Wednesday, 28 January 2015

WIP | Playing with FMQ, Part II

First off, many thanks to those of you who checked out my previous Playing with FMQ post and offered suggestions for tutorials, classes and FMQ experts that I could learn from.  Quilters are just so dang helpful, eh?

I've been having an absolute blast with all this FMQ-ing!  When I compare the latest batch of sammies to the early ones, I'm super pumped to see improvements in my tension, consistency and confidence.  You guys, I even got cocky enough to dare trying out contrasting threads - gasp! 

Here are links to the tutorials and resources I found that helped inspire/inform me for these FMQ motifs:

  1. Flower Power, by Lori Kennedy at the Inbox Jaunt
  2. String of Squares, inspired by this image from Sew Katie Did
  3. Pebbles, inspired by this Puzzle Box quilt.  The actual quilting itself is totally different, but I love the way the pop of colour is left un-quilted so that it puffs up and becomes a feature.
  4. Graffiti Quilting, Amy at 13 Spools shared a great tutorial on mixing up motifs.  I tried this technique on my final sammie and I wish I'd gotten up the nerve to try it sooner.  It was a lot of fun and I love the results! 
  5. Ocean Current, by Leah Day.  This video tutorial is great.  
  6. Stippling, I don't have a tutorial to share for this one, just the basic concept that stippling consists of wiggly lines that never cross or touch.
  7. Geometric Quilting, inspired by this image from Pinterest.  Oddly, the article in the link doesn't actually include the picture so don't have enough info to give it proper credit :(  If you happen to know the true source of this image, please share!
  8. Continuous Eight, Rachel at Stitched in Colour shares an amazing tutorial with video for this technique.
  9. Geometric Quilting, See #7

With some trial and error, I've arranged these blocks into a layout that I'm happy with, sewn them together and trimmed up the edges.  

Now, I could use some's time to pick a backing fabric for this quilt and I'm stumped. I'm torn between a solid backing in a light colour - perhaps a soft aqua or pale pink, or a print.  If I go the print route, I'm leaning towards low-ish volume but colourful.  What do you suggest?  Any specific recommendations of favourite fabrics that would work?

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday, hosted by Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

2015 Finish Along - Q1 Goals

I don't typically have a lengthy list of projects on the go, preferring to finish one item before moving along to the next.  But that said, as I was taking stock of my WIPs, I realized that the WIP list is actually pretty out of control for my liking.    

Participating in this year's Finish Along seems like a good way to stay on top of my list of WIPs, track the progress of my Makes throughout the year, and hopefully keep my starts balanced out with my finishes.  Big thanks to Adrianne of On the Windy Side for taking on the task of FAL Facilitator!  

OK, so that's enough of a preamble - let's get on with the goals:  

  1. EPP Hexie Quilt - This long term WIP is so close to being finished.  I completed the hand-quilting last night so it just need to be bound. (!!!)
  2. FMQ Sampler Quilt - I only have 3 more sammies to quilt, then it's a matter of arranging and joining the blocks.  
  3. Postage Stamp Quilt - Let's be realistic for a minute: I don't expect to finish this in Q1, I don't even expect to finish it in 2015.  But I'm listing it here so I can keep tabs on this project.  Don't judge!
  4. Nautical Toss Cushion - I have a ridiculous amount of scrappy improv slabs leftover from a custom Etsy order that fell through.  I plan to re-purpose them for a few projects to replenish my shop.
  5. Baby Quilt I - See #4
  6. Baby Quilt II - See #4
  7. Talisman Quilt - This is a quilt of my own design that I'm excited to make some progress on.  So far I've only managed to cut out the fabric. But cutting is the worst part, so the rest should be a breeze, right?
I guess I'd better get crack-a-lackin'!  

Happy Wednesday, peeps!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

WIP | Playing with FMQ

One of my objectives for 2015 is to improve my free motion quilting skills, and today I thought I'd share one of the ways I intend to meet this goal.

I started by creating a few smallish quilt sandwiches using a collection of solids from my stash and my hoarded batting scraps. Each of the sandwiches is 12 1/2" high but the widths range anywhere from 9-18"+/-, and there's a healthy mix of single pieces of fabrics and some that have been pieced in a colour blocked fashion.  
Next, I scoured Pinterest for FMQ ideas and tutorials (as a side effect, I've become thoroughly addicted to Pinterest).  Then the fun part - actually putting thread to fabric!  As a prolific doodler this whole idea of essentially doodling in thread is right up my alley, and I've been having a lot of fun trying out some new motifs.  And bonus, I'm already noticing an improvement in my skills and my FMQ confidence.  My plan is to eventually join the quilted pieces together using a quilt as you go method (method is TBD, any suggestions?) and create a collage of colour and texture.

Here's a list of the links that have inspired the FMQ pictured above:

  1. Varied wavy lines, by Angela Walters - All People Quilt 
  2. Pebbles - no link, but Natalia Bonner's Beginner's Guide to Free Motion Quilting has excellent instructions and several fun variations. The Matchstick Feathers are from Amy at 13 Spools
  3. Retro Square-ish Motif - This was an accidental variation of an FMQ image from Sew Katie Did
  4. Dogwood, by Elizabeth Hartman - Oh Fransson!
  5. Clams - another linkless pattern that can be found in Beginners Guide to Free Motion Quilting.
  6. Flower Power, by Lori Kennedy - The Inbox Jaunt
  7. Swirls - again, check out Beginners Guide to Free Motion Quilting
  8. Triangle-ish Chain - another variation from the FMQ image from Sew Katie Did
  9. Woodgrain, by Lori Kennedy - The Inbox Jaunt
Or you can find me on Pinterest for quick access to all of these and more - so, so much more - I mentioned my new addiction, right?!

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for the return of WIP Wednesday - I can't wait to see what everyone else has been working on over the holidays!

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Fresh Sewing Day/Year

Happy New Year!

I spent my December sewing time creating a few handmade gifts, and I thought I'd share about these gifts as a bit of a wrap up to the holiday season.

First off is the hand-sewing kit I made for my sister, who is also a quilter.  She's been interested in hand quilting and EPP, so I put together a little something to encourage her in that goal.  

This kit includes an Open Wide pouch (from Noodlehead), a pincushion, a thread catcher, and a needle book (thanks Kate at Thread Everywhere for sharing this awesome tutorial from Instructables).  In addition to the handmade items, I also included a few fat quarters, and some favourite notions.  I used a number of fabrics from the Indelible series by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics, along with a few coordinating stash bits.  Finally, the whole collection was placed inside the Open Wide Pouch and wrapped in yet another fat quarter - I think this one has a mildly Christmas-y vibe, don't you?

I also did a bit of crafting for my nieces this year, including a set of colourful bean bags and some coordinating tu-tus, which were loosely based on this tutorial (although I failed to read the part about using a spool of tulle and instead bought yardage which created a lot more work for me). 

In preparation for 2015, I've given some thought to some quilt-related resolutions that I aim to work on in the coming year.  Here they are, in no particular order:

  • Slow Sewing :: If my Hexie quilt has taught me anything this year, it's that I absolutely love hand sewing and the way it connects me to my work.  I want to embrace more of this in the future, even if that means fewer finishes.
  • Share :: I have been on Instagram for over a year and have posted a dismal total of 6 images.  I aim to embrace this tool more in the coming year, sharing my creative work and some life stuff too.
  • Daily Quilting :: I aim to spend even just a few minutes each day on some sort of sewing/quilting/designing/creative endeavor.  I know I'll break this one!
  • FMQ :: I'm working on overcoming my fear of FMQ.  I made some progress at this in 2014, but there's much that can be improved on in 2015.
  • Spruce Up the Blog :: By this I mean actually finish the basic stuff - my About Me page has been "under construction" since day one.    
  • Connect ::  I'd like to join a bee (anyone know of one starting up soon? newbies welcome?), and I aim to comment more on other blogs.  We all love getting comments, and I want to be intentional in sharing that love!
  • Join a Guild :: Or at least check one out and see if it's for me. 
  • Improve My Photograpy :: Or maybe just mix up the location of my photoshoots on occasion, I think we're all getting a little tired of the clothesline in my raggedy backyard.
So there's the list, I think it will be fun to check back in a years time and see how things have progressed.

I'm going to go linky crazy today and join the parties at Lily's Quilts for both Fresh Sewing Day and the Small Blog Meet, as well as Quilting Jet Girl's Quilty Resolutions.

Happy 2015!