I know it is hard to see as I used white thread, but I just wanted texture not design.
I was about half way thru when I finally felt that I had my rhythm back for this stitch. I don't use a stitch regulator, so control is very important to me. Consider that I have little feeling in the palms of my hands (guiding the quilt), and only sense pressure in parts of my feet (foot pedal), and you can see why I said I needed to practice to gain my control/speed/rhythm back. It is all about the muscle memory developed during lots of practice. I found myself wanting to race thru the motions and get it done. A break and honest discussion with self helped put things into perspective.
"Listen Self, you need to take a deep breathe, and relax. This is not a race. Remember the point is to practice, and gain confidence to FMQ again. You have nothing to prove to anyone, you are doing this because you love it, because you can. You have a second chance, take it and enjoy it."
It helped. Then I decided on the border motif.....the leafy vine. The plain border is 41/2'' wide I had plenty of room to make some nice size leaves and a few curls along the stem. I have used this before on several quilts, so I was hoping the muscle memory would kick in.
This is one continuous design without a central stem stitched. The outer edge of the leaf is stitched to a point (I missed a few of those, oh well) first. Then back down to the center without closing the leaf. That allows a vein to be stitched half way up the leaf and then back to the opening. Then you can stitch another leaf on the opposite side or insert a nice fat curl. I like to have large and smaller leaves on this vine. Perfect shapes and sizes are not in my game plan......and you might notice the different angles, with some leaves pointing up and other pointing out. Much more natural.
And then the mail came.....goodies from Wanda at Exuberant Color.
She had offered me some quilting stencils that she no longer used that would be perfect for my beginner Free Motion class in the new year. Of course I said yes! I had been thinking of revamping my class and adding working with stencils too. For two reasons......1) not everyone can develop/create/design a motif by free hand, 2) often they need a "map" or pattern to stitch over. So thanks to Wanda, my students will have a new adventure to try.
And to fill the extra space in the box, she included some extra goodies. A bag of floral strip scraps (yea!!), and fabrics (big yeas!!!) that feature cardinals. And she made me a mug rug with a cardinal in the center. She definitely filled me up with some hope! Thanks so much.
Tomorrow we have plans for lunch out after an appointment, and a few errands to take care of. My energy level is not back yet, so that will be enough for me. Happy stitching.