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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)!