I keep a sketchbook handy to draw out quilting patterns I want to remember and to draw out the step by step procedures of how they would be stitched so I can go back to it later and browse for ideas or to see how it is done. This is just a notebook of white paper that can be purchased in a lot of places. I think I got mine at Hobby Lobby but believe I have seen them at discount stores too. It doesn’t matter how heavy the paper is and I suppose you could even use lined paper notebooks if you wanted to but the solid white paper is less distracting. Here is a scanned page from my book – I know it is hard to see exactly what I drew from this photo but scroll down on the page and I have cropped the individual steps and posted larger photos of them. This design I call Continuous Flying Geese and is one I came up with when I wanted to quilt a wavy flying geese design on a quilt border. I don’t have the quilt to photograph but hope you get the idea from the design step outs. This is what the design would look like all stitched out. The line of triangle flying geese could be any shape or length you want or need.The first thing to do is to draw registration marks on your quilt using the marking device of your choice. Use something that can be removed in case your stitching does not follow your markings exactly. You will mark outside lines, center line and then cross lines to indicate the spaces between geese units. Make sure to angle the cross lines to follow the curves.Step 1 - Start stitching at the bottom corner – either side is fine but since I am left handed I started on the bottom left which feels more natural for me but you could mirror image it if this feels wrong. Which ever side you start on you will want to draw/stitch the same on all geese. You stitch from the bottom corner to the peak of the first goose then down to the bottom corner of that goose.Step 2 – draw/stitch across the bottom to finish the goose unit.Step 3 – Stitch from the initial starting point up the side to the starting bottom corner of the next goose. You will stitch this goose the same way as the one below. Follow the arrows to see how it is done.Step 4 - Continue stitching the geese units up the line keeping your connecting line of stitches on one side. When you reach the top goose you draw/stitch across the top then down the long side that has not been stitched.
Now wasn’t that easy? These drawings are taken directly from scans of my sketchbook so are a little messy but they tell me what I need to know if I want to stitch this design again.
The best advice I can give you about stitching a new design is to draw it and draw it until the path and shapes are imbedded in your mind. I doodle quilting designs on scrap paper and envelopes I pull out of the trash when I am talking on the telephone or watching TV. If I come up with something new then I draw it in my sketchbook to refer to later.
Have you had time to go through the last link list I posted yet? Here is another list of quilting and sewing websites to check out and enjoy. I did have time to check out all the links below and as of today the links are all working. Again – this is a list of links I gathered and bookmarked to send to the newsletter gal to be published in our quilt guild newsletter and decided to share the wealth with you all. Enjoy!
The three photos above were taken from websites that offer free clip art or free to use photos. I have linked the images to the webpages they came from and have the name of the website and it's web address below each image. I know I have a hard time finding images that are truly free to use in my blog and thought you might too so check out these three.
Brilliant video of history and the workings of the sewing machine. This 25 minute video is so well done and love the way he shows and explains how the sewing machine developed and the changes it went through to get to the machines we purchase today. Love the way he shows how the threads interlock to make the stitches as well.
Yesterday I did take time to click on all the links I had posted and was able to fix a few but had to eliminate a couple that were no longer available. If you have had a chance to look at all the web pages and found broken links go back today and hopefully they are fixed.
You have my permission to copy my list and my short descriptions and publish them on your newsletters/web page/blog, etc. but if you use my lists I would appreciate it if you could direct your readers here to my blog Nebraska Views (http://nebraskaviews.blogspot.com) as I love getting new readers!
Wanted to share a blog post that my brother Don published this last Sunday on his blog Platte Valley Farmer entitled Soybean Harvest. I also borrowed this photo from his blog. In this post I wrote about harvesting the soybeans on his farm and it is almost identical to what we do so wanted to share it with all of you....Enjoy!
This year however we had most of our soybean crop get damaged by hail. The soybean fields were scattered but the path of the storm pretty much hit them all and some worse that others. Harvest yields around here on soybeans that have not been hailed are around 68-72 bushels per acre. Our worst hailed field yielded 4.9 bushels per acre. We carry hail insurance and Federal crop insurance to help recover the costs of production but it is not as good a return as having the grain to harvest in the fall.
Several of our corn fields were hailed too but since our soybean harvest was just finished we don't know how it will be doing yet. Do know the corn fields that didn't get hailed will probably have great yields but we don't know about the damaged fields until they are combined.
More photos of Montana from our trip. These were all taken south and east of Glacier National Park and the Rocky Mountains. This area had lots of pasture land and wheat on the lower flat areas. We saw many antelope grazing, especially first thing in the mornings and late afternoons.
One of the places we had on our list to visit was the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana or you might think of it as “Custer’s Last Stand.” In 1876, this is the spot where George Armstrong Custer, a controversial military general, led his men into battle against a group of Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians who were just trying to defend their traditional nomadic way of life. The soldiers were defeated in this battle but the Indians were soon to loose their way of life. A sad moment in our history for sure.
Read more about George Armstrong Custer here and here. Here is more information on Sitting Bull chief of the Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux here and here plus information on Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Lakota Sioux here and here.This was a very sobering visit and so interesting to read the information on the different sites and to walk the same hills. Small white stones mark the place where soldiers died and in recent years, markers have been erected where Indians were killed. I am glad the Indian’s are honored here too as for too many years it was just the solders that were recognized.Here are more of the photos I took while at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. To read more about the area, the battle, the people involved just Google. Interesting reading to be sure.We walked the trails around the battlefield and could visualize the descriptions of the various parts of the battle.View of the river valley where the Indian tribes were camped. Most of the battle took place in the hills where we were standing.View to the east and the Reno-Benteen battlefield. More history of this area on the east edge of the Little Bighorn Battlefield here and here.
Horses grazing in part of the National Monument – a beautiful sight. One colt was having a lunch break as we drove by. If you ever get a chance to visit this monument be sure to go as it brings history alive. I have never been one for liking history much but visiting these places is so interesting and finally all that reading about them years ago in my history classes makes sense.
Our drive from Gillette, Wyoming to Buffalo, Wyoming was absolutely beautiful. We had just spent a very enjoyable afternoon and early evening with my cousin and his wife in Gillette and after eating and visiting over our evening meal with them we were on the road again. Our plan at first was to get to Sheridan but decided we wanted to see the countryside in the daylight so stopped for the night in Buffalo. The photo above was taken about 8 pm as the sun was sinking in the west. There were virtually no cars from either direction on I-90 as we headed to Buffalo and you could see the Big Horn Mountains in the distance as the sun was setting. Everything was so peaceful and a great ending to a wonderful day.
John and I decided to drive west through Nebraska, through Wyoming and into Montana for a week’s vacation the first part of September. Just to let you know this trip took place the second week of September so the USA government shut down that is going on now did not affect us and the national parks and monuments we visited.
We had such a great time and saw a lot of beautiful countryside on our driving trip, our favorite way to travel. The first place we stopped to visit was Chimney Rock in western Nebraska. We had both seen it many times since we were kids but now there is a visitors center nearby and we wanted to stop and see it and get a closer look at Chimney Rock. I remember driving by it when I was a kid but it was still a distance away from the highway. This was great to get to stop and see it closer after all these years.
Chimney Rock was used by the pioneers to guide their way across western Nebraska as they traveled the Oregon Trail, California Trail and the Mormon Trail. Chimney Rock is 300 ft. (91 m) tall and can be seen for many miles from the Platte River valley so an obvious choice by the pioneers. Over the years it has become shorter for various reasons: natural eroding, lighting strikes, artillery practice in the late 1800s and sonic booms from aircraft all have helped to reduce the rock. The planes are now restricted from flying at the supersonic speeds near there and obviously no one is allowed to shoot at it anymore. The part that nature plays in reducing the height can not be helped. It is still magnificent and we could see it a long way before we arrived so it is easy to imagine those pioneers using it as a guide.
Here is a link to read a bit more about it on Wikipedi here. Of course that isn’t the official site but that too is shut down for now. Google Chimney Rock to find more information from other sources I guess. (I won’t go into how disappointed I am in our government officials –Congress, Senate, both Democrats and Republicans and the President and his advisors – that they could not act as adults and come to a compromise. They are all acting like spoiled children and demanding their way and only their way! Enough said on this subject.)
We left the Chimney Rock visitors center just as they closed for the day and drove on to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. We did take time to drive by the Scottsbluff National Monument, another landmark along the pioneer's trails. It is another tall rock formation that was used to guide the settlers going west. It was closed for visitors when we arrived and decided not to take time the next morning to drive up to the top and tour the visitors center as we had been there before and had another sight to see north of the town of of Scottsbluff instead. You can read more about the monument here on the Wikipedia site here. After the government shut down is over do a search of and visit the official website…..grrrrr, Oh that’s right I was not going to say anymore.
The last planned stop in Nebraska was at the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument where they claim the largest number of prehistoric animal fossils were found on a ranch in the 1890s. They say there are still more prehistoric fossils in the hills in this photo but the decision was to leave them there as they would probably be more of the same and they don’t want to completely destroy the area. The area was a prehistoric lake that eventually dried up leaving animals to eat all their food supply close by the lake and eventually dying close to the shrinking lake. The visitors center has over 500 Indian artifacts on display; they were gifts to the rancher/owner from the area tribes as he was a great supporter of them. We didn’t take time to hike out to the hills this time but have it on our list of things to do on our next visit. Western Nebraska has more areas of just pastures and few trees and is so beautiful.From here we left Nebraska and traveled through Wyoming, admiring the scenery as we drove. John and I love to see the way the views/vistas change as we drive from one area to another. Most days we purchase sandwiches and keep raw vegies, fruit and chips in the car for our lunches. We like to stop at some place beautiful, listen to nature and take our noon break. It is a very relaxing way to travel as it tends to restore our souls. Western Nebraska and Wyoming roads and highways had very little traffic so that also made the trip pretty relaxing. Visited one of my cousins in Gillette and stayed in Buffalo, Wyoming before heading into Montana the next day.
As I promised, here is my tutorial for the quilting motif I used for the background quilting of this quilt “Serenade” as well as the background quilting for the other wholecloth miniature I call “Silk Refrain” that I made last year. (You can do a search for the words Serenade and Silk Refrain on my blog to read more posts about the 2 quilts.)Stitching this design is really not too tough, just spirals, but since I didn’t want to try to keep them equal in size and shape I purposely made the spirals in the backgrounds different. Here is my method and a few hints on how I stitched it out.
Since I am left handed I might start out the spiral in the opposite direction than you right handed people but it makes no difference at all so stitch them the direction you want. As you can see you stitch a spiral then find your way out of the spiral. You will be going the opposite direction as you stitch out of the spiral so you see it really doesn't make a difference which direction you start. Stitch as many circles/shapes as you want to fill but remember you will be echoing out on each one so leave enough space between the spiral lines for this. When you echo out you stitch between the lines until you get to the outside. Not too hard, right?
After finishing one spiral just start another, trying to make the spiral a different size or shape. Since I would have had trouble keeping them all identical I choose to make them different sizes and shapes but you can go for a consistent size shape if you want. Keep them all different also makes it easier to fill in odd shapes of the background. Just follow my spiral drawing from the start arrow to follow the design as I drew it. Speaking of drawing….if you practice drawing these spirals over and over it will be easier to stitch them as your brain will have a memory of the design. Remember the main thing when stitching/drawing the beginning swirls of a spiral is to make the space between the lines double the size you want the finished spacing to be and to leave yourself an escape route so you can exit one spiral and go on to the next.
Again follow the lines of the above spiral to figure out how I moved from one spiral to the next. You can echo the lines of the previous spiral to move to a new area like in the above drawing.
There really is no wrong way to quilt this background or the size and shape of the spirals it is up to you. Notice the green spots on the diagram above. These are ways to change direction or to fill an awkward area. As much as possible I try to keep my stitching lines rounded and not pointy but a pointy one once in a while just blends in. If you want to make more pointy lines like the one with the green spot in the upper left just go for it….remember it is no rules so do it your way. Will backtrack a bit here as I do have one rule I try to follow. I try to make all the spaces as close to the same size as I can. This makes the filler look like an overall design and one area doesn’t pop out as different.
I do love quilting this motif but maybe I should have varied the background quilting motifs on these two small quilts and used some other filler on some parts. I still love the quilts but I never stop wondering “what if” and I think that is what makes every “next project” fun to implement using those new ideas.