Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sheep in Spring

I've been working on this for a while and have finally finished it. The inspiration for this wall hanging (which measures about 35" finished) was a pattern by Janet Claire. It was for a small quilt (9" x 5") with sheep and crow pictured on it. I loved the sheep and crow.....so enlarged those by 200% (or somewhere around there). Then had the wonderful idea of doing a scrappy background using 6" squares.....of which I have a ton of and the number never seems to get any smaller. The appliqued flowers were born one night as I was looking at what was finished so far. The center seemed like it needed something to finish it up. It wasn't until I went outside to see my sheep that I noticed all the buttercups that had sprung up all over the place....in what seems like overnight. This was exactly what my quilt needed. And the buttercups were born. :.)

What makes this quilt a bit different from the others that I have done is that it is the first one that I have ever done on my Pfaff 7550. I decided it was time to see exactly what the Pfaff could do (just about everything!!) and the Bernina really needed to be taken in to get cleaned. I discovered that the Pfaff does beautiful machine applique....is easy to use.....and has several advantages over my Bernina when it comes to machine quilting. I also discovered that the Bernina has a larger throat space and the bobbins can hold a bit more. All in all.....I really love both machines and hope to have them both set up for use someday.
Now a bit on the machine quilting....of which I'm very happy with. :.) In the sky area I chose to do a Baptist Fan pattern. The applique was all outlined and a curly pattern was done in the sheep....with the hopes of giving it a bit more "woolly" look. The flowers (as the bird) were outlined. The grass area was done using a small meandering pattern. The dark areas of the scrappy half square triangles were done using a 1/4" outline....repeatedly. This was so incredibly easy to do with the Pfaff. All I had to do was put on the 1/4" foot (with the guide), put the built-in walking foot down.....and then simply keep the guide on the line that I wanted to follow. The end result was a very nice, very even 1/4" outline every single time.
In the light areas of the scrappy half square triangles I did a feather within a feather type of free motion quilting. Once I got used to the feel of the Pfaff, the free motion went very easily and very quickly. It's a wonderful machine to free motion quilt on. Just need to practice a bit more to keep my stitch size consistently consistent. The corner blocks were done using a flower that kept on going all the way out to the edges of the block. Finally, the outer border was done using a free-hand feather motif. Oh! And I did stitch-in-the-ditch on all the borders, including the dark parts of the half square triangle border. I used a foot that has a guide in the middle of the foot. All you have to do is keep this guide right in the seam....and the needle just follows along behind. Works like a dream!! And, yes, I will be making more quilts on the Pfaff. :.)


  1. Your quilt is absolutely beautiful! What a wonderful job you did. I love the sheep and the buttercups. It all seems very natural together :)
    Thanks for sharing this beauty - I have made a few machine bed and crib quilts but nothing like yours. I'd love to set my machine up again someday when time permits.

  2. Thank you for the very kind comments, Deb. I think you should set your machine up again. Creating is good for the soul. :.)