Commission Quilt: Sidewalk Stitchery

stitching9The top edge of the sidewalk is lined with flowers, also known as polka-dot batik fabrics. A dark value green thread is free-motion stitched along the flower line. This line of flowers edges the sidewalk all across my commission quilt for the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.

stitching10Next the sidewalk is stitched in the famous MEMEMEME pattern. I like this pattern because it is fast and easy. It also makes it simple to reach into odd areas like those around the points of the flower line. What’s next? Stay tuned for tomorrows exciting developments!

Commission Quilt: Grass

stitching7It’s a good day when you enjoy what you do. The next step in creating my commission quilt for the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine is to stitch the grass. And it is fun!

stitching8Again, as I added the free-motion machine stitching for the grass, I worked from the center out. Rows and rows of grassy shapes are stitched across the quilt. Like laying sod on your front lawn, it is so very pretty! Tomorrow: the sidewalk.

Commission Quilt: Stitching Tree Tops

stitching5 The sky and tree line are completely quilted on my commission quilt for the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Next up are the tree tops. A good steam press flattens them for machine stitching.

stitching6It’s a bit of a challenge stitching around the clipped openings of the tree top fabrics. But free-motion stitching gives me the freedom to draw with the dark green thread. As I stitch, I think of looping shapes like leaves billowing out from a tree. Tomorrow you’ll see the grass appear.

Commission Quilt: Creating a Tree Line

commission32Now that the sky is stitched for my commission quilt, I tackle the next area. That line of trees on the horizon needs more definition. And what better way to add definition and shape than with free-motion machine stitchery.

stitching3By dropping the feed dogs on the machine, I can draw tree trunks and limbs with thread. An orange/rusty colored is chosen for the job. This color contrasts with the green and repeats the color of the bell tower (yet to be added to the piece).

stitching4This drawing with thread carries all across the quilt. It was fun to do! Tomorrow you’ll see the tree tops being stitched. See you then!

Commission Quilt: Sky Stitching

commission30Time to machine stitch my commission quilt for the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. My first step in machine quilting any piece is to remove it from the release paper. (The entire quilt top is created on this paper.) The top is placed onto the non-scrim side of the batting and a backing fabric.

commission33A dry cloth is placed on the quilt top to protect it from those nasty irons. Then the top is steamed to the non-scrim side of the batting. This sets the glue and everything bonds like mother to child.

stitching1Free-motion stitching begins in the center of the quilt, the sky area. After dropping the feed dogs on the machine, I take a breath and hum a tune. I’ll stitch my way from the center out to the edges of the quilt so nothing shifts and I can press it flat as I go.

stitching2 Free-motion stitching is like drawing with a pencil on paper.  Only you move the fabric (think paper) rather than the needle (think pencil). Here you see cloud shapes stitched across the sky. There’s more machine work tomorrow. Please join me.

Commission Quilt – Back to Work!

commission32When we last saw this quilt, construction had come to a full stop. Not only did my teaching schedule interfere but I needed a break for reflection and planning. Which means, I had to think about it for awhile.

commission5My commission quilt for the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine is due in late May. Work takes place between teaching, dyeing, vending, and other exciting events like sitting in airline terminals.

My next step is the machine stitching. I hope you’ll join me as I show you the process for adding the quilting to this piece. Wish me luck!