I had some of the backing fabric left over after making Molly two blankets last week as part of my 13 UFO's in 2013 task for March:
as well as another piece of stitched together leftover bits of wadding with nowhere to go so I decided to make another blanket for Molly and use that for some FMQ practice. Of course before I did that I thought I better do some online research and spent a little time looking at Leah Day's website but I also hadn't yet looked at any of Leah's Craftsy online workshop for quilting the BOM I made last year so I decided I'd better have a bit of a looksee. When my computer was being friendly (ie when it decided to stay turned on instead of switching off for an unplanned smoko (for non-Australians that's a coffee break!) I managed to get through quite a bit of it.
My eyes started to glaze over when I got to the feathers section (to be fair it was getting late at night, not a reflection on Leah's teaching style!) so I decided I'd better just get on with it - well the next day anyway! On the weekend before I had divided the blanket into 8 inch squares with some sashing areas and so it was just a matter of getting started. I had been given a reel of quilting thread by my mother-in-law that she had bought in error but it was quite a heavy weight so I decided to use that up on this project as I couldn't see me using it in an actual quilt. Other than it being a bit heavy to practice designs like pebbling where you do a lot of travel stitching - tried that and the thread broke as soon as it had to go over 3 layers of stitching - it worked pretty well and it was more the motion of the stitching I was trying to come to terms with anyway.
Luckily Molly isn't too fussy a dog but just in case I decided to FMQ her name in the middle so she'd feel a bit special.
but I think it might make the quilt a bit stiff so I'll need to re-think that one. I tried a few different versions of a spiral shape and the ones I seemed to be able to get the hang of were escargot
and spiral knots (sorry, its a little hard to see!)
I was pretty pleased with my stippling (albeit on a large scale) as up until now I have only ever managed to do a looping line as no matter what I did I always ended up crossing over my stitching. My favourite design of all ended up being a kind of paisley design starting with a heart shape in the centre instead of a paisley and echoing out.
I kept the hearts pretty large and that bit stayed nice and soft because its large. I seem to have an affinity for heart shapes as my favourite stipply type design is a leaf and curly vine design and a leaf is only a heart with a centre spine when its all said and done, I guess that's going to be my thing!
Anyway here's the whole thing:
The main thing holding me back from achieving the results I want to, I believe, is where I sew. I'm in the hallway on a fold out Horn sewing cabinet and this causes me problems in a few ways:
- there is a gap behind the cabinet and the quilt likes to slide off and so the weight of the quilt gets me out of shape
- when I drop the machine down into the cabinet so I have a flat sewing area its too low for me to comfortably get my knees under (one of the problems of being vertically enhanced, although I wouldn't have said 5'10" is that big, I'm the smallest in my family!).
- my machine is quite old and so there is a large area behind it when it is in the lower position and the quilt wants to get stuck in there as well
- as I have to sit further away from the machine than I would like (due to No 2 above) there is a gap in front of me so the quilt tends to gather in my lap and again the weight pulls me off line.
Anyway, I'm sure Molly thought it was all a bit of a laugh, she seems to be smiling in this shot!
Anyway, enough of my ramblings, thanks for reading my blog if you've stuck with it this far!