Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances


Free Motion Filler fun

This week I was able to make a start on the Angela Walters “Free Motion Fillers Challenge“. Most of you know that I LOVE the way that Angela teaches, really appreciate her challenges and ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS learn something new!!

This first week was no different!!

The first week was all about Circle Filler designs…..

We started out with basic pebbles….

I have been quilting those for a long time so picked a small area to practice them on.

Next, came Bubbles….ie, pebbles that are different sizes…..

I love how this one looks but I have trouble spacing my larger pebbles evenly around the block. It might be good for me to mark those in before I start quilting!!

Then we switched to a design where you start with stipple quilting and then throw in a loop (pebble) every so often…..

I do another version of this design which I find a bit easier. Mine uses less stipple and more loops…..

One of the hardest variations for me was overlapped circles….

I found it REALLY hard to keep the circles a similar size!!

Again, I have a version that I call “Bad Hair Day”. It is less “standard” but gives a similar feel…..

Next was my FAVORITE design and one new to me….an Echoed Pebble…..

The idea here is that every so often you make an echo line inside the pebble. I found it an easy pattern to do!!

The hardest one for me (and probably the filler that I will NEVER use) was an oval design.

I found this one very hard to work thru and to keep even as I went. When Angela works this design, she “travels” around every one of the ovals but that was too much traveling for me. Instead, I rounded the corner and then backtracked to a good starting place for another oval.

AGAIN…..this version was NOT for me!!

I will post a review later, but I am enjoying using my new suspension system. It made a lot of difference to the “drag” associated with FMQ.

I finished this first lesson just in time to watch the next one…..WHEW!!!!

Are you in a rut with your machine quilting? Sure, you know HOW to do FMQ and you have 4 or 5 patterns that you do well. BUT, you are bored with those designs and need a push to try some new things. If so, please join “MOVE-IT…. a Free-Motion Quilting Boot Camp”!! I will take you on a FREE 10-week journey to learn new designs and become more comfortable with just MOVING IT!! You can sign up by clicking HERE. The two videos shown above are part of this video series.

More surface design

When I left you, the Botero-inspired piece was at this point….

Now it was time to wash out the stabilizer. This was accomplished by soaking the piece in several baths of soapy water and then rinsing well.

Next, I headed to my “painting studio”…..ie my garage….. to play with the background fabric. Since I am NOT a painter, I always video the painting process to show you that you don’t have to be a painter to work on fabric. I hope that you enjoy the video……

BUT, after I turned the camera off and added the thread-painted cheesecloth to the background, it was apparent that the sky was too light in color.


So, even though I loved the pale, pretty sky, I mixed up some more paint…..

…and proceeded to darken it.

It does look better now…..

Although the paint hasn’t dried in this photo, so I may have to go even a bit darker….time will tell!!

So far I am still enjoying this process and am pleased with how the piece looks.

Come back for more as I start to add flowers and more specialty yarns and….who knows what else!!

You are taking a photo of THAT?

Michael has pretty much learned not to ask questions but, when I came out of the lady’s room, picked up my phone, and headed back into the bathroom, he was rightly confused.

I smiled sweetly at his questioning look and said…..”I need to take a photo”.

The concerned look intensified as I walked away from the table.

He was relieved when I showed him the photo of my latest quilt inspiration…..

Isn’t it marvelous!!

I can see it made in an analogous color scheme like this wall or even in an “anything goes” format.

PLEASE tell me that I am not alone in seeing quilt inspiration in weird places. Where is your strangest inspiration from???

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