Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday Night Sew In - Free Motion Quilting

EDITED to add: I learned from the host of the Friday Night Sew In (FNSI), that I'm one of two randomly-selected winners of the giveaway! I'll be receiving this book and fabric pack. 
Thank you Heidi and Barb!
A second FNSI winner is one of my blogospheric-buddies, Kerry, at A Little Stitching. Congratulations, Kerry!

It's been long overdue for me to begin quilting this "Snowflake Medallion" quilt that has been pin basted since June 2010. I'm surprised my safety pins haven't begun to rust!

I've been away from home quite a bit in the past couple months, so it was nice to be in my sewing room on a Friday night to join Handmade by Heidi's Friday Night Sew In  (FNSI), last night. It was the perfect opportunity to get started free motion quilting. And boy, am I having fun!

I'm trying three new things with this 80" X 80" quilt.

One: I'm using wool batt. It was a little more expensive, but I was able to buy it by the yard and save a little money versus purchasing it in a package. Wow, is this ever nice stuff. I really like the puff it creates in all the unquilted areas.

Two: I'm quilting with Sulky thread. It's 100 percent rayon and I really like the rich shimmer it gives to the quilt surface. At first I threaded pale green Sulky on top and turquoise Aurifil 50-weight in the bobbin. Though I was able to adjust the tension so neither thread popped through, I didn't like the shadow of the turquoise bobbin thread that I could see in the needle hole. It's better to have the same pale green Sulky on top and in the bobbin, though my quilting stitches really show up on the back.

Starting to quilt never fails to intimidate me. Though I've never hang-glided, I think it must feel somewhat the same. Standing at the edge of a cliff... just looking out over that vast expanse of nothing, taking a big gulp and saying to oneself, "Run. Leap. Just do it!"

I spent some time pondering and studying motifs in this book.  

When I settled on wanting something like this, I began to pencil-draw the pattern in my sketchpad... again and again. I practiced it more times than I usually do.

It paid off. 

Three: I'm trying something suggested by Karen Kay Buckley in a workshop, three years ago. My first quilting is on a side. Karen's view is that your quilting improves as you quilt. Since people generally first focus on the center of a quilt, it's better to quilt your "worst" at the side. The more you quilt, the better your stitches look as you progress toward the center.

I really like this quilt pattern - purchased two years ago from Ballarat Patchwork in Victoria, Australia - and I am thoroughly enjoying quilting it! I can't believe I just said that!

One side of the quilt is finished: pinwheels, and a narrow border of large and small "beads."

From the back. 

I know I still have a lot more quilting time to put in, and I will have many more decisions to make choosing quilting motifs (More cliffs to hang-glide from!) but thanks to the nudge from Heidi's FNSI, it feels good to get started.  Linda


  1. Love your quilt and quilting! go on. Edith

  2. Go girl you are doing just fine. It looks lovely and I am looking forward to seeing what you do as you go on. Ive bought a book 501 Quilting Motifs to help me get ideas. Cant wait for it to arrive.

  3. Just beautiful quilting, Linda

  4. Gosh, where have I been? I have missed a few posts!
    I like the way that you approach your work. You make everything seem so achievable. Well done with your quilting.

  5. I've got just one word to say.....STUNNING!

  6. WOW! Beautiful! I've put that book on my amazon wish list. I want to say that I used wool batting for my first (only) hand quilting project. It was great to work with.

  7. Beautiful quilt, and awesome quilting! COngrats on you win on Heidi's blog.

  8. You're doing a beautiful job of quilting it. I just read over on Heidi's blog that you won one of the prizes for this month's FNSI. Congratulations!

  9. Congratulations on your win! I just love your quilting! Right now I'm head over heels with feathers, after taking part in the FMQ Challenge. One day I hope to FMQ feathers as beautiful as yours.

  10. Linda this quilt is stunning so pretty the colours and congrats on your FNSI win

  11. Linda, I am so glad I have found your blog, you are very inspiring to me. Thanks for a great post. Love this quilt. I have Sue's book also, it's one of my go-to books for ideas. I got to meet her and Karen McTavish when they did their tour a couple of years ago. Her work in person is unbelievable! Love the work you've done so far. Good idea about starting on the outside - I'll have to try that.

  12. Love your quilting Linda,AND THE QUILT IS GORGEOUS as well.

  13. Linda, your quilt is looking wonderful! I'm so very happy for you and the results you're getting - but feeling extra guilty here because I've fallen so far behind with my Snowflake Medallion. I need to get quite a few days at the machine, I think, so I can finish my quilt top. I doubt I could ever quilt it as beautifully as you have, though :-)) Did you use the Golden Threads to guide your quilting this time? I'm taking lots of notes from you

  14. I am in LOVE!! Your Snowflake Medallion quilt is breathtaking. . . and in my favorite colors, even. Your quilting is fantastic. Wish I could see it in real life. So glad you've shared it!!


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