I recently came across a fun free pattern for a Ringlets Table Topper designed by Darci Schipnewski of Pastthyme Patterns. For a link to the pattern, click here. What appealed to me about this project was that it was an easy pattern with a result that appears difficult and it gave me a chance to practice machine quilting with a decorative stitch and 12 wt. thread (equal to two strands of embroidery floss).
The pattern is designed to work with twenty-three 5″ squares from a charm pack cut into four 2-1/2″ squares. Since I didn’t have a charm pack, I chose a patriotic theme and used fabrics from Liberty for All, Hometown Summer (2014), and Quilter’s Candy Basics. I probably ended up with about thirty fabrics, which I divided into lighter (white background prints, light blue, and light grey) and darker (reds and blues) fabrics.
Initially, I arranged the 2-1/2″ squares into nine Nine-Patch blocks as the pattern suggested. Since I planned the Nine-Patches with alternating lighter and darker fabrics, a scrappy checkerboard resulted. It was important to pay attention to the center square of each Nine-Patch because it would become a focal point, being the only square not covered partly by the appliquéd shape.
I placed squares for two rows at a time on a ruler, took it to the sewing machine, and chain-pieced each row – concentrating on keeping the fabrics in order which wasn’t always easy!
Odd-numbered rows were pressed to the left, and even-numbered rows were pressed to the right. This facilitated the nesting of seams as the rows were joined. Then 3-1/2″ (unfinished size) borders were added.
The pattern shows how to use a specialty ruler I did not have, but the printer-friendly version of the pattern has a template for the leaf shape to be appliquéd to the pieced background. I used template plastic to make the leaf template. Using my favorite fusible web, Lite Steam-Seam 2, the shapes were traced, cut out, and fused to the leaf fabric.
After using an iron to fuse the shapes to the quilt top, I basted the layers of the quilt sandwich (backing, batting, and the quilt top) with 505 Spray & Fix. Oops! Forgot to photograph this step but you can see the shapes below in the finished quilt.
Here are some close-ups of the feather stitch with a 12 wt. blue thread. I used a 110/18 needle. Mari told me I would need to lower my top tension and it ended up at zero! I used Bottom Line in the bobbin but would rethink that in the future. The front looked good but the tension on the back did not!
It’s not perfect but was easy and kind of fun to do.
Since, I used the decorative stitch to appliqué and machine quilt, all I had to do was add the binding when I finished stitching.
Another quick project finished! I like the feather stitch for machine quilting and will use it again later in the month on some place mats – so please check back!
I would appreciate any hints on thread for the bobbin with a heavy thread like the 12 wt used for this project. Any suggestions?