Tag Archives: planned improv

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The thread featured in this post was given to me by Aurifil.

Way back in May I made this quilt top as part of the 2018 Pantone Quilt Challenge. This year's Pantone color is Ultra Violet. What a fabulous excuse to make a purple quilt! I opted for a version of my All About Angles.

It was so great to see what everyone did with Ultra Violet for the challenge, which was judged in three categories: Quilts, Mini Quilts, and Just the Top. I'm honored to have received the Judge's Second place prize in the Just the Top category of the challenge. But then my quilt top got set aside for other projects. I definitely need an external deadline to finish a project and once I decided that I wanted to finish this up to submit to PIQF I had a firm August 28 deadline.

My Aurifil Artisan package included monofilament thread, something I have never used and was excited to try. At some point I got it in my head that I wanted to do allover graffiti/improv free motion quilting for this quilt, but I wasn't excited about using a cotton thread in a color that would distract from the piecing in this quilt. With a variety of values including the black, I knew that no matter what thread color I chose, it would get lost in some sections of my quilt. At some point I decided that this would be a great opportunity to try out monofilament thread. I opted for the clear Aurifil Monofilament and did I little reading online and an informal IG survey for monofilament tips.

I feel like monofilament had gotten a stigma in my mind for being hard to work with. Mostly, it was a dream. I wound the first bobbin only halfway at slow speed. I quilted until I ran out of bobbin with no thread breaks and no trouble. Then I rewound the bobbin with... more thread. Not quite full, but way past halfway. I had many problems. These problems went away as soon as I wound a new bobbin no more than halfway.

So my quilting... first inspired by Karlee Porter's graffiti designs, I have a small tool box of motifs that I include in my FMQ mash-up. These include spirals, paisleys, arrows, buildings (that's what I consider the rows of rectangles), and leaves. You can see these dating back to my first graffiti quilted projects, the Schnitzel and Boo mini swap quilt and R's Pattern. Now if I'm doing some FMQ mash-up quilting I peruse the IG hastags #graffitiquilting#wildquilting#flowquilting, and #freemotionimprov and look for motifs in the mix that aren't in my repertoire. I like to practice on paper to develop a bit of muscle memory.

This go round I made short little sketches of interesting motifs that I wanted to work in. I pinned these up on my design wall to have a visual reminder. This helped when I felt I was being too repetitive. It allowed me to just look up and be reminded of what else I knew how to do. This technique really helped me and I prefer it over my past strategy of post-its on many pages of my FMQ inspiration books.

I knew I wanted a purple binding. I really wanted to make it scrappy with the purple solids in the quilt top, but due to time constraints I opted for Kona Bright Peri for the binding. I used one leftover unit from the quilt top to include a pieced section. I was glad to carry more of the colors into the binding as well as the same angular piecing seen in the quilt top. This section is on the lower right edge of the binding (shown sideways here).

I backed my quilt with a purple print from my stash and attached my label before quilting. Most, if not all, of my purple solids came from the Kona Lavender Fields bundle. It finished at approximately 33" x 33".

I'm so pleased to have my quilt completed, and finished in time to submit to the PIQF Quilt Competition in their wall quilts division. (It was a little too small to be submitted to the Modern Quilt Competition.) I also submitted Modern Batik Scrappy Squares in the Modern Competition. Notifications will be out by mid-September.

 

Tips for Using Monofilament Thread

  • To avoid trouble with spool unraveling, try a mesh sleeve or a thread stand.
  • If using monofilament in the bobbin, only fill the bobbin halfway (or less).
  • Aurifil recommends you hand wind your bobbin. If winding by machine, wind on slow speed.
  • Use a new size 90/14 needle.
  • Keep a piece of blue tape near your machine to stick the trimmed bits of monofilament to so they don't end up all over.

 

Looking for inspiration? A couple books I love for free motion quilting motifs are The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, Machine Quilting With Style, and 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs.

I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday and TGIFF.

 

This post contains affiliate links. Following these links will NOT affect the price you pay.

 

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I'm so pleased to be participating in the blog hop for Fandangle, Christa Watson's newest fabric line for Benartex. Fandangle is full of bright prints in fun, modern patterns. I was drawn to the cool color way of her designs.

After last month's Island Batik version of my Planned Improv: Scrappy Squares, I am excited to show a new variation on my technique. In my Planned Improv projects I have a general set of rules for creating the piece, and additional rules can give a twist to the design or provide continuity among different sections. Some of the rules I ended up following on this project include: the largest square is 12" finished, same general shape for each row, seven square along the top edge of each row (12" square in the middle), and rows off-centered from each other. I find that making a few adjustments to the design as I work can help add to the cohesive look of the overall piece.

My quilt top finished at about 41" x 54" So many of these fabrics are great blenders that would be a lovely addition to any stash.

GIVEAWAY (US addresses only)

For your chance to win a fat quarter bundle with a selection of 8 Fandangle fabrics, enter with Rafflecopter below by leaving a comment on my blog. Get a second entry by being a newsletter subscriber. Not a newsletter subscriber yet? Subscribe here, click to confirm your subscription in the email that comes to you. At the end of the giveaway I will email the randomly selected winner and they will have 48 hours to reply with their (US) shipping address or I will select a new winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for visiting! Be sure to check out the other stops on the hop!

Tuesday
Heather from Quilta-chusetts; IG: @quiltachusetts
Sarah from Sarah Goer Quilts; IG: @sarahmgoer
Nancy from Masterpiece Quilting; IG: @masterpiecequilting

Wednesday
Sue from Sue O'Very Designs; IG: @sueoverydesigns
Sylvia from Flying Parrot Quilts; IG: @flyingparrotquilts

Thursday
Annie from By Annie; IG: @PatternsByAnnie
Brenda from Spool and Bobbin Quilting

Friday
Tina: @sashikostyle
Paige from Quilted Blooms; IG: @quiltedblooms

For more Fandangle fun:
Click here to see the entire Fandangle collection.
Click here to visit Christa's website. Find her on IG here.
Click here to read the interview with Christa.

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The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, including Aurifil thread.

This month's Island Batik challenge was to go modern. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to play with my Planned Improv: Scrappy Squares technique in a larger scale.

I settled on a scrappy palette of pink, purple, navy, and turquoise, using the light Lilac fabric for my background. The Lilac was a limiting factor as I had only half a yard. (I ended up with about 8" x 10" of Lilac leftover.) Here are some of my feature fabrics:

The Planned Improv: Scrappy Squares technique revolves around starting with squares and designing the layout before cutting background pieces.

It's a bit of a puzzle. This one was more complicated than normal and I painted myself into a bit of a corner. No worries! I was able to finish piecing it with a series of partial seams.

This was my final seam of the quilt top -- the little partial seam right in the middle!

Once it was all together I had to contemplate quilting motifs. I chose Aurifil 50wt Light Lilac (#2510) for the background and Berrylicious Variegated (#4647) for the squares.

First I did some walking foot quilting to stitch in the ditch quilting in Light Lilac along the perimeter of the sections of squares.

Then I did a jagged stipple in Light Lilac all over the background. Finally, I finished up by quilting Berrylicious spirals throughout the square sections. The hot pink, turquoise, and white was the perfect companion to my palette! I chose a curvy motif to contrast the jagged quilting in the background.

I finished the quilt with a faced binding. I love how the squares and the quilting float all the way to the edge of the quilt.

The quilt finished at approximately 40" x 40". The batting is Quilter's Dream Cotton Select.

 

Thank you for visiting to see my Island Batik Modern Batik baby quilt!

Check out some of the other modern creations this month by Island Batik Ambassadors:

Myra at Busy Hands Quilts

Connie at Freemotion by the River

Tina at Quilting Affection Designs

Steph at Steph Jacobson

Bea at BeaQuilter

Anne at Sweetgrass Designs

Alison at Little Bunny Designs

Sherry at Powered by Quilting

Vicky at Vicky's Crafts and Quilting

 

I'm linking up to TGIFF and Needle and Thread Thursday.

I've also linked up to 2018 Q2 Finish Along linkup. See my whole Q2 list.