I gotta say, I love being able to do some kind of sewing every single day. I am keeping track of what I am accomplishing during this second year of retirement, and I am on track to get A LOT done! I finished the table runner for my second mom, and I still hate 1970s polyester (I had the wrong year in last week’s post.) Each of these blocks is not going anywhere – I have to make sure there is no unraveling in the corners and curves because of this fabric. That said, it will go well with the other three completed for last year’s Thanksgiving. I think I have one more table runner in me, in August. It is just too hard on the one eye I have left; I quilt for 25 minutes and then have to take a long break to bring back my distance vision. We’ll see after the August runner is completed. So here it is:
My other project for the week has been working on the free motion quilting challenge for June. I love Cindy Needham’s quilting, and she’s got a great tutorial for this month. Lots of tiny, close stitching, some new curves. As I’ve been reading what others have done on our Facebook page, I am amazed. I tend to be pretty linear with some of this – got to do it as the examples show. But then I see some of these great photos, and I realize how people take these patterns and make them their own.
Things I’ve learned: I can get smaller in my patterns. I started on a piece of blue gabardine, with some left-over batting. I did a grid of squares with chalk, used Bottom Line in the bobbin, and played around with the Art Colors from Superior. Now normally I don’t do any marking. I guess I always thought free motion was without any assistance. Well, on hubby’s quilt I redid, I marked some curves and liked the effect. This time I marked the grid, and I was very pleased.
You can see the bigger squares. Then I tried some curves in a few of the other squares, and then some stippling. I had no idea I could get my stippling to be that small. Love the effect. I started out being worried about the lines being straight, but as Cindy said, ultimately they all look straight, so I stopped worrying.
Here I have divided each of the 1-inch squares into half-inch squares. I wasn’t sure I would actually be able to quilt these, but I was wrong. I did the same pattern, and I even did some stippling in the smaller squares. I love the way the large circles really popped.
For this I practiced some echo quilting and swirls. Cindy’s right – you get much better with practice. And this is one of those pieces I just experimented with and practiced on, not worrying about what it would be when I was done. I was looking for where I get “puffies,” and where the fabric recedes completely. In the bottom right corner you can see part of my attempt to do more of a bird feather – not happy with it. I definitely need to have a grid to follow to do more curves.
And if this isn’t enough stimulation, I’m getting caught up on a couple of The Quilt Show episodes. After watching Stupendous Stitches, I spent an afternoon seeing what else my Bernina 1008 would do – I can get 16 stitches, not counting differing lengths and width. Then there was Marvelous Miters and Prairie Points – great ideas there, and last night I watched RaNae Merrill, and now I want to try some spirals.
Best part? Now I have the time!