Skillbuilder BOM – January Blocks Quilted

I am excited to share a WIP/block finish with you today! I am participating in Pile O’Fabric’s Skillbuilder Block of the Month series where we sew and quilt two blocks a month using quilt-as-you go techniques. I’ve never made a quilt like this before, and it’s “sew” fun!

Here are my finished blocks from January, called Magnum and Sound Wave. Click each picture to enlarge so that you can see closeups of the quilting detail.

Magnum, Quilted

Soundwave, Quilted

I chose fat quarters of Kona Cotton Solids in shades of red, orange and yellow, with a complement of turquoise thrown in, just for fun. I used cotton threads (Aurifil and Superior) to match all the colors of the fabrics with thin grey polyester thread for the background.

Colorful Thread

I stitched in the ditch through all of the seams first to stabilize them, then filled in each color with a fun design, changing thread colors as I went. I used a quarter to mark the circles.


Add a Quarter

Here are the backs of the blocks. I love how the thread colors stand out!

Soundwave BackMagnum Back

Now I’m off to catch up on February’s Blocks!

Favorite Tools #10 – Machingers Quilting Gloves

Machingers Quilt GlovesProbably one of the most important tools I own that has improved my quilting is Machingers Quilting Gloves.

I first heard about them when I took a series of quilting lectures from Joanie Poole. She highly recommended them so I bought a pair, but then I quickly shoved them in a drawer and soon forgot all about them.

About a year later I discovered the Free Motion Quilting Project and they were again recommended by Leah Day. So I bought another pair and this time I finally used them!

The reason they work so well is that they give your hands some extra grip while quilting.

The hardest thing to deal with when quilting is the drag on the quilt. I have drop-in table and also use a Free-Motion Slider whenever doing FMQ (free-motion quilting). However, the quilt gloves give that little bit of extra friction that is needed while pushing and shoving my quilt around underneath the needle.

And yes, I highly recommend the push & shove, pull & scrunch method of quilting –  no quilt clips for me! Machingers work wonders when doing lots of intricate free-motion work like on my Busy Hands quilt below. I sure kept my gloved hands busy when quilting this quilt!

Busy Hands Quilt

I use the gloves even when I am stitching in the ditch with a walking foot, or quilting straight lines, like on  my Charming Chevrons quilt below.

Machingers Stitch in the Ditch

The tips of the gloves do seem to yellow and get dirty after a lot of use, but they are safe to throw in the washing machine and I’ve washed mine several times. Sometimes I feel a little bit like a white glove lady or like I’m all dressed up for a party with my fancy gloves, but I have found that they make all the difference in the world when quilting.