Category Archives: FMQ

Things to do when you can’t quilt (Part 2)…

Day 4 with my machine being in the shop. Yesterday I cut up a bunch of my free-motion quilting practice sandwiches into cage mats for the local animal shelter. Sometimes I make a large sandwich, either when I haven’t quilted for awhile and need a lot of practice or a design isn’t coming easily. Here is #52. When there’s enough room, I add a doodle when I sign the cage mats, which I call Ugly Snugglies. They’re ugly but they can give a little cushion to the bottom of the wire cages in the animal shelter. I was practicing a border design for my redwork quilt and writing for a cosmetic bag for a friend, the one with my free-motion wienie dog. The writing was too large so I left it off.

Ugly Snuggly #52

Ugly Snuggly #52

A couple years ago, I decided to practice meandering on a large sandwich because I just didn’t seem to be able to do this with ease. Now I can do it with ease but why would I? It looks like a mattress cover and there are so many other designs to try. It can still be useful for a utility quilt (something you’ll throw on the ground for a picnic) or a donation quilt when you need to finish something in a hurry for a good cause. After you master meandering, try making the design really small (usually referred to as stippling)–it can make a trapunto shape pop up quite well.

Meandering

Meandering

After cutting up some squares and rectangles, I rounded the corners and used one of my zigzag stitches around the edge. This stitch has a straight stitch to the left of the zigzag–makes a sturdy edging. Here are some designs I have practiced for quilts during the last three years.

Zigzag edge

Zigzag edge

Sometimes I also zigzag some small pieces together to make one mat.

Combining small quilted pieces

Combining small quilted pieces

Here I was trying all kinds of motifs for my self portrait.

Giant flower, wavy grid

Giant flower, wavy grid

Layered flower, Wandering clover

Layered flower, Wandering clover

The layered flower, wandering clover and leaf border/frame designs were all used in Waiting for Spring. I also practiced using a twin needle but my needle broke rather quickly so I gave it up.

Leaf border, leaf frame

Leaf border, leaf frame

Twin-needle meander

Twin-needle meander

All-over feathers

All-over feathers

I used all-over feathers for an entire quilt (String Theory 1).

Ideas for Christmas quilts.

Christmas meander

Christmas meander

Christmas, spider web

Christmas, spider web

More Christmas designs.

Christmas writing, motifs

Christmas writing, motifs

Lately I’ve been using unloved fabrics for the backing on my quilt sandwiches.

Unwanted fabric for backing

Unwanted fabric for backing

Ugly backing fabric

Ugly backing fabric

I ended up with 20 cage mats in various sizes so I’ll donate them next time I’m up that way.

It’s another nice day here and  I have a fresh battery in my camera so I think I’ll hit the nature trail for awhile. I put on over 10,000 steps yesterday, which really surprised me. A lot more fun than 45-minutes on the treadmill. I hope you’re beginning to enjoy some fall weather where you are. Maybe I’ll have a message to pick up my machine when I get back! Hope so. Otherwise I’m going to have to start cleaning cupboards… I have a new polish a friend recommended. I’ll let you know how it works (unless I actually get back to my quilting)!

Divide and Conquer

Flower Power Practice

Flower Power Practice

I took the Divide and Conquer (Creative Quilting for Any Space) class by Lori Kennedy on Craftsy last week. In addition to Flower Power, an all-over free-motion quilting design, I learned some other motifs that you can use in small spaces, borders, or to make a whole-cloth piece.

First I made a thread sampler using some decorative stitches and Lori’s spool motif. I drew the first one with disappearing ink and then did the others without drawing. I marked one thread with an L for being Linty and one as being very Linty as there was lint on my practice piece as I was quilting and not just in the bobbin area when I was finished. I had trouble with the turquoise thread at the end of the day–I just needed to clean the bobbin area and then it sewed correctly.

Thread Sampler

Thread Sampler

Tension problem, back

Tension problem, back

Here is the Square Flower and my variation of the Sun motif. Note that you can use partial motifs in a triangle shape.

Square Leaf and Sun Practice

Square Leaf and Sun Practice

Here are a set of motifs: sun, dashes and dots, sailboat, and waves. I could use a little more practice on those waves. Two ways to practice a new motif: Keep drawing it on paper or use a white board before stitching with thread.

Sun, Dot/Dash, Sailboat, Wave Practice

Sun, Dots and Dashes, Sailboat, Wave Practice

A leaf design with border motifs (paperclip and rickrack).

Leaf, paperclip and rickrack practice

Leaf, paperclip and rickrack practice

The first row shows Lori’s design and I did a variation on the leaf veins after that.

One of the grid work designs involved ribbons and bows but I skipped it as I didn’t think I would use it and instead went on to the medallion motif of Nora Rose with Orange Peel background.

Nora Rose Sampler with orange peel background

Nora Rose Sampler with orange peel background

P.S. I have only finished the first five lessons of this class (there are three more lessons). I will come back to this class in future, which is the beauty of Craftsy. You can continue a class at any time and even repeat it as you wish.

This class is still on sale ($24.99) if you’re interested. Note the date of this post was 8/28/2016, so check for class availability.

http://www.craftsy.com/class/divide-and-conquer-creative-quilting-for-any-space/5259?_ct=sbqii-sqjuweho-dum&_ctp=1&rceId=1472408524172~me5o36hn

Another class I can recommend is Leah Day’s Free-Motion Quilting Sampler. She takes you through making a large sampler quilt and also teaches you how to make and quilt separate blocks (quilt as you go) and then put them together.

http://www.craftsy.com/class/free-motion-quilting-a-sampler/116?_ct=sbqii-sqjuweho-dum&_ctp=9&rceId=1472409366461~9of9xci3

Want more free tutorials and videos for free-motion quilting designs? Go to Lori Kennedy’s and Leah Day’s websites. They’re both on Pinterest as well. Till next time–

http://theinboxjaunt.com/

http://leahday.com/