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

 

 

 

Moravian Star finish, sewing on a rainy day…

Conditions outside have steadily deteriorated through the day… It started grey now it’s very windy, very wet and very, very grey! πŸ™

Rainy Day by Allison Reid
The view from my sewing room window at 2.30pm!

I have had to admit defeat re. publishing a Saturday Quilting Bring & Share post. Reality check! This is a busy time of year for everyone. Lots of extra socialising to enjoy as well as preparations for Christmas to be completed. So rather than stress about missing blog post deadlines I will rest SQBS posts for the next few weeks and resume in the New Year. In the meantime I shall write when I can and continue to read other quilter’s blogs as a form of respite from all the busyness πŸ™‚

I can share a finish! Deciding to gift the Moravian Star decoration was the right incentive to keep me working on the project. Finished and wrapped on Sunday, gifted on Monday!

Moravian Star finished by Allison Reid

Today I’ve been testing a set of Drunkards Path rulers. These make a 6″ finished block. I used a 25mm rotary cutter to negotiate the curves. The rulers don’t have non-slip pads but actually I found both of them easy to hold in place whilst I was cutting.

Drunkards Path test blocks by Allison Reid

The blocks went together without any fuss and measure the expected 6Β½” unfinished (whew!). I wasn’t brave enough to try the ‘no pin’ technique Rachel Hauser uses when stitching curves together but I did go with minimalist pinning – just five pins evenly spaced along the seam.

Drunkards Path test block pinning by Allison Reid

This block size gives a fairly gentle curve which meant I didn’t have to raise the presser foot to adjust the seam position as I stitched. All in all a useful test that gives me confidence to embark on another project I have in mind πŸ˜‰

As for Christmas preparations… Well! I’ve just about written all the cards… And I’ve hung one decoration πŸ˜€

Christmas Tree Quilt by Allison Reid

This is my small version of the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Christmas tree quilt. I made it this time last year mainly from stash fabrics. I wonder if you are enjoying rediscovering handmade decorations as you prepare your home for Christmas?

Allison

 

Autumn Colours Quilted Wall Hanging

Well! Start ringing the bells! I have finished another quilt! I know I said I’d be slowing down to normal pace but the seasonal colouring of this DrEAMi* project gave me the focus and determination to have it completed and on display THIS Autumn rather than NEXT Autumn! πŸ˜€

Read moreAutumn Colours Quilted Wall Hanging

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (80)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I wonder which project(s) you are working on this weekend? Bring them along to this virtual sewing day and share in some of the conversations circulating through the Worldwide Quilting Community by clicking on the links below. Do share your project progress along with your contributions to the conversations in the comments box at the end of this post. Thank you!

The weather forecaster promised an overcast day and so far the prediction is coming true. It’s 11am and the sky this morning has shifted from Kona Iron to a uniform shade of Shadow. Not so great for photography but I will try and share the colours of my version of Kathy Brown’s design ‘Drop Box’ with you and the progress I am making with the quilting.

Autumn wallhanging quilting (2) by Allison Reid

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring and Share (80)