Monday, February 27, 2012

Free Motion Quilting - feathers

Sometimes free motion quilting can be so frustrating! The problem is, I am a perfectionist. I also am one of THOSE that thinks if you don't quilt your own quilt, you can't lay claim to making the quilt. WHO AM I TO ARGUE with Eleanor Burns - who "quilts with her credit card!" Problem is, my credit cards are all gone, and we live on cash only.....when I think about shelling out cash to someone else to quilt, well............I would rather buy fabric!






Well, I have quickly gotten to the point of having several quilt tops sitting in my studio, un-quilted. I am DETERMINED to learn to quilt them myself. The perfectionist in me though, won't let me start them! This too goes against the teaching of most free motion quilting teachers....their advice is always practice, practice, practice. and even practice on real quilt tops (GASP!!!) What if I mess it up? Well, if they site there an never get quilted, what good are they anyway?!? (<---those are exclamations of ambivalence.)



This month's free motion quilting challenge with SewCalGal was feathers....who doesn't love them? I know I love them. I tried drawing them, and when you look at them at a distance, some of them weren't too bad, but again, the perfectionist in me reared its ugly head. I had to use a template. Besides, Diane said we could! Okay, so she was encouraging and teach complete free motion, but she did mention templates at one point, so I took that as complete permission.









This template is from one of my absolute most favoritist free quilting template locations.....forestquilting.com - if you haven't been there, be sure to go and collect all of their beautiful free quilting motifs. I used the one called "Feathered Heart Motif"

The pdf says it is for a 12" square, so I needed to reduce it for my 8 1/2" practice piece. To figure out how much to reduce it, I divided my square size, to get the percentage of the original size I needed to print. (The original pattern size 12 divided by 8.5 equals .67 or 67%) On my print settings, I set it to print 67% of original size.

Next, I took my quilt square, and marked the center lines, by folding and marking. I used a light box to align the center lines on my square, with the center mark on the pattern. I then traced once side of my heart. Then I flipped the pattern over, and traced the other side. Note, the disappearing ink pen disappeared too quickly, so I had to revert to the water soluble. The other neat thing about this project is learning to use all those nifty tools I have sunk a lot of money into!

I set my machine up for free motion quilting. This time I spray basted my practice sandwich, as this is a pretty complex motif and I would have a heck of a time working around pens.


I tested my machine out on scrap piece and everything worked fine.....I went to my real piece and YIKES I started having skipped stitches. Since I cleaned my machine, before I started, I knew that wasn't the issue. So, I changed needles - stitching once again worked fine on my scrap piece. Went to my real piece again - and skipped stitches!!! WTH!!!! Yes, I am using expletives, because I HATE reverse sewing.


 
So, to the internet I go.....since I had a new needle, my machine was clean, my tension was fine on my scrap piece, I couldn't figure out what was happening, then it dawned on my, I had a thicker batting on my scrap piece!! I found Diane's advice about skipped stitches in free motion quilting here - and made a new "scrap piece" using the same skinny batting, and voila - problem of skipped stitches solved.

Sorry for the novel here, but I had to get all that out!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Free Block of the Month from Lecien - Block 5

Time to download the next block of this beautiful applique quilt! Click on the photo below, to get block five.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

To make you smile......

Because the kitchen remodel, I haven't gotten a lot of quilting done lately, so I wanted to share a couple of photos I took in the last month or so....I think they will make you smile.


I took this photo in the lobby of a hotel we recently checked into....what's wrong with this picture?


The funny thing about this one, is the story that goes with it.....my mother (age 65) and I were riding along and she excitedly read this sign to me - "Over 60? Singles Vacation Ahead!" - you tell me, was this wishful thinking or a case of bad eye sight? Incidentally, she is still married to my father.

American Beauty - Free Quilt Pattern

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FREE QUILT PATTERN I really like this quilt pattern. I probably would do something a little different to the o...