Saturday, April 7, 2018

Machine quilting on a small machine... improv style

I love to do piece work, but I also love to machine quilt. "N" is for Needles!
 Seeing the thread create texture is exciting!
This week I zoned out and let my inner child choose patterns to quilt in my woodland quilt. There is a video of how I began the process at the end of this post.

I made a backing of scraps, and there was no real need to pin baste, so I started with the walking foot.
 After it was all evenly quilted I wanted to make sure it was very flat and at right angles before binding. I laid it on the cutting mat grids, and spritzed it with water, patted it into place gently...
making sure it really was even by using the ruler...
and left it to rest, dry, while Milo and I took a walk
It was dry, flat and I only needed to trim away excess batting and backing before binding. I do love sewing the binding to the back of a quilt, so I am doing that tonight while watching tv. Both quilts have binding on, and only need the hand work to finish them. 
this is how the binding will look
I am considering adding in these laser cut owls... what do you think? They take attention away from the abstract background but I kind of like the whimsy... I think I'll add them on after it's all done.
After doing all the walking foot quilting, which makes using specialty threads easier for some reason, and is very fast, fun and easy to do, I went in to quilt details with free motion. Willy nilly decisions. 
Go with my whims. I repeated the leaves wherever I could...
if you enlarge the binding photo you'll see other places I put vines and leaves. I did spirals, and cross hatching, and in general filled in all the spots with free motion.

The ocean quilt was done the same way, first walking foot quilting as much as I wanted, then free motion around motifs.
Here it is all quilted with the binding sewn on ready to pull to the back and hand stitch. It's tough to show you quilting details because the prints hide it, except in a few places...
Howdy 'gators! what is this drink called???
Much more quilting eventually filled in around each motif  
again, lots of free motion work was done later to fill in around these quilted motifs
Now and then I used a programmed stitch to follow a curve. 
and that spiral stitch is my very favorite stitch. I tried to mix rayon thread in neon colors, with metallic madeira in bright greens purple and pinks as shown on the (previous post. )

Oh my, it felt great to be working again. I squeezed it in amidst frantic house hunting as our rental has been snatched out from under us. I'd call this medicinal sewing. Better than antidepressants.

Milo often stood beside me looking out the window by my machine. My latest book on disc (lost lake) played keeping my mind busy while my hands remembered how to guide tiny feathers and leaves. 
I found myself enjoying my basket of cutting tools. Mary Englebriet fabric, painted red cutlery basket, beads, and palm trees meant to hang on a curtain... all hold necessary sharp tools.

I'm currently working on the little tryptich which is bordered in a delicious turquoise Ginny Beyer print scrap, and getting lots of free motion work now.
 As I moved it around to work on it, I found myself turning it on end to display instead of the horizontal orientation I used the whole time I built it!

 I had a poster in the old house that said "Get out of the way and the art will make itself" 


Now for your zen moment of the day. My husband tried to video how I do improv quilting with my walking foot, the echo quilting with curvy lines. I have a knee lift but because my injury gets as inflamed as my hands are in the video, I just lift the presser foot by hand to turn.

It's hard to see the stitching  unless you go full screen and you  may need to go to youtube to go full screen. Hey! We ain't professional movie makers here! (if you hover over the youtube screen, an icon at the bottom right will make it full screen)
Showcased on 
linking to
Esther's blog Wednesdays  

Let's be social Wednesdays  

Midweek makers   wednesdays  
design wall Mondays  at  smallquiltsanddollquilts

 scrap happy Saturdays

sewcanshe Saturdays 


  1. Neat video, LeeAnna:))) I love your green piece--so Springlike--just the shot of
    warmth we need back here in the frigid feels like Feb. here..not even a daffodil as yet...Where O Where is Spring?
    Glad to see you working again....
    Hope your house hunting goes well...hugs, Julierose

  2. The green piece is my favorite, but the whimsical fabrics in the ocean one just make me smile. I hope you find a house quickly.

  3. Great creative work LeeAnna! Lazer cut owls! Go for it!

  4. Truly incredible. Love the free stitching.

  5. I like the idea of art making itself. I love how these look, especially with the quilting.

  6. I have never done quilting, so a lot of your terms go over my head, but I sure like your results! I especially liked the spiral stitch on the whale - so cool! I am not sure if it was your idea or your hubby's to do the video - an inspired idea since it helps me (a non-sewer/quilter) get the picture! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  7. Gorgeous. Love how freeing your design is, I will say looking at them make your soul soar.

  8. The spiral stitches on your whale are perfect! I really like the ocean quilt but the woodland one is my favorite. I'm glad you are zoning out on creativity!

  9. I love when you let your inner child play! 8)

  10. Both the green piece and the ocean piece are so fun to look at and see how you created them! They are beautiful!

  11. I love the green and teal stripes, they feel very organic!

  12. OMGoodness! This is fantastic! I loved watching you quilt. The owls add just the right touch.

  13. I love that 'stand aside and art will make it's self', you have followed that mantra well. These are ALL fabulous.

  14. ow wow... they are beautiful. I love quilts, have a couple of them, handmade by a lady who has passed away, so a very precious inheritance which I cherisch.

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)

  15. oh my!!
    your piece is amazing and so are your other examples!
    very talented!

    thanks so much for linking up!

  16. Yes, yes, yes to the owls! They really add a nice bit of interest. And I love the close ups of the ocean quilt, with some of the fabrics blending to make funny characters.

  17. Your quilts are vibrant with color and joy. Inviting, too. I almost want to learn how to do it. That's pretty close to commitment for me. :-)
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

  18. This is way above my skills level, but I love all the details you add to your quilts.
    Thank you for joining The Really Crafty Link Party this week. Pinned.

  19. I love how you work in decorative stitches here and there without getting carried away with them. And I like seeing your workspace and your machine! Do you have stickers on it? I need to bling my machine, too. I just found out there are tattoo stickers for sewing machines!!! :-)

  20. I love that 'stand aside and art will make it's self', you have followed that mantra well. These are ALL fabulous.


  21. Absolutely gorgeous and creative work here, Lee Anne:)
    Thank you for writing me. As a matter of fact, it took me a while to determine whether you were "inside" or "outside the rules" - so no harm done.

    Hope I can explain it clear enough, so you understand. The post from last week fell "outside" the boundaries, because you linked to many other blogs, and it looked like, you were the owner of a meme, even you never stated that.
    Now, this week looks"inside" the boundaries, since it looks like you are linking to other memes (is okay), but there is not a community (meme) of blogs linking up to your post perse, because you have invited them?

    When you invite others to join you, that is a meme or a blog party, or blog hop. And when you use the same post for All Seasons, and using the same photos for inviting the others, that is technically "advertising."

    I understand now that that was probably not your motive. But if you do a post again like last week, please, make a separate post with a photo (or more - it does not matter - for All Seasons).
    This looks kind of in-between, so go ahead, you can still link this week, because the link is open till Wednesday 7pm, California time. Hope to see you there!

  22. your piece is amazing and so are your other examples!


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