Second Annual Machine Quilt-a-Long–A Mystery Sampler
Good Morning, Quilters!
Thank you all for participating in last week’s Open Line Friday about “Sewers, Sewists, Seamstresses, Tailors….”
It was a fascinating discussion!
CHANGE OF SCHEDULE
Our Mystery Quilt-a-long was so popular last year that I decided to make it an annual project!
For the next several weeks, we will be replacing our “Tuesday Tutorials” with a Mystery Quilt-a-Long!
If you follow along, you will learn
- new motifs
- marking techniques
- thread tips
- design and composition tips
- so much more…
In addition, you will have a gorgeous wall hanging for your sewing room (or to use as a gift!)
The only clue I will give you…this sampler will have a nautical theme.
THE QUILT SANDWICH
This week we will focus on the Quilt Sandwich.
The final quilt size will be 16 inches wide by 21 inches long.…
Begin with a fat quarter of solid fabric in red, blue or aqua…for the top of the quilt.
I will be using a Kona cotton fabric from Robert Kaufman fabrics. I usually purchase my Kona cotton from JoAnn Fabrics or Hancock’s of Paducah.
NOTE-Robert Kaufman only makes one Kona cotton–so it will be great quality wherever you find it.
CHOOSING BACKING FABRIC
I like to use novelty fabrics in my quilt’s theme whenever possible. For this quilt, I will be using a nautically themed cotton fabric.
I recommend that you avoid batiks and white on white fabrics for the backing.
Batiks and hand dyed fabrics are very tightly woven fabrics and are harder for the needle to penetrate and make a good lockstitch. The slight needle deflections can show up as a slightly imperfect stitch.
White on white fabrics have a coating of paint that also cause needle deflections.
Whenever possible I avoid these fabrics just to make things a little easier…
For small wall quilts, I like to use Warm and Natural cotton batting. It tolerates heavy quilting well and remains flat.
Cotton batting also has a natural tackiness and grips the top and backing fabric when the layers are ironed together–no basting required!
PREPARING THE SANDWICH
It is very important to iron all three layers of the quilt sandwich.
Iron each layer separately first.
Next, iron all three layers together. Check the back and add spray starch to the back to help it glide more easily if desired.
Iron the top layer one last time–everything should hold together.
MARKING THE QUILT SANDWICH
Use your favorite marking tool to draw a 21 x 16 inch rectangle.
(This is not like stitching a 1/4 inch seam…if you are off a little, it will be just fine!) (That’s what I call “FREE motion quilting!)
I like to use the Clover Chalk wheel for straight lines, a ceramic pencil (Fons and Porter or SewLine) or a Dritz Chalk Cartridge-
All of these marking tools are easy to see, easy to remove, and don’t break too easily.
We will start stitching next week.
I like to use a heavy weight thread for a bold quilting line.
Some of my favorite machine quilting threads are : Aurifil 28wt Cotton, Sulky 40 wt Rayon, King Tut- 40 wt Cotton, Magnifico–40wt Trilobal Polyester.
Choose white thread or a light-colored thread for high contrast.
In the bobbin, I always use Aurifil 50 wt cotton (orange spool)…It is a fine weight thread, low lint and lock stitches beautifully with slippery top threads like Rayon and Polyester.
(It is much finer weight than Aurifil’s 28 wt cotton (gray spool)–which is better for using on top as a decorative thread.
That’s it for this week!
Create a well-ironed quilt sandwich and mark a 16 x 21 inch rectangle.
Choose your threads and we will begin sewing next week.
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt. For all other purposes, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
55 responses to “Second Annual Machine Quilt-a-Long–A Mystery Sampler”
You are SO generous with your tutorials on your blog. I look forward to this and hope I can follow along and keep up! April is a busy time for me, but the beauty of the blog is I can go back and “catch up”. Thank you Lori.
Great, I really enjoyed last year’s FMCAL – Happy stitching everyone 🙂
21×16 OR 16×20? Which?
Oops 16 wide by 21″ long.
Wide and long can be synonyms…so is wide measured on the longitude or the latitude? Do I get bonus points for using nautical terms?
Wide on the horizontal. Long on the vertical. And yes you do get extra credit!! Lol!
And if your fat quarter is only 18 x 21 ?
We will work that out tomorrow.
Lori, I’m excited to get started on another quilt along with you. Last year’s mini quilt looks sew nice hanging in my sewing room.
That’s what I like to hear!!
Oops. Must finish last year’s! Where did that time go?
Jump on board and start anew!
Thanks for such much details and explanations. It is very helpful.
Iron each od the3 layers separetly? You want us to iron the batting by itself? Humm …when I have hit the batting before with the iron…it didn’t seem to like it.
My project from last year is still a work in progress, adding spools as I use new thread!
I usually lightly iron the batting. If that doesn’t work put it between the layers to iron. If you are using cotton batting you can iron it.
My first QAL with you, I’m fairly new to FMQ. Started quilting 2 yrs. ago and FMQ this year. I actually shared one of your tutorials on my blog this week, I linked back to you but I don’t know if it notifies you or not. I’m shopping for nautical fat qtr. today. 😎
Thank you Tonia for sharing!
Is this an appropriate activity for a complete novice at machine quilting?? I’m a hand quilter, would like to learn machine quilting, but my few attempts have been pure misery. You make it look so easy!
Yes. The sampler was designed for beginners.
Thanks!! Looking forward to this!
Looking forward to this your tutorials are great and quilt patterns are awesome.
What are your thoughts on ‘Glide’ thread as the top thread? It is a 40wt, 100% polyester.
Yes! I have only used it a few times but I liked it! If you like it–it’s a “go”.
I love 40 wt Glide, myself, it it one of my go-to quilting threads…
Thank you for sharing!
How fun! Can’t wait!!
How exciting! This will be a fun project.
I loved last year’s quilt a long…I am jumping on the train for this year! Thanks
Thank-you for having this QAL.
Yea! Me too!!!!!
Lori ~ you’re such a dear to share SEW many helpful details about a myriad of things. I’m in constant learning mode when reading your posts. Thank you!
What about black on black or other tone on tone fabrics? Do they, like the white on white, have a coating on them?
What else could be made beside a wall hanging from this project? I really have no desire to hang my quilting on any walls. And there are so many “wall hanging” size projects that I’d love to do. Suggestions?
Thanks for all you give and share with us sewing sponges.
Well, I’m jumping in this year! Still a novice at FMQ, but I’m ready. Regretted not doing so last year. Thanks, Lori!
Oh, Lordy, I am soooo bad at this FMQ thing! Can’t wait to do this with you! I may be beyond help, but it will be fun!
I like to use wall hangings as a medallion for a quilt. Will this be suitable?
Yes, but we will be quilting it immediately. Will you add the borders before we begin quilting or use the method that attaches pre-quilted pieces together?
I am SOOO excited to do this. I have never done an online quilt along, so I am truly excited. Thanks so much Lori for doing this. By the way I have been LOVING your Craftsy class, anyone who hasn’t signed up for it needs to right away. I am anxiously waiting for your second one (any idea when it will be available?). Thanks again!
I’m so glad you are enjoying the class! The second one will release on April 11th!
I’m so excited to give this a try! How do I know which side is the “correct” side of the Kona? Thanks! 🙂
Both sides are “correct”!
Cathy is right, your Craftsy class is wonderful! I can’t wait for the second one. And this mystery adventure will be great fun – thanks!
The second Craftsy class will be released in ten days and the quilt a long continues next week. We are going to be busy stitching!!
This will be my first ‘follow along’ with you and I can’t wait to get started!
I’m so delighted! I think you will really enjoy this project!
I’m in too! And I can’t wait for the second Craftsy class. Lot’s of fun!
This will be my first QAL too. I purchased a couple of nauticalfat quarters today so I’ll have a backup in case of mistakes. I’m learning FMG, and I love your web site. Thanks!
Great! It’s going to be fab!!
Going to try this. This will be a first for me. This should help me since I’m a new free motion quilter. Love your sight and have passed it along to my fellow quilters.
Sounds like fun!
Hi Lori! I am new to your blog and relatively new to FMQ, I have been practising hard and would love to be part of your sew-a-long is there somewhere I need to sign up or do I just follow along with your blog each week? I have made my quilt sandwich and I’m really looking forward to getting started…. thank you! It sounds a lot of fun!! Christine x
Just follow along! So glad you’ve joined us!
Yeeha! We were out of town with no wifi for 2 1/2 weeks. I am thrilled to be back in time to begin along with you! And I dearly love the new-to-me April top banner – lovely!
PS This theme will be great since we are living at the lake most of the time…Thanks…