Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge - January - Just in time!!

Quick blog to update that I have done the January portion of the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge.

Here are some shots of my practice for SewCalGal's FMQ  Challenge.

Then I tried practicing on the border of  my this week's practice piece for
Leah Day's Quilt-Along

Here's the original practice with the straight line free motion quilting.

No big problems with the plain straight line sewing though I believe a lots more practice is in my future.....

Then I played with stippling tight, medium, and larger...  Then I drew lines and practiced more free motion...

And then 'stitch in the ditch'....
And..... below is the biggest problem I ran into this week....
Odd thing is that I didn't 'feel' it when it happened but found it when I tipped it over...
Thread issues!  
Any ideas on what happened here???  Oh well, Unsew and resew it when I go back and get that one line I missed....  did you notice???

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Quilt Along #2 with Leah Day

Well here we are at Week #2 of Leah Day's Quilt Along

I started with a practice piece but neglected to photograph it.

This is a picture of a quilt that has been hanging on my wall for years!  I pieced and tied it when we first moved into our home in 2001.  But this is it's lucky week as I am going to take the many quilts I have made over the years and one by one - or maybe week by week - quilt them as I practice my machine quilting skills and this one if first up!

This quilt is a wall hanging measuring about 33" square.  Not too big of a project to jump in with!

Close up of stitching - back

A little hard to see with this fabric but I was pleased with the result.

My quilting guild, The Souhegan Valley Quilters Guild has a display starting today at the Amherst Public Library in Amherst, NH.  This quilt along with 37 others will be on display for the next month or so.  If you are in the area stop by and see them - it's worth the trip!!

A few pictures of the display from Jeannine - nice job Jeannine, Trudy, Lois, Sue W. and Sharron A.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quilt Along #1 - with Leah Day

I'm posting my attempt at Quilting Along with Leah Day.  We're are supposed to go through and practice her lesson of the week and post our outcome.  This is to help the free motion quilting community grow and learn together by sharing our successes AND OUR MISTAKES.   :)  The following is work I normally would hide at the bottom of a pile somewhere in the back of a closet!!!  But since we are ALL here to learn together......

Here goes!!

First, a huge THANK YOU to Leah for all of her hard work and consistant blogging which I know has helped me immensely in my growth as a Free Motion Quilter!

So...  Here is my first attempt at lesson one.  I am using a machine that is pretty new to me.  I've been wishing the machine I am more comfortable with was here but it wasn't available.  The following picture is the full shot of my first attempt at Quilt Along #1.  I used black then navy blue thread on the front and white thread on the back as I wanted to see whether stitches were even..

Full shot of attempt #1

Close up of attempt #1 showing issues - front
Close up of attempt #1 showing issues - back

another shot of attempt #1
thread broken and shreaded on front

tension issue

black thread from front showing on back

2nd try :)

I was much happier with my second try.  Leah asked that we ask questions and discuss issues, so here goes.

As I started I was having lots of issues with thread breaking and I found that my IDT (integrated dual feed) was engaged.  I found that disengaging the IDT fixed some of the issues and sewing became much better.  I still had issues with broken and shredded thread.

My questions to Leah, beyond anything she is already thinking I should be doing differently are:

1)  Thread:  Do you have a favorite thread?  Are there any threads that you would NOT use for this?
2) Do you have a favorite needle?

I think the old saying that 'practice makes perfect' runs pretty true here.  That being the case I'd have to say that I have a great deal of practice in my future!!  Looking forward to starting Quilt Along #2!


WIP Wednesday #17 2012 Fresh Look!

Welcome to 2012!!  I haven't been heard from since the middle of December - no excuses - just been busy with life!! 

I was able to spend a bit of time sewing through the last few weeks.  I have mostly been working on Mason's Quilt.  It has changed from being a 2 sided lap quilt into a single sided Queen sized quilt.  This change took place because Mason has gotten his first apartment and moved up to a Queen sized bed.  I have ALL of the blocks in some stage of being made.  This is a picture my playing with the block layout:
Haven't decided whether to go 20 x 20 or 22 x 22...  There are 2 blocks stacked in this picture.  I ended up cutting them to 4 1/4" so they will finish at 3 3/4".  I plan to add a border as well.  The original blog to this can be found here.  One of my goals is to complete this quilt within a month!!  We'll see how that goes  :)

My main sewing goal for 2012 is to become a better Free Motion Quilter & in the process - to get my UFO-tops quilted! 

I plan to continue my Free Motion / Crazy Quilt a 30 part project! I am currently working on Part #3 and will post pictures soon. See - Part #1 & Part #2 in prior blogs - pictures below:  These showcase the first 20 free motion blocks from Leah Day's project.

Part #1
Part #2

I have also joined two FMQ projects!

The first is again with Leah Day - who brought us 365 Free Motion Quilt Designs has started a Weekly Quilt Along!!  I have begun work on this but haven't taken pictures yet - will post them soon - maybe even later today so I can caught the first 'link up'!!

The second is with SewCalGal - who is featuring Monthly Guest Bloggers to teach FMQ techniques.  I am currently working on the January post by Frances Moore and look forward to all the great information this will bring...  And you'll never guess who the May blogger is????

Completed Projects: none 

New Projects:
Joined 2 FMQ Free Motion Quilting Projects - Plan to spend a lot of time practicing FMQ in 2012!

Leah Day's - Quilt Along - weekly quilting - Wednesday LinkUp http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/
SewCalGal's - Free Motion Quilting Challenge http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com/p/free-motion-quilt-challenge.html 

Ongoing Projects: Worked on this week: also see no progress
Camp Bed Quilt - Free Motion / Crazy Quilt Part 3 of 30 (sorry - no photos yet-will follow  :)
Mason's graduation quilt - working!!
Eric's Browning Quilt (Christmas present 2010!!!)- still! hand sewing binding :) 

Ongoing Blog Projects-monthly: include donated amounts - shows one person CAN make a difference!!!
4 Patch 4 Hope - 72 4-patch blocks (January 2012)
Valor Quilt Bee (Month 1 - January 2012) 

(new group - plan to hit these with the 2 -FMQ projects I have joined!!)
UFO - 'T's  (UnFinished Objects - Tops!!! - AKA To Be Quilted!!!)
Snowman Quilt - top together awaiting borders, quilting, and binding 8/17/11
Boat Log Cabin Quilt 8/17/11 - took pictures - hanging in sewing area
Blueberry Conversion Quilt - Ricky Tim's Style
Jelly Roll 1600 quilt! - completed top :) 

No progress:
Berry Bliss Twin Quilt 2of2 played with several designs... still deciding pattern 8/17/11 (got some fat quarters for this!)
Row Robin Sampler Quilt! have 5 strips of four blocks each... MoVeD the rows around... Still Thinkin...  8/24/11
Sunflower Glacier Star -Completed June's block - 4  behind now! progress!!! 9/4/11  
SVQG - Mystery Quilt - Received instructions completed month 1
Two baby quilts! - pinks using D4P design - still piecing blocks...
Door quilt for camp

This week’s stats:
New projects – 2
Completed projects – 0
Currently in progress –16
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced