Have you ever looked at a quilt and saw the not only the intended design, but a secondary design? This is actually a fun type of quilt to design and one I like to do. I love it when someone can not tell what the individual blocks actually are in a quilt because of the secondary design..... unless they look really close!
The way to create a secondary design is to start with a block with interesting elements that, when joined with additional blocks into a quilt top, combine to make the secondary design. For example, this is a block I have been working on recently:
Notice how there is a criss-cross design that is formed by the black pieces. With several of these sections assembled into a quilt top, it would create a cool overall criss-cross design. Here is another option with these blocks:
This lay out will have the black pieces create an overall diagonal secondary design.
Another way to create a secondary design is with sashing joining blocks together. Here is an table runner I designed where I used this method.
Notice how the sashing I added creates the secondary star design and also creates a cross-hatch design. Hey .... a tertiary design!
Here are some photos of some of my other patterns. See if you can pick out the block and also notice the secondary design or designs that appear in these quilts.
So, next time you go to a quilt show, once you are done with your "close up" viewing of a quilt, step back and take in the view. Look for the secondary design that creates a completely different "attitude" to the quilt and creates movement.
Check out the March/April issue of McCall's Quilting on newsstands this week for my newest pattern, Bloomin' Baskets! Here is the quilt:
I am so excited to share this pattern with all of you. Here is the cover of the magazine:
Yes .... that's my quilt on the cover draped on top! I'm excited since I never had a quilt that showed up on a cover. Yay!
Over the last few weeks I have been piecing a few projects and also doing a lot of machine quilting. I thought I would share a few things I do to make quilting a more enjoyable experience for me.
One of the things that will help (and not cause injury!) is a nice sharp rotary cutter blade. Have you noticed yourself pressing down harder and harder when cutting pieces with your rotary cutter? That's because your blade is dull and needs to be changed. It saves you time in your cutting, because when you cut with a dull blade, it takes you longer to cut out a project. It's also a safety issue because a dull blade can slip easier. If you notice that you are pressing down more when you cut, your blade is dull. Change it! Here are some rotary cutting safety tips from About.com.
There are other things that will add to your safety when using the rotary cutter. I have a safety shield attached to my long ruler that I use most often while cutting.
There are gloves, like Fons and Porter's "Klutz" gloves, that will protect your hands as well.
Sewing Machine Maintenance
I know, I know .... who has time for this? But, by doing some simple maintenance, you can keep your machine humming between check-ups at the sewing machine hospital.
Every time I have an empty bobbin, I do a little cleaning. I use the brush that came with my machine to brush out the lint that gathers inside the bobbin casing and inside the machine. I also clean out the area under the feed dogs.
I also oil the machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. This is something I learned many years ago when I purchased my Bernina and went to the Bernina classes. I think this applies to any brand machine. Here's some basic sewing machine maintenance from About.com.
Another important thing is to change your sewing machine needle! Wonder why your thread keeps breaking? Wonder why your needle is making large holes in your fabric? Your needle needs to be changed. A good rule of thumb I follow is to change my needle after every large project. If I am making table runners, I will piece three or four before changing my needle, but if I just pieced a large quilt (lap top or bigger) I change my needle before moving on. Here's what happens to your needle through it's life:
So, following these tips should help to make your quilt making experience more enjoyable! And safe! Happy Quilting!
Here it is! The Spring issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine has arrived with my pattern in it. I just received my copy today in the mail.
Here is a better view of my project. I have done it in wool appliqué but it can also be done with fabric.
This issue has 16 beautiful garden inspired projects. I know you will love them! So hurry off to your favorite quilt shop or wool shop and pick up your issue! You can also go to Primitive Quilts and Projects web site for more information.