2018 Finishes

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Six Dark Background Blocks Quilted!

I've quilted the six dark background blocks in my hexagon BOM! There was the snowflake which I chose to use a metallic thread and play on the snowflake idea.

Next up was the bee hive block. Because each of us were given two free standing embroidered bees, I planned to have a "bee line" for each. The background is quilted in three different patterns of swirls.

I was feeling like I was on a roll! Then came the anchor! I wanted to quilt a rope around it. I also thought about quilting water in front of it. But, that black background had me stumped. I also didn't have a rope design that fit the anchor. So, sketching was in order. 

Truth be told, my drawing abilities are close to nil. But, I started with a curve I liked, added a second line equal distant from the first line and then filled in with slanted lines to create the rope.

I actually liked what I drew! Next, I traced the rope on another piece of paper; cut it out and traced/drew it on my block. Next up was quilting it. 

When I outlined the rope in a light grey, it was too transparent. I didn't photograph it so I can't share it with you. Next, I tried to fill it in with a dark gray thread. 

It still looked too transparent so I stitched it with silver metallic thread! 
Usually, I cringe at working with metallic thread because it shreds. This worked well. The only shredding issues I had was when I was stitching on top of several layers of metallic thread. It played nice with my machine!

Starting the process, I knew I would lose the segments, so I thought that if I stitched one segment horizontally and the next segment vertically, I'd retain the rope look. Nope. . .I was surprised at how the metallic thread which is a Glide product, didn't show the directional stitching.

So, I outlined those segments in black which looks great. I decided stitching a wave design on black was going to be too challenging so I filled in the background with pebbles.

I had fun stitching the rocket. These are the threads I used to stitch this block! I stitched the fireworks with the sulky metallic sliver thread and again, my machine stitched it like it was cotton. I've had these threads for years; but my previous machines were much pickier with metallic threads! 

To figure out the fireworks, I looked online at some line drawings and then drew a few to see which ones I thought would translate best in thread. It was fun picking the threads and even more fun to see the results!

I also had to add a little more flame/exhaust to the rocket! For the background, I meandered so that the fireworks would come forward a bit.

For the tree, I decided to go for a more traditional kind of background and I used straight lines stitched a quarter inch apart. Some lines are horizontal, some are vertical and some lines are diagonal. I used silk thread.

Last, I stitched the pumpkin. Again, I decided to go for a more traditional kind of background. I repeated the straight lines; but, varied the distance at three eighths of an inch and only used diagonal lines also stitched with silk thread.

The last two blocks gave me a chance to practice some more with the ruler. I have found that if I rest the ruler to the right side of my foot, it bumps up against where the foot attaches to the machine. This is a secure spot and works well. I did have to adjust my quilting though because it limits the direction that I can quilt!

Next up is quilting the sashing. I'd like to do something Judi Madsen or Angela Walters like. I did a little sketching.

I thought that I'd get a lot of great ruler practice. Turns out, I can't go in the direction that I need to go and my chalk marking doesn't last long enough! 

I'll have to think some more! Do you have a solution or two?


  1. I love how you are customizing the quilting in each block! And how you are completely following your muse! When straight lines are short, I often just free-hand them. With a little practice, you can get some pretty straight lines and your eye will tend to straighten out any baubles. Angela Walters free-hands a lot of her short straight lines.

    1. Nancy, I sometimes free hand lines. My future goal is to be able to work with a ruler and thought this would be a good practice project. So far, I'm learning what NOT to do. I wonder how much "learning" I get to to before I get a ruler technique worked out!--Terry

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Luann! So great to hear from you!--Terry

  3. Wow, Terry you are really going all out on this one. It looks fantastic! That rope is a great idea. And, did you use a ruler on the first star? Very neat!

    1. Hi Monica and THANKS!! I drew lines and quilted on the lines. . .then once I figured out the pattern, I just eyeballed where I was going. . .although, I did get a little mixed up and got to do some reserve sewing. It would have been smarter to mark all the lines so I didn't "get creative!" --Terry

  4. I love your quilting on this piece.

  5. Replies
    1. Diane, Thank you! It has been a process which I wish I could do faster!!!!--Terry

  6. You seem to be having fun and are doing a wonderful job on this. Lovely! :D

    1. BJ--It has been fun at times. . .I just need to keep moving forward!--Terry


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