Start Something New

By Mary Covey

Doesn’t everyone make resolutions at the start of a new year? How many do we make and really keep? I am sad to say that some of my resolutions fall by the way side during the year.

Craftsy Start Machine Quilting Class

Craftsy Start Machine Quilting Class

Years ago one of the resolutions I made was to learn how to machine quilt. So happy that I followed through with that resolution. At the time it was not really the acceptable way to finish your quilt. In fact it was frowned upon. Wow have the times changed. Over the years my love of machine quilting, turned from being a hobby into a full time job that I love.

If learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby is on your list I would encourage you to keep that resolution. Find a local quilt shop that offers classes on the subject you are interested in. If you are not close to a shop then consider taking a class on line. There are many sites that offer classes on a wide range of subjects for a minimal fee.

As this new year gets started, find something you’ve always wanted to do and get busy and start something new!!

#resolutions #startsomethingnew #quilting

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Small Pleasures

By Mary Covey

Miniature Quilt

Miniature Quilt/Wall Hanging by Mary Covey – www.marycoveydesigns.com

I enjoy piecing large quilts. But, I really enjoy working on small pieces. Miniature quilts or small wall hangings give you the opportunity to try out or practice new skills without making a big investment in time or fabric.

They are an easy way to pull from your stash of fabrics that are too small to use anywhere else, or cut into some of the expensive stuff without having to use very much. You can try different color schemes without being committed to a king size version of something you don’t like.

In the small wall hanging above, I started in the center with a piece of shadow work – my initial. That became the center of my crazy patch block. I used beads, buttons, lace, and hand embroidery to complete the block. It was great fun keeping up on some of my skills and using up some stash. I finished by adding borders and backing. The backing was done using a pillow case turn so no binding needed. I am interested in what you’re working on, so send me pictures of your small pleasures.

#miniaturequilts #wallhangings #quilt

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Quilting Applique

By Mary Covey

Quilting #MaryCoveyDesigns

Long Arm Machine Quilting by Mary Covey – www.marycoveydesigns.com

Quilting Applique can add beauty and dimension to a quilt. Quilters will often spend hours appliquéing flowers, vines and shapes on a block or border of their quilt, only to be lost when it comes to deciding how to quilt their applique’.

If you quilt over the pieces you will lose the dimension that the applique’ adds. If you don’t quilt the applique’ at all, the area puffs up and could get damaged. Too much – not enough – What is the answer? Of course each quilter has to decide for themselves, but I recommend a little of both. I like to echo around the shape and then add a few stitches to the shape itself.

I always try to study the shape to be quilted before I start. This helps me understand where the applique’ may need extra anchoring with stitches, like putting a vein in a leaf shape. It also makes me aware of areas to avoid like buttons or beading. Running over these with the machine can cause the needle to break which can cause damage to the quilt top or backing. If you are sending your quilt to a longarm quilter to be quilted, make them aware of objects like this that you have added to your applique’.

When quilting applique’ shapes there will be areas that you will want to leave unquilted. This is perfectly fine as long as the area is not too large. Remember that equal density in the overall look of the quilt is very important. The unquilted areas of the applique’ will be the first place that your eye is drawn to when viewing the quilt.

#quiltapplique #longarmmachinequilting #sewing

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Quilting Inspirations

“Where do you get the inspiration for new quilting designs?” is one of the questions that I am most frequently asked and one of the easiest to answer. Inspiration is all around us in everything from architecture to nature.

Many of the fabrics used by quilters are drawn of photographed directly from nature. Shapes you might be familiar with include grass, leaves, ferns, flowering plants and animals. The beautiful cabbage rose pictured below is just one example.

Shapes that are more geometric in their design are often drawn from everyday architecture. Windows, fence rails, gates, and doorways are examples of places that influence my quilting designs. Pictured below are a few of the pictures that I took to add to my ideas.

Take your camera the next time you are out and about – you will be amazed at the inspirations you will find.

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Quilting Inspirations

Quilting Inspirations

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