Saturday, July 30, 2011

WSF - FMQ Sampler - Little Hands and Fingers (Beg)

Well, I only have one needle left so I hope I don't break the needle while I'm doing this design!  The video is easy to follow and to see - but again she doesn't show how to get to the second and beyond rows.  Some of the pairs of rows have the fingers touching - some have the fingers facing away.  Ugh!  The photo of the block is oriented so it's upside down from how the first row was sewn in the video too - took me a while to figure that out....

I thought this was a rather ugly/awkwrd design - until I read her idea:

Suggestions for Use - Here's my way cool idea: take the hand print of a whole bunch of kids (or one single kid with a long attention span) and applique or paint their hand shapes onto fabric squares.

Put these together with a thin sashing and stitch Little Hands and Fingers all around the edge of the sashing as though the h
ands are gripping the block.

Sounds cool to me!

And it does sound cool to me too.  I have the handprints of all the Friday Group kids on fabric just waiting for me to do something with them!  Well, once I get more comfortable with FMQ I can start finishing up those older WIPs...

Okay, I'm going to do this block - then need to switch to non-sewing activities for a little bit.


The needle ended at the starting point for the next block so I'm not going to take photo now.  Hmm.  In the first hand I broke a needle - restarted - then broke the thread like 2 stitches later. I got out the docs for the machine and redid the threading completely.  This time instead of having the cone in a cup I put it on the top of the machine. I put a plastic straw and the little round cone holder I found in mom's things - and I made sure the thread was being fed the way they had in the diagram in the docs.

My hands do not look like hands - I can do the fingers okay but the hand part is hard for me even though I practiced on paper.  My center two rows look like a very odd tree or something that is x-rated perhaps.  I think the pattern looks best when it's coming from the side rather than being in the center of the block.

I continued on though.  In the last row the thread skipped - I could hear a noise but kept going.  I ended up removing those stitches and started the hand over.  I can see on the back two places where the thread is sort of crazy so I will change the bobbin magic thing and hope that will nip this in the bud.  But since the needle is in the right place for the next block I hope I can finish that before needing to do the change.

Maybe it's time to take the machine in to have it serviced too - I will start looking for coupons.  But now I need to do some non-sewing things....  Only two more blocks to fill in on this section of the quilt though.  Last night when I put things away I put the sections on the bed so I could see the back side - so pretty.  I hope the two places that got gummed up in this design don't require taking stitches out.  I will try to make it look like rings or something and see how that goes...

(Added later) I was able to pull the extra thread thru so the two clumps do not show.  I've ordered an open toe quilting foot from Leah Day.  Today was free shipping day so the price will be pretty near what I'd pay down the street. I'm tired of having to fight those threads following me around 
at the beginning of each start with FMQ.

I started the Alien Fingers design in the next square and promptly broke the needle after just a few stitches - so since I have no needles now will be working on cutting fabric to get ready for a bunch of piecing on the LibRR!

WSF - FMQ Sampler - Bamboo Forest (Beg)

Bamboo Forest - front

The video clearly shows how to deal with the end of the block - it's clearly explained I think, and what fun that it was inspired by a comment a blogger, Wendy, made about the Hardwood Floors pattern!  I looked at Wendy's blog and found it to be very interesting.  She is ten years younger than I am and recently returned from a trip to NYC with her daughter and sister - they went to trapeze school! I've never thought about doing that, but I was ready to do indoor rock climbing five years ago when I was really getting in shape...

I'm going to go ahead and do this block tonight....  1:05am

Bamboo Forest - back

1:50am  Three needles and one bobbin later.....  The pattern went well.  At the beginning I was adding open curves to the bamboo, after I changed the bobbin and had a chance to really look at it, I changed and made it so the curves were more on top of or near each other and that the end closed up.  I think that looks better.  I like this type of pattern, but think since I can control the sewing more now, that I prefer the hardwood floor look and sewing experience!

The first needle went when I was probably sewing too quickly into the curve, but the other needles went when I was about to stop so I can't figure them out.  I looked at the docs for the machine and confirmed that I was putting the needle in correctly too....

WSF - FMQ Sampler - Dresden Daisies (Beg)

Dresden Daisies - front

The video is pretty clear, although I can't really tell how big she is making each of the flowers....  I will look at it again before I sew it!


The fabric sort of told me how big to make the flowers - I'd estimate they range between 1 1/4 inch and 3/4 of an inch.  I staggered them so they are not lined up and I have longer joining pieces (so more lines showing than Leah did.... but it's what the fabric was telling me to do...!)

I broke the thread two or three times so that slowed things down.  This was sort of an intensive pattern to sew - but in the end I had pretty good control of the machine and the block looks great.

Dresden Daisies - back
The needle is in place for the next block so I will add photos once I am at a good place to take photo...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Links I Found Today!

Wedding:  All You Need is Love
Made by from Heidi in Germany...  She is one of the people doing the Liberated Round Robin.
I believe the FMQ design she use is here:

Design with FMQ Drawing
Very clever way of drawing with thread - doodling actually!

Column Quilt - Sewing with Nancy  (video)
Would be very nice as a full bed quilt...  I would add more quilting to make it dazzle!

Column Quilt 2 - Sewing with Nancy  (video) - This one would be fun for a baby!

Boy, I wish I had quilts that I could give as gifts to the two weddings we are attending in August....

WSF - FMQ Sampler - Flock of Geese (Beg)

Flock of Geese - front
Before Sewing:

The video seems to be clear - although at the end she mentions an easier way to do the stitching! (Just make a checkerboard then add diagonal lines to make the triangles. But when I drew this out on paper it did not work out the way I expected.  If one wanted to make zipzag lines then it would work, but I think mass producing the pattern would not perhaps give the flock of geese block impression...  or maybe it would look like liberated geese blocks?

I think this one will look rather crooked  and just like my cursive on plain paper it will end up going up on the ends...  We'll see! Again she does not really cover what you do to start a new column of the design.  I drew the pattern out on paper again - hopefully that will help.

Flock of Geese - back
After Sewing:

I have no idea how long it took to sew this block.  I discovered a sho fly that I had not outlined with stitches so I started by doing that.  First the bobbin ran out, then shortly after that the needle broke and I had to go searching for that.  (It was where I thought I would be, only under a little container of small safety pins.  I think those pins are too small to use for basting, in any case I like the bent ones that I got at Walmart.

I decided to make the checkerboard grid, then I went back and put in the design in each square.  The sewing went pretty well, although I think I made the grid too large (about one inch square), so if I make this design again I will make it on a smaller grid.

It was pretty easy to figure out how to do the alternate columns, there are a few spots where I had to backtrack...

The needle is in the spot to do the next block so I will add the photos after I do that block or blocks...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

WSF - FMQ Sampler - Spiral Tree (Beg)

Before Sewing:

(1:00 am) I watched the video - it seems clear, but I think I want to draw a few branches - in the morning before actually doing the sewing.  It would have been nice if Leah had included an example of what to do at the ends of the block, but I will try to figure it out!
Spiral Tree on Paper

(10:15 am) I rewatched the video and see that I interpreted what to do at the ends of the block differently than she did.  She has the rows of trees alternate in their orientation - when I did my drawing last night I switched it so all the tops were at the top of the block.  Guess I'll put this off a bit and have breakfast before deciding what to do.....
Spiral Tree Front

After Sewing:

Took about 20 minutes I think.

Spiral Tree Back
I messed up when I got to the end of the block - decided to just go with it as it....

I don't really like the designs that go up and down like this.

WSF - FMQ Sampler - Hardwood Floor (Beg)

Hardwood (Beg) Front

Before Sewing (but after viewing the video):

I tried this pattern in my first quilt - I hope that now I will have more control and will be able to do the straight lines for the dividers at the end of the pieces of 'wood'.

I've got my red thread in the sewing machine and the darning foot and I've reviewed Leah's videos and website. Other than the few mug rugs that I made last month, it's been a long time since I have done any free motion quilting - but now I will need the pins for my Liberated Round Robin and it's just time to get things going again....!

I've gotten side tracked again with piecing for BlockLotto and Friday's Block Party - I understand now how at least one of the ladies in Liberated Quilters Yahoo Group announced she was doing no sewing - only quilting for a few months last year...!

I already missed two wedding opportunities to make a quilt, and in August there are two weddings that it would have been nice to give a quilt as a gift....  So I need to get going on getting more comfortable doing the entire quilting process!
Hardwood (Beg) Back

After Sewing:

I think it took me longer to find the four necessary things needed to do FMQ than it took to quilt the block!

Tape (to secure the slider)
Clover Needle **
Gloves (I couldn't find my machiner ones so used the Fons and Porter pair I got at JoAnn's)

** I'm not sure why Leah doesn't include this in her getting started package - the clover needle makes it so easy to hide the threads - I can't imagine doing FMQ without it! I always put the bobbin sliders in but that is an important supply too.

Even though it's been some time since I did a block like this, it went easier than I remember from before.  My lines are not perfectly straight - and in a few places the joints are curved - but this is much better than when I tried with my first quilt.  For the last journey going up the side of the board, I did the joints for both sides of the board - so I saved having to come back down again.  I don't think it's visible though - so this was a good thing to do!

Including looking for supplies this took around 30 minutes - so obviously I need to practice to get my speed up.  Just like the treadmill though, I will be able to do it.

It was curious that this time I had thoughts about stopping and finishing it tomorrow - but I'm glad I stuck to it and finished the block!

I store the slider in the plastic envelope it came in - but this time when I did the practice piece to check the tension the slide got caught up in the needle and I had to rip it a little when I removed it - so even though the first time I did used this I did not tape it down - now I feel it's necessary.  I bet some waxed paper would help get the fabric to slide too - I might try that.  The next larger size of this slider stuff is $50 - I think I would have purchased that size to begin with - but now I don't want to just toss this smaller size away....

To make room for the guests who were sleeping in the sewing room, I took away the table that was set up behind the sewing machine.  Once I do more than these small sections I'll need to move that table back in..... already the fabric was crowded with the way things are now....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

BlockLotto - July 2011 - Liberated Checkerboard Pairs

Empty sewing room again - so I got two pieces of 10 inch fabric and made the BlockLotto challenge for July!


Additional Tips:


I'm interested now in blocks that are made in pairs, and have suggested a few for Friday's Block Party recently. I think it would make a fun kids quilt to have one make of these kinds of blocks.  Sort of a pieced block I-Spy quilt.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

FBP Week 24: Nine-Patch

I finally sewed something!  Not fancy, but it counts in the Friday Block Party!

: )