Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September's FMQ Challenge

   We are at it again....this month is a lesson from Paula Reid...over at  SewCalGal   for the FMQ challenge.   Be sure to read and  watch her short video on the stuff and fluff method for quilting on a domestic machine.  She also used  Batt Scotters to move the quilt around.....remember the sponge tip, the same idea.  Paula provided an 8" motif  for a block for us  to do....featuring feathers.  Once again I am up for the battle!
   This time it was a little easier to do....some practice, and  better understanding of how to make a feather look right.    I did a quick review  and drew off a short feather to start my practice.  Then I traced the given motif onto fabric.   I used a light box and sewline pencil to trace the motif.  I stitched in light green thread to match the lead I used.  :)
Note:  I do not use, will not use one of those disappearing or wash out blue markers.   One ruined quilt taught me years ago that I don't like them.  My preference...use at your own risk!  

 I had a couple of spots where the thread did not cooperate and left a lump on top.... I admit to owning / creating the wobbly stitches and all the goofs.   The back-tracking stitching is getting easier.  It is still not pretty, and I am not sure it will ever be.
   How easy this looks, how difficult it is for me.  I think I have come to the conclusion that following drawn lines is just not my thing.  I managed to get lost a couple of times, too.   It makes me feel hemmed in like I am being forced into a corner.  I feel the need to sing the song "I got to be me".....or at least sing it in my head and not out loud.

 So I removed my battle gear.....took a break.  I need to think this through.  I need to practice more to do this well,  yet will I use this motif or medallion technique?   Most of my quilts are so full of multi-print fabrics and not solid fabrics---- that this close or dense quilting is not going to be seen.   I remember reading that it takes about 50 to 100 hours of practice to gain enough expertise to claim accomplishment in a new task.  I only have about 6 to 8 hours of practice sewing on a drawn line.  I am not sure I want more.  :(
   More practice I decided.   This time  I just decided to follow my own path.   If you have followed me  for any time, you know I make up my own rules sometimes and go my own way usually.  I can't say if it is an age thing, or just my personality......my free spirited side,   maybe.  So, not to be undone, but to feel I have improved this month and gained more experience.....I went in another direction.

         I am comfortable doing swirls and I had printed out a page from LuAnn's sketchbook that I wanted to try.  Feathered Swirls from LuAnn at May Your Bobbin Always Be full   is  a free hand design, not drawn.   I did several pages on paper....drawing for practice.  Easy to adapt this style to spaced or dense quilting.   So I began on another piece of fabric and tried to figure this one out.    I do like this one, a lot.  I get the feathery feel without having to do a complete spine and feather.   I haven't quite got the rhythm of the design in my head----figuring out which direction to swirl and how it will fill in, but it will come.  I can see this working great to fill in a background or in a border.
  This  challenge for me is more about improving my technique, and figuring out what works for me.  I would rarely use a traced motif in the type of quilts I make, but I like knowing how to transfer the design and how to follow the lines----even if I don't do it.  And finding a design from LuAnn is just the icing on my cake for this month's challenge.
  Happy stitching.....on your challenge, or latest project.  

17 comments:

  1. Very nicely done - and love all your explainations and thoughts while working with this challenge. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. I always told my students in my machine quilting classes that it is harder to hit a marked line than it is to create your own designs. Of course they had to try it to believe it. In quilts that use prints you really don't see the quilting well enough to agonize over fancy, labor intensive designs in the quilting. I like your last sample the best!

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  3. I love that last design. I haven't done this month's challenge yet (you are always so on the ball with them), but I expect to have similar feelings to yours. I need to go check out the site where you found that cool, free-form feathery design. Beautiful!!

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  4. Looks good! I like best your free spirited design. It's always better to be yourself, especially in your case.
    Hugs

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  5. Love those feathers and swirls... less formal and quite intriguing... great job!

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  6. I like your work (can't see, that you got lost ;-)) your freeform feathers and swirls are really great!! and the link you posted - superb, thanks for that :-D

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  7. I really like how you're making these monthly FM challenges to fit your very own personality. You've done a fantastic job with this each month & I love seeing what you will come up with each time. You have such a talent for flow. Thanks for sharing.

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  8. I'm with you. Drawn lines and symmetrical motifs are not my thing. I figure that's why it"s called "free" motion quilting.

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  9. My thoughts exactly - while the formal design is very pretty I can't see myself using it much, if ever. I totally love your free-form feathers based on LuAnn's sketchbook design.

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  10. I love what you did on the purple fabric! i haven't done anything with this months' challenge.

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  11. You are doing fabulous....I need so much help, I just might have to take the time and study that post...thanks!

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  12. You did a beautiful job on BOTH! I can't see any struggles at all on the marked one. What a smart girl you are using the same color thread as your marking pencil;)

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  13. Love your swirling feathers, and thanks for the Link!!

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  14. yes i agree not a fan of a marked line but will practice it more as it is a good skill to have

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  15. Me gustan los remolinos de plumas. Los probaré. Buen trabajo.

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  16. WOW!!! Your challenge wreath looks great, and if you quilted it with thread that matched your background it would probably look perfect and the backtracking would disappear. But I could really tell that the free-form feathered swirls speak to you more than the traditional wreath. That is some gorgeous quilting!

    BTW, can you tell me more about the Sewline marking tool you mentioned? Is it a marker or a pencil? Does it wash out of the quilt? I've never marked a quilting design before and I'm terrified to try, isn't that silly? I've been procrastinating trying this challenge all month, and now here I am with just a few days remaining!!

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