Friday, March 26, 2021

Lella Boutique's Hot Cross Buns Quilt / Beauties Pageant 122

A quilt swirl in blues, grays, oranges, and whites.

What I am about to say will surprise those of you who are longtime readers, so prepare yourselves ... Im starting to enjoy free-motion quilting.

Let me begin this story by introducing to you to Lella Boutiques Hot Cross Buns quilt. I really like the pattern—its smart and simple, and I wish I had designed it! I sewed it here mostly in blues and grays from Zen Chics True Blue collection, supplemented with some coordinating half-yards and fat quarters from stash. The bolder orange, by Rae Ritchie for Dear Stella, gives this finish a nice dose of personality.

A full flat shot of a plus-sign quilt in modern fabrics

I had planned on straight-line quilting Hot Cross Buns. Multiple attempts to do so failed rather miserably, though. I blame my not-so-effective basting job (I spray-basted, which is typical for me) and the fact that I pressed my seams to the side (I almost always press open). In any event, I ripped out a lot of quilting—like enough to occupy me for a feature-length movie and an old episode or two of Greys Anatomy. It was a mess.

In fact, it was such a mess that I was giddy with delight when I decided to stipple my way to this project’s merciful end. The free-motion quilting really worked well. I tend to think of stippling as working best with busy prints. (Remember my Scrappy Granny Square Quilt? It was the perfect venue for stippling.) The thick solid border on this quilt, however, looks just fine with an all-over stipple. 

Id say my FMQ job was a solid B. A picture of the back (see below), however, is more forgiving, making my work look more like an A. Hey, I’ll take that!

A flat picture of a quilt back made of five long swaths of fabric

I was so pleased with this outcome that I am plotting a FMQ treatment for another quilt top that’s ready to be basted. I want to graduate from stippling, though. Do you have any suggestions? I’m looking for something with curves, nothing too angular. (Yvonne, Anja, Roseanne ... You’re my FMQ heroes! I want to hear from you!)

Before I sign off, I wanted to give everyone the heads-up that the Love Boldly Quilt-Along is on! The free registration is open now. You can read the full details here

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  1. I love your color combo, Michelle! Your meandering looks great! How about loopy meander next?

  2. It's great that you're feeling more comfortable with free motion quilting. When I teach quilting, I always share one of my favorite all-over designs that's great for improving your skills. It's what I call a "Snail Trail." Quilt a large (like 6" diameter) round that gradually turns toward the center. When the quilting reaches the "inside," quilt either a small curve, or a hook shape, and return to quilting outward, in between the spiral you've made as you quilted inward. I hope I've explained it okay. It's a great one for expanding quilting options. Have fun! I don't have a finish to share this week, though I just blogged about quilting spirals and circles!

  3. Hi,
    Beautiful quilt...all those blues just
    seem to fall into the perfect spots.
    Have a great day!

  4. Well, if that's a solid B, an A cannot be very far away! It looks great. Congratulations on the finish. If you want to learn some new stuff, Angela Walters has tons of free videos, and some paid classes, too. But yours looks awesome already!

  5. Gorgeous quilt! The pops of orange really set it off beautifully. I am a fan of straight line quilting(especially on the small baby quilts I do) but stippling was invented for a reason and is my other usual go-to for an all over and quick quilt! Looks great.

  6. Loops are another great rounded FMQing motif and a good follow up to a stipple (meander a bit, add a loop, meander a bit, add a loop, et.c). There are also swirls, swirl flowers, double loops... Hooray for starting to enjoy FMQing, and congratulations on the finish!

  7. Looks like an A to me. ☺ Loops were the second motif I learned, and I think I prefer it to the stipple. I also like the square-ish stipple. My "boxes" are definitely not perfect.

  8. Yay for you! I bet you can tackle a swirl patter. Just remember to stop and reposition :)

  9. You get an A+ from me Michelle for this fantastic finish! This quilt pattern is in My Quilty Bucket! =)

  10. What a sweet quilt and love the design and the pop of orange throughout. Thank your for hosting the link party and have a lovely weekend.

  11. I love this quilt, Michelle! Beautiful!


  12. To help in FMQ, try taking a piece of paper and doodle! I finally have 3 different ways to add to the stippling - That is what I was advised to do. Then you hav trained your grain to do the pattern as you quilt! Like your choice of colors and a pretty quilt! The ripping is so much fun!!! Especially to get a quilt quilted and find out the tension was messed up from the beginning. Lesson learned - check the back after the first run! LOL

  13. Hi Michelle! Oh those Zen Chic True Blues are a perfect choice for this pattern. It is gorgeous and I love seeing it finished in all its glory. Stippling is a fun choice for quilting, and I'm also a fan of straight-line. Either way, no need to get frustrated over the quilting choice - no one else will really notice unless it's to be judged. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  14. It took me forever to "master" a stipple/meander and I still cannot do it on a small scale. Another FMQ that I have "mastered" is what Christina Cameli refers to as Flourish and recently I've been doodling Angela Walters' Flower Meander and may be bold enough to quilt it soon.

  15. "Refreshing perspective, thanks for sharing!"


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