Improv Free Motion Quilting and a Missing UFO

My Word for 2020 icon by Allison Reid

I am so happy with the progress I made at Jo Westfoot’s ‘Mix It Up Improv Free Motion Quilting Class‘. πŸ™‚ I’ve dabbled in the past but you know I have a love-hate relationship with free motion quilting. In a recent blog post I went as far as to call it a battle! Anyway, in the spirit of GROW (my word for 2020) I booked myself onto the class. I’m so glad I did.

Jo took as through quilting a series of motifs and filler designs with plenty of time to sit at our machines and give them a go. I particularly enjoyed stitching out the whimsical flowers.

My fat quarter practice sandwich – an afternoons work!

Since the class I’ve tried designing and stitching my own flower motifs. Doing that is a clear indication that my attitude to FMQ has shifted, I now have a ‘can do’ attitude rather than getting bogged down in the fear of spoiling a patchwork with my imperfect quilting. No doubt there will be occasions in the future when theΒ  ‘mind monkey’ chatter will stop me in my tracks BUT at least I do now have my practice sandwich to wave at them!

When I booked the class I had in mind a long abandoned UFO which has some large setting triangles, ideal for decorating with improv FMQ. Last week I went looking for that UFO. Could I find it? Uh!Uh! I looked through boxes of fabric, partially finished projects, class samples…. I dragged more boxes out from under beds… No sign of the quilt top *sigh* I repeated the hunt. I was getting a bit anxious: What if this UFO was stashed away with a whole lot of other UFOs that I had completely forgotten about?! Still no sign of the quilt top! A few days later I tried again. This time I armed myself with a torch and lay myself flat on the floor next to each of the beds in the house. Success! Pushed way to the back of a space I found the quilt top, in a plastic box and *phew* it was on it’s own.

I am ashamed to admit that the eight 12″ blocks date back to Amy Gibson‘s 2016 ‘Sugar Block’ BOM series on her blog stitcherydickorydock! The large block is older – a sample for sofa cushions that were never made. The fabrics are fabulous, such gorgeous deep, rich colours. Actually, looking at the blocks I’m quite impressed with them. Thanks to Amy’s clear instructions I managed to negotiate some fairly complex cutting and piecing including my first attempts at Foundation Paper Piecing.

I’ve had to search through the Gallery section on my phone to discover that it was September 2018 when I cut sashing strips and stitched the top together. And then I guess I was gripped by fear of FMQ and relegated the project to a box and the dust under our bed. Please don’t judge me – I’m sure I have dusted under our bed at least once since Sept 2018… And since then just forgotten about the UFO lurking there.

There are a few projects in the queue that I need to work on before I I can turn to quilting this re-discovered UFO but thanks to the skills learned and practised at the workshop I now feel excited by improv FMQ rather than fearful.

Have you worked through a fear/can’t do attitude to gain a patchwork quilting skill?

Allison

 

 

 

Free Motion Quilting – Growing Skills

Ho! Hum! My word for 2020 is GROW. This week I have been experiencing GROWing pains! πŸ˜€

The Log Cabin quilt ‘beached’ on my sewing table while I worried about free motion quilting feathers…

It’s my on-going battle with developing Free Motion Quilting skills vs. Perfectionism! Of course it is impossible to become a skillful crafter without tons of practice and the production of less-than perfect quilts along the way. Even

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (86)

Welcome to a very late edition of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share! Ooops! However it’s not too late to bring along our project(s) and share in some of the great inspiration being imparted by members of our Worldwide Quilting Community πŸ™‚

Dashing Stars 3 ready to bind by Allison Reid
Before the classes on Saturday I quilted echoing arcs across the quilt. I demonstrated attaching the binding during the lessons. Now I just need to machine stitch the binding down on the front…

My bring along sewing project is my third version of the Dashing Stars quilt designed by Viv Poon of Purple Stitches. On Saturday I took my quilt to the back-to-back final sessions of the Beginners Classes I’ve been teaching this term. It seems to have rained on all of the four Saturdays this course have been held! Sure enough it was wet and very gloomy so all the class participants had to dash from their cars to the shop carrying their nearly finished quilts, their sewing machines and equipment. Getting to a workshop can be quite a workout can’t it? Even when the parking is close by!

Anyhow! It was good day in the shop. Wonderful to see the students projects turning from their ‘ugly duckling’ states to beautiful swans as the excess backing and wadding was carefully trimmed away before binding strips were pieced and then stitched to the quilts. It is always so satisfying to see patchwork novices producing their first quilts! Thank you ladies, it’s been a great term!

Beginners Class am Nov 19 by Allison Reid
Three of the ladies in the morning Beginners Class were ready to proudly display their first quilts.
Beginners Class pm Nov 19 by Allison Reid
And three first quilts were ready to be shared at the end of the afternoon class.

Just a few clicks into the Worldwide Quilting Community for you this week (you’ll find more on my Pins of the Week Pinterest Board):Β 

‘Tis the season …to be signing up to 2020 Quilt-A-Longs! Here are two that have come to my notice this week: Yvonne’s ‘Push-Pull’ QAL offers a way into understanding and using her expertise in the field of very modern looking ‘transparency’ quilts; while Amy’s ‘Next Door Block of the Month’ QAL offers a chance to practice and develop paper foundation piecing to create a variety of buildings (looks a lot more interesting than my description sounds πŸ˜‰ ).

Stephanie enjoyed the ‘stitch it and gift it blog hop. In her post ‘Recap‘ she shows some of her favourite stitched gift ideas from the hop. I’m especially taken with the cushion cover made from shirt plackets (designed by Moira of the Quilted Snail).

I know, I know! It’s not December yet but I am going to type in the ‘C’ word by sharing the Quilter’s Christmas Wish List compiled by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs.

Linking with Beth at Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

 

Patchwork: Beginners Rotary Cutting Set

The Beginners Classes I’m teaching this term are nearly through. During the penultimate session last Saturday students tried out walking foot quilting techniques and learnt how to pin baste their quilt sandwich. I’m looking forward to seeing all the near complete quilts on Saturday 23rd when I’ll be teaching the making of straight grain binding and demonstrating how to attach binding to a quilt. I have my homework cut out as I’ve yet to sandwich and quilt my own version of the Dashing Stars quilt! πŸ˜€

But, rewinding to Session One of the Beginners Course, I’ve been giving some thought to what should be included in a Rotary Cutting Starter Kit. Ours is not a cheap hobby but having the right tools makes a

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