Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February FMQ Finish

My OMG (One Monthly Goal) for February was to finish free motion quilting (FMQ) my "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt. I did it with one day to spare. Sometimes I think that I'm crazy for setting an OMG, but on the other hand, it was reached this month (It would have been very quiet here if I hadn't reached it - so no big deal) 😊

Free motion quilting all done!
I must be feeling better because I put in many hours on my Jag (sewing machine) this week. I was truly having a blast zooming right along. I took out my notebook of FMQ patterns and Craftsy class notes and played around. I was aiming for a more even stitch, and was more or less successful. I just tend to get over excited zooming around curves and let my stitches get pretty big. I estimate that I was probably 60 to 70% successful - so that's pretty darn good.

Adding hearts in the border of one of the blocks
Don't these rudbeckias look happy?

More of Muv's rudbeckias
It's always a pleasure to FMQ some feathers.
A few feathers for a change
I also wanted to practice more FMQ designs, especially in the longer strips and borders. Here are a few designs that were simple to quilt.

Practicing leaves inside of paisleys

Creating a string of leaves and another of flowers

Adding a line of lotus style flowers
A line of simple but elegant "l" and "e" (or loops)
I mentioned that I was going to use some of Angela Walter's Dot-to-Dot technique. I ended up using the starburst design and some variations. These were great for blocks that had busy fabric that didn't have a pattern that I could follow.

What I learned
  • Sometimes it was a bit of a challenge to figure out what design to use. Deciding to use Angela Walter's Dot-to-Dot technique made it a lot easier. It's a very versatile technique and worked out well.
  • One of the challenges that I gave myself near the end was to quilt as much as possible in all directions (instead of turning the quilt around). I didn't think that I could do this while quilting the starburst design, but I surprised myself. It went really well.
  • There are no photos of the starburst design since they barely show up on the busy fabrics.
Related Links
Linking Parties I will be linking this post to the February Finish OMG link-up. I will also be linking up to many parties, so join me and see what`s happening around the quilting world! Midweek MakersLinky TuesdayDesign Wall MondayMain Crush Mondays, Needle & Thread Thursday, Free Motion MavericksMoving it ForwardFinished or Not Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?,

Great news! My post was featured on Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Project Updates and News

It's time for updates on some ongoing projects.


I was busy working on free motion quilting after my holidays, but then got attacked by a nasty flue bug and was out for the count. After a week of only reading cozy-mystery novels, I was finally able to work on my hexies.

Progress on my Hexie Runner
I attached the last two flowers and am now working on the white border. I think that it's long enough because I'm now tired of working on it 😊 I will be finishing the piece in the same way as my last hexie project. That will take a while to do, but is totally worth it!

Hexie flower table topper
Finished back of the tat
I also have a few hexie flowers left, so I'll have to work these into another project, eventually!

"Not playing the supporting role!" quilt
Free Motion Quilting (FMQ)

I finally felt well enough to do a little bit of FMQ on my "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt.

I haven't been able to do anything that's too complicated. I am very happy with my rudbeckias. These come from Muv's free motion quilting videos (see Related Links below).
Rudbeckias and swirling leaves

I'm really enjoying "sort of following" the fabric design such as the swirling leaves above. I find that I don't need to be very accurate, that it's more about the flow of the quilting, at least for that fabric.

A solid fabric block means that I can play with swirls, paisleys and lots of echoing. That was a lot of fun.
Swirls, paisleys and echoing
I like using the fabric as a guide for deciding on what to quilt. Since these are full of squarish orange spaces, I've quilting squares within squares. I like that some of the spaces in this quilt call for swirls while others are more linear.

Squares within squares
Finally I added fans in the borders of one of the big blocks. Again, they got progressively better as I made more of them.
Border quilting

I have some exciting news that I can now talk about! I am a big fan of the digital magazine, Make Modern. It's got some really nice projects, is affordable and I really like that it's digital.

Last July, I decided to take a chance and submit a proposal for a baby quilt pattern, based on my Beautiful Day Baby Quilt. Of course I had to go shopping for fabric 😊. I then sent them my proposal and it was accepted! Wow!

Buying fun fabric for a baby quilt!
The pattern comes out next Friday, March 2, 2018, in issue 21. I'll be writing up a post on the application process as well as what I learned while writing the pattern, making and photographing the quilt.

I received this in the mail - I love their postcard and the Make Modern pin!

What I learned
  • As much as I love hexies, I eventually get bored of working on the same project for a long time. I think that I will always have to keep my English Paper Piecing (EPP) projects small, or they will never get finished!
  • It may take a while for me to finish the hexie runner since making hexies to match the entire border is very time consuming. I do believe that it's worth it since it's really a lovely finish. 
  • It just dawned on me that all of those finishing hexies will be in white - that may prove to be very difficult cause I get bored easily when I'm not playing with colour. I'll have to think of a solution to this....
  • I was surprised that I wasn't able to FMQ when I wasn't feeling well. I didn't realise how much concentration and attention it requires. It also doesn't help when I have to figure out what design to quilt.
  • To keep the decision making to a minimum, I may use Angela Walter's Dot-to-Dot technique since it fits well in most blocks and is fairly simple and quick.
  • My border fans are not very consistent - I will be planning them the next time!
  • I have learned so much in the last few months about writing a pattern and getting it published. I was a great experience and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you next week!.
Related Links
Linking Parties
I will be linking to many link-ups. See what other quilters are doing and check these out: Free Motion Mavericks, Midweek Makers, Let's Bee Social, Linky Tuesday, Needle & Thread Thursday, Finished or Not Friday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?Oh Scrap!MOP Monday, Monday MakingMain Crush MondayDesign Wall Monday,

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Free motion quilting

I am slowly free motion quilting my "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt. So far I FMQ a few blocks based on the fabric's design.
FMQ strips

FMQ designs

This is my favourite - the fabric almost looks like a heart beat. I quilted all of the pale strips,from the top and the bottom. It was great practice for my precision, which is not great but was getting better by the end!

I used a different approach for both of these blocks. In the first image, I quilted around each arc while in the second block I quilted within the arced space. I expected to like the second one best, but I think that the effect of quilting around the arcs gives more interest.

Quilting around the arcs

Quilted inside the arc space
In the top row, I quilted "S" shapes and large pebbles. In the lower row, I quilted arches and then placed different designs within each row of arches. The orange fabric was perfect for swirls while the brown solid got chevrons. The last fabric in the bottom row got a nice big feather.
Practicing differnt FMQ designs
  This image is of the back of the quilt, in roughly the same area as the picture above.
The FMQ from the back of the quilt
It's now time to choose designs for the rest of the quilt. I've made a notebook of FMQ designs that I've used and practiced during the last couple of years. Some of the designs are drawn on the pages while others were practiced on scraps of paper that are now taped into the book. It's nothing fancy but it really helps me chose different options instead of always using the same ones.

"Hearty Penguin"

There was a blog hop this week featuring one of Made by Marney's foundation paper pieced blocks. It was available free (and still is for a while I believe - see Related Links below). I haven't added the penguin's eyes yet, but isn't he adorable? Made by Marney also has other cute Valentines and Easter foundation paper pieced blocks. Check them out. They are gorgeous!

What I learned
  • For my "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt, I have to keep reminding myself that I don't want to FMQ this too densely. I suspect that it's going to be hard :-)
  • My FMQ notebook is a work in progress. Every once in a while I go through my stacks of papers and find all kinds of FMQ patterns that I've worked on. These are then added to the book.
  • On Friday I was doodling and was finally able to draw a design that I've been trying to figure out for months now. Somehow I got it right. I'm looking forward to using it in this quilt!
Related Links
Linky Parties
I will be linking this post to a few link-ups. Come and see what's happening! Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Free Motion Mavericks, Oh Scrap!, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Design Wall Monday, Quilter's Monday, Linky TuesdayMidweek MakersLet's Bee SocialNeedle & Thread Thursday,

Great News! My Free Motion Quilting was featured by Connie on Linky Tuesday, while Hearty Penguin was featured by Susan on Midweek Makers. Hooray!

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Starry Bright Sky - Block 1

The deadline is today. I feel like the baseball player who just slides onto first base, just before the first base-person catches the ball! I'm not sure where that came from except that I was hustling it when doing my zigzag stitch!
Block 1 - Appliqué of Starry Bright Sky QAL

Block 1 - Starry Bright Sky

I realised yesterday that I still hadn't started my first block. I really considered not playing along this year, but Alida does such a great job, and I really liked and learned from last year's quilt along, so it wasn't a very difficult decision to make.

I hadn't even thought about fabric. Thank goodness it didn't take long to take out all of my dark blue Kona solids and my printed yellow fabrics. They are now in a project bag, waiting for the next block. 😊

Alida's instructions mentioned using fusible web interfacing. I'm not sure if it's the same thing but I used some Heat & Bond adhesive. I'm not sure if there is a difference, but it worked fine. I tend to skip those part of the instructions but decided to use the adhesive since I didn't want the star to move around while doing all that zigzag.

I have now completed my To-Do Tuesday goal! Now for my OMG (One Month Goal)...

"Not playing the supporting role!" Quilt

I have now finished free motion quilting (FMQ) in-the-ditch most of the seams in the quilt - as many as I'm going to anyway.

I'm looking forward to playing some more. I want to stitch each block, but not too densely since this is my cuddle quilt - perfect with a good book (or my Kobo).
All the seams have been stitched - now the fun begins!
Landscape Quilt

This is the funky landscape Jo liked
One of my daughter's friend graduated from nursing school last year and is now a Registered Nurse, living in her first apartment. She's a real sweetheart and always has nice things to say about my quilts. So my daughter showed her a few of my quilts and she decided on a funky landscape quilt. It's going to be fairly wide but I'll keep it simple and play with the embellishments.

It's always easier for me to have a picture to use when creating these, even if I don't always follow them, so here are the pictures that I chose. My plan is to use the first picture below as the background and to add the driftwood logs (without me) in the foreground.
The Rockies

Driftwood logs for the foreground
My husband and I took these pictures in British Columbia a few years ago. I've always wanted to make them into a quilt, so here's my chance.

My goal for To-Do Tuesday this week is to start on this quilt by auditioning fabrics. If it's going to be a funky landscape, I'm thinking that some colourful batiks could be cool.

What I learned

  • Since I don't use adhesive web very often, I forgot that you have to place the pattern on the wrong side of the fabric. I figured that out when I came to iron the applique piece to the background. Oops! Of course by then I had cut out and fused all of the I had to start over. It did go faster the second time around. 😊
  • I'm happy to report that I played with the zigzag setting and adjusted the width of the zigzag as I came to the points in the pattern. I only did that for the orange flame pieces, but I'm glad that I remembered. It really did a much better job.
  • I went back to work on Thursday and was very zen. I wish I could say the same for Friday. It felt as if I had never left :-(  I did like the idea of being in for only two days for my first days back. It was great to have a weekend after that Friday! I'm sure that I will get into the swing of things soon.
Related Links

Linking Parties

I am linking this post to the Starry Bright Night Quilt Along Link-up, as well as the next To-Do Tuesday link-up. Check out what is going on out there in quilt-land: Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? MOP Monday, Free Motion MavericksFinished or Not Friday, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Design Wall Monday, Linky Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Let's Bee Social, Needle & Thread Thursday,

Great news - my "Not playing the supporting role!" Quilt was features on Free Motion Mavericks! Thanks Muv 😊