Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rubber Ducky!

One of the best ways to practice machine quilting is to make small quilts. I just finished a receiving blanket, and it was a quick project but lots of fun.

It's hard to see in the picture, but there is a yellow duck sewn on each of the striped blocks. To do this I used a method I learned in the book Show Me How to Plan My Quilting by Kathy Sandbach. I went on line and found a coloring page for a rubber duck ( and traced it on a piece of freezer paper. I ironed it to the block and then stitched around it. I removed the freezer paper to do the wings, beak, and eyes. I sewed around the portions of the design three times to give it some 'oomph', and I didn't worry too much about tracing my stitching lines perfectly. I love the little ducks!

For the rest of the quilt I used a pebble, or circle, filler to mimic soap bubbles. Around the edge I quilted waves in the border.

As I quilted this receiving blanket I had a lot of fun NOT obsessing about perfection. I realized that I have finally achieved a rhythm to my quilting and that I am doing a pretty good job of keeping my stitch size regulated. I still had some unintended wildness as I tried to trace over my circles, so thank goodness this is a forgiving pattern. But I'm happy to be in a place where I am more concerned about relaxing and enjoying the process than being perfect. That, too, will come with time.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Free Motion Challenge

I recently found SewCalGal, and she's hosting a Free Motion Challenge that started at the beginning of the year. I decided to join in, and I'm having fun so far. Each month another expert Free Motion quilter provides a tutorial and challenge, and there are prizes! I love to use my Janome Horizon to quilt, and this time I decided to practice on black fabric with some Superior King Tut thread.
It's hard to see the colors on this -- here's a close up.
It was fun, but I was very surprised when I turned over the piece and saw the back. I used Superior Bottom Line in silver, and I'm not sure which side I like better! I'll have to catch up with everyone else by doing two challenges per month, but I'm sure I'll learn a lot.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My First "Modern" quilt

For the last couple of years I've been making most of my quilts using a pattern. Of course I had to revise any pattern I found to make it more tailored, but I always had a plan in mind when I started. I decided that I wanted to try a modern quilt that sort of created itself. I found one fabric that I loved with an abstract flower pattern, then I purchased solid fabrics in every color within the pattern.

I cut random strips of the colored fabrics and put them in a bag. I fussy cut several 'flowers' and then reached into the bag and sewed on whatever color I grabbed. For someone who tends to be very symmetrical in thought and a planner, this was a definite experience for me! Several times I pulled out a strip and by brain screamed NO -- that won't go! I just said 'tough' and sewed it anyway.

I have to say I'm pleased with the end result! It won't ever be my favorite quilt, but I'm so proud of being able to be less structured in it's preparation.