Posts Tagged ‘free motion’

52 Sparks, Week 2 – Appreciation vs. Approval, Plus FMQ

 This week of 52 Sparks had a really interesting question that I pondered a bit. The question: How do you appreciate yourself? I had to think long and hard about this one. I think I was confusing appreciation with approval, and it took me the longest time over the years to not worry about family approval. I needed to start appreciating me for me, and what I did and succeeded at because I was pleased, not someone else…..kinda rambling, but I hope it makes sense.

Appreciation: I go for walks to think about what I’m doing, I take time off to read – some times days at a time to just immerse myself in some books. Mostly, though, I appreciate myself by giving myself free rein to make art. And with retirement, I am taking more time to appreciate what I’m learning and creating. In fact, three new commissions over this week. It is just so delightful to quilt away for hours (with the occasional back break) and see the progress.

That said, here’s what happened with art this week. Last time I had the stencil traced on to the green fabric in preparation for my first whole quilt. Now all I need to do is square it off and bind it. I LOVE IT!!!! I NEVER thought I would be able to free motion a whole cloth. Yay me!

So here they are – better pics when the binding is finished.

 All are Superior Threads, Bottom Line in bobbin, Silk Kimono in background, and Fantastic variegated in the design.

 

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

So I am totally enjoying the free motion quilting challenge, with a new pattern each month for the year. I LOVE doing feathers – never EVER thought I would be able to do them on my own. Now since I have these new skills, I have all these old quilts that look pretty blah…..and I’m going to take them all apart and use them for practice of all my new patterns. I started with a BOM (with Judy Martin blocks) I did in probably 2000, when we were selling marbled fabric in kits, as it seemed like so many people loved the fabric but didn’t really know what to do with it. I had a new block every two months (I had six small quilts, but I ended up selling two of them. I redid one of them last summer, after I looked at some videos from Sharon Schamber. This was originally all stitch-in-the-ditch quilting. Here’s my Monet’s Marbled Garden:

Next one I took apart was my fish quilt, with fabric marbled probably in the late 1990s. Again, just stitch in the ditch. With this one, I realized I could use a couple of decorative stitched on my machine, along with fmq. This time I actually quilted in the marbled fabric, following the lines of the pattern.

Then I decided to get another little one ready to take to the Seattle show, so I spent a weekend taking out all the stitch-in-the-ditch. No picture of “before,” but here’s the backing fabric:

Part of what was so much fun with this quilt was looking at each of the various sections and deciding what I wanted in each place. I happened to have four different Superior Threads that would blend perfectly, as the purpose with these small quilts was to show off the marbled fabrics. I used the Superior silk thread for the first time in the green sections and loved it. You can see in the stars I did some loops (more like zentangles) in the backgrounds of the stars, and did some free motion curves in the points. Everything is very subtle.

My free motion loops need work here. I think it’s a combination of speeding up the machine, as I do move my hands and the fabric pretty quickly with these loops. I’m not happy with the stitch size – very inconsistent, so I know I need more practice.

Now while I don’t subscribe to the quilt police, I really do like to have a ice back to the quilt. While I had some tensions problems, overall I am THRILLED with the back of the quilt. The whole thing finished is going to be gorgeous!

Of course I had to include some feathers, so each of the green squares has a circle of feathers – more like a rosette. Love them!

I thought I had more pictures, but evidently not. Tomorrow is a picture-taking day, so hopefully I’ll get the rest up. I need the feather borders, the white squares, and the back.

Later – packing for the trip!

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