Quilting in Progress! (sort of)

My quilting time is definitely limited these days, but I persevere. The quilt sandwich is complete, and I rushed a bit... this was my mistake. I did go through and pin baste. But, I tried skipping my usual stitch in the ditch then free-motion quilt process and have paid for it dearly!

My toddler is now totally intrigued by the sewing machine, and every time I was manipulating the quilt doing free-motion quilting, he kept running at me and the machine to slap and try to stop the fly wheel, which is a most obvious no-no! So, I'd stop sewing, and he'd run away cackling. In the meantime, I wasn't smoothing the fabric and I ended up sewing several pinches of fabric on the back side of the quilt!

((big sigh))

Ah well. One of my online artist friends said to keep it as a reminder of the the moment. It's an idea. I don't know if I can though, as the fabric just gets worse and worse pinched as it gets further away. I may leave one in, and un-sew and re-sew the worst ones.

Craftsy BOM 2012 - Blue Quilt Done!

Finished binding this rather large quilt yesterday evening, and took some photos of the finished blue quilt on the ironing board.  Maybe I can get someone to hold it up over their heads so I can take a photo of the full quilt front and back.  In the meantime, here's my too-excited-to-wait photos...

The quilt is bound using DIY binding made from backing fabric scraps.  Since the blocks were medallion-style quilted, then sewn together, this made for a LOT of scraps.

I'm really pleased with how the blocks came together. Doing the free-motion quilting in smaller chunks really let me explore different motifs and techniques.  For new FMQ-ers like me, I found Leah Day's motifs, tips, and tricks to be invaluable.  Her main website is free, and her first Craftsy course focuses specifically on this quilt as well as generally handy techniques for free-motion quilting on a regular home sewing machine.  Those Machinger's gloves that she recommends are not a gimmick.  If you have perpetually dry hands like I do in winter, those gloves saved me a lot of muscle aches. They helped me grip the quilt-sandwich open-handed - letting the machine do it's job without fighting the weight of the fabric.  I'm now using the gloves for all kinds of sewing, not just quilting.

I bought this binding foot off of e-bay to sew on the binding, but I couldn't figure out how to turn corners with it.  So, it's great for straight binding, or continuous binding, but not so much for corners.  Maybe there's some kind of trick I don't know. (?)

 I don't like it when my blankets have a lip or any edge that can snag a toenail.  So, I ended up doing a second pass on the binding with a zig-zag stitch.

Next up... finish the twins knitted blankets and a whole host of  holiday projects!  I think I'm going to wear this quilt over my shoulders while I work on the knitting machine.  It's cold today!

Happy crafting, everyone!

Craftsy BOM Blue Sampler Quilt: Nearly at the finish line

Medallion style quilting definitely has its advantages.  I was able to comfortably FMQ (free-motion quilt) each medallion which is something I can't do easily with a full quilt sandwich.  But, it also is quite tedious.  Putting together each block in order gets a bit tiresome.  I guess I'm ready for this project to be d-o-n-e!

I show you... progress!

A wild, sampler quilt made with scraps of fabric from all over the place.

So close!  I'm almost there!  What's left?  I've got to sew together 4 strips of the blue stand-in fabric (ran out of the original) and random scraps for the back and then even up the edges.  Somehow even though I measured my blocks and I thought they were all the same, one row of medallions is slightly larger than all the rest.  Dunno what I did differntly, but I just need that last gust of energy to finish this up!

Also, some advice.  Keep your fancy yarns away from enthusiastic FMQ'ing.  Tee hee!
Still not sure how I did that.

Also, don't forget to enter this week's giveaway which ends Wednesday, November 27th.  I'm giving away a lovely silk/mohair scarf!  See giveaway post here.

WIP Blue Quilt and Google Reader Reminder

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In other news, I'm FMQ'ing like a fiend!  It's really addictive.  And last year, I snagged a box full of thread from a quilt designer who was clearing out her stores and getting into knitting.  So, what a treat to use all the threads I bought from her!  I love the look of the variegated threads on solid fabric.  With each block I feel like I'm getting better at controlling/coordinating the motion between my hand and the foot pedal.  It's a bit like driving manual (stick shift / standard).

Details from the latest blocks...

Finally Free-Motion

FMQ= free-motion quilt(ing)
After walking around the blue quilt blocks, starching, prepping, observing... procrastinating... avoiding...

front of block 1
back of block 1
I took the plunge.  I finally said, "Adri, get it together and just free-motion quilt.  Just do it!"  So, I revved up my FMQ mojo by watching Leah Day on her Craftsy class and her blog videos.  I finally bent back the pin of my FMQ foot, wrapped it with a rubber band, and then, I did it.  I free-motion quilted.  The mods to the quilting foot work well by the way.  I had tested it before - I've been practicing on a quilt sandwich for a while - and working with the modifications afterward make a difference.  It's worth giving it a try if you have a generic foot at home like mine.

front of block 2

back of block 2

 And, I think my first two quilt blocks are a really good effort!  Whadya think?  I feel like I have more control when my hands are further apart, so I'm going to try and rig up a stand or something to keep the blocks at the same height as the sewing machine.

The sensation of FMQing is a lot like drawing or doodling, but with a whole new kind of stylus!