Modern Love Mini Quilt Along #3

This weekend I finished my Love table runner. Today I will show you how to applique and quilt it all at the same time! Scroll to the end of this post for links to the previous tutorials.

If you have followed along so far you will have a top that may look something like this:

Lover RunnerThe letters were traced and applied to the background fabric with  Steam-A-Seam 2, my favorite type of fusible web. Now it is time to applique them down.

Step 1 – Baste your Quilt

You can use safety pins, or my favorite basting tools – straight pins and pinmoors. I chose a scrap of thin cotton batting (Warm-N-Natural) because it lies very flat which is what I want.

Pin Basting

Step 2 – Choose Your Thread and Decorative Stitch and Practice First

Open Toe FootI use an open toe foot with a wide needle plate. The open toe allows me to see my work so that I can be more precise.

I prefer to use silk thread in a color matching my fabrics for the applique. It is so thin that it nearly disappears into the fabric. A lightweight cotton works well, too. If you don’t have a thread color that’s an exact match, go with a darker thread color rather than a lighter color.

I like to use a buttonhole or blanket stitch rather than a thready satin stitch because it’s much lighter on the quilt and more forgiving to stitch out.

Practice Stitches

Practice with a few decorative stitches on scrap fabric until you find one you like. You can use a regular straight stitch, too, sewn closely to the edge of your fabric pieces. You need to learn the “rhythm” of your stitch so you can anticipate where the needle will next pierce your fabric. Sew slowly and “count” how many movements it takes to complete the decorative stitch.

Step 3 – Appli-quilt Your Letters

Since you will be stitching through all the layers of your quilt, you don’t need a stabilizer. I suggest using the same thread color in the bobbin as well as the top to hide any less-than-perfect stitching or tension issues.

Stitch the Letters

Start in the middle of your letter and bring the bobbin thread up to the top. Take a few small straight stitches to lock your threads. Then switch to the decorative stitch on your machine. You may need to scoot your quilt over so the needle position lines up correctly.

Pivot

Anticipate where your needle will pierce the fabric on each movement of the stitch. Turn the top slowly and smoothly as needed so as to avoid stitching outside the letters into the background. If you have the “needle down” function on your machine, use it. Always stop with your needle down before turning your quilt. Pivot when needed.

Inside Angle

When you have an inside turn, try to land your stitch right in the middle. Don’t be afraid to pivot every stitch or two when needed to completely outline the letters.

Finished Letter

When you reach the beginning, change back to a straight stitch and end with a few small locking stitches. Clip your threads close. When you get to the ‘O’ stitch the inside first.

Finish stitching all of the letters the same way.

Step 4 – Finish Quilting Your Quilt

Now you can have fun quilting the rest of your quilt however you like. I like a lot of quilting, and the background fabric can give you a chance to add a lot of texture.

Quilting Detail

I stitched in the ditch with a thin matching polyester thread, quilted paisleys in the backgrounds with high-sheen polyester in cream, added a fun heart loop motif in the border with high-sheen heavy polyester and quilted the straight brown accent lines in cotton. I use whatever thread I have that will match best!

Step 5 – Bind Your Quilt and Check off Another UFO!!

Using your favorite method, bind your quilt and finish stitching either by hand or machine. Megan from Canoe Ridge Creations has recently put up a wonderful double-fold binding tutorial here on her blog.

My table runner measures 12″ x 30″. I am pleased to add  a little more LOVE to my home!

Love Table Runner

For my fabrics I “borrowed” a few strips of BasicGrey’s Kissing Booth from a jelly roll I have set aside to begin my next quilt-along (starting in 2 weeks). I cut the letters from a fat quarter of Pearl Bracelets in watermelon. The binding and backgrounds were from my stash.

Here is the complete mini-quilt along schedule. Click the links to go to each section.

Please join my ChristasQuiltAlong flickr group to share pictures of your work-in-progress.

If you make any of the other arrangements below, or even a pillow or larger quilt, I’d LOVE to see it! Or if you are inspired to go in a different direction I’d love to see that, too. 🙂

Love Wall QuiltLove Squared
The vertical love wall banner uses the exact same directions as the table runner except that the letters are arranged vertically instead of horizontally. The love block would make a great wall-hanging, pillow, or center of a larger quilt.

Christa’s Quilt Along 1.5 – Machine Quilting

This week’s post is the one I’ve been waiting for. I think machine quilting is the best part of making a quilt, so I couldn’t wait to get my Vintage Modern jelly roll quilt top finished and basted so I could start the fun! I quilted it using a serpentine stitch with my walking foot.

Machine Quilting 2" ApartBefore I started quilting, I tried out a few of my machine’s decorative stitches to see how they would look.  All of these can be done using a walking foot with the feed dogs engaged.

Stitch SamplesI used a 40 weight high-sheen polyester thread with a size 90 needle and used the same thread for both the top and bobbin.

This gives better results than using different colored threads.

Step 1 – Decorative Ditch Quilting

Quilting 4" ApartBe sure your needle plate has a wide enough opening to accommodate your decorative stitch and test it out first so you avoid broken needles.

Quilt along the seam lines in one direction in between your blocks, about 4 inches apart. The first pass took me 30 minutes.

This will secure the quilt and you can remove the pins as you go.

Next, make second pass in between each line of quilting. Now your quilting is about 2 inches apart and the quilt is starting to get some texture! I quilted parallel lines across the quilt. I did not mark any of these lines – I just used the seams as a guide and eyeballed it across the fabric where there was no seam to guide me. This is both liberating and fun!

Quilting Parallel Wavy LinesThis second pass took another 30 minutes so I’m just at 1 hour total quilting time. Not bad! At this point, this is enough quilting to hold your quilt together. However, I want more…

Step 2 – Adding More Quilting

Quilting 1 Inch ApartMy motto is that you can never add too much quilting to a quilt!

So I added another line of quilting in between each of the rows above. This was my 3rd pass and now the quilting lines are about 1 inch apart.

This took only another 30 minutes and I can’t believe how fast this is going!

There is still enough room to add another row of quilting and do a fourth pass, so I decided, what the heck?

The fourth pass took 1 1/2 hours because I had now doubled the amount of quilting on the quilt, but I loved every minute of it!

Half Inch Quilting Lines

I ended up with quilting lines about 1/2 inch apart over the surface of the quilt. Total quilting time was 3 hours and I used up a full 500 yard spool of Superior Highlights thread.

Textured QuiltingSuperior Threads Tri-Lobal Polyster

I love all the texture on the back!

Pieced Backing with Quilting

So next week, we will finish our quilts, can you believe it? We will trim them up and bind to finish. I really can’t wait to see how everyone’s quilting turns out. Be sure to email me pictures of your progress, no matter where you are,  so I can share with everyone else.


Here is the complete Jolly Jelly Roll Quilt-Along Schedule:

Week 1 – Supply ListJolly Jelly Roll Quilt

Week 2 – Sewing the Blocks

Week 3 – Completing the Top

Week 4 – Backing and Basting

Week 5 – Machine Quilting

Week 6 – Machine Binding to Finish