Archive for the ‘Free Motion Quilting Project’ Category
Can you tell I love me my unpolished red satin? This is “Mandala 1: Core,” also published in Linda Seward’s book Ultimate Guide to Art Quilting Techniques. It’s free motion quilting, but the nice thing about using marbled patterns is that you have lines to follow!
I taught beginning free motion quilting this past Saturday and had a FABULOUS time!! When I did my lesson plan for the class, and then as I was going through it with my students, a few things became very clear to me.
- Everything starts with a straight line done with the free motion foot. It helps develop rhythm and hand placement. No longer will I start with a motif when teaching beginners.
- It’s easy to go from straight line to stippling (large, medium, and micro) as well as figure out how not to get in a corner and have to stop. My students found it very easy to move quickly and easily into curved lines.
- At this point we stopped to talk about threads and tension. It seemed a good point, and there were questions cropping up. The biggest problem they (and probably most of us) have is silencing that Inner Critic and realizing we have to practice – most of us aren’t willing to approach it that way at the beginning. (Ask me how I know that…). One person had bobbin issues, and the rest were concerned with moving that upper tension dial, as well as determining if their machine like same thread top and bottom, or another combination. I need to remember for future classes that “same thread top and bottom” may be more helpful to beginners. I’m so used to the quirks of my machine and how to work with different top and bottom
- Next pattern was a basic heart-shaped leaf, first learned by me in the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge by quilter Frances Moore.
- Pebbles were next – large, medium, fill-ins, different sizes. This seemed a natural progression.
- Then spirals, grid patterns, and feathers. No one really got frustrated, mainly because they could see how previous learning morphed into a new pattern pretty easily.
Lots of samples from me so students could see practical applications within actual quilts, as well as all my practice fat quarters that I now use to practice or check tension before beginning a new project.
Best part? Everyone signed up for Intermediate FMQ in March!
In order to cope with the depression that has settled, I set a goal of sewing for a couple of hours every single day. It is helping. I’m taking Cindy Needham’s Craftsy class and getting LOADS of ideas. Plus, the FMQ challenge has a great tutorial on borders. So I started experimenting with both. I’m using the dresser scarf (one of two) to practice on. This middle section doesn’t really coordinate with the first one (or the soon-to-be last one), but these are for practice.
I am maintaining the circle stencil motif in the center of each third of the piece. Then I started with some of Cindy’s “sunshine and shadows” in the center, and then a round border of some pebbles. Then I took some ideas for borders from Patsy Thompson’s tutorial. Even added a paisley corner from Leah Day. LOVE the back – I actually managed to get the tension to work. I used Bottom Line in both top and bobbin, as I was trying Cindy’s suggestion to use that to add texture. I used the freeform feathers from Leah Day that Cindy talked about to unite the two sections. Liking the freeform there! This center part is about four hours of quilting – incredibly therapeutic. There is definitely a whole cloth quilt in my future!
Here are the free motion feathers…could have done more in the blank spaces, but I was running out of steam……….
A look at the center, with the edge of the circle, first, second, and third borders.
More of the center section.
Some pics of the back – LOVE it!!
I’ve been working on improving my free motion quilting since June, when I took apart an old quilt and redid all the quilting. I am doing a HUGE amount of quilting right now on a piece I’m working on, but with the start of Sew Cal gal’s free-motion challenge for the year, I am plunging right in. We got our first lesson on Sunday, and I started on Tuesday with some practicing. This is a lot of fun. Here’s my first attempt:
Bottom Line by Superior Threads in the bottom, with a Superior Rainbow in the top, feed dogs down. Overall pleased with the stitch length, as it seems pretty even. However, I keep feeling like my stitches need to be smaller. But the pattern is easy to follow, and I like the effect.
Along with this challenge, Leah Day is continuing her pattern-a-day with a Wednesday Quilt-along. Several of her blog posts have talked about getting ready to free motion, and she posted her “wiggle” practice.
So here’s the word on the additional practice. I used Superior LAVA Thread, with some Bottom Line in the bobbin. I was pleased with the design. I even tried a variation on the left side – leaves next to each other.
This was intriguing for me. Normally with something like this, I try to be exact in the practice, but I found I really wanted to take off and try a few variations. The only reason I think I did this is that I’ve been doing some practice since June, so I felt more confident.
Someone suggested trying to quilt with leaving the feed dogs up. So I tried that today as I was practicing Leah’s wiggle. If you look closely you can see where I removed stitches because the tension on the back was off badly. In fact I removed stitches three times.
Now I wasn’t having any problems moving the sandwich around with the feed dogs down, and I adjusted tension on the top. Bottom Line in the bobbin, King Tut in the top. It finally occurred to me that maybe for my machine I needed to have the feed dogs down. Yup, that was it. Fixed the feed dogs and everything was fine. You can see that once again I was trying a variation of the two patterns.
I also tried to see how small I could get the leaves.
Again, overall pleased. I do need to practice going backwards. I like changing the direction of the vines with each leaf. That’s something I will probably keep. One other thing I tried was speeding up the machine, and keeping the hand speed the same. The stitches were smaller and fairly consistent, but I must say I like the somewhat longer stitch length. I think it shows the thread more.
I think this is going to be an excellent way to practice. A lot of my previous free motion practice has been on marbled fabric, where the line of the pattern helps guide you. Some marbled patterns lend themselves to a regular foot (like the chevron), and some need a free motion foot (like the nonpareil and its variations).
In the avatar I use on line, Rainforest, I used the free motion foot and just followed the line of the pattern This particular pattern, which we call free form, is a lot of fun to quilt. You get in a kind of zen-like mode when quilting this.
In this closeup of “Ocean’s Bounty,” the traditional stone pattern lends itself really well to free motion quilting. You can see the whole piece with all the free motion quilting after this small shot.
Here’s a closeup of “salmon Run,” accepted into an art show in Alaska. The free motion quilting follows the nonpareil wave pattern.
You can see more of the art quilts at our website.
And….along with everything else today, we marbled 20 fat quarters in preparation for a show in Seattle in March. They are gorgeous. Here they are, folded and ready for packing.
And then this afternoon, we cut another 10 yards for another 40 fat quarters, along with the 15 we still have, for the next three marbling sessions. Pretreat one day, alum the next, and then marble the next. It’s going to be a busy two months, but oh, are we having a good time!
I found a bunch of new, interesting art sites this week, plus the Free Motion Quilting Challenge started – you can see the badge on the right side, and it’s not too late to sign up. I’m looking forward to practicing a new pattern each month.
A new blog – The Creativity Post – looks to be very interesting, and I love the stuff on brain research.
“The Creativity Post is a non-profit web platform committed to sharing the very best content on creativity, in all of its forms: from scientific discovery to philosophical debate, from entrepreneurial ventures to educational reform, from artistic expression to technological innovation – in short, to all the varieties of the human experience that creativity brings to life.”
Here’s a screen shot of some of their most popular entries:
From DesignBoom comes a spray-painted-skate-boarded-swimming-pool-design, complete with video…..really cool!
From PSD FanExtra comes a tutorial on designing t-shirts. This is very step-by-step – I think even I could do it (but maybe with a dog instead….).
Another MAD Magazine countdown of great blog covers…..Jerry and Joe and their new gig….
If you love dogs….well, even if you don’t, this is an adorable video of two dogs in a “restaurant,” waiting to order…..
And…MAD Magazine’s #1 blog cover – has been my favorite since I first saw it. Boehner vs. Obama and the DEBT…….Think Harry Potter……
A new blog I discovered by an Australian quilter, Emma at Sampaguita Quilts, with her finished quilts for 2011 – some luscious ones for eye candy! I love this one –
Another new blog – 365 Project – amazing photography! This is their official Top 20 post.
And from Alyson Stanfield and the Art Biz Blog comes some interesting resolutions for the new year: 12 Artist Resolutions to Steal for 2012.
Love this one: RESOLVE to stop fiddle-farting around on the Internet or with the TV remote control and start dedicating myself 100% to my life’s work.
And finally, a selection of Happy New Year’s from The Best Article Every Day.
This is one of my most favorite marbling patterns, and I need to practice doing this one on fabric. It’s a great pattern, lots of movement, and I SO want to quilt some fabric with this pattern! And it seems appropriate to start out a new year of marketing with a favorite pattern. We spent New Year’s Day, hubby and I, working on our schedule for the next few months. We are participating in StashFest in La Conner, Washington, the end of March, so we have to gear up production. That plus building the business.
Normally I would have started out working on all my goals, and then we would have looked at this major opportunity. But….this time was different. And it was good it worked this way. I need to work my business goals around out production schedule, and around finishing my piece for a show deadline on February 13. I need a new portfolio prepared for the March show, additional business cards and postcards – way lots to do for that show. Newsletters – preferred customers as well as collectors – NEED to be addressed – a number 1 priority for this year. Plus maintaining Ebay and Etsy, Fine Art America, and maybe more emphasis with Cafe Press. Given the production schedule for the next 12 weeks, I’m not sure I can do much more.
I do want to get the seasons pattern written, as well as Spring and Summer created. So I am anticipating a very busy first quarter. I hope to have my specific goals set by next Monday. In the meantime, lots of sewing on my one piece, plus practicing from the Free Motion Quilting Project.
In the meantime, here’s a post from Tara Reed’s Art Licensing Blog: 4 Things to Do to Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet.
I love number four: don’t forget what makes you unique!
Also, here’s a post from Dumb Little Man: Trying to Improve Your Willpower….an interesting take on our struggles with willpower. Here’s a quick nugget:
“The problem is, willpower is a limited resource. You can’t stick to a diet by sheer willpower, day after day after day. And you’ve probably noticed that on days when you’ve been trying really hard to be patient or to stick with a tough task, you’re more likely to crack and fail in a difference area. So, if you try to improve your willpower – forcing yourself to rely on it, or even putting yourself in situations where you’ll be tested – then you’re just setting yourself up to fail.”
Another Tuesday, and more goodies on the web – although it has been slower than normal, due to the holiday. Enjoy!
Here’s a great list from The Best Article Every Day – places to learn on line – for anything!
I found this interesting block design from Generation Q magazine, by way of Scott Hansen and Blue Nickel Studios. It celebrates Kwanzaa, and it’s a striking block. Take a good look at the setting – lots of interesting design possibilities.
I’m taking part in the Free Motion Quilting Challenge this coming year – I really want to learn to do more with my machine. I want to learn how to do feathers….take a look at this example from Ivory Spring’s Thread Talk. She gives step-by-step instructions – I can wish……
MAD Magazine rings in the New Year with its Top Ten posts…..
“The Disturbing Similarities Between New Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri and New Today Host Ann Curry”
From SewCalGal comes insights on free motion quilting, with a year-long challenge coming up. She says in this blog post that after a year of practicing FMQ, she’s much more capable of doing cool designs – and I concur…my FMQ has increased just from the practice. If you’re interested, go ahead and sign up for the monthly challenge – should be fun!
From Generation Q magazine comes some creative pushes for 2012, if you like to spend this time before the new year making plans and setting goals.
You know I love Cool Hunting – here’s some of their year-end best, in conceptual design.
“From ICFF to Art Basel, 2011 delivered a flurry of design objects for the home that while highly creative and concept-driven, didn’t compromise their utilitarian duties. From recycled plastic chairs to roman numeral inspired book shelves, the following are five of our favorite pieces of sculptural design that could just as easily pass as pure art objects.”
from Art Biz Blog, a collection of top posts from the year for your marketing pleasure!
Most Commented On
…and lots more!
From Fine Art Views, an interesting challenge: Add an Art Challenge to your New Year’s Resolution List: for Smokers…..I’m thinking of adapting this for dieting….
I haven’t posted anything lately on zentangles, but I keep looking at blogs. Here’s one from The Rainbow Elephant that I think would translate really well into a quilting pattern, especially since I want to incorporate some snowflakes on a winter quilt.
Have a great week – send me cool stuff you find!
We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it. We were around lots of friends and had a wonderful time. It was so nice to know I didn’t have to face a 5:30 AM alarm on Monday! Been catching up – here’s a few cool things this week from the web.
From the Philbrook Museum of Art….LOVE. THIS.
Now I will admit, I am not a car enthusiast, but I can understand…when we gave up our Rav4 I gave it one last hug, and I still miss it. That said, on Cool Hunting comes some really wild cars. By far my favorite….
A new blog by Vivian Swift has a great water color tutorial on doing leaves – on my list for this coming year is a water color class.
From The Best Article Every Day comes this little bonus clip…..The article is also quite funny – Ten Things 90s Kids Will Have to Explain to Their Children.
From NASA comes a look at the new Mars rover, curtesy of The Best Article Every Day. Pretty amazing the steps it’ll take to land on Mars.
From Joan Wolfrom comes a look at a color challenge, with four really interesting quilts. Each is based on one specific color, and the techniques in them can’t help but spark creativity.
It’s always a joy to discover new math videos…thanks to Kathy Nida for this one…..Pythagorasaurus……
If you’re not following The Free Motion Quilting Project, you really should. I just bought two embooks on quilting designs, and I am SO looking forward to expanding my repertoire. Here’s a snap of Leah’s latest – OMG, amazing……
From Kate Harper’s blog was a link to Joan Beiriger’s blog on Advantages in Using Google Reverse Image Search. Who knew? I tried using it – pretty simple, and it should be interesting to see if any of our images are showing up on the web – beyond my blog and website.
From Artsy Shark comes an article on some creative marketing – love the use of the iPad!
And some political sites that might be worthwhile to explore. This article on Facebook privacy comes from The Blog of Rights. You may agree or not, but I’m a strong proponent of civil discourse. At least we can be aware of issues as they arise.
Enjoy your week!