What a difference the quilting makes!!

I have had so much fun quilting the baby quilt that I showed yesterday It was amazing to be able to quilt it quickly and to use so many of the designs that I have been learning this year, including a few rulers as well!!

The easiest way to show you is with a video, so…..enjoy……

As I was looking at photos to post, I found a before and after and realized just how much difference the quilting makes……

AND, yesterday I received a photo of sweet Emily Ann enjoying her quilt…..

Does it get any sweeter than this????

In the video I mentioned FMQ Boot Camp. If you are interested, check out this video…..

….and sign up HERE

Making larger spaces smaller…..

One of the things that I have learned from Angela Walters Ruler-FMQ challenge is the importance of taking a large space and turning it into something special.

The best way to do this is to make the area smaller and split it into different motifs.

In this case, I was filling in an empty space on the Ruler-FMQ challenge.

I started by using an arch edge to make three passes across the sides of the blocks…..

Since the ruler was smaller than the side, I would stitch to the middle of the ruler and then move it over to meet the other corner.

After I made one pass around the block, I used the 1/4″ foot to free-hand two more passes, adding a teardrop in each corner…..

I then used a Westalee ruler to create a motif in the center of the square…..

I really like the final result…..

As I look at it now, I am thinking that it might be fun to add some back-and-forth squiggly lines inside those outer arches.

I will wait until I quilt the borders and then decide if it needs more.

A long time coming….

This week I was able to mark another item off of my task board…..

…and it has been a LONG time coming!!!

I started this quilt back in 2011 after a trip to China. HERE is the original post about that quilt. The post is aptly titled “Congratulations Mrs. Arnold…. it’s a boring quilt”!!

Then, after sitting for 8 years, I decided to make it unboring!! You can read that post here…..

So all that was left was the quilting. Easy right??

If it was so easy, why has it taken me 2 years to get it done? That is a question for the ages!!

Early on in the process, I started with the straight line quilting in the bamboo and was happy with what I had done…..

After a bit of hesitation, I decided to quilt the striped borders simply….

And then I got stuck again!!!

How was I going to quilt the outside border?? I thought and thought about it and actually started quilting a few designs that I didn’t like and picked out.

THEN….I was listening to an Angela Walters video and she made the profound statement…..”If you are not going to SEE the quilting, then don’t spend a lot of time on it”!!

WOW. That was a refreshing thought and you would definitely NOT see the quilting in that outside border!!

So, wavy parallel lines it was….

I even got lazy and used my sit-down long arm to put the facing on!! The only thing that I did differently was that I put my left hand behind the needle and used it to pull the fabric thru……

And boom….just like that it was finished!!

This has definitely been one of those projects that was in my “too-hard” basket and boy does it feel good to have it done!!!

How am I going to quilt this??

While I was on the plane heading to Mozambique…..all 17 hours…… I used some of the time to play with quilting designs using ProCreate on my iPad.

One of the things that I wanted to do was plan possible quilting designs for this top that I made last year…..

My plan was to divide the quilt into sections and use some of the new designs that I have been practicing. As I tried more and more designs, I decided that I needed to start with some straight lines to divide it into sections…..

I added a bunch more straight lines and then started adding the curvy bits……

I am sure that the curved designs will change before it is all over, but I am relatively happy with the placement of the linear designs so I will plan to start with those and then see where things head from there!!

Stay tuned….

Thoughts on FMQ practice

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had to do a LOT of FMQ practice before I felt comfortable quilting on the actual quilt!!

Now, my problem with FMQ practice is that I fight against the idea that I am wasting fabric and money!!! By the time I make the quilt sandwich using two pieces of fabric and one piece of batting, it ends up costing quite a bit. AND, because I have spent so much money on it, I am loathed to throw it away. Consequently, I have TONS of practice pieces lying around and taking up precious storage room in my studio!!

Somewhere, sometime in my life, I heard someone mention that they used paper towels to practice on and I took it one step further and bought a box of Shop Towels to use…..

I bought the brand name rather than the generic ones expecting that they would be a bit higher quality.

I pulled out three towels….

…being careful not to tear them.

I ironed them…..

……made the “sandwich” and headed to the machine. It worked GREAT!!!!

When I wanted to work on a wider piece, I pulled out several sheets and just folded them together rather than separating them. At the end of the practice time, I felt very comfortable with the pattern…..

And the best part was that when I was finished, I tossed them in the trash!!! Nothing else to store!!!

Plus the entire practice session cost about 40 cents!!!

Now….a couple more comments…..

I checked that the towels were lint free so I didn’t worry about lint accumulation.

I changed the needle after I was finished with the practice time and have now dedicated that needle entirely to the towels.

I am excited about the possibilities!!!