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Royal Extended Width Computerized Quilting Design

 

 

This is Royal, the newest extended-width digital quilting design from your friends (me) at Longarm League! 
 



Royal, as an extended-width design, operates like this:
• The first trip across the quilt will quilt the "crown elements" (aka the spiky shapes) with the circles up.
• Then, it'll quilt a straight line right to left, then stitch two more lines left to right and then right to left.
• Next, it'll stitch the same spikey shapes (circles down this time) left to right.
• This is followed by three more straight lines, ending on the left edge and ready for another repeat unless you need to stop to advance the quilt. 

This edge-to-edge quilting design would look super cute on a princess's quilt (I'm assuming you know one)! But it could also work for a Crown Royal quilt. Have you come across one? They incorporate fabric from the pouches included with Crown Royal Whiskey bottles - it's a thing. Or perhaps you get a Kansas City Royals baseball quilt? Boom! This design would be perfect! 



The Quilt and My New Sewing Machine

This pattern is called Stellar Flare by Cotton and Joy. I'm very much drawn to star quilts, and I chose this pattern because I thought the little pluses in the sashings were so cute! 

I'll remember this quilt for being the first one pieced on my new Juki TL-2000Qi sewing machine (affiliate link). I love it so much—but dang!—it's emotionally tough to be bad at something new! I had some serious wonk in my first star points.

I anticipated needing time to adjust to the new machine, but getting inaccurate results was still frustrating. I'm glad to report that by the time ALL the blocks were constructed and the top was complete, I felt much more comfortable and had reigned in the accuracy, too.

My initial concern about accuracy was because my new Juki sews much faster and doesn't have the dual-feed built-in walking foot like my Janome MC 6600 did/does. I'm happy to report my fears were unfounded. I've harnessed—and quite like—my new speedy powers! I also found that the 1/4" guide foot helped a lot with the Juki. The guide foot didn't come with my machine; I had to buy that separately, and it was well worth the money.


I am still pulling out my Janome MC 6600 to bind quilts (with the dual-feed system), and I'm happy doing that. I used my new Juki to attach a different quilt's binding (front and back)... and with yucky results. I decided that instead of practicing and getting good at binding with the Juki, I could pay the Janome a visit every once in a while. That way, it's not goodbye forever. Instead of dividing my love and affection, my heart grew in capacity to love two machines! 💕



The Fabric

I bought all the fabric for this quilt from my friend Kristen's shop. If you are in the greater Des Moines area, her shop is called Mashe Modern and it's located at 1412 Walnut Street in Dallas Center, Iowa. They have online shopping as well

The star fabric is from Sarah Watt's Backyard fat quarter bundle from Ruby Star Society. I used Cuddle Minky fabric in coral for the backing. 



The Quilting Particulars

Here's more information about extended width designs, if you haven't encountered them before.  You'll find a left-to-right only version (called Royal L to R) in the file formats bundled with your purchase. Use the L to R file if your machine won't travel right-to-left without thread breaks or poor tension.


There's a video of the stitch out at the top of the blog post. There's no backtracking. 

I began stitching the first sequence of lines at the default row* height of 10" and the diameter of each circle was 1". I wanted the scale a bit smaller on this project, so I ripped the first section out and sized it to 75% of the default size. I did like the smaller scale more, so I'm glad I recalibrated. 

*row in this context is one repeat made up of 8 lines consisting of the crown shapes and straight lines.

I loaded the quilt on its side to get the long lines running lengthwise up and down the quilt, but truth be told, I wish that I had loaded it the "standard" way and had the quilted lines appear horizontally (which is what the photo above shows due to the orientation of the photo). Oh well! Next time.

Here are the sizing specifications for how I set up this sample quilt size using my Intelliquilter (58" x 71" quilt size):

Row height: 7.5"
Gap: 0" 
Pattern height: 7.5" (measurement from top to bottom of the repeat)
Offset: none
Backtracking: none

Here's a look at the included PDF:


I probably shouldn't tell you this, but now that we're at the end of the blog post, I consider you a friend and am willing to share all the gory details. 

AFTER this quilt was trimmed and bound (!), I was unhappy with the results and had to look at it for a long while to decide what was bothering me. You see, the first iteration of the design had the three straight lines between the crown elements spaced much closer together.

Okay, fine. I'll share two pictures below to illustrate. :) Look at the spacing of the straight lines in relation to the crown elements and to the other straight lines.


The closeness of the lines made it look like tracks were running through the quilt, affecting the uniformity of the quilting density. I returned to my design software and tweaked the triple line spacing, making it more uniformly applied in the space between the crown elements. It's a very subtle distinction, but I think it made all the difference in taking the quilt from okay to yay

At first, I justified the work of unpicking and re-quilting by telling myself I could keep all the crown elements and the middle straight line, leaving "only" the outer two lines of each grouping to unpick. Once I got it back on the frame, I found it difficult to realign everything just right, and eventually ripped out the center lines, too, and started "fresh" in the space between the crown elements. In the end, I used the pattern pulled up on my screen as a guide, but then restitched my straight lines using my machine's channel locks. Since the quilt was already bound, I had to be careful about exactly where I started and stopped my stitching lines. I buried every stitching line on both ends in the binding to look seamless.

If you scroll back and look at the first pictures, you might be able to see the pock-marked fabric from all the stitch ripping. And you might be able to tell that I didn't eyeball the placement of all of the straight lines perfectly, either.

Phew! It was a lot of extra work, but I'm much happier with the overall design and spacing. Now that the file is fixed, my ridiculous undertaking will not affect how anyone else uses the file, but I wanted to share the WAY behind-the-scenes story. It was quite a journey! 

If you use Royal on a quilt, we'd love for you to use the hashtag #royalpanto and tag @longarmleague on Instagram so we can see how you use it! You can also visit our full digital design shop to take a look at all our previous designs.

Interested in getting new digital pantograph designs like this one on the day they're released (and at a deep discount)? Sign up for our Digital Panto Club and get them delivered straight to your inbox on the first Wednesday of each new month.

 

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