Swirly Quilting!!

For my personal FMQ Bootcamp, I picked a design from a “long ago” workshop and decided to play with it a bit.

This was my inspiration…..

…and I liked it because it wasn’t really an overall design but instead used the same motif in different ways!!

I tried it on paper first…..

…but decided that I just needed to jump in and quilt!!

The “swirlies” morphed a bit as I went along but I did a pretty good job of filling the area.

Angela Walters is always saying that you will see an empty space a lot faster than you will a mistake so, based on that assessment, this is pretty good.

At least…..

It’s all fun until you run out of thread….

I can quilt a wood grain…..who knew!!!

I have joined the “Flora and Foliage” Free-Motion-Quilting Challenge presented by Angela Walters. Be sure to check it out if you are interested!!

You can use ANY fabric for the challenge but she is selling a fun piece that is designed specially for the challenge……

Doesn’t this look like fun!!!!

I basted it using Hobbs Fusible batting, but didn’t feel that it stuck very well so added a few pins along the edge and in the middle to hold it a bit better.

I watched her video about how to quilt the design, tried it on a practice piece….

…and with MUCH trepidation…..

…took those first few stitches!!

Since this design was running the entire length of the quilt, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep it straight so I added a few “wash-out” marks to guide me on the first column….

I found it to be fairly easy to quilt…..

….but I did have to concentrate on the design or I would veer off someplace that I DID NOT want to be!!

I had a great time, until I ran out of thread…..

I am looking forward to finishing this section when a new spool is acquired!!!

It was a lot of quilting and wasn’t particularly FAST to do, but I feel like I have a good handle on this design and wouldn’t be afraid to try it on another quilt. After all….that is what the challenge is all about!!!

I am also starting to write and video my own “MOVE IT”….free-motion-quilting challenge. Keep watching this space for more information before the month is over!!!

FMQ Bootcamp

I have been sending myself thru FMQ Bootcamp this year and am finally starting to feel a bit more comfortable trying new designs!!

Today’s idea started with a design from Leah Day…..

…but as I “quilted” my paper quilt…..

….I couldn’t help but remember my friend Deborah Exum’s video about using line drawings to relieve stress…..

So, I sat down at the machine with the idea that I was NOT going to let this be a stressful experience!!

And, I actually had fun with it…..

It’s not perfect….nothing is!!…. but it was fun, the area is filled in and I would be happy using this on a real quilt….what could be more perfect than that!!

Keep your eyes out for “MOVE IT…..a Free-Motion-Quilting Bootcamp” that is coming later this month. Maybe you will want to join me on this FREE journey to branch out and TRY new designs!!

To be sure that you receive information about “MOVE IT”, just sign up for my newsletter over in the right column. As an extra incentive, you get a free pattern for “Crumbs for the Geese”.

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.