Posts Tagged ‘Free Motion Quilting Project’

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

I have been practicing machine quilting along the with FMQ challenge hosted by SewCalGal, with a guest machine quilter each month. Practice is definitely the key, and I can see lots of improvement. But even more important to me is my ability to go beyond the linear. For so long I would need to do something exactly as it was, and master it just that way. Evidently over this last decade I have become a LOT more free with trying something and expanding on it. And one of the great things about the FMQ project is how gracious everyone is with their sharing – I am seeing SO MANY different ways of seeing this one design!

I’ve finished my first practice sandwich for this month, but it won’t be my last! I am still practicing the basic stippling from Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project – interesting that it is easier for me with the leaf pattern than one of the most basic free motion quilting patterns. So here goes:

This is the whole fat quarter. Some space still left, but as you can see I tried a whole bunch of things. I am planning on choosing another fat from the stash to make a couple of placements and practice the leaf some more. Within this fat quarter I did a number of things. This was my very first “pedal to the fabric” attempt at the leaves.

This is some of my practice with Leah’s basic u-shape and variations. As I said, lots still left to practice with this pattern. You can see my variation at the bottom, and you can also see where I obsessively took out stitches SEVERAL times because I couldn’t get the tension correct……

One person on line began to make her shapes a little more narrow, and to my ind they looked like chili peppers…..so I had to try and see what I could do. I cna definitely see this as a border design.

More practice, trying to add the little swirl. I can do it if the leaves/hearts are large enough, especially to one side. I also tried going left to right and then back again, as Leah had suggestions, as well as upside down. At the very bottom I decided to add some grape bunches and see what happened.

More practice, with lots more to come! WHat a treat to have the time – and the online lessons and encouragement – to get better at this!! Thanks Leah, Frances, and SewCalGal!!

Free Motion Quilting!

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).

The bamboo stalks are quilted using a regular foot, just following the line of the pattern. The quilting really adds dimension.

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.

This is a small piece of turquoise silk that has free motion quilting along the pattern to accent it. Complex pattern to quilt in free motion, but it gives some great effects.

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!

 

Top Ten Tuesday

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.”

Lara Knutson's Soft Chemistry

from Art Biz Blog, a collection of top posts from the year for your marketing pleasure!

Most Commented On

6 Limits for Donating Artwork

12 Tips for Pricing Your Art

You Promise Exposure, We Want to See Results

Attracting Good Karma

Artists’ Day Jobs – What’s Yours?

Is There a Downside to Teaching Your Art?

Social Media Is Only a Tool

…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!

Top Ten Tuesday

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!

Top Ten Tuesday – Art Blogs I Read Regularly

You may have noticed a new page on the blog – Art Blogs. I tried to go through the MANY blogs I follow through Google Reader to give you some added goodies to view. That said, I don’t always get to read everything every day, but there are some folks I read, regardless of how busy the day has been. So here they are:

Anne Huskey-Lockard – El Milagro Studio: Little Miracles of Art – photography that is absolutely magnificent, and tutorials that will have you itching to try new techniques.

Blue Moon River – Susan Brubaker Knapp – I wanna be Susan when I grow up…..

Art and Quilting in Camden – Sarah Ann Smith, author of Threadwork Unraveled; lots of process on how she finishes quilts.

Threadwork Unraveled

 Art and Quilts, Cogitations Thereon – Elizabeth Barton; explanations of processes plus some great philosophy

Elizabeth Barton

Art Biz Blog– Alyson Stanfield – the business of art  you NEED this site.

Art Biz Blog

Joen Wolfrom – the color lady – I have all her design books, and I love reading her blog – LOADS of great info on color.

Joen Wolfrom

Kathy Nida– I understand the workings of her mind…it takes another teacher to really understand! And her work is WONDEFUL!

Kathy Nida

The Free Motion Quilting Project – how can you not love a site that has a new free motion quilting video almost every day?
Free Motion Quilting Project

Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart – a wonderful lady who does art with children – you can see the absolute joy on the kids faces.

Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Enjoy these wonderful people!

 

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