A Quilting Class and Two Doll Quilts

A couple Saturdays past, my local guild offered a workshop on Free Motion Quilting on a domestic machine with Christina Cameli. She would talk about strategies and designs and we would go do a couple rows trying them, then we’d repeat instruction/sewing for several rounds.  It wasn’t long before it occurred to me that I could turn a practice sampler into a doll quilt. The size was right.

doll quilt sampler

17 x 20

Down to the ribbon-candy row comes from the class. We had marked straight lines; at the bottom I didn’t bother. I can see I should bother. I also think ribbon candy would work out better if I drew in the middle line. Next time. The doll won’t care. I can’t decide if I like the square spirals in varying sizes or if I’d rather make them equal. I don’t love the three and four circles in the larger circle row, but after I did the large circles, they seemed too empty. I do like the pebbles above, both in the lines and in open space. And the long meander works up really fast. The circles-in-the-triangles row happened because we had just done a zig zag to test tension and then Christina showed us beads on a string.  I decided they didn’t need a separate row. I rather like it and may use it on another quilt someday.

I showed the quilted piece to a friend and mentioned the doll-quilt destination; she volunteered the “perfect” fabric.  Not that I don’t have fabric, but those big dots do fit well with the circle motifs. Too bad I didn’t have the end in mind at the beginning; I’d have used white thread for the workshop; it would have contrasted as well as the black.

I will be making more doll quilts this way–much better than a practice piece with no destination.

Our class prep had suggested four quilt sandwiches, and some of the more speedy quilters used all four; I did half of only one. I always knew I was a slow quilter, so this was no big surprise. But I was left with pieced batting in the size for doll quilts as well as class sandwiches. And I had a block ready to be made into a doll quilt.  (Some of you have seen the block before, here before the border was decided.) So more practice.

Here is a tip for quilting on pieced batting:

pinning tip

Note orange among purple

Luckily i had two colors of PinMoors so I put orange along the stitched batting line. (Ignore the orange flower pin; only the PinMoors are markers.) Even though I’d stitched the two pieces of batting together, I wanted the extra security of quilting over them. With marking the line, I was always reminded to quilt carefully when I came to it. I’ve also marked with a double line of pins when I didn’t have the two color option. And I have yet to try the tape for piecing batting–that is on my list next time I shop.

The floral print suggested small flowers in the quilting.

Flower meander

Flower meander

Christina had suggested various motifs to insert into a meander, and that seemed good for this quilt, flowers and leaves. I started with a flower to hide the beginning, and because it was tiny I slipped into small meandering. Since it was only 18 x 18 I continued small; however, I’ll be careful on a larger quilt to move right into a larger meander!

Here is the finish:


18 x 18

The binding is another story.  In the past I hadn’t paid much attention to fabric weave or thickness when looking for the right color solid, so this piece from my stash was a gaberdine. Well, my sewing machine balked at the multiple layers at the corners and the join. Maybe a denim needle would have helped. But it was easier to just stitch those few places by hand this time. Nowadays I am glad it is easier to find the right color in quilt weight fabrics!

Linking with  TGIFF and Finish it Up Friday. Tuesday I’ll link with FreeMotion by the River. And today (2/14/16 )with Free Motion Mavericks and Le Challenge where “roundness” is the theme and there is plenty of roundness in the quilting on the first piece (buttons in sidebar).






Filed under quilting

13 responses to “A Quilting Class and Two Doll Quilts

  1. Great way to use those practice pieces of quilting samples! I’ll have to remember that. =)

  2. dezertsuz

    I think your quilting in the first one, the practices, is great. It looks very artsy doing those rows. I also like the way the second one worked out. Good finishes and two more done!

  3. What a nice workshop to be able to attend! A lot of good ideas. Including using for a gift doll quilt rather than just putting it away! : )

  4. That’s one workshop I would attend. I’m keen to learn FMQ, rather than hand quilting any design I can’t achieve with the walking foot. For a practice piece I think it’s pretty darn fine, and I don’t think the dolls will be criticising them either!

  5. The practices looks great! Well done! Doll quilts are perfect size to practice on.

  6. Are you a big fan of the pinmoors? I have several hundred safety pins from basting that way for years. Are pinmoors better? If so, how?

    • I do like them. The flower pin makes a smaller hole in the fabric than any safety pins I’ve tried, and that is good for wall quilts that may not be washed. They take as long as safety pine to apply, but are easier to remove. One negative is that I’ve had some pop off while maneuvering the quilt, especially larger quilts. Still not sure if it was the PinMoor’s fault or if I didn’t get it stuck on firmly enough to start with.

      Leah Day advises bending the flower pin to make it easier to insert, just a slight pinch. I haven’t done that, partly because I don’t tape my back down when I pin baste. If I taped, I might see the need for bending.

      Luckily I heard of them about the time I needed to buy more safety pins so now I have a collection of both.

      https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/ http://www.knitnkwilt.com

      On Sat, Jan 30, 2016 at 7:48 AM, knitNkwilt wrote:


  7. Very cute quilt. And practice with a destination, warms my practical heart!

  8. Such a great use for your free motion quilting practice.

  9. I love that your practice turned into practical! I need to practice/learn FMQ, so I should make some doll quilts, too. 8)

  10. emmajones1972

    Nice FMQ. This is on my “To Do” list!

  11. Not only won’t ANY doll notice anything out of the ordinary in your fmq-ing: there is NO quilt police. Just remind yourself every once in a while. (A sip of wine may help too if you like it …

  12. Hello Claire,

    I really love your FMQ sampler quilt. Every time I look at I see it as a cross-section diagram of layers of rock – not what you intended, but it intrigues me.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv

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