Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November FMQ Challenge

I'm LOVING this challenge!!  SewCal Gal had a wonderful idea, and it's been a great learning experience.  Sarah Vedeler is one of my quilting Idols!  I loved her approach to teaching this design, and know I'll use it. 

I actually BROKE my spring darning foot!!! That's how much I've been using it!  The little arm that goes over the needle bar broke off.  I brought it to my machine store (Pocono Sew and Vac, whose owner Bob sold my mom my first machine when I was 6, then he moved to PA and I did too!) Bob said "If you hadn't used it, it wouldn't have broken!" Lol.  He's so funny.  Um, yeah, but to improve I need to practice, and that means using the foot.  I may have been partially to blame, though.  I didn't like how high the foot jumps in the up position, so I wasn't pushing it up as high as needed on the bar, which affected where the spring bar hit the needle bar.  It actually could still be used, but I got the new one, anyway.

Now, to show pictures and LAUGH!  I have done swirls before, big ones, and medium sized.  Most of the time they look pretty good.  These little ones look HORRIBLE!! Why is it that I do better on "real" quilting and stink at practice pieces?  Maybe I know it only counts for this blog post, and that practice is important, but the real "performance" is more important.  I also admit I was tired and have been a little over stressed lately.  I'm sure things will improve soon, but my brain couldn't get the smooth round shape this time.  I tried playing with speed, too.  Practice is important, and fun if you can laugh at yourself! 

Muslin fabric, Warm & Natural cotton batting, Aurifil 40wt blue variagated thread (fun!) and Schmetz size 14 quilting needle.
I marked lines with a ruler, although one got marked incorrectly and made the spacing off on the 2" swirls. 
Close up.  It's getting there. 
I do think Hazel had a good laugh over this, too, though. 
I did do swirls in this wall hanging in the beginning of October.  It was to represent the ocean waves, which is the blue in the Greek flag.  They weren't too bad, but again, I need to be smoother, although I think the most recent practice is better.  More practice coming!  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Hi.  A UFO is now finished.  Well, almost. I do have to sew down the hanging sleeve.  Let me explain.

3 years ago, I started making Autumn Leaves table runners from The Quilt In A Day pattern.  It was fun and fairly easy to make (a little challenging with all the pieces, but pretty when done).  I finished a table runner for my table, and had fabric left for another, so I worked on them 2 years ago.  Last year my friends at Lite Craft added fibre optic lights to 2 of them (one is in my store ) and the other needs to be finished.  I know!! Another UFO.  Or UnFinished Object.  I'll get to it.  It just needs backing, the pocket for the battery pack, and binding. 

Back to this one.  I made the leaves, but couldn't find border fabric I wanted to use.  I found it last year, but it was closer to Christmas, and it got pushed aside again.  So, this year I was determined to finish it. 

I listed it in my Etsy store.  It measures 40" square, and I played with the quilting designs.  I think it is cute!  The leaves were quilted to look like veins.  I used a creamy nylon thread, so it would blend a little, but still give accent to the colors behind it.  I did feathers in the outside borders.  I am practicing them constantly.  I want to do something a little different on each quilt I do, so I did the feathers to meet in the corners, and overlap each other.  It's fun to practice all the designs, and make them my own and make them different.  I see improvement.  I really want to work on some curvy feather plumes.  They look so pretty.  I'm waiting for the next top to speak to me so I can practice them.  The skills that this take get better with practice.  That's the fun part.  But I still have to sew down the hanging sleeve.  I can probably do it on the machine, if I'm careful.  It's faster!  Then it's ready to go.  Thanks for reading!