Wednesday, January 4, 2012

FMQ Challenge

    I practiced a few leaves and vines this morning after watching a short video for the FMQ Challenge.  I only had 2 small practice batts ready, but they worked for this.  I started on paper and did a couple pages of leaves.  Then I read Leah's post about memorizing quilting patterns.....great info on using a doodle pad with lines to practice designs.
   The coins quilt and the water color quilt got pin basted  today.  I stretched the backing snugly to the kitchen island and taped it down.   Then layered the batting and top and got to pinning.  It takes a while, but worth it to keep the folds/tucks/wrinkles at bay.  I can do about 1/2 the quilt at a time, and  un-tape and shift everything to do the other half.   I know that some quilters thread baste--I won't use the spray stuff because the fumes give me a severe headache, but I have had more luck with the pinning process.  I really think the secret is to get the backing fabric secure and smooth before you layer the rest onto it, no matter which method you use.  If the backing can't shift, then you won't have a problem.  
      Pinning distance....my general rule of thumb is the hand span.  For me that is about 3 1/2" to 4" apart, and a little closer along the edges.  Several years ago, Sir Old Man was helping me pin a quilt, and he commented that I needed some new pins.  Why?  "Because most of your pins are bent."  ****giggle, giggle****   I finally told him, they came that way for a reason.....just a little help when pinning.  The  pin tip just naturally  comes through the layers because it is bent up.  I got more bent pins that year for Christmas.  
Happy stitching.

8 comments:

  1. I am following both of those FMQ blogs as well, but so far I haven't even got a practice sandwich made. Your leaves look beautiful! Good job!

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  2. I practiced my leaves today after drawing some out on 2 pages of notebook paper. I did better on the paper than the "real" thing. I started my leaves way too small & then forgot how to make the heart shape as I went along. Oh my, of the 25 leaves I made on my first piece, I only see 2 in the whole piece that I like. I'm off to try another sample.
    Debbie, yours look so real & flowing. I think you are ready for February!

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  3. My favourite basting tip is to put the handle of a spoon under the safety pins to do them up - no stuck fingers!

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  4. I recently heard about pinmoors & am wondering if that might be better for pin basting than the bent safety pins. They are little things that look like ear plugs that you stick on the end of a straight pin to keep from sticking yourself. I had never heard of them before last week & I noticed Leah Day had some in her FMQ video also.

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  5. Great leaves! This challenge is going to be fun, and I will start very soon to stitch this first block

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  6. Great leaves! They look effortless. A good idea bout taping the quilt to a firm surface to pin.

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  7. Nice drawing and very nice FM quilting ! Thumbs up !

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