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Thread: Quilting Plans

  1. #1
    Senior Member SlightlyOffQuilter's Avatar
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    Quilting Plans

    We have all been there. In that moment when the quilt is ready to be quilted, and you have NO clue HOW you want to quilt it. Have you been there ? I know I have ! Sometimes, you get a pattern that gives you suggestions on how to quilt a particular design. Other times, you are left to your own devices.

    So we all know the million and one ways there are to actually mark your design onto your actual quilt top. The trouble with that is, you have to know WHAT design you want to mark first !This is my way of figuring out how I may want to quilt a particular block. I know some people will pull out the graph paper, or blank paper and sketch it out, and I have done that in the past myself. The trouble I always had with that though, is scale. If my quilt block is a 16 inch block, and my paper is only 8 inches across, no matter how much I try, the scale is never going to look right. So I came up with a solution !

    Shower Paneling !

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    Did you know that you can get an 8foot by 4 foot piece of basic white shower / bathroom paneling at the hardware store for under $15 ? Did you know that this same very inexpensive paneling also works just like a white board ? Thats right ladies and gentleman, you can use your dry erase markers all over that bad boy ! So this is what I did !

    We had bought a sheet of this paneling when we moved into the new apartment to lay on the top of my sewing machine table ( it works fantastic by the way, nice and slippery ! ). So after cutting the piece for the table, we still had some left over. This is one of those pieces ! So.. this is what I do.

    First I draw out my quilt block EXACTLY the same size as my actual block ! ( In this example 15 inches )

    On the left is my correctly scaled sketch. To the right is my actual quilt block ( that has already been quilted, but just ignore that for now ) . So now I have a visual that is the correct size, and I can go about playing with my dry erase markers to see what I like !

    This is actually one of the designs that I used on my current project. It also happens to be the way that I learned how to do feathers that actually LOOK good. There will be a more in depth post about that soon. It is going to blow your mind ! So if you get a chance, try planning out your designs in a way that you can have an exact scale to work with. I think you will find that it makes designing your quilting alot easier and alot more fun !
    If you ever see a quilt without any flaws, rest assured that I did not make it ! http://slightlyoffquilter.com

  2. #2
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    Thanks, FMQ is something I want to improve on and this is a great idea. Not sure if the shower panelling is available here and if it is it will be way more than $15 lol.

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    Terrific tip! That is a great way to try out different designs before marking. Can you see through the shower panel? So you could put a block under it and trace it? Or do you have to be able to draw your block? Since I do so much applique that might make a difference in how well this would work... But I bet I could figure out some way to get that block on there
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Great idea!
    Also, how did you fasten the panel to your tabletop? Did you use the adhesive that you would use to fix it to a wall? Something else? I'm looking for ideas for the table I want to build to inset my machine into that will have a slick surface.

  5. #5
    Super Member Gannyrosie's Avatar
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    Love your tip, thanks for giving us this great idea.

  6. #6
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    isn't that clever... thank you for sharing your wonderful tip...

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    thanks for taking the time to make the tut
    Nancy in western NY
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  8. #8
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    Great idea!!!!

  9. #9
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    Great idea! Thanks for the tip!

  10. #10
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    Thanks Slightly off! Super idea. Cannyquilter - would heavy clear vinyl work for you?
    "Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver." Barbara De Angelis

  11. #11
    Senior Member SlightlyOffQuilter's Avatar
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    this is not the clear shower door stuff. This is plain white paneling, like you would put on the wall in the bathroom or shower stall. It basically looks like a really big white board for using dry erase markers on. When I made my table, I used an old Kitchen table and used the foam board insulation to build up around my machine, then put a piece of this paneling on the top to make it slick !
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    If you ever see a quilt without any flaws, rest assured that I did not make it ! http://slightlyoffquilter.com

  12. #12
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    Thank you for sharing this I just might give it a try! Looking forward to seeing what else you have come up with.

  13. #13
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    I suggest that you use the clear vinyl that is sold by the yard (at Joannes maybe even walmart) it is used to cover chairs or bar stools to protect the fabric from spills. ( I remember when I was a child, a neighbor covered all her furniture with it, yuck.)you the can draw and erase with a dry erase marker until you are happy with your design. It was used at the long arm quilting group I was in. They had a meeting where you could bring in a quilt top and could get suggestions from the "pros" in the group and they used it and you could then take it with you so you could remember their suggestions. It was one of the best meetings they had at least for me when I was first starting out. In fact I would love to do that again.

  14. #14
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Great idea.... great detailed steps and pictures. Thank you.
    --- Jean

    I'd rather spend money on my quilting hobby than the therapist.... I'm probably $$$ ahead.... and I'm happy!!

  15. #15
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by love to sew View Post
    I suggest that you use the clear vinyl that is sold by the yard (at Joannes maybe even walmart) it is used to cover chairs or bar stools to protect the fabric from spills. ( I remember when I was a child, a neighbor covered all her furniture with it, yuck.)you the can draw and erase with a dry erase marker until you are happy with your design. It was used at the long arm quilting group I was in. They had a meeting where you could bring in a quilt top and could get suggestions from the "pros" in the group and they used it and you could then take it with you so you could remember their suggestions. It was one of the best meetings they had at least for me when I was first starting out. In fact I would love to do that again.

    This is what I do too. I put it over the quilt, my vinyl has green painter's tape around the edges to remind me of where not to go past - dry erase doesn't come off fabric well - if at all.

    Once I come up with a design I like, I pin the vinyl on the wall behind the frame so I have it as reference with just a glance.

    I love the idea of the shower panel for practice though... a person could even haul a sheet of that around the house to play on when watching TV.

  16. #16
    Senior Member SlightlyOffQuilter's Avatar
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    Thinking Inside The Block - FMQ Tip !

    I recently posted in the picture section about my former fear of feathers. Free Motion Feathers to be more specific. These things terrified me ! I have taken numerous classes, watched a million and one videos and still, just could NOT make feathers that looked anything remotely like what the teacher was telling me they should be looking like !

    I had finally just chalked it up to the fact that I was just not going to be a feather quilter. I was okay with that for a while. I am aware there are things that are just beyond my abilities, and I just focus on those things that I do well.

    Then I started working on my Hole in the Wall quilt, and I WANTED feathers on it. I knew it would look awesome with some feathers. The trouble was, I SUCKED at feathers ! One night out of pure frustration, I sat down with my big white board ( see post Quilting Plans ) and tried to sketch out my idea. Let me tell you, I was about in total shock, because there before me, on my table, were feathers ! Now I could not draw feathers any better than I could FMQ them before, and yet there they were. Feathers that LOOKED like feathers. They were not perfect feathers, but they sure did look like feathers !

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    So I grabbed my blocks and went to the machine, and sure enough, feathers appeared, this time in thread ! They still may not be perfect, but they sure do look nice. They are MY feathers.

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    As I sat there at my machine, I was trying to figure out how all of a sudden feathers just ” clicked ” in my brain, and made my hands move in the right way to form them. It was then that I realized something that nearly blew me away.

    I was thinking INSIDE the block !

    How many times have you sat down at your machine with a practice sandwich that looked similar to this ?

    Nice big empty slate right ? Lots of room to practice and try things out ? That was me too. I always have practice sandwiches ready to go so when the mood hits me to play around, I can just grab one and go at it. This is also I think the greatest downfall of my learning !

    When we teach our children to write their names, do we just sit them in front of a big blank piece of paper and hand them a marker ? No, we give them something that usually resembles this.

    Yep, that’s right. We give them BOUNDARIES ! We teach them how to make the shapes ( letters ) INSIDE the box ( lines ) !

    Well by George ! Why don’t we do that with quilting ? !

    Instead of sitting down with a big empty space. Try sketching out some guidelines to work with. It could be smaller squares, or you could sketch out an entire quilt block to work with.

    By giving yourself boundaries, you can better grasp how large of a scale you need to make things, or how far over your feathers need to go, or how your going to work yourself out of a corner.

    So if you are having trouble getting your free motion to look ” right ” try giving yourself some boundaries, and think INSIDE the block, and not out into empty space !

    PS. I make all of my practice sandwiches with left over batting and cut up sheets from the thrift store / tag sales. They are super cheap, and come in solids !
    Last edited by SlightlyOffQuilter; 08-26-2014 at 10:14 AM. Reason: fixed pictures
    If you ever see a quilt without any flaws, rest assured that I did not make it ! http://slightlyoffquilter.com

  17. #17
    Senior Member SlightlyOffQuilter's Avatar
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    Most hardware stores that sell paneling ( home depot and the like ) can usually cut it for you as well ! You could ask them to cut it into say 24 inch squares ? Then they are portable and easy to handle ! Plus they are GREAT for keeping kids / grandkids busy !!
    If you ever see a quilt without any flaws, rest assured that I did not make it ! http://slightlyoffquilter.com

  18. #18
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    Great tip!

  19. #19
    Super Member Dragonfly Nana's Avatar
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    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing your insight. I hope to be able to develop some FMQ skills by practicing this way.
    Paula
    Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.

  20. #20
    Member NanaBass's Avatar
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    This is a fabulous idea! Although I am not to that stage yet in my quilting, ( I am afraid to leave the stitch in a ditch) I will get there at some point and I will remember this... especially since I am a teacher :-) Thank you so so much for letting us into your box of beautiful feathers.

  21. #21
    Super Member Roberta's Avatar
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    Wow, aren't you the clever one. What a terrific hint, thanks.

  22. #22
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    Great idea..Thanks for sharing..

  23. #23
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    Here in FL it is called tile board, not sure haw much a 4 x 8 costs. Used it inside the kennel runs over the insulation and it is very hardy stuff. I can see it working great for this.

  24. #24
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    How awesome is that!!!
    Thanks for that great tip.
    Kirsten
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  25. #25
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    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.
    Linda

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