Welcome to Main Crush Monday you guys! We have finally officially made it to fall in my part of the world, and the weather is actually cooperating a bit. It has cooled some, and yesterday was a dreary, damp day. Not a pretty fall day, but at least the temps have cooled and we didn’t get too much rain. It was  a great day to spend some time in the sewing room and I was happy I was able to do so.

Remember this UFO?

New Pattern UFO quilter's Linen Robert Kaufman

I finally finished putting the top together and then spent the afternoon doing all the quilty math so I can write the pattern for you. All that math wore me out and I had to stop midway and take a nap! 🙂

Pattern Notes for new pattern

See how technical it gets around here? Graph paper and colored pens work great!

I also finished another fun customer quilt last week. I wanted to take it outdoors and get a picture for you but the weather wasn’t cooperating and I didn’t want to get Dee’s quilt damp or grassy. So I don’t have a big pic but I do have some close-ups to share. The colors in the quilt are so fall-like, it really put me in the mood for some cooler weather. Dee also asked me to stitch sunflowers all over and that just added to my desire for a change in the seasons.

I fretted over those sunflowers for a day and a half. That’s why it takes me so long sometimes to finish these quilts. I worry and worry about them. But I’ve come to the conclusion that this is just my process – I have to worry and fret in order to get to the final design.

Free hand stitched sunflower quilting motif

I originally thought about turning the star block (above) with the brown center into a sunflower, which I still think would have looked adorable if I could have pulled it off. I even went so far as to stitch pebbles all over one of the brown squares for the center of the sunflower. Then I came to my senses. This quilt is on a tight deadline and doing the sunflowers that way would have involved thread changes, and All. Those. Pebbles. They are time consuming! Not to mention, my back hurts just thinking about it. So, I picked out those pebbles (ugh!) and went to Plan B, which was to scatter freehand sunflowers all over the quilt top. It looks good, and was much faster to do.

Another freehand sunflower quilting motif

I did allow myself to have some fun with the borders. On three sides of the quilt there are 5 borders and on the top edge of the quilt there are 4. When I first saw all those borders I worried for a minute. All I could think of was a wavy border – border #1 – where the waviness was compounded with each border added. Wavy borders x 5 would have been a LOT of fullness to deal with.

But there was absolutely NO waviness anywhere! The borders were sewn on perfectly and laid flat and square. It’s little things like that that just make my day. Once I saw how straight and flat the borders were, I knew I could stitch any design and it would look great.  So here’s where I started on the top of the quilt:

Four borders on top of quilt with ribbon candy overlap

I stitched the ribbon candy design in the yellow border first. I think the reason I started there is because it was the border closest to me and was the easiest one to work on. Of course, I had to do something silly and use thread that totally blended in with the yellow print which made it very difficult to see where I stitched. I had intended to stitch regular ole ribbon candy. But after the first two inches I could see that I was overlapping the edges instead of the curves just touching. So instead of freaking out I just went with it, making sure that each piece of the ribbon overlapped the previous one. Suddenly it became a purposeful design! See how that works??

The white border got straight lines stitched 1/2″ apart – this was the only ruler work in the entire quilt. About six inches in I questioned my decision to make them a half inch apart. It took some time but I really like the look.

Freehand border quilting motifs

The design in the green border is one I’ve wanted to do for awhile but never had the right quilt for it. It works so nicely here. It’s a lot like stitching ribbon candy; you just have to remember to add in the loop at the top and bottom. I also didn’t want the edges to touch each other and worked to keep the spacing consistent. I like the look of this design a lot and hope to use it again soon.

TIP: One thing I want to point out to those of you who may be new to free motion quilting. One of the first things I do when quilting a motif is decide where a good stopping point within the design is. When I need to reposition my hands or move my body I want to pick back up without any jerky movements or stitches. I usually try to stop when I’m just coming on to a straight line in the design. This allows me to start again by taking a few straight stitches before having to curve. I tried that in the loopy ribbon candy. I thought the best place to stop would be on the long edge moving from top to bottom (or bottom to top). I was wrong. When I stopped there and then restarted, I had a jerky stitch there every time. I found that the best place to stop in this design is after the loop is made but before starting out of the circle and moving up (or down) the next side. I was able to re-start without any jerk stitches. So here’s a tip to all new free motion quilters – find a stopping point that allows you to pick up the design without jerking. My stopping point may not be your stopping point. It may take some experimenting to find the best place for you but it’s worth it!

Back to the quilt – The green print just got a small meander. No design would have shown up in that print so I didn’t want to spend a lot of time stitching in it. The outer yellow border was quilted with large loops, also called ‘little L’s’. This was a fun quilt to work on and I hope Dee is as happy with it as I am.

The next quilt I’m loading up is a Red/Green/Gold Christmas-y type quilt with cardinals all over it. Emily has asked for lots of custom work and the quilting plan came together pretty quickly. I’m sure I’ll be sharing pics over on Instagram as I go, so if you want to see in progress shots I hope you’ll follow me there!

Now you’re all up-to-date with the projects keeping me busy in my sewing room and now it’s time to share yours! I’d love to see the projects that have you busy in your sewing space. You can link up any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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