Decide what to be and go be it.

Better late than never….

I’ve moved from the corner and put the dunce cap away for another day and as promised, here are my words of wisdom!  🙂

I’ve crossed another project off of my summer to-do list!

This one was truly a learning experience.  As you can probably tell by the fabrics, this one has been patiently languishing waiting in the Later Tater pile for quite some time.  It was a pattern that caught my eye but I quickly lost interest in it.  I nearly tossed it recently but I thought it would be good fmq practice.  Originally, I was going to do Leah’s “zippling” but I thought it better lended itself to curvy stippling.  I’ve never known what to do with applique shapes.  Do I quilt over them or quilt around them or just not do them.  Usually I opt for Plan C.

I decided to use the quilting to enhance the appliques.  First, let me tell you that these are fused onto the background.  They will survive a nuclear blast.  I have no idea which fusible I used back in my dark days of beginning applique but just know that quilting through that fusible was like quilting through armor.  I’m older and wiser now (older for sure!).  Now I would cut out the center of the fusible.  Makes for a much softer quilt and I’m sure much easier quilting!  But I plugged along willing the needle to not break in the hot mess that was my fusible!

I then decided that stippling would be the way to go on the background.  After all, I had this beautiful hand-dyed Valdani thread that was perfect.  It was perfect and it quilted beautifully.  I just want to know whose big idea it was to stipple so small.  I thought I would never finish.

Ah…the border.  Finally the border!  I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  Borders always stymie me.  I’m sure you’ve all been there.  It’s the border…I want to be finished!  And many times it’s a plain piece that cries out for fancy stitching!  Well, borders can cry me a river because I typically just quilted a grid or straight lines.  I thought since this was fmq practice, a leafy border might look nice.  And I think it does.  And it was easy!  I’m glad I didn’t take the easy way out.

I’ve tried to fmq without the gloves.  I don’t like the gloves.  They’re bulky and they can get hot and I sew through them at least once a day.  But I can’t get a good grip without them.

My sister took a fmq class and the instructor suggested using glycerine.  You just rub a few drops onto your fingertips and it’s amazing how well you can grip the fabric.  When I first tried it I was skeptical.  It had an almost greasy texture and I was terrified that it would rub off on my quilt.  It didn’t.  In fact, it didn’t wear off of my fingers until I washed it off.  If you have the same issues with the gloves that I do, give this a try.

And here’s the tease….

I’ll be in Florida visiting my son and my sister next week and these guys are going along for the ride.  My sister and I will spend a day putting together a nine-patch for a charity quilt  project that we have.  I’ll post a photo of the finished project later!


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18 thoughts on “Better late than never….

  1. basildonkitchens on said:

    I will be in Florida in September – sorry we will miss each other.

    Love your finished project and the FMQ is fantastic! You really did a marvellous job! Keep up the good work.

  2. I think it looks fabulous! Your quilting is lovely! I’m curious to see what you do with those scraps…

    • Me, too! I think we’ll be able to get the top pieced in one day. Quilting it will be a different story! We will probably have to decide who quilts it. 1200 miles makes it difficult to share that aspect! 🙂

  3. Gorgeous! And I am so glad for the tip about removing fusible, since I am just learning to applique. And I will try the glycerin too!

  4. I love your quilt. I especially like the colours you used. Well done.

  5. Thanks for the glycerin tip! I get so hot with those gloves on, but I can’t grip the quilt without them.

    I love the variegated thread for the quilting. Pretty. You’ve done a great job with the FMQ.

    I’ve never used fusible on my appliqued quilts. I just can’t stand the feel of it. (To me, fabric is all about the feel.) I’m more of a fabric glue stick gal, as long as I use it sparingly.

    I love the fabrics you’re taking to Florida… can’t wait to see the results.

    • I’m not crazy about fusible, either. But I don’t do much appliqué, either. Basically because I can never decide how to quilt it! I made this top years ago and I’ve learned a little since then!

  6. mary on said:

    The glycerin is the best thing to use! I was never really crazy about the gloves. I like to feel my fabric. And, when I went to that class, I decided to do things her way, to see how it worked for me. I have never looked back, using the glycerin. That small bottle goes a loooooooong way.

    Getting a sneak peek at your fabrics lets me know that this quilt will be totally scrappy. I didn’t see any repeats from mine to yours. =) I am still considering changing up a few blocks, to add a bit of visual to the quilt. I am thinking flags, or birds. I have a 3 inch block pattern for both, which would fit nicely into our 9 inch block. If I have time, I will make the three inch blocks ahead of your visit. =)

    • Awesome! I found some 12 inch leaf blocks that I received in a swap many moons ago. When I get back I think I’ll put them into a charity quilt.

  7. Thanks for this – it is a lovely and informative post – I would never have thought of the windowpane technique but it makes a lot of sense.

  8. Yes, we all learn so much as we progress. Lovely work and the glycerin tip is a good one. Thanks for the helpful post! Hugs, D

  9. Pingback: Fun in the sun… « buriedinscraps

  10. Stunning! Well done! and happy for you it is no longer on the later tater pile 😉

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