Its Spring….lets quilt flowers!!

As I mentioned in a previous post this week, I was able to spend a LOT, LOT, LOT of time in my studio this past weekend. It was a fun bit of relaxation during a hectic work time and did so much for my morale….at least until I had to go back to work on Monday!!

At the end of my mini retreat, I spent a bit of time working on some FMQ patterns and, for some reason, felt really free with the designs and not as uptight as I had been previously.

I started looking thru the usual books for ideas and then remembered a notebook that I had put together years ago that held copies of designs from various workshops that I had taken. In particular, back in 2000, my guild brought Caryl Bryer Fallert in for a 2-day workshop. I was in heaven as I sat under her tutelage and loved the fact that she was willing to share many of her designs with us.

As I looked thru these pages, I was drawn to a simple fill-design with daisies….one of my FAVORITE flowers (as my bridal bouquet can attest)…..

Okay…a little off-topic….back to quilting…..

I started out by drawing it on paper…..

….and quickly realized that they were easier to draw if I left out the center circle and instead had the petals just meet in the middle.

Before I began working on the machine, I made a few adjustments that I had been thinking about. Firstly, I had felt that the fabric was jerky as I was sewing, making it hard to get a smooth line, and I finally realized that I needed to lower the presser foot so that it came into better contact with the fabric. FIRST problem solved.

Secondly, I felt that the fabric was dragging some on the machine so I set out to FIX that problem. The machine surface has a dip around the throat-plate and often the fabric would stick there….particularly when I was quilting on an edge…..

The solution was to pull out my “Supreme Slider” to cover the offending edge…..

This also helped to allow the fabrics to slide freely!!

Now…on to the flower stitching!!

It was fun to do, easy to keep even and a happy fill pattern!!

Just the thing for a gorgeous Spring Day!!

Once again….FMQ Boot Camp will be here in April….stay tuned for more information!!!

FMQ Bootcamp – making up my own designs….

This week I struggled to find a design that I really wanted to practice on but finally settled on “Spiral Chain” from Leah Day’s “365 Free Motion Quilting Designs”….

I made the usual start on paper…..

…quickly realizing that my problem was going to be in keeping everything even!!!

I headed to the machine and was super happy with the first two rows that I did…..

The third row had a few issues as I ended up with it on a slant and the fourth row was a bit bigger in scale but still okay…..

At this point, I started getting bored with the design!! I have been watching a lot of Angela Waters videos and she talks about moving from one design to the other so I decided to try it….starting with some pebbles to fill in one area and a swirl to fill in the other…..

I like it!!

Then I decided to get really crazy and try my OWN design…..let’s start with a couple of curves…..

….and fill it in with an easy back-and-forth pattern…..

Now lets make another set of curved lines, but leave a 1/4 inch border between them. I used the edge of my foot to help gauge the 1/4 inch spacing……

I kept up this idea for a few minutes and was having a GREAT time……

But then I ran out of bobbin thread so called it quits for the morning!!

I enjoyed this idea of trying lots of different designs in one area and will definitely do this some more!!

Remember that I will be sharing my free “FMQ Boot-Camp” starting in April…..keep watching here for more information.