Have to say, I am on a tear lately. Lots of sewing has been happening up in my sewing room! Sometimes the mood hits just right and everything lines up – inspiration, enough time, wintry weather which encourages staying inside, plus fun projects to work on.
Toward the end of December, I found myself wanting to practice some free motion quilting. I pulled out a small set of 2 1/2″ strips I bought at the thrift store a while back. There were only 20 strips so I decided to make a small quilt. This makes the FMQ practice easier to do. They were odd strips – someone had cut them by hand and each one was off at one point or another. I had to trim all of them – but you get what you pay for and I paid three bucks for these!
I have no idea what fabric this is but the set has tiny gold metallic dots on a variety of colors. For the most part I keep the red and black strips to a minimum. Otherwise I used the whole set. Simple columns of rectangles with a solid purple strip between them made for a quick quilt top. I strip pieced the strips in sets of six and then cut those into blocks, six inches wide. Rather than sew columns, I chose to sew two of the sets together, making blocks. Then I made the columns.
I took a look through my FMQ book by Christina Cameli to find a design to use. I wanted to quilt edge to edge so I would not have to worry about movement, getting stuck in corners, etc. As is my usual, once I settled on a design, I practiced it by drawing it on a large whiteboard I keep in the sewing room. Once it was comfortable, I started the quilting. This was such a pleasant process. Just going back and forth, back and forth – it was finished in no time!
Here is a closer picture of the quilting – it was sort of a clam shell shape with a swirl inside. The motif is super easy. I started at the bottom of the quilt and moved upward. About half way through the stitching becomes so much smoother; proof to me that practice really helps. The repetitive motif gets easier and easier as my brain learns the pattern.
The quilt is backed with fleece, making it really cozy. When our grand daughters are here they tend to use one small quilt I have because it is backed with flannel. They prefer the soft feeling of the flannel. Now we have two soft ones for them. I like seeing the quilting from the back. Sure – I need to continue to practice but seems like with each one I improve just a bit. I spray basted this project but there are some bubbles on the back side. Maybe I needed to use more spray or it could be because it was fleece? I am not sure. There is always something to learn.
I have already moved onto, and made a lot of progress with, the next quilt. Younger grand daughter has outgrown the toddler bed and we are putting another twin bed in the guest room. The other twin bed (where her big sister sleeps) has a quilt with a huge heart made of charm squares in the middle with white all around it. This quilt was given to me when I moved from California by a wonderful friend. I am replicating the design and making another heart quilt using pink and purple scraps.
Here is a progress shot (with weird color because I took the photo in the evening) . I have some of the rows stitched together but I am still moving things around for color placement. Surely it won’t take long to finish the quilt top. One thing I am pondering though – the quilt made by my friend has a white background which she pieced with white charm squares. I will be using white yardage. Rather than cut the five inch squares it seems to make sense to cut five inch strips. The piecing would certainly take less time. Do you know of any reason not to do it this way? Let me know your thoughts!
OK – that’s it for now. Hope you all have something fun to work on this weekend!
Linking to Free Motion Mavericks and a few others. (Check out the Link Up tab at the top of the page for lots of fun places to check out.)