2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge: January’s Entry

The first free motion quilting challenge of 2012 was set by Frances Moore to create these hearts of a vine, here is my entry:

Hearts on the Vine

The pattern is relatively simple, if you want to give it a go, check out this how to video.

Dragonfly Garden

Dragonfly Garden

Today I started and completed another pillow cover.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out, especially the composition. This will be one of the first items in my Etsy shop when I open it but I need to build up more stock first.

I made buttonholes for the first time on my Bernina 550 QE and I have to say they’re spectacular, better than the Sapphire!

Saturday I managed to perfect my asterisk block and another mod pinwheel.

Craftsy January BOM

paper pieced pinwheel

What did you do this weekend? Did you manage to get any sewing done?

I Heart Craftsy!

A few days ago I received an email from Craftsy announcing that they were producing FREE Craftsy Block of the Month online video tutorials with hostess Amy Gibson. You bet I’m joining in the fun! No needing a flicker account to join, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone (except yourself), no limits on how many people can join and you don’t have to belong to a quilting clique to join, what’s not to love?!

Sewing Machine Cover

Yesterday was sadly my last full time sewing day, I was back at work today. One of my goals was to make a cover for my new Bernina 550 QE. Now that I’m comfortable FMQ swirly daises, I wanted to use that skill in this project without overdoing it. And since I have so many hexies made, I thought it would be fun to use some of them.

I measured my Bernina including the extension table  and cut some Kona Ash for the background then blanket stitched the Hexies onto it. When I started quilting the front, I decided I didn’t want the entire piece to be quilted and I really love the results!

I didn’t bother quilting or embellishing the back of the cover because I was running out of time and just didn’t have the energy . I rounded the corners using a drinking glass then sewed the middle strip to the front and back — the corner curves were a bit tight but I managed to do it without puckers. When I put the cover on the machine, it was loads too big. I’m not going to alter it for now but I do want a do-over in the future.

This vacation was tremendously successful and I would like to do more sewing after work in the future without commitment or pressure. There’s enough stress in life without enforcing sewing goals. Sure, there are many things I’d like to try like the drunkard’s path but I don’t want to feel like I failed if I don’t get around to trying it.

I started cutting 6″ x 6″ squares for our bed quilt, I adore half square triangle quilts, they’re so simple but the posibilites and visual impact pack a big punch. This is a project I can work on a little at a time without pressure.

Three more days till the weekend, I think I’ll try some paper piecing and that Craftsy BOM!

More Applique and Free Motion Quilting

I finished this little pillow top this morning.

Bird perched on milkweed

My stitching is getting a little better, I used Tula Pink for the flowers and Joel Dewberry for the bird. While I was quilting yesterday evening, DH brought me some New Year’s Eve snacks.

New Year's Eve Snacks!

Today I’m going to start working on this tree, I may omit the bird.

Tree Sketch

Don’t Look Now Flower Garden

My full time sewing vacation is sadly coming to an end, I’m back to the office on Tuesday.

Working on the Flower Garden Pillow Tutorial  by Don’t Look Now yesterday was an absolute joy, I loved every step of the process from choosing the fabrics to cutting out the little shapes and arranging them on the pillow top. I need more practice free motion sewing the applique pieces, I don’t feel like I have enough control of where the needle lands. I like the fusible batting but it’s much stiffer than regular batting and doesn’t move as smoothly, especially when it’s scrunched up against the arm of the sewing machine. I’ll use up what I have but I think I’ll stick with adhesive quilting spray and plain cotton batting.

Flower Applique

My free motion quilting is getting better I think, I really love the small swirly daisy design and dense quilting. I used a variety of Patricia Bravo fabrics for the flowers and a variety of green fabrics from my stash for the leaves.

My shoulders, neck and collar bones were killing me after quilting, I had the heating blanket around my neck and shoulders while watching tv last night. All the tutorials tell you to relax but its easier said than done for a beginner!

Close-up of quilting

I’m going to create another applique design today using inspiration from the illustrations at Shutterstock. Judi of Green Fairy Quilts  is amazingly talented and although I’m not a long arm quilter, I’d like to try out a lot of the patterns she uses including her dragonfly.

Send me your tutorials!

I love tutorials, especially little projects that take a day or less to create. I have a very small amount of free time to sew, so I love instant gratification tutorials that make me feel as though I’ve accomplished something.

If you or someone you know have a tutorial you’d like me to try or a favorite you think I might like, please send me your links and suggestions!

Yesterday I managed to make 2 oven mitts and a potholder using this pattern from Skip to my Lou and this pattern from Prudent Baby, for my darling husband, who does 99% of the cooking in our household. Yes, I’m a very lucky woman indeed! I really love Cosmo Cricket’s Circa 1939 fabric!

Oven Mitts & Potholder

I received a phone call from my apron recipient last evening, saying how much she loved the apron with built-in potholders I made for her using this pattern from merrimentdesign.  Next on my list is this adorable offset square wrist pincushion by June Gilbank of Planet June.

Today I start free motion quilting my sister’s sofa throw quilt. Yesterday dh took me to Oshawa’s Ultimate Sewing Centre where they have the best selection in threads, rulers, templates, batting and a huge selection of batik fabrics. They are also one of the few quilting stores in the area open between Christmas and New Years! I picked up some Wonderfil Konfetii, a 50 wt long staple Egypitan cotton thread upon the recommendation of the sales lady, the Supreme Slider and iron-on batting. I’m looking forward to trying it out, no pins, no spray, sounds like heaven to me!

What are you up to today?

Having a blast!

I’ve been having such a good time sewing to my heart’s content!  Yesterday I made a little pillow for our wonderful neighbour using machine embroidery for the centre then free motion quilting all around in a swirling pattern. Although I still need a lot of work, I still love it. I bound the pillow the same way you’d bind a quilt using a contrasting colour. For the back of the pillow, I used a slightly darker shade of blue and simple quilted in a meandering pattern. I’ve decided that all my practice pieces should be used in other projects like this.

Today I made my son’s grandmother an apron with built in oven mitts using this tutorial. Sorry, no photos as it’s already on its way to the recipient.

Tomorrow I plan to make oven mitts for DH and pick up some batting for my sister’s quilt, which I can’t wait to start quilting!