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We’re Quilters; Of Course We’re Excited for the New 4400 Series of LOQtv! 

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Over the course of six months or so, we determine which quilts we want to see featured on 4400 series of Love of Quilting TV. All the quilts must appear on the pages of Love of Quilting magazine. There are rare exceptions for technique-focused episodes, and all the episodes must teach something.

Is the design unusual or classic? Are there fresh techniques? (Yes, we’re quilters; of course every season will have Quick Pieced Flying Geese and 8-at-a-Time Triangle Squares.) Can we fill 30 minutes with good, interesting, instructive content?

With the 4400 series of Love of Quilting launching on Quilting Daily TV on June 21, 2024 (and airing nationally on public television affiliates starting July 17, 2024), I believe we’ve created some excellent content for you.

Here are some of my personal highlights!

4410—Diamond Sparkle

We asked staff member Gigi Levsen to appear as a guest on the show to teach this quilt. I would consider her to be one of the best quilters I know—precise, experienced, and undaunted by explaining complex topics. The cherry on top is her extraordinary fabric palettes. 

We found the original quilt by Becky Rico very appealing, and we asked Gigi if she’d be willing to teach it. The quilt’s 45-degree diamonds from strips sets and unusual half rectangle patchwork were well-suited for the show, since video could help clarify the unusual techniques. 

But it was the completely different colorway Gigi used for her step-outs that makes this episode one of my favorites. I truly would not have expected a metallic light green and metallic beige to sing like that against the gray-taupe-and-rainbow diamonds… Well, kind of rainbow-ish, but in an oil-slick way. That doesn’t sound as pretty as it looks, does it?

On the left, behind Gigi, you can see Becky Rico’s original version of Diamond Sparkle. Gigi’s blocks are on the right (one is flipped so you can seem how she pressed her seams).

Gigi pulled these fabrics from her stash. I’ve started to imagine her fabric closet like an Aladdin’s cave, with a riotous abundance of magical color and texture, bins just overflowing with jewel tones and breathtaking prints. (In truth, it’s probably extremely well organized. Knowing Gigi, she likely has all her fabric logged and cross-indexed in a database.)

4409—Curved & Crazy and 4407—A Bounty of Bindings

A bit of a two-fer, here! If you’ve spent any time watching the show, you know that Sara Gallegos adores the decorative stitches on her machine and her die-cutter. 

Crazy quilts may be the first real improv quilts. Traditionally these quilts, which reached the height of their popularity in the late 1880s, featured random patchwork shapes from all kinds of fabric scraps (velvet and silk are common). They have elaborate hand-stitching along the seams to show of the maker’s embroidery skills.

Sara puts her own spin on the tradition by using her die-cutter to build a crazy quilt “fabric” that she then sub-cuts for a pickle dish block. And then, instead of tedious hand-stitching, she uses the decorative stitches on the PFAFF creative icon 2 sewing machine (there are A LOT on there) to embellish the seams. She guides us through her thread selection, too, which I always find informative. I doubt I’d be comfortable picking up a heavier weight thread without seeing how easily Sara rethreads the machine and stitches with it.

Sara shows conventional cutting in additional to her die-cutting method for crazy piecing, and she uses several different weights and types of thread for the crazy quilting.

Sara also used this quilt on episode 4407—A Bounty of Bindings. There have been so many seasons where we try to sneak in a substantial lesson about binding. It always feels rushed to me—binding, being by necessity, at the end of the episode. 

When Amy Simmonds submitted her Intersect quilt for the in the July/August and September/October 2024 double issue of Love of Quilting, the entire staff ooh’ed and ahh’ed over her perfect binding. (We’re quilters; of course we’re impressed by an impeccable binding.) And it got me thinking—was it time to do an entire episode devoted to binding?

When I asked Sara what she thought, she said, “Do you think that would be enough to fill an entire episode?”

Between mitered joins, scrappy binding, bias binding, Sara’s beloved ¼” fusible tape trick, and even Amy Simmonds’ method using double-fold bias tape, we barely fit it all in! Is that just the nature of bindings, always to be rushed? Perhaps, but for the first time, I bound a quilt using Sara’s scrappy binding method, so I can attest to the fact you can learn something new!

For episode 4407—A Bounty of Bindings, Amy Simmonds’ Intersect quilt hangs in a place of honor in the background. (The pattern and a photo tutorial on her binding method are included in the eBooklet.)

4405—Secret Meadow, Part 1 and 4406—Secrete Meadow, Part 2

Love of Quilting magazine is celebrating 25 years in print! Angela agree to design a mystery quilt for the occasion. It ended up being a two-part episode on this series, 4405—Secret Meadow, Part 1 and 4406—Secret Meadow, Part 2.

Angela can’t help herself—she loves a clever or unusual technique, and incorporates something interesting into each quilt she makes.

Being designed by Angela, the Secret Meadow quilt features plenty of open space for dramatic quilting. Plus all kinds of teachable, interesting techniques. The border diamonds use paper piecing. There are three methods for appliquéing the flower, and the faux LeMoyne Star that frames it all out is just cleverly constructed.

I love how classic the design is, and how adaptable! Angela’s version has a spring-like palette, and while it’s definitely my favorite, I also enjoyed the staff variations. Denise’s variation is a classic true blue. Annaliese’s is soft and sweet in solids and Gigi went with photorealistic floral prints that truly captures the ‘meadow’ vibe. (No, sadly, I did not do one. Except for binding, I am not allowing myself to remove my free-motion foot from my machine in 2024. And it’s working—I’m almost done quilting my fourth UFO!) 

From left to right, staff quilts from Denise, Annaliese, and Gigi.

4404—Embroidered Spiral Quilting and 4412—Patchwork Postcards

Nancy Bronstein, a sewing machine educator, was our guest on two episodes. I always appreciate when we have a sewing machine maven on the show, because it raises the bar a bit. As quilters, we could stick to two feet—the ¼” foot and a hopping foot–and never really even consider all the creative possibilities our machines have to offer. We have the Creative Icon 2 from PFAFF on set, and it would be a crime not to show off what all it can do.

Most top-of-the-line machines with an embroidery function have similar features. So, even if you don’t have the exact model we do on set, make sure you watch these episodes. Think about what your machine can do! Be sure to flip through that under-referenced manual or stop by your retailer for a chat. Because if you can do that spiral quilting in the hoop that Nancy showed on episode 4404—Embroidered Spiral Quilting, then WOW! Do it!

I feel like quilting in the hoop in an under-used technique. Nancy’s spiral quilting is just one of the many spectacular possibilities!

And if that’s too daunting, give yourself an easier project to learn on! On episode 4412—Quilted Postcards, Nancy revisits the patchwork postcards that Elaine Theriault shared in an earlier season (Episode 4204—Quilted Postcard Swap). It’s just an ideal way to try out your machine’s fun features—floating stitches to add borders, piecing in the hoop, different ways to finish edges, that kind of thing. (Bonus—Nancy’s method for coffee/tea dyeing adds great antique touch!) And then you have a postcard you could send to a friend! Is there a friend you think about often, but rarely text or haven’t called in ages? Send her a postcard, and share your love of quilting!

From piecing in the hoop to coffee-dyed postcard backs, this episode introduces some interesting techniques to expand your creativity in s a delightful way!

Be sure to check out the upcoming 4400 series of Love of Quilting TV. It promises to be a rich tapestry of creativity and technique!

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