Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January FMQ Challenge

When I first saw this design, I thought to myself, "When will I EVER use leaves with stems!? That just doesn't seem like something I will use in my quilting." At the end of the video though, Frances Moore shows a tree with the leaf motif quilted into it. The light bulb went on! So, after some practicing on a quilt sandwich...

I took the plunge and quilted my lovely pillow! And I couldn't be happier. I can't think of a better FMQ motif than this for this particular pillow. So, thank you Sew Cal Gal and Frances Moore-what a fantastic first tutorial!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Well, here's hoping that Kelly of Don't Look Now doesn't decide to drop by... Okay, so that's really unlikely, but if she did, she would be horrified. In my haste to have something wonderful for the Sew Cal Gal quilt-a-long and to complete a long-time WIP, I decided to finish up my :first Day of Christmas" pillow. Apparently I was in too much of a hurry, and asked the WRONG quality assurance person (my 6 year old).

Because...the leaves are all upside down.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Let's Wiggle!

Here's my first attempt at quilting without using my BSR. I have to admit that I'm pretty proud of it! It was easier than I thought it would be, and the results turned out almost as good as if I had used my stitch regulator (better than when the BSR is having issues). The biggest problem I had was remembering that I was in control of the speed with both my hands and foot, and that they needed to move together. When my stitches started to get too small, it was hard for me to slow down my foot rather than my hands. Apparently I'm not as good at multitasking as I would like to think I am! I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that my husband couldn't tell the difference when I showed him, I was truly hoping that the BSR stitches looked a lot better-sounds silly, doesn't it?! I wanted to feel justified in buying the Bernina with the BSR rather than the machines I had been looking at with the larger throats. After stewing over it for a little while, I realized that maybe it was a good purchase, that the BSR was like training wheels for me, giving me the confidence boost I needed to try quilting my own quilts.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 6, 2012

Learning to Quilt

So I don't really need to learn the basics, although that's where I'm going to start, I want to learn to quilt without the help of my stitch regulator. And guess what!? There just happens to be not one, but two, quilt-a-longs going on right now to help me do just that! I have ALWAYS shied away from quilting without the stitch regulator because it has done a pretty good job in the past. Well, something changed on the last quilt I did, my grandmas, because there were all sorts of issues with the quilting. Many of the issues weren't the fault of the stitch regulator, but some of them were. I was warned by a sewing machine salesman that the BSR had it's inadequacies, and one of them was quilting on red or purple fabrics. It also seems to have trouble doing any dark pinks and some light pinks. Well, it just so happens that I kind of like most of those colors. As I was quilting one of the centers of the stars (with my free motion flower), the machine kept.skipping.stitches.

(Up close quilting of the star center)

(It looked pretty cool on the other side too)
And it drove me crazy, like ready to pull out my hair crazy. And I almost threw my machine and it's highly-touted BSR right out the window! That's when I knew I needed to learn to quilt like a big girl. Without any help. So, I've joined both quilt-a-longs in an effort to learn to quilt all by myself. In a way, I'm kind of worried. The reason I bought the Bernina 440 QE was for the BSR. No other machine could offer that. Now I wish I had learned to quilt without the BSR and instead opted for a machine with a larger throat. Ahhh, there's always the next machine.
So, I'm joining The Free Motion Quilting Project and SewCalGal as they share their insights into FMQ. Here goes nothin'.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Grandma's Quilt

One of my biggest regrets is not making a quilt for my paternal grandma before she died. She would have loved one! So, determined not to let that happen with my maternal grandma, my cousin and I put our heads together and decided to make Swoon! She made three of the blocks (we decided to make it a little smaller after realizing just how long each block was going to take us), and sent them to me from Hawaii, and I make three blocks, sashed them, made an additional block for the back, and then quilted it. It is such a pretty quilt, it's one I might make a second time!
It was very well received, and I loved getting to collaborate with my cousin! We need to organize a little swap between the two of us!