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‘. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 theย  ‘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! ๐Ÿ˜€

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 (92)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and enjoy sharing in the inspiring chat flowing through the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do add your thoughts in the comments box at the very bottom of this page and feel free to click away and investigate the blog posts I’ve brought to this virtual sewing day ๐Ÿ™‚

My quilting activity this weekend is going to be rather limited as I’ve switched sewing notions for a home decorating kit – paint, brushes, dust sheets and masking tape! Dear Husband has taken a few days off and we are tackling the study. The room faces south-east and fortunately the sun has been shining today so we had many hours of daylight to make progress.

The room doesn’t have very good artificial lighting though so we won’t be painting in the evenings – phew! There will be opportunities to toddle off to my sewing room. I’ve been sorting out my orange scraps in line with the February

Read moreSaturday Quilting Bring and Share (92)

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (91)

Saturday Quilting Bring & Share logo 2Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share ๐Ÿ™‚ Bring along your project(s) and share in some of the inspiration being freely shared throughout the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do join in by clicking on the links and using the comments box right at the bottom of this page. Thank you! It gives me a real a buzz when I see the links have been used ๐Ÿ™‚

I had a full-on, very enjoyable day teaching session two of the Beginners Course to the morning and afternoon classes at Purple Stitches yesterday. Amazing to see these patchwork newbies getting to grips with Half Square Triangles and Flying Geese for the first time but already asking such intelligent questions about the craft and planning their next projects!

Dashing Stars 4 all blocks on design wall by Allison Reid

My Dashing Stars blocks are all pieced and ready to be stitched together. Of course spending a whole day in a fabric shop meant I came home with a couple of purchases myself – I mean it would be rude not to buy fabric in such circumstances! I bought a length of a text print extra wide backing which I think may provide almost enough fabric for the Dashing Stars quilt and the smaller Log Cabin. With Viv’s expert help I also chose the border fabric to use for the Log Cabin quilt. I just can’t get enough of this electric blue Orion fabric by Libs Elliot. It was one of the blue fabrics I used for the quilt I recently made for #2 Son.

Fabrics Jan 2020 by Allison Reid

That bright electric blue is particularly appealing at this time of year when hours of daylight are in short supply and often very dull. Photographing quilts and fabric is very tricky so apologies if some of my photos look rather grey – I promise I have tried hard to edit them to true colours! I’ve noticed our choices of clothing can become rather dull this time of year. It was a real tonic to see the lady seated in front of me at Church this morning wearing an orange jumper topped with a lovely bright orange Gilet!

And so to the links. I hope you find plenty of interest here:

Were you/are you a fan of the long running TV show Downton Abbey. Carole shares lots of photos from a Downton Abbey exhibition she’s visited in the US. It looks to be a visual treat, with many of the sets reconstructed and a separate exhibition of the exquisitely made costumes. I had to confess in my comment on Carole’s blog that I live just 20 miles from Highclere Castle (the stately home used as Downton Abbey) and have never visited! Funny how that happens isn’t it?

I am enjoying watching Sharon’s Plad-ish quilt coming together. It is so effective – another quilt design I’d like to make :-O Sharon shared the link to the free pattern by Erica at Kitchen Table Quilting.

Leanne has released her first quilt pattern of 2020, ‘Hollow Jewels’. In this post she explains how she executed the dense straight line quilting. The quilting compliments the patchwork very well but it’s the photo of the quilting pattern on the back of the quilt that really caught my attention.

Christ Watson is running a QAL on her blog. Even if you are not taking part you might like to take a look at this post as Christa has provided a very clear foundation paper piecing tutorial – definitely filing this on my Foundation Piecing Pinterest board ๐Ÿ™‚

It feels like I’ve only just packed the Christmas decorations away but Allison over at Cluck Cluck Sew has reminded us that it’s only a few weeks ’til Valentines Day! She has lots of patterns featuring hearts and a link to a heart block tutorial too ๐Ÿ™‚

Should you need a little encouragement to move out of your comfort zone and try a new technique or two then I recommend you follow Nancy as she works through the blocks of a ‘Cheddarback’ quilt. Thisย  month she has tackled blocks requiring foundation piecing and y-seams. Her blocks look great, each requiring a willingness to try something new or work with a technique she’s not entirely comfortable using. The Cheddarback QAL, based on an antique sampler quilt, is organised by Gay Bomer of Sentimental Stitches.

Alyce Blythe has updated her very popularย  ‘HST Tutorial and Maths Formula’ blog post. As well as lots of useful tips and explanations there are three charts to download – very handy!

Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts designs and makes very clever character quilts. She shares her latest version of ‘Life in the Pond’ featuring Koi Carp and swimming frogs. The blocks can be rearranged in any number of ways to create your very own pond.

Happy Stitching!

Allison