Sunday, October 01, 2017

Learning QAL - October Goal Setting Link-up

Welcome to the third month of the Learning QAL. I've been learning a lot of things, from dyeing my own fabric to focusing on some free motion quilting (FMQ).

Two eager participants, Em and Mel have joined in the fun. In August Em made a small collage and sewed it into a useful coupon caddy and in September she worked with crumb fabrics and made a great looking zipper pouch.

In September, Mel successfully tried her hand at organic quilting. Everyone learned a lot - from technical details to learning what they liked and didn't like. Thanks so much Em and Mel for participating and learning.

So in the order of posting their September finish, the giveaway goes to Mel of Mel's Quilting Blog - for her organic quilting! She gets up to $20 towards a book (ebook or printed) to learn more stuff! Congrats!!!

Since my October learning goal involves batting from Connecting Threads, the giveaway for October participants will be a $20 (US) gift certificate from Connecting Threads. If you want, you can buy your own batting to test (or anything else to help you learn!)

My October Learning Goal

A week ago Connecting Threads had a sale on batting. I've always wanted to quilt with different types of batting but I always quilt with the same 100% cotton and as thin as possible, usually a Warm and Natural. I love it since it's not too hot and very versatile. I can use it for lap quilts to wall hangings and placemats. But there is so many other types of batting available that it would be nice to try them out and see the difference.

I also know that if I don't compare them at the same time, I might not even notice the difference. So my learning goal for October is to practice some FMQ using different types of batting. I bought 2 types of Hobbs Tuscany batting, one is a silk and the other is a cotton wool blend. I may pick up something locally to add to the mix.

I'm not sure what I'll be quilting, but since I want this all done by the end of the month, it will have to be fairly simple.

Another September Learning QAL Finish  - Anna's Black & White wall hanging

I finished FMQ Anna's wall hanging a couple of days ago. I was all set to do a quick post about it yesterday since it was also my September OMG (One Monthly Goal) whose deadline was yesterday. As you can see it didn't make it - I couldn't see any of the FMQ details in the pictures, so there was no point in a post. :-(
Anna's Black & White wall hanging
As I mentioned in my last post about this project (see Related Links), FMQ with white thread on a white-on-white fabric was nearly impossible. I couldn't see what I had done or where I was going. As I was complaining to my daughter, I was inspired - I realised that I could quilt it from the back! Since the thread in the bobbin was the same as the top and my tension was good, there were no issues.

FMQ from the back - much easier!
Here are some details of the FMQ from the front. These are all techniques taught by Christina Cameli in Wild Quilting on Craftsy. She does much more echoing than I did - I just kept forgetting!
Details of the FMQ 

More details of the FMQ 
By the way, this is Anna, my niece. She came over a couple of weeks ago to have her t-shirt shortened. Lucky for her I had just done the same thing for my daughter a few months back, so I knew what I was doing :-) I don't usually work with knits but it turns out that my Jag (my sewing machine) does that very well!
Anna in her t-shirt
Growing Up QAL

Here is block 9 of the Growing Up QAL with Alida. We made our own bias tape.

Block 9 of Growing Up QAL
What I learned
  • I learned a lot from Christina Cameli's Wild Quilting course but I really want to practice quilting less densely. I seem to quilt densely naturally but it's just too hard on the eyes and let's face it, it's never ending!
  • I am really glad that I quilted the Black & White wall hanging from the back. It was so much easier to do.
  • Making my own bias tape wasn't difficult, I just didn't like having to iron it down. Between the hot iron and my uncooperative fingers, it was a bit of a challenge.
  • As I was making the block, I was really proud of the fact that my three blocks turned out to be the same size as the larger block (remember, I am accuracy challenged!) Then I got careless and sewed the wrong side to the right side. That's what happens when I'm mentally congratulating myself and not paying attention to what I'm doing. 

Related Links

Project Details

Anna's Black & White wall hanging
12½" x 21"
Materials: cotton
Techniques: improvisational piecing, FMQ

Linking Parties: I will be linking this post to the Growing Up QAL as well as other great linking parties. Check out what quilters around the world are doing! Oh Scrap! Can I get a Whoop Whoop? Finished or Not FridayMonday MakingMain Crush Monday, Design Wall MondayMidweek MakersLinky TuesdayLet's Bee SocialNeedle & Thread ThursdayFree Motion Mavericks,


  1. I look forward to hear your comments on experimenting with different batting. I also use always the same, and do not pay much attention to that, but it's good to learn about other options. Your QAL block looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Thanks Alida, I'm the same way. I hope to pick up a couple more to make a good comparison. Should be fun - now to find something simple to make. Thanks for the QAL block instructions. It's great to be trying these techniques.

  2. Such beautiful work, neighbour. =)

    1. Thank you so much Connie. Glad you could visit!

  3. Making your own bias tape certainly opens up new doors - choice of fabrics and widths. Thanks for sharing your block!

  4. Hello Andrée,

    Black and white - a really brave choice of colour for your wall hanging, and great quilting!
    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks - your hanging is project of the week.

    Love, Muv

    PS Well timed Anna!


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