Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Working on my quilt with free motion quilting

I have decided to free motion quilt my Christmas gift quilt. This produced a slight amount of anxiety, the good kind of excitement anxiety.

I drew out several designs on paper and ran through some in my head. There was one design that came to the top of the list however it was entirely too ambitious and I think out of my range of expertise! And I really did not want to chance turning a beautiful quilt topper into a wader especially since it is a Christmas gift. BUT... I do want to push myself and try something harder than what I have done in the past.

My process for this project was to first select a sketch for the quilting. This was just in my little idea notebook, not a full size sketch. After the sketch was done and I liked it I perused both my library and the blogosphere for additional ideas and tips.
The most useful and amazingly resourceful blog I have found is http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/ Leah has a great blog and also teaches a Craftsy class on free motion quilting.

Since it has been a while since I have done any freemotion quilting, I first did a test square just to get myself warmed up, relaxed and get the flow and feeling back. I did play with the ideas that I want to use in the big quilt but just to play with.
The photo shows the front and back of the block. Here I was just playing with some basic stipling and a flower shape.


The second test piece I did was to use some extra pieces of my actual quilt fabric and built a sandwich using the same batting and thread that will be used for the actual quilt. I made this big enough so that I could do a full size portion of the design. My piece was about a half yard size. This gave me plenty of space to play with the design, check my tension and evaluate how I like my thread. In this photo, I also show the front and the back. I tried to adjust the picture so you could see the thread color better. It is a variegated orange thread that looks beautiful with the quilt top. Here you can see my design better. The plan is to do several large flowers and surround them with a not too complex and slightly larger stipling. That flower in my example is about 20inches across. I find working on a practice piece first is a good thing for me. It gives me confidence, it lets me play and I think of it sort of as a muslin in fashion sewing. Plus, I have the added bonus of using that practice piece in another project.


The only bad thing is that I did not purchase enough thread, I believe I was so happy about finding this particular thread that I just plucked a spool from the case and merrily went on my way, not thinking of the actual requirements of the project! :( and the King Tut thread I choose is of course only available at a shop 45 mins from home!!



- Posted by Steph from my iPad

Location:Lisle, IL

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