Enjoy these quilting quotes that we have shared on Facebook.
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No tip today. But in honor of Worldwide Quilting Day we wanted to share some beautiful antique quilts from the collection of Utah quilt appraiser Sandra Starley.
Sandra is a nationally certified quilt appraiser, historian, researcher, quilt collector, lecturer, designer and instructor who recently came by the Handi Quilter offices. Sandy has an extensive collection of antique quilts (early, unusual and masterpieces) and spent a couple hours with us sharing many of her quilts that span about 100 years — from early 1800s through early 1900s.
Sandra is to the right in the photo above, with HQ Studio Educator Marie Eldredge next to her and Sandra’s sister Donna at the left side of the photo. That table was stacked with about 30 to 35 quilts! We were just getting started.
We had the pleasure of seeing three feathered star quilts. You can see two of them above — one in red, white and blue, and one is red and cream. The third one was blue and white. All were exquisite.
How do you like this honeybee block quilt? You can see some of the beautiful quilting in this close-up photo.
Sandra had several log cabin quilt tops, as well as a variety of hexagon quilts.
You can see a close-up of the quilting in this photo. Simple but effective stitching across the hexagons in each direction
And don’t you love these two star quilts?
My favorites of the day were applique quilts.
And this unique “French Star” block.
More hexagon quilts, but from after the turn of the 20th century.
This two-fabric quilt fools the eye because it looks like there are more than two fabrics. The background stripe makes you think there are different fabrics. And what do you think about the “cheater cloth” used for the backing? Yes, this quilt dates from the mid 1800s — and cheater cloth was around even then.
Lastly, here’s the show stopper. An antique baby quilt from before the Civil War. Simply gorgeous.
Sandra writes extensively about this quilt on her blog, Textile Time Travels. She has even reproduced some of the blocks with current fabrics. Be sure to visit Sandra’s blog to see these quilts, as well as many, many others.
Perfect inspiration as we celebrate Worldwide Quilting Day.
Today’s post is all about pantographs, which are a great way to stitch out an edge-to-edge design on a quilt. They are are also a great way to build confidence in your quilting ability.
What is a Pantograph? Pantographs are simply patterns, usually 10 to 12 feet long, with a pattern that repeats across the paper. The design along the length of the pantograph corresponds to what will be quilted along the width of your quilt. You’ll use a laser light to trace the pantograph design which guides the machine as it stitches the design.
Pantographs are often designed so one row nests into the next row making it harder to distinguish where one pass across the quilt ends and the next one begins. The dark lines above are what you quilt; the light lines show how the next row nests with the current row.
Pantographs come in various sizes. The deeper the design (top to bottom), the fewer passes across the quilt you’ll need to do. You simply choose a size according to the throat size of your machine. (Note: Pantographs are used with stand-up longarm and mid-arm quilting machines, but not with sit-down machines such as the HQ Sweet Sixteen.)
Here are some links to pantographs:
Audition the Pantograph on Your Quilt Top
To get a good idea as to how the pantograph motif will look on your quilt, use Quilter’s Preview Paper, a page protector, or thin clear vinyl (available at Joann’s). Simply trace the pantograph design on the clear film and overlay it on your quilt.
Prepare the Pantograph
Once you’ve decided which pantograph you’ll be using, prepare the pantograph by drawing a horizontal line across the lowest point on the pattern. Then draw a vertical line at the position you want to start the quilting on the right side of the design (which will correspond to the left side of the quilt). By placing these two lines on the paper pattern you create a right angle at the right corner.
Remember: this right angle is for positioning the pattern to the top left corner of the quilt.
Prepare the Quilt
Use a channel lock on the carriage wheels so you can stitch a straight horizontal “plumb” line across the top of the batting and backing. Then align your quilt top with this plumb line.
Baste down the quilt top with a wiggle stitch within a ¼ inch of top edge of fabric. This holds the fabric in place and prevents “fold over” when stitching the pantograph design.
Baste with a wiggle stitch down both sides of the quilt as far as you can go. You’ll repeat this step as you advance the quilt.
Prepare the Laser Light
Screw the laser post on the machine with the washer against the machine. Then place the laser light on the post.
The laser light has an adjustable lens; focus the beam on your pantograph pattern so it is easily seen.
Placing the Pantograph
Move the machine to the top left corner of the quilt and lower the needle into the fabric. We recommend that you position the needle ½” to 1″ outside the fabric on the top and left sides.
Place the pantograph pattern on the table with the right end close to the carriage. Place a weight such as a ruler to keep the pantograph from rolling.
Position the laser light to the right angle that you drew on the pantograph. This represents the top left corner of the quilt. Use painters tape to secure pantograph to table.
Tip: We recommend Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape, Advanced Delicate Surface from the hardware store.
Remember: where the needle is is where the laser is. And, where the laser is, is where the needle is. They must both be synchronized to have the pattern stitch correctly. So make sure the needle is where you want to begin stitching, put it into the quilt, and adjust the laser light to the position on the pantograph where you want the design to begin.
Before you begin stitching, mark the stop and start points on the pantograph. Then use your finger to trace the design. This familiarizes you with the path of the design and you can more easily decide where you might need to pause.
Notice this quilt has been stitched off all four edges. We meant to do this. That makes all of the sides cropped.
How to Plan the Spacing Between One Pass and the Next?
After completing the first pass, place the needle on an identifiable point on the pattern’s stitching line. With the needle down in the fabric, gently roll the quilt until the laser is positioned at the same point on the dotted line at the bottom of the pantograph. Then move the laser light back to the stitching start point. Do a quick visual check of the high and low points on the pantograph to make sure everything nests well with the row you just quilted. You’re ready to quilt again.
If you leave too much space between passes, rather than leave the open space, go back in and mimic, or echo along the lines so you don’t leave negative space.
Here’s a great video about pantographs from Cheryl Barnes.
Have some fun with pantographs today!