Tips for overcoming fear of free motion quilting

The bed runner design (there will be additional background fabric either end to hang over the side of the bed).

Phew! After much procrastination and preparation I am progressing through the quilting of the bed runner I’m making for my parents. It will be a gift to mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Of course I want it to be perfect and, of course, that’s not possible.

I started writing the long version of this quilting story but decided to delete most of the details, add photos and give my tips for overcoming fear of free motion quilting 🙂

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (232)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and take inspiration from our Worldwide Quilting Community as members share their projects, thoughts and tips. Please do join in by clicking on the links below and leaving a comment or two 🙂

My Word for 2020 icon by Allison ReidI’ve got over the discombobulated feeling brought about by the imminent lock down and I’m now settling into the four weeks (or more?) of restrictions. I managed to follow a mini course shared by Elise & Emelie as a taster for their new course, Illustrator for Quilters (registration has now closed). I was certainly stretched by the Adobe software but having to concentrate so hard did my general mindset a lot of good. I still have much to learn before I’ll be producing a patchwork pattern using AI but I can now draw and colour quilt blocks (well! I could yesterday!). Here’s my first effort 🙂 Definitely counts as a tick next to my word of 2020, ‘GROW’.

In the sewing room I’ve been working on the Scrap Vortex blocks. I decided to add wonky sashing and borders. I’ve used a Royal Blue extra wide backing fabric to frame the scrap blocks.

The sun glowing through the fabrics of the quilt top puts me in mind of stained glass windows, in particular the huge West Window of Winchester Cathedral.

In December 1642, during the Civil War, a band of disgruntled Roundhead soldiers over ran Winchester, rode their horses into the Cathedral and set about shooting the Medieval glass out of the windows!

Local people managed to salvage fragments of glass and kept them safe until, several decades later, restoration work began. There was little chance of being able to piece together the glass into the original pictures , instead a stained glass collage was created and remains in place to this day filtering sunlight into a myriad of patterns.

The outside view of the West Window

Not so many links this week. What with feeling unsettled and spending hours practising Adobe Illustrator I’ve fallen a bit behind with reading blogs. Anyhow, I do hope you find plenty of interest through exploring these links 🙂 :

Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts has written a comprehensive tutorial to guide us through matching a fabric print for a quilt backing. I love her examples of matching the same prints in different colourways. Her method produces ‘seamless’ results – Well! the seams are there of course but only visible on very close inspection 😉

Fancy tackling a UFO with the support of the quilting community behind you? Then UFOvember could be just the blog hop to follow! A whole host of patchwork quilters are disclosing their UFOs and sharing tips and ideas for moving these projects forwards. There’s a hashtag to follow too: #ufovember

Rebecca explains the reasons why she always washes a quilt before gifting it. Her post is full of interesting information re. a recently finished quilt and it’s appearance and qualities pre and post washing.

Leanne has made a very effective mini quilt depicting a pine tree/Christmas tree. In her blog post she includes a link to the free pattern and describes her method of ticker-tape patchwork and how she quilted the mini.

The Royal British Legion logoLinking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. Alycia has made a quilt using Greek Key blocks – it’s the right colours to be a Quilt of Valor…. Which reminds me it is Remembrance Sunday tomorrow. We will stand on our doorstep at 11am to share in a socially distanced Two Minute Silence.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (229)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and use the links below to share in the inspiring posts and projects from other members of Worldwide Quilting Community. Don’t forget to leave an encouraging comment or two when you visit blog sites and maybe subscribe too so you can keep up-to-date with your favourite bloggers 🙂

I had a productive start to the week in my sewing room. There’s less progress to share from the latter end of the week. Last night I did make the label and piece the backing for the Dashing Stars quilt so that’s all ready for the quilt basting demo I’ll be giving at the penultimate session of the Beginners course.

The reason less sewing got done was a shift of attention to pattern writing. Pattern writing stretches my tech skills to the absolute limit and beyond! Over the past few months I’ve had no desire to sit at the computer for hours struggling with creating piecing charts etc. I think my mental resilience has been lowered so much by all that’s going on in the world I just knew I wouldn’t be able to successfully apply myself to the challenges I face when writing patterns. Anyhow! This week I have found the motivation to stick to the task for quite a few hours without being overwhelmed by frustration – I may even have learned a few new tricks 😉

This weekend I’m NOT pattern writing, instead I’m answering the call of a UFO. Yep! Something else has fallen out of the UFO Cupboard of Shame 😀

In the finishing stakes this UFO can definitely be classed as ‘low-hanging fruit’: The quilt top is complete; there’s a pieced back complete with label; and the wadding is cut to size. I guess, as so often is the case, I must have hit a brick wall re. quilting. The label dated ‘July 2018’ is a dead give away as to when this project became a UFO! I now have a quilting plan, nothing too taxing… Using her walking foot, Julie the Juki and I are going to quilt a spiral in the centre of the quilt and finish with some simple straight line quilting through the borders.

So, a-basting I must go 🙂

Here are the links to some of the inspiration recently shared by the Worldwide Quilting Community:

Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts has launched her latest pattern, Mountainside. It is fat quarter friendly, the pattern includes cutting instructions for five sizes and it’s a design that makes choosing a colour scheme very straightforward. See Kirsty’s blog post and read the comments for a multitude of great ideas!

Allison Harris at Cluck Cluck Sew is being kept busy with home schooling. She has just enough time to join in an ‘An Hourglass a Day’ QAL. Allison has updated her own Hourglass Block tutorial with it’s cutting guide for blocks in several sizes. Click here for her blog post which contains the link to the printable block tutorial.

Rona has found herself a new job – starting in May she’ll be the Guide on quilt tours exploring Georgia. Who’d have thought a love of patchwork quilting could lead to being a tour guide? Read more about the quilt trip Rona enjoyed in Ireland and find out more about the tours she’ll be leading next year.

Christa Watson has been using her blog to introduce pattern writers. I must confess that I have not come across Charisma Horton and her modern designs. I found the photos of her designs made with Christa’s fabrics really exciting and inspiring. Seeing all those quilts has livened up my design mojo !

Melony has designed a lovely panel of mini Christmas bunting. It’s available to purchase from her Etsy shop but if you visit her blog post first you can pick up a discount code 🙂

Alyce has been reflecting on the women of the Bible linked to Advent. She has designed a quilt called ‘Women of Advent’ and will be running a quilt along with Bible reflections through November. Find out more here.

Settle down with a cup/glass of your favourite beverage and be prepared to have your creativity boosted or re-ignited by Alli’s cheerful and practical post titled simply ‘Creativity!’.

Over on her website, Your Sewing Friend, Teresa Weaver has made available for free download her Quilt Completion Chart. It’s an attractive way of creating a UFO busting list – keep track of progress made with each quilt and encourage yourself to keep going to that proud finish!

Linking with Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. Alycia has taken a double wedding ring quilt to the mountains for a photo shoot – her beautiful quilting and the scenery are well worth a look!

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Quilter’s Color Quest Quilt Completed

My Word for 2020 icon by Allison ReidMy Quilter’s Color Quest quilt is finished! I have so enjoyed learning about colour by reading Rachel Hauser’s book, ‘A Quilter’s Field Guide to Color’. Working through the challenges presented in the book and via the Quilter’s Color Quest has helped me gain a better understanding of my own colour and fabric preferences. I feel much more confident about choosing fabrics, understanding much better why I’m drawn to some rather than others but also how to incorporate fabrics I might have rejected in the past into my future projects.

The Bear Paw blocks were such a pleasure to make. I decided to piece my 59 blocks into an on-point layout with narrow sashing to separate the blocks. I used unbleached calico for the background, all the Bear Paw fabrics were lurking in my stash or scrap bins.

The backing fabric was a gift brought back from a trip to SE Asia. I had to cut the length in half and join selvage edges together to make a piece the right width for the backing. I still can’t quite believe I managed to match up the two pieces of fabric so well – the seam is hardly visible, even if I do say so myself 😀

At 51″ by 71″ the quilt was a comfortable size to fit through Julie the Juki. I used a Hera Marker to establish the initial quilting lines across the pin basted quilt sandwich. One gently wavy line across the centre and another intersecting it were enough to begin the process of stitching out the wavy grid design. I used a walking foot with the line guide set to 2″ to make sure the echoed stitching lines were evenly spaced.

In the bobbin I used a light brown Aurifil 40wt thread, 2314, which blended well with the backing fabric. I chose a varigated Aurifil 40wt thread, 3817, for the top to give some colour to the plain calico setting triangles at the end of each row of blocks.

To finish the quilt I made a scrappy binding, machine stitching it to the back before folding it to the front and machine stitching it down.  I also made a label, this time stitching it into the binding before hand stitching the other two edges in place. (Here’s the link to a label making tutorial I shared earlier this year).

Last night a storm blew up, I crept downstairs, lifted the Bear Tracks and Big Dottie quilts from the sofas and laid them on top of our inadequate summer duvets. Perfect! We were quickly warm enough to go back to sleep! Makes me think I need to make a full size quilt for our bedroom… 😀

Linking this rare finish of mine with Michelle for the Beauties Pageant, Wendy for the Peacock Party and Alycia for Finished or Not Friday. As an introduction to Down Syndrome Awareness Month Michelle gives a beautiful account of being the parent of a child with the condition.

Allison