Friday, December 9, 2011

Well, You Asked!

Doris R. left a comment, asking about the Santa pattern. Doris, it's by a company called the Wooden Bear and it's a line called Little Quilts Squared. Click HERE to see their little quilts.

I've finished the applique--except for the wool mistletoe and moustache, and I'll sew those down with the machine when I quilt it. I think it's going to be very cute! I won't be giving away this pattern just yet because I want to make a couple of these little wallhangings. I also have the snowman pattern from the same company, and I'd like to make that one too! You can see it on the right side of the photo above.

Okay, are you ready for a little quilting? This is that swirly circular stitch I like to use, particularly on my winter quilts. First I make sure I've outline stitched the areas around where I'm going to be quilting--unless it's a really large area, and then I'll just start in the center and work my way out.

Next . . . . Well, I usually don't draw the pattern for this, but I will do it for you this time, so you can see how it's done. See that light pencil mark where I've drawn a spiral from the outside to the center?

You can practice this by doodling on paper first. And then draw a few spirals on a scrap quilt "sandwich" to test it out on the machine (free motion setting). But you'll start by making a spiral, stitching from outside the circle toward the center, making a couple "coils."

You'll want to leave twice the space you think you want between the coils, because once you reach the center, you'll loop around and spiral back out, stitching between the lines.

It's a little hard to see here, but that spiral closest to you is the first one I made. Then I sewed down the already stitched line about a 1/4" behind it to begin another spiral (or, in this case, a half spiral since the border cuts through what would have been a full circle).

After that, I continued on, adding more and more spirals.

I like to keep going, but sometimes I'll spiral my way into a corner and have to stop and start again. And sometimes I have to go back and do a little filling in where a spiral wasn't quite big enough to fill the space but there isn't enough space left to add another spiral. When that happens, I just add more lines to the closest and smallest spirals.

You don't have to keep your stitch lines precise but try to make sure most of them are roughly the same distance apart. I also like to vary the size of my spirals by adding more or fewer coils--but still keeping the stitch lines about the same width apart.

You can see, though, that they're not all perfect, and that's okay--it looks just fine when it's done. Also make sure the spirals are going in different directions so they don't all look the same. When I have to stop and start, I usually reverse the direction of my spirals for a little bit.

Easy, right? I hope you'll give it a try!


Fiesta said...

Beautiful Kim.

KristyLou said...

Wow, thanks for that! First, I need a darning foot :)

tpott said...

You do such beautiful work. Are you quilting on a DSM, it looks like a long arm, I've never heard you mention having one? If you're using a DSM how do you balance a large quilt? I wish I were as prolific a quilter as you. You've made so many lovely creations. ;-> Toni Anne

Marla said...

I did this method a few months ago on a large quilt on my long arm and it turned out great thanks to you demonstrating it on your blog one time. Love to learn new techniques! Have a great day!

Sandie ~call me crazy said...

Very cute! I love to do this on snowman patterns and winter things too. I love your Santa!~ thanks for the link. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kim, for the info! Those small quilts are just too cute! I think a few will have to come home to live with me. Also, thanks for demonstrating your quilting method. The tip about outline stitching before doing the decorative patterns was great. I am going to practice this weekend!

Doris R.

Gran - Knot-y Embroidery Lady said...

Nice read and pictures.

PamW said...

Kim, Thank you so much for the little Santa quilt (I'm the Pam from our Thimbleberries club). He is adorable and I LOVE it. My DH and I have been admiring it ever since I brought it home. It has gotten me in the holiday spirit.
Also, thank you so much for this tutorial on quilting the spirils. I'll need to try that on my next quilt.
Pam in Sacramento

PamW said...

Um, that would be "spirals", not "spirils"...sheesh! I hate it when my fingers work faster than my brain. :-)
Pam in Sacramento