Free Motion Quilting – issues of scale and contentment

Well! I’ve made a start free motion quilting my Scrappy Trip Along quilt. I can’t say it’s been plain sailing! Never mind, I’m doing it!

Scrappy Trip Along top with borders by Allison Reid
Scrappy Trip Along quilt top.

I’ve found one of the issues I have with fmq is creating the ‘right’ scale. Ideally I want to achieve a fairly open quilting pattern so the finished quilt will feel soft and drape easily. However I end up with stitching lines closer together than I intend. I think there are two factors playing against my intentions (in addition to lack of skill!):

  1. I’m concentrating on the small section of quilt under the machine foot and bordered by the span of my fairly small hands.
  2. Any lines of stitching behind the needle are obscured by the machine foot and the body of the sewing machine so I sometimes mis-judge how close I am stitching to previous stitching.

The quilters view by Allison Reid

Here is the first feathered swirl I stitched. It measures a much smaller than intended, 6″ long by 5″ wide:

Scrappy Trip Along small feathered swirl by Allison Reid

My second feathered swirls measures a much more satisfactory 13″ long by 9″ wide:

Scrappy Trip Along large feathered swirl by Allison Reid

The second is larger because I drew the curved spine of the feathered swirl onto the quilt using a Chaco marker. I found this simple measure a great help in stitching out a larger, more open, relaxed motif. Not perfect by any means but much nearer to what I’d set out to achieve.

Serendipity and all that….  Teri of TerifiCreations shared a short, encouraging video clip by Angela Walters’ entitled ‘Three Things Quilters Shouldn’t Do‘. It spoke to me at just the right time 🙂 encouraging me to stop doing these things and start enjoying the quilting I am doing!

Finally: A shout out for what a wonderful bunch of people there are inhabiting the Worldwide Quilting Community. This morning I was so fortunate to have Jo Westfoot aka ‘The Crafty Nomad’ come visit me at home to, in typically generous fashion, share her knowledge of the Electric Quilt software. Thanks to Jo I’m now much closer to publishing my first foundation paper pieced pattern 🙂 Her kindness didn’t stop there though! With her encouragement and practical experience I have for the first time submitted a quilt pattern to a magazine! How exciting! As my boys would say, ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained!’

Check out Jo’s website, gorgeous patterns, subscription groups and workshops here and let’s keep being thankful for the lovely community built around the craft of patchwork quilting.

I’m off to enjoy some more free motion quilting 🙂

Joining in with Moving it Forward Monday over at Em’s Scrapbag and with Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt.

Allison

 

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (53)

Selsey (2) by Allison Reid

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I hope you have some time to bring along your project to this virtual sewing day and share in some of the news and inspiration travelling around the Worldwide Quilting Community 🙂 If you’d like to add a link to take us to your project on your blog or Instagram feed then please do use the comment box below. Likewise if you have anything to add to the conversation links below do join in by using the comment box. 🙂

I had a trip to the seaside this week -such a beautiful day at Selsey and in the company of good friends.

Adding the binding to our quilts will conclude the Beginners Course at Purple Stitches on Saturday. I plan to use the strips cut from the excess backing fabric as the binding for my quilt.

Dashing Stars binding fabric by Allison Reid

I’m still umm-ing and er-ing over the quilting design for the Scrappy Trip Along quilt. I’ve been practicing drawing feathered swirls…

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring and Share (53)

Autumn Leaves – a January OMG Finish

‘Autumn Leaves’, my patchwork wall hanging is completed – a Happy Dance has been performed! At the start of January this project was a quilt sandwich that I’d put to one side when back in November the pressure to move onto projects with Christmas deadlines became too strong to ignore.

Autumn Leaves Complete by Allison Reid

Read moreAutumn Leaves – a January OMG Finish

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (43)

Welcome to the second Saturday Quilting Bring & Share of 2019. It feels like the year has properly begun – the first full working week is behind us, schools are open and the morning and evening traffic levels are back to normal! But now it’s the weekend! Yeah! Time to enjoy a virtual sewing day, bring out the projects we are working on and share in some of the patchwork quilting conversations circulating around the worldwide quilty community. Join in by clicking some or all of the links below and leaving your thoughts and links in the comments box at the end of this post. Thank you!

Autumn Leaves quilting finished by Allison ReidI’m switching projects today. I’ve finished quilting the Autumn Leaves wall hanging – hoping the lines of wavy stitching and swirls give the impression of the wind blowing and the leaves tumbling through the air?

During the week I tied myself in knots designing a kind of book pillow, quilt carry bag thing… I came up with so many permutations re. fastenings (even went out and bought a zipper!), handles, size of pillow, size of pocket, to line or not to line? etc. etc. In the end I bit the bullet, dove to the bottom of my stash bins and made a mock-up using some of the ideas swirling around in my head. It is a relief to have a finished item but I’m not yet sure what lessons I’ve learned from this protoytype …

 

Book Pillow Bag prototype by Allison Reid

I’d like to clear my head and get on with a project where I actually know what I’m doing and why! So, I’ve retrieved the fabrics I put together some time last year to make another I-Spy Shadow quilt. I designed this quilt a couple of years ago and made two. Late last Summer when I was sorting through my stash and scraps I discovered more novelty fabric pieces than I expected and decided to sort them – fussy cutting 5″ or 4″ squares wherever possible. Now for some fun quick piecing and a break from over-thinking things! 🙂

Fabrics for I-Spy Shadow Quilt by Allison Reid

Community is my word for 2019 and I’m using this word with particular reference to our worldwide quilting community. So what better example could I share than the ‘Carolina Hurricane Quilt Project‘? This project is ambitious and so full of generosity and kindness. Please take a look at Carole’s blog post and see how the quilting community can bring love and hope into such a desperate, on-going, tragedy.

Jayne has made a beautifully simple nine-patch quilt in double quick time – what a satisfying start to 2019!

I will definitely be bookmarking this blog post all about fabric choice by Rachel at Stitched in Color. Rachel has collected lots of photos of quilts made to the Gypsy Wife pattern and explains the different effects contrast, colour and scale of pattern can have on a quilt and how to choose fabrics to achieve the effect you want. Very helpful indeed! 🙂

I’m listening to Shannon Brinkley’s ‘Quilt Style Workshop’ while I’m sewing. You can sign up for free here. In the first video Shannon talks about the stages of developing our patchwork quilting skills and style. AND she suggests WIPs and fabrics we no longer love can go in the ‘experiment bin’ to be used as when we want to test fresh techniques. The second video is about colour 🙂

Melanie has shared some simple but effective ways to keep a sewing room organised , keeping tools in the right place. Less time hunting for scissors is more time to stitch 🙂

Happy stitching!

Allison

PS. Don’t forget you’ll find more tips and inspiration on my Pins of the Week Pinterest board, you can find me on Instagram @allisonreid.neweverymorning and join my Patchwork Tips and Tales group on Facebook 🙂 It’s all about Community 😉