on top: I like the triple-stitch in a 4.5 or longer stitch length for a nice prominent top-stitch. I added a little embroidery motif on the plain but fluffy side to go with the flannel fabric.

minky-flannel receiving blanket

This one is my second attempt at free-motion quilting, another baby quilt of a non-standard size similar to the one I made in a November Post, Epic Remnants.

embroidering a lotus on the plain block

I started with some cotton collegiate sport fabric (which caused my husband to question my allegiance. I hope another trip to genuflect before the bull gator in front of Ben Hill Griffin stadium is not on the agenda) for the backing. I wanted large blocks for the front, like my previous project, so most of them ended up 12″ square, except for a shorter row. It’s ok. It’s ok. I ended up with some pretty uneven cutting lines so a lot of it had to end up getting sheared off anyway. It’s not a standard size project. I chose a shade of yellow flannel from JoAnn’s and some Wilderness Tan flannel from fabric.com for the contrasting blocks. To embellish the plain yellow, I added a machine embroidery lotus motif, symbolizing peace as in “please go to sleep now so I can get some things done” and the baby’s name. I used a layer of Warm & Natural Needled cotton batting in between the top and backing. I love it; the fabric sort of adheres to this batting like static cling.

The difference between this project and Epic Remnants, is that I used a new free-motion foot this time.

left: spring-action foot, right: free-motion open-toed foot

The spring-action free motion foot has a spring on it and you don’t have to manually set the + and – on the machine settings to do free-motion sewing; the foot just bounces over the fabric. It made for a much less labor-intensive sewing session. Although I did find a cheap set of 8 Dritz Quilting finger grips to wear while machine-quilting. They are sticky plastic finger cots with grips on the finger pad side and holes for ventilation on the top, fingernail side, to keep your hands from getting sweaty with them on. All pinned together, I started machine quilting from the middle, rolling the side that would come in contact with the inside of the sewing machine.

Machine quilting with spring-action free motion foot

I used the stipple motif, which is just stitching around and moving the fabric sandwich here and there, pivoting and turning where you feel like it. It’s possible to find errors in this but I hope that cuteness will more than make up for them.

finished little free-mo quilt

I used extra-wide double-folded bias tape in goldenrod for the binding, and finished it with a hearty top-stitching. This blanket had a few more steps than the first one, but it wasn’t a gargantuan task like say, a Queen-size pieced quilt would be. Maybe I’ll tackle a bigger one some day…

Epic remnants and Free Motion Quilting

My DH pointed out to me yesterday, as he studied in Exodus 26:12, that specific uses for fabric remnants were given back in Moses’ time. Check out the King James version Online (and many variations.)

I had a little piece of yellow Daisy Lace fabric by Tina Givens Fairy Tip Toes for Westminster Fabrics, not quite 36 inches square.

Daisy Lace (Lorna Doones are Elizabeth's prescription for nausea)

I also had two coordinating Fairy Tip Toes prints, a Chocolate Cup Cake Medley and a Yellow Ribbon Fare. Plus, I found some plain yellow not-quite-quilting standard fabric, and serged together a patchwork top in 13″ squares. I used the Daisy Lace for the backing, and some Warm & Natural Needled Cotton batting (on sale at JoAnn’s).

Westminster Fabrics

I added some simple machine embroidery to the plain yellow blocks, in a dark plum color thread.

Machine embroidering motif on a plain block

I tried to embroider a name with my sewing machine’s Text Stitching function, but I couldn’t get it to do right through all the layers, so I picked it all out, then hand-embroidered it in the same needle hole-ridden spot.

Embroidery

The real reason for this madness was that I was dying to try free-motion quilting.

Currently, I subscribe to so many sites that send me creative prompts all the time. Knitting, crocheting, Artist Daily, quilting, Real Simple, Fabulous After Forty are a few of the emails I get every day! Lately I’ve actually paid some attention to the Art Quilting (or is it Quilting Arts?) ideas that filter across the ethernet to my inbox. “You can do it!” they assure me. “Don’t be afraid!” “Just put on some music, get comfortable, set your feed dogs on free motion, and go for it!”

Although I’ve always thought of myself as (gawsh, gee-whiz) artistic, I also have that left-brain push that wants me to go by the book, everything pigeonholed into the correct category and function, to make it work. That’s why I needed to see the instructions for free-motion quilting, even though what it amounts to is, you just do your own thing. You lower the feed dogs (my machine has a settings screen with check boxes and + or – numbers), attach a free-motion foot (mine is open-toed) and just move the fabric around while you put your foot on the pedal.
I tried it out and needed to adjust the plus or minuses, which govern how close the needle gets to the throat plate: you want to have enough room for the fabric to move around freely. The current issue of Quilting Arts has several articles on free-motion machine quilting. I decided to try the stipple motif, which turned out not exactly perfect. But you don’t have to be. Grabbing the rather heavy thickness of several layers of fabric and batting, and moving it around, can be a bit strenuous! I can see how Nancy Zieman’s grabaroos might be useful.

For the binding, I used double fold bias tape in a coordinating plum shade.

finished little quilt

It is small, maybe a good size to throw down on the floor and let the baby roll around on! Not exactly an epic project, like using a remnant to decorate the tabernacle in Moses’ time, but in my personal history, it is my very first attempt at free-motion machine quilting. I like it!

Franque23's Blog

Let's think about it!

Pretty Pursuit

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

D.I.Y-ing Machine

All you can do, by yourself.

Linda Andrews

Hope and Humor in Dark Times

Gerry's Family History

Sharing stories from my family history

In the Dash

Valarie Gravelle's family history and genealogy blog

Ashe Ancestors

Family history in Ashe County, North Carolina

FamilyFoundations

Family History and Genealogy

Rainne's Ramblings

Books, Crafts and Life...

Best DIY ideas

diy ideas for home decor, diy ideas for christmas gifts for parents and diy ideas for garden furniture

trish stitched

Handbag Designer, Blogger, Petite Apparel Maker

Southern Girl DIY

DIY - Crafts, Decor, Recipes,& Fashion

Chaotic Shapes

Art and Lifestyle by Brandon Knoll

Scribblers Arena

Trust Your Own Madness !

View through my window

A unique perspective on Spirituality, Philosophy and Love.

Laura’s Craft Closet

Your Favorite Place for Crafting and Card-Making Tips and Tutorials

Puerto Rico Newcomer, dedicated to improving PR, helps you live, vacation in Puerto Rico better

The most useful site if you live or vacation in Puerto Rico. Making your life easier in Puerto Rico whether as a visitor, on vacation, on holiday, or a resident

claytoonz

Nationally Syndicated Editorial Cartoonist

Quartz

Quartz is a digitally native news outlet for the new global economy.

Estonian Cuisine. Eesti Toit.

Estonian Food and Cuisine. Easy and Delicious.

Phoenix Wear LLC

Fun Stylish Clothing Just for Boys

Shaking The Branches

My Search For My Scots & Irish Ancestors

Rabbit Lane

Memoir of a Country Road (by Roger Baker)

The Wookiee Gunner

Providing news, reviews, and opinion pieces about the Star Wars animated shows

Swamp Ape Studios

Metal clay the swamp ape way

Katzenworld Shop

The purrfect shop for cat owners & cat lovers

It's a cats life !

the life of cats

How to Provide

for your family

PastToPresentGenealogy

Jane Roberts: Yorkshire-Based Professional Family History Researcher

Whitewater Musings

Life as a Farm Wife, Busy Mom, and Believer of Miracles

A Tree Grew in Oakland

Oakland County, Michgian

Piedmont Trails

Genealogy and History in North Carolina and Beyond

Adobe for Fashion & Footwear

Online tutorials and live face to face web tutorials using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign in the fashion and footwear industries

383 Degrees

383 Design Studio's Digital Fashion Design Blog

Synchronicity Of The Heart

"like amnesiacs in a ward on fire we must find words or burn" Olga Broumas

i-adobe

Solutions for ADOBE program questions

Visual Sketchpad by Queenie Lamb

Design with passion. Create with imagination. Express with Inspiration.

Muddling Through My Middle Age

Definitely older, possibly wiser....

Sketching :: Drawing from Observation

Painting to See :: Peindre pour voir

My Site

Just another WordPress.com site

The Treeographer

Every tree has a story

Snopes.com

thrifty creations

Fictionspawn Monsters

Illustrated Short Stories

%d bloggers like this: