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Archive for the tag “fmq”

Merrily we quilt along…

It’s Wednesday and time to show Leah and all my quilt along buddies how I fared this week.  If I learned nothing else this week, I learned that tracing the design with my finger helped.  I traced and traced and then when I sat down at the machine I took a good, long look at where I was going.  It helped for the most part.  If I keep looking at where I’m going and not where I am I seem to do fine.  Stop that and I need a compass.  Got lost a time or two and had to do more traveling than I wanted to do.  I also learned that if I nearly bit a hole in my tongue or bottom lip when I was stitching, I could concentrate better.  Although I know I can do better with more practice, I was not unhappy with the result.  Check it out below.

Here is where I think I need some help.  I had quite a few “pokies” on the back.  I was using the needle recommended for the thread I was using.  I adjusted my tension and that didn’t seem to make any difference.  I could also hear the needle flagging…popping.  I’m not sure what the answer is.  Any ideas?  Here’s a picture of the back.

If you click on this photo, it will enlarge and you can see where the top thread is poking through.  The stitches on the top of the quilt  look pretty darn good but the back…not so much.  I have not been able to wrap my mind around leaving the feed dogs up.  I guess my question to Leah would be — would leaving the feed dogs up help with the “pokies”?

I’ve looked over the video for the micro-stippling and all I can say is it’s going to be a tongue-biting adventure!  Stay tuned!

Rollin’ in the dough

Wednesday was the new installment of Leah’s quilt along.  I have to admit that it made me a little bit nervous.  After all, a whole cloth quilt doesn’t give you many places to hide mistakes.  And goodness know, I make my share of them!  The task for the week was to transfer the pattern to the fabric.  How difficult could that be?  Somewhere in my little brain, I must have thought it was very difficult because I continued to procrastinate.

I finally decided that it was time.  I chose some very yellow solid.  If I was going to screw up, everybody was going to see it…for sure!  Then I thought that on the off chance the quilting actually turned out well, the little quilt needed a frame.  So I added a border.  I printed the pattern pieces and taped them together.  It was time to transfer the design to the fabric.  I had a light box that I used for card making and I soon realized that the little peanut light box was not going to do the trick.  Upstairs to the back door window with the masking tape.  Taped it up and began to trace.  Being pretty darn short, my arms certainly got tired tracing the top portion of the quilt…but it’s done.  And here’s the proof!

I know Leah recommended that we use a thread color close to the fabric color, but look what I found in my thread  treasure box! Being a bit of a rebel (child of the 60s!), I have to use it for the motifs…it just matches too perfectly not to try!  I know I’ll have to be extra careful so it doesn’t look a  mess.  I’ll use the muted tone for the mini stippling.  I’d better use it because the trip to the quilt shop to buy that lonely little spool of thread ended up costing $32!

You saw Maddie in the first picture.  Maddie is a special doll that my sister made for me.  She’s named after my Grandma whom my sister and I both adored!  Maddie is a petty cool doll because she represents a pretty cool memory for us.  My Grandma made mostaccioli cookies every Christmas.   If you’ve never had one, you need to find a way to try one!  They are wonderful chocolate, cinnamon and nut cookies made in the shape of a mostaccioli noodle.    I decided to make them one year.  What an adventure!  You make the dough and roll out little “ropes” and cut them into about 1 1/2 inch pieces.  Not too difficult…the only problem is the recipe makes a bottomless bowl of cookie dough and 36 hours later…with no sleep…you’re still rolling out ropes.  Except now, instead of looking like pasta, they look like logs!  When my sister got married, she was foolish enough to try it herself.  Didn’t learn from my experience….same result, though.  She’s made them many times.  I’ve made them once.  My momma didn’t raise a fool!  So, here’s Maddie complete with her bags of flour and sugar and our favorite recipe!

Whew! Finally caught up!

I’ve finally caught up on the Wednesday Quilt-Along.  I’m apologizing in advance for the multitude of pictures….Week 1-Week 5.  What a learning curve!  What I learned is that I didn’t know what I thought I knew!  You can always learn something new.  The process is always evolving…

Here is my Week 1 endevour…stippling practice.  I’ve stippled before but it was very difficult to stipple in rows.  I wasn’t sure I liked that.  Who knew little U’s and humps could be such a pain!

Moved on to Week 2.   I was sure I wasn’t going to like quilting in rows.  I’ve always thought that you just stipple randomly…merrily making little curves and dips and wandering right into a corner where you have to quilt a straight line to get out!  I know….getting stuck is not good.  I can see where quilting in rows can help with that.  But I also saw where my rows made my curves look like little soldiers.  Not exactly the smooth look I wanted.  So i was absolutely sure that the quadrant quilting would not work.  Guess what!  It did.  I actually liked it.

Now, we’re playing with scale in Week 3.  That has to be one of the hardest things for me to do…keep a consistent scale.  I start out beautifully.  Then I see how much further I have to go and the scale slowly increase in size.  Like my Grandma’s cookies!  🙂  So I know I need more practice with that.

Week 4.  Straight line quilting.  Should be a breeze, huh!  More like a tornado!  Straight lines are hard!!!  It didn’t help that the only fabric I had with a stripe wasn’t a straight stripe.  Didn’t think to draw straight lines…even though Leah suggested it.

My cheater cloth was octagons.  That was pretty hard to quilt without travelling.  So, like the Merry Wanderer, I travelled.  And it wasn’t pretty.  I think my lines themselves were good, but the travelling was not.  And I certainly wouldn’t use that color thread with that fabric again!  I wanted to see my stitches.  And, boy, did I!

The motif was actually pretty good.  I was pretty pleased with that.

And now to Week 5 where we put it all together.  The straight lines on the star are pretty good.  The stippling could be better.  I just need to retrain my brain to quilt in rows.  It will come.

So what have I learned?  I’ve learned you need to relax and BREATHE!  And a glass of wine can’t hurt!  Just don’t spill it!

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