Sunday, May 13, 2012

May's Free Motion Quilting Challenge

I can't believe another month has passed!  This year seems to be going so quickly in some ways.   May's challenge by Leah Day was to practice some background or filler stitching.  She posted two designs, one curvy and one with angles.  The curvy one she named Double Stippling, and the angled one is called Railroad Tracks. 

So, here's my sample! 

Both together (it's one piece of fabric, lol, so they have to be together!)

Double Stippling.  I need to fill in the space a little better, but this was an interesting design.

Railroad Tracks.  The overstitching started close to the bottom left.  It was hard to actually make "corners" since  I love doing a flowy curved stitch.  The points got a little better as I continued, except for a few tension issues, which really show since I used beige thread on black fabric.  My other challenge was using my Gypsy Gripper.  It doesn't allow sewing close to the edge, since the gripper bottom doesn't slide on the lucite table I use.  I may just have to try a pair of Machingers.  Just using my fingers to hold the fabric doesn't allow me to be as smooth as with the gripper.  Or I need to make my samples larger, with more frame space. 

What I find very interesting every month, is the expert's recommendations on batting and thread.  They are all different!  Although Leah prefers polyester batting and Isacord polyester thread, I have other preferences.  I've used polyester batting, and didn't like the shifting or bearding that happened.  The sample above uses Warm & Natural 100% cotton batting, and Aurifil 50wt cotton thread.  The black was a cheap black cotton I got on clearance at JoAnn's.  I used some of it for backing a table runner.  I was looking all over for black fabric last week, for another project, and found this piece.  I also need black for another quilt I want to make, and was thinking of using this, but I really don't like the quality of it.  So, it will be practice sandwhiches until I get tired of showing my stitches, lol. 

I would LOVE to try wool or silk batting.  I've heard from many other quilting STARS that both offer great benefits to the quilt.  But my current scrap collection is cotton.  I hope to get a spool or 10 of silk thread to try, too.  Now I'm using Aurifil or Superior King Tut.  Both are excellent threads, depending on the look desired.  I have some polyester machine embroidery thread that I use for quilting, as well.  The beige was on the machine today, as I'm working on another purse.  I needed to quilt the bag pieces, so decided to make changing the foot worthwhile.  Two birds, and all.   
Hopefully the purse will be done and listed tomorrow.

Speaking of which, Happy Mother's Day!  I hope you enjoy a special day with someone who loves you, and shows some appreciation for all you do. 


Christine said...

Happy Mother's Day! I like the railroad FQM. Nice job. :)

Mary Ann said...

If you would like to locate lots of very good batting and some cut up into sample-sized sets, please visit and click on batting on the top left. Nice job and Happy Mother's Day!

Sew Gramy Sew said...

Hello, I hope you had a Happy Mothers Day also. So how did you like the rr tracks and the double stipple? I wasnt a fan of eithor one, but I do love Leah Day, I have learned a lot from her. I tried this, and found that on one of mine I measured and marked one and a half inch in from the sides. This helped me to grip better. Although I do use gloves also. The one I did this way seamed to sew better than the other one. You did a great job.

SewCalGal said...

Great job Maryellen. Looks like you definitely mastered the challenge this month. Hope you are having fun.


Janet O. said...

I think your stitching looks good. I do use the gloves and feel like they really help.