Jul 292012

Free motion goes so much faster! (see Part One here) First, to refresh my skills, I finished this little thing (15×15) made with xmas prints and leftover bits. It may end up a pillow top, although it may need some size adjustment.

Now I forget what order I did them in, but that doesn’t matter. For Slasher (26×27) I used square spirals in the light area and round ones in the colored areas. That went quick.

Two more scrap tops were next, which I spent more time on. For Spirals (19×21) I tried a technique I saw somewhere online around the spirals, then did a simple spiral fill on the rest.

For Ferns (18×19) I started following the rubbing-plate design but gave it up after a few and did a big free-form flower in the center. Next I tried bubbles as a filler. Didn’t like those so I used some spirals, then had the insane idea to echo closely in the empty spaces between. What was I thinking? But I got it done.

And the big one, crib-sized. I used it to try out a number of different fills (each space is different) – you can see more in my posts for the FMQ Challenge. (scroll down, or go here and here)

The other one I quilted I already posted here. Now I need to get busy on bindings, sleeves, and labels.

 July 29, 2012  Posted by at 4:30 pm Quilting No Responses »
Jul 292012

After dragging my feet for months, I finally admitted defeat in my attempt to master my newly-acquired Juki and went back to quilting on my Pfaff.

My first few projects used the built-in walking foot while I played with decorative stitches and a little couching.

Here’s a little thing I did for AAQI, the only scrap thing I’ve been able to keep under 9×12. I had fun playing with a few of my limited selection of stitches.

Jump for Joy (34×52), I made a bad choice – close parallel lines. It took forever! Looks okay, but never again. I added a simple scalloped edge in places, not sure it shows in the pics. Then I couched some cotton yarn to give it a vertical dimension. I plan to add some appliqued circles, it’s next on my project list.

Brambles (34×54) I used a decorative stitch, which went quickly, but it’s also not done. I plan some stenciling then free-motion work.

After those three I switched to the darning foot. (see Part Two)

 July 29, 2012  Posted by at 4:15 pm Quilting No Responses »
Jul 292012

I fell a bit behind on the Free Motion Quilting Challenge after January. Partly because I bought a used Juki for my new quilting machine, but have yet to master the thing. No matter how much I use it I can’t control the speed. I would swear I’m not changing the pressure on the pedal at all yet the speed keeps shifting – faster or slower at random. I’ve reached the point where I’m going to take it in for servicing to see if it’s me or the machine. If it’s me I’m going to start hunting for another machine.

Finally the pile of WTBQ (waiting to be quilted) projects reached the point (I ran out of safety pins) that I set up my trusty Pfaff and went to work. I actually reached the point where I’m starting to feel like just maybe I can learn this FMQ thing. If only the Pfaff had more throat space!

One of the projects was a “modern” pink squares thing I threw together following a tutorial on Leah Day’s site. The concept was to practice the stippling variations she has taught, but I decided to use it to try out a bunch of filler designs I’ve been wanting to use. I also threw in some I’ve done before, and then used the three designs Ann Fahl covered in her tutorial for March for the Free Motion Quilting Challenge.

Here are the three:

Meandering stars



 July 29, 2012  Posted by at 3:56 pm Free Motion Quilt Challenge No Responses »
Jul 222012

Free Motion Quilting Challenge update for July.

I did it! Quilted the design for this month before the month was over. I missed the last 5 months due to sewing machine issues (which meant not doing any FMQ work), but I’ve got more tops waiting. Next step is to review the missed months and decide which top will get which design, although some will need practice pieces first and I may not do them all.

┬áThis scrap top has been hanging around for a few years, waiting for me to add a little paint or something around the edges. I finally did a couple weeks ago, using a bronze paintstick and a cheap imitation cut-glass dish for the rubbing plate (literal plate in this case). I thought it would be fun to use the tiling design on this quilt and match up the “tiles” with the scrap sections. It was fun, but the end result doesn’t show up very well. I think you can see it better on the back, even though I chose a print to help hide my lovely quilting. I used a spiral fill in the purple areas and stippling in the scrappy areas. Mostly.

I’ve upped the contrast on these two pictures to help show the quiltng:

 July 22, 2012  Posted by at 10:01 am Free Motion Quilt Challenge 1 Response »
Jul 132012

I didn’t finish anything for the Finish-Along in the Second Quarter. When I commented on the Linky Party that I wasn’t sure what to aim to finish for the Third Quarter, UFOs or the growing stack of new tops, I got a helpful email from SewCalGal saying that it has to be at least started.

Big help. That narrows it down to about 150 choices, (give or take 5 or 10). I need to do better than that!

First the easy choices – I’ll eliminate anything in a bin (or bag), and anything stashed in the guest room. That leaves various projects tucked here and there on any available surface in my sewing room. Those come first. If I don’t finish at least a few of those I won’t be able to function in there much longer.

Here’s what I found on a trip through my sewing room, and would like to finish by the end of September:

1. Pink Squares thing – I’ve started quilting this one. In theory it shouldn’t take much to finish the job, but I find real life often has other ideas. (Previously blogged about here.)

2. “Jump for Joy” – made with the trimmings of #1. I’ve started quilting this one too, but allowed myself to get sidetracked by new projects.

3. Pink hibiscus scrap quilt – made to clear the pinks off my cutting table after #1 and #2. I want to cut it up again and add a totally new background. Should be fun, and can’t get any uglier.

4. Outhouse quilt – made for fun 5 or 6 years ago. It really shouldn’t take long to quilt it, I just have to take a few minutes to do it.

5. Scrap thing with spirals – another clear-the-cutting-board project. Ready to quilt.

6. Scrap thing with fern print – I made this one at the same time as #5. This one I played with paintsticks, now it’s ready to be basted and quilted (though I might rip off that print on the side).

7. Another scrap thing, this one from about 5 years ago. I didn’t finish it then because I thought it needed something more. Recently I added some paintstick rubbings, I think I can finish it now.

8. Confetti #3 – I made this quick top planning to quilt it for the FMQ Challenge run by SewCalGal – but I don’t know. I think it calls for vines appliqued on. Which suggests something viney quilted on it.

9. Xmas chickens – I’ve lost track how long this thing has been hanging around! It needs a little bit of FMQ work and may end up a pillow.

10. Practice flower – I made this to practice FMQ on, having not tried it on fused applique. Time to finish it – I think it needs a little bit of something added along one side too.

11. Another scrap project – I love sewing scraps together! This one I did as a betweener while working on the project the colored scraps came from (#12 below). It’s time to baste and quilt it.

12. The ongoing horse quilt – I really want to finish this one. I think I’ve listed it every quarter so far, and I would be just as happy not to be able to fill out the year! I’m almost there piecing the top, I just have to not start anything new all quarter. It fills my design wall so every time I turn to a new project, this one has to come down.

13. “When Granny Drinks” – done to play around with improv blocks. I haven’t decided if it needs a border, but it definitely needs to be basted and quilted.

14. Small art piece from scraps – I keep trying to make something small enough to donate to AAQI, but my pieces keep growing on me. This one is still small enough. I’m using it to play with my machine’s (limited) range of fancy stitches.

15. I’ll add one of the other two projects I listed last quarter, the Strength quilt, now sitting in my office so I can hand-quilt it while watching videos or listening to podcasts. So far I haven’t picked it up and worked on it. Next step – find a hand quilting needle that fits the thread I chose.

(The third quilt from last quarter was for the guest bed. Guests have come and gone, the quilt can wait for later.)

16. Something from the rest of the cavegirl blocks I made for #13 above. Some of them were too light to stand out against the yellow “sashing” so I put them aside for some other project. Might as well list it here.

That’s enough, I’m sure I won’t finish them all, but it gives me a bunch to pick from. Note that most of these are small. The horse quilt is nap sized, the pink squares is crib size, and the rest range downward from there to 9X12 for the AAQI quilt.



 July 13, 2012  Posted by at 3:34 pm Finishing No Responses »
Jul 072012

I did it! Managed to do this week’s step in Leah Day’s quilt-along. That’s two weeks in a row, but I have a suspicion that will be it.

Here is my “modern” quilt top basted and the loopy division lines stitched. I cheated. Yep, I did. I used my walking foot to stitch these two lines. My FMQ skills are not up to managing two parallel lines, and my FMQ machine is still not set in its table. The plywood for the new top has been cut, sanded, and primed for a couple weeks now, but I’ve been too busy in the garden to lug it from the shop to the house. Maybe tomorrow.






Here’s a closer shot so you can see the quilting lines, they don’t show up well in the full pic.


This one is ready for the next step except for one problem – I’ve got a strong urge to turn the dual lines into “railroad tracks” then fill in the remaining spaces with loopy-loo filler. I might have to make another top to do the stippling variations for the current week’s quilt-along. Or not. I don’t have to follow-along all the time.

 July 7, 2012  Posted by at 5:52 pm Free Motion Quilt-Along No Responses »