Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Let’s Swirl…..

Swirl means to “move in a twisting or spiraling pattern”, and that sounds like a great idea for Free-Motion-Quilting. BUT, it is one of the hardest patterns for me to figure out!!

When Angela Walters announced that week two in her “Filler FMQ Challenge” was based on swirls, I groaned loudly and started dreading the week!!

As usual, once I got into the design and started listening the Angela’s instructions, I relaxed, the quilting got easier and it ended up being a fun afternoon at the machine!!

I did this week backwards, starting with the variations and ending up with the swirl meander…..

I really struggle with this design, especially how to make it move freely around the area. I often end up with all of the swirls in a line and all of the curves going in the same direction!! SIGH!!!

My first problem is that I overthink the initial curve….maybe practice will help that!!

The first variation is the “Swirl Hook”…..

….EVEN HARDER for me to figure out!! I did find that it was important to echo the hook in the correct direction, but this just doesn’t look good to me!!!

Sadly, the next two designs were even worse!!!

I couldn’t keep the concentric swirls spaced evenly and THEY…..WEREN’T….ROUND!!

The “uneven concentric swirls” were hard to maintain, especially making it look as if I MEANT for them to be spaced differently……

Things got better when we added some pebbles into the mix…..

I think that having a place to stop one swirl and head into the next one makes it easier for me to fathom.

The “Elongated Swirl Meander” was okay, but I had done it before, so that helped…..

I had learned the “flower meander” in a previous challenge and it was definitely a favorite (I actually started with it)…..

….and the “Wavy Line Meander” is easy and I like how it looks…..

But, this weeks challenge was not ALL gloom and doom!!

There were two designs that I loved!!

The first was an elongated swirl that had a large “pebble” at the center of the swirl. I love how the other quilting made this circle pop out…..

The last design was not even in the video, but her diagram showed how to quilt it. I may not have done it EXACTLY right, but I love the open feel of it……

These last two are designs that I will DEFINITELY use again…..hopefully often!!!

All in all, there were TEN designs this week so I guess feeling a little overwhelmed was to be expected!!!

BUT….the takeaway message here is that, eventhough I didn’t feel good about my quilting, the final product looks great!!!

The other thing that I realized was that I felt rushed when I sat down to quilt and didn’t spend the time and energy needed to do a proper job……. I’ll try again next week!!!

2 thoughts on “Let’s Swirl…..

  1. I’ve watched a video of Angela teaching the swirl and the swirl hook. She makes it look so stinkin’ easy. It’s not. I spent 3 quilting mornings practicing and never got acceptable at it. I spent another 3 three mornings practicing stippling. Also no good. Tomorrow I’ll do my second day of loop-de-loops and see if I can get better at that. I have a lamb quilt and I wanted to do some decorative quilting on the lamb body. If I don’t come up with something soon, I’m going to have to skip it. . .

    1. Oh Andrea. I hope that you don’t have to skip it!! Interestingly, when I started quilting my lamb recently that was the best swirl design that I have ever made!!! Let me know if I can help in any way.

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