Saturday, February 18, 2012

Expense: Petite Presser

Petite Presser Portable Iron
JoAnn's sent me am email today with a coupon - I took a peek and they had a smaller iron on sale (so it's  a reasonable $19) with extra discount and tax the out the door price was $19.56.

The regular price is $39.99 so this is a real deal.  I think it will be nice to have at the workshop - we are to bring iron and pressing pad for our own area.  I was a little afraid of burning myself with my regular iron...  Anyway the price is good and the reviews were all positive too.  People like this one better than the Clover presser....

Regular Price $39.99
On sale price $19.99
Additional 10% off -2.00
Subtotal $17.99
Taxes $1.12 + .27 + .18 (who knew we had state, county and local taxes on things! Not me!)
New total $19.56

Added 3-8-12:  I never needed to use this at the Marston/Moran workshop - there were enough regular sized irons and ironing boards (and the electricity might have over loaded if we plugged in our personal irons so we were asked to not do that).  This little presser has never been used, but I can't return it as it's out of the packing....  Oh well.

Getting Ready: Cutting Fabric

My strips!
I don't know why it took me so long to do this, but here it is just a few days before my workshop and I spent most of the day cutting fabrics.

I decided to cut at least one full strips from most of the fabrics in at least one of these sizes: 1.5', 2', 2.5"

Then I cut a 9.5" square.

Then combinations: 5.0", 4.5", 4.0", 3.0" and sometimes even a 1".

I have cut my purples and most of my white and black - started some green and blue but will continue tomorrow.

I still need to sew up HST, geese and strata for the workshop!

I did some exploration with different ways to do HST and geese that I wrote about in previous posts (that helped me decide what sizes to cut the strips)....

So tomorrow I will continue with strips and will sew up a few of each of the parts just so I have some ready when I get at the workshop.  (I also have some real work to do before I leave too.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Tips: Getting Ready: HST

Half Square Triangles (HST)

Missouri Star Way
Missouri Star Video
Easy to do even with smaller sized squares....

  1. Put two squares good side facing each other.
  2. Sew around all four sides with a 1/4 inch seam.
  3. Cut the square at the diagonal.
Creates 4 HST - the outside edges are on bias.
5 inch square give 3 inch unfinished HST. (Probably will need to trim to exact size.)

"Whip Up" Blog Post with different measurements.

HST by other attendee
Pinwheels by other attendee
The other attendee used the Missouri star method and made a lot of pinwheels - she started with 9 in squares.  Told me she is going to try to make some more starting with 6 inch squares.  I'm not sure what method she used for her excellent HST!  Aren't her colors beautiful? She has all the pieces trimmed up so nicely too.

Lucy in the Sky - Quilting Board Way
Lucy in the Sky - Quilting Board Directions
This way requires marking - still just have four seams - but there are 8 cutting lines....
  1. Put two squares good side facing each other.
  2. Draw both diagonals on the lighter fabric.  (I also drew the 4 sewing lines.)
  3. Sew 1/4 inch on either side of each diagonal.
  4. Carefully cut the block into four so you see four squares (in the diagram it's the lines that extend out of the square.
  5. Then cut the original diagonal in each of the resulting squares.
Creates 8 HST - the outside edges are on the straight edge of the fabric.
5 inch square gives 2 inch unfinished HST.  (For sure will need to trim to exact size.)

Left Over from Geese Way

Left over made squares and cut apart goose
When making geese the traditional way you can stitch the left over triangles to get HST - they are a little too small but by using a smaller seam I think it would work to get sizes that would fit with other pieces.

I also experimented with just cutting geese in half and then sizing up the results to get HST - seems like a lot of work though - but if the geese weren't going to be used or if they didn't turn out the expected size this would be a good thing to do....

Added 3-15-12:

QuiltingBoard - Rhonda's Really Easy Half Square Triangle Blocks

Basically, cut your strips.  Sew together.  Then use template placed on the sew and cut.  She shows two different ways to do it on the  web.  For one way she sews the strips into a tube and alternates where she cuts cut (fewer cuts but she now prefers pressing the seam open, cutting, then going back and sewing long sides together and cutting again.) There is very little wasted fabric as she uses the four large bits to sew together and make an hour glass block. For five 2.5" inch blocks she sews two 2.5" x 11" strips together.

Formula for HST - from QuiltingBoard

Tips: Getting Ready: Geese

Traditional Geese

I made four geese following the directions in Gwen's books:  2-2.5" squares, 1-4.5" by 2.5" rectangle.

To 'save' the extra triangles I sewed them down too before cutting off from the goose.  The results are an odd size and would need to be trimmed up.  I think using a smaller seam would give a results with a better size.

I also experimented with cutting one of the geese in half and trimming to get two HST - this is a lot of work - I don't like this method for getting HST. And I think it's to much work to get one goose block - I like the way I've been doing it better - two cuts and get two geese!

One seam geese by other attendee.

Additional Methods to Try:

My Way

My Way Geese - Freehand
Original My Way Geese - Directions
Then I went back to making a few geese 'my way'.  I now take two pieces of fabric the same size, then free hand cut a triangle.  Swap the fabric and sew it up! (I used to do with two different sizes of triangles but Benta's  comment on my original post pointed out I could be making two geese at the same time if I used the same size rectangles - so that's what I do now!

I like this way as I always have enough seam so I would not loose the points, and there is enough side fabric that I could more the triangle around.

Note: The way I originally did the cuts ended up with triangles that were different sized and shaped - very wonky... (and pleasing to me!)

Since my other parts for the workshop are not done in a wonky fashion though I thought I should try again - but this time use a ruler so the shapes would be consistent and in the center of the fabric.....
My Way Geese done with ruler.

I meant to take notes, but forgot to.  I think I started with 6 inches by 3 or 2.5 inches.

I just eyeballed the center of the fabric, but used the ruler to cut the triangle.  The first cut I went beyond the ruler to the edge of the fabric.

When was sewing I matched the edges of the fabric for the first seam - but for the second seam I pulled the side piece up so when the seam start the fabric would be at least 1/4 inch.

I like the way these look - need to move the ruler down to be sure I have 1/4 inch at the top all the time - and perhaps 5.5 would be better width as I don't need so much fabric at the side of the block.  But since I didn't write down the measurements I started with I really can't say.  Arranged this way would be an interesting design to put at the edge or sashing of a quilt.... Could make two with the same arrangement for the the geese and then it would be a square on point - could be very dramatic!

I decided to try again using 2.5 by 4.5 fabric....

My Way Geese with ruler and traditional size.
These are very cute.  They are smaller than the traditional size, but I really like them.  This I think will be the size I make for the workshop!

It's fun to have a variety of geese though - don't this look neat?  In fact, I think I will skip making HST for the workshop and instead try to make a bunch of these - they  would perhaps make neat sawtooth variation!

Assorted geese lined up.

Geese arranged for sawtooth replacement.
Geese as a design
Geese arranged for sawtooth edge
It's funny, Leah today was discussing the importance of testing before doing a big project (and I realized I have never washed my batting, or checked to see if the pencil would bleed thru, and am not really sure how I'm going to get my Wonky Shoo Fly or LibRR connected so they are quilts) but I did explore different ways to get my parts made.  The directions in Marston/Moran books for flying geese just seemed so time consuming (and traditional!) - I had to find quicker ways to get the parts in order...

It's been awhile since I first played with my liberated geese - but I was very pleased with the method.  Used in my LibRR but gave the rest of the geese away to a BlockLotto lady who was ill.  The first time I made a batch using the BlockLotto directions there were so much wasted fabric I didn't like making them that way at all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tips: Getting Parts Ready: 9-Patch

Method Video:  Billie Lauder Basic Nine Patch - Two at a Time!

Having had success with Billie Lauder's method for 4-patches, I decided to do her method to make my 9-patches.  With this method you make 2 blocks with the same cuts.  By preparing several squares at the same time, the fabric could be swapped out so it's more scrappy looking....
4-patch and 9-patch made with Billie Lauder method!
  1. Cut two squares of fabric Color A and Color B - make it easy and pick a measurement easily divided by three.  (For example 6 inches, 4.5 inches, 9 inches).
  2. Place them right sides together, and then sew up two opposite sides.
  3. Without cutting the seams you just sew, cut the fabric in to thirds.
  4. Sew the loose piece of fabric to a sewn side so you have one set with the color A, B, A and one with color B, A, B. 
  5. Press toward the dark fabric.
  6. Place fabric right sides together - line up to match the seams and sew up two opposite sides of the block.
  7. Press toward the dark fabric.
  8. Cut into thirds, add the loose pieces.
  9. Press toward the dark fabric.
I made mine starting with blocks that were 4.5 inches square.  I did in black and white so I wouldn't have to think about color.

I couldn't decide what colors to make the next set of 9-patches in so I cut some 4 inch white fabric and sewed my 2 inch strips (cut into 4 inches) on the sides.  Cut that in half so the seams were not cut, then sewed short end to short end in a ring.  Measured to cut one in half - then used that one as the cutting line for the rest of the 4-patches.  This was a fun way to use those pieces of fabric and to end up with some randomly colored 4-patches.  These were some of the fabric used in the spikes parts.  The dark green looks out of place - but I really like the other colors - these will be great additions to a quilt.  I even like the way in this quick layout there is extra white (or black) to make a random triangle.....

Both blocks (at least in theory) are the same size! They will finish in a quilt as 3-inches.

My husband is very curious to see what I come back with from the Marston/Moran workshop.  He says he can't picture it at all....!  (Neither can I!  I'm wishing I knew someone in the class and that we could be collaborating during the workshop - that would add so much to the learning experience!)

I think I'll do more 9-patches after I get some sawtooth and wild geese prepared...

From Homework for the Marston/Moran workshop:

  1. Making “Parts” in advance.  You will see in their book that they used, black and white Sawtooth, Wild Goose Chase, Four Patch and Nine Patch blocks for fillers, borders and sashing.  They also used Strata in a number of quilts.  You can make a bunch of these parts before you come to class if you want.
    1. Sawtooth: made with 2” squares or 3”squares cut diagonally
    2. Wild Goose Chase: made with 2 ½ x 4 ½ rectangles and 2 ½ squares
    3. Four Patch: Strip pieced with 2” wide strips
    4. Nine Patch: Strip pieced with 1 ½ wide strips
    5. Strata: Cut long strips of fabric between 1 ½ and 2 ½ wide and sew together to make new fabric which will be cut up in different ways.  Make a new fabric 45” wide and about 25” long.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I'm a Winner! DukeSaysSewWhat Fabric Give Away

I won the 'girlie' fabric from Duke Says Sew What - one of the Fugly Fabric Party offerings:

My name here!

A nice way to start Valentine's Day!

Tips: Getting Parts Ready: 4-Patch

Four Patches
Chagrined after my misstep yesterday with the spikes, I used fewer fabrics this morning while creating my 4-patches.

I cut 4 inch squares - then sewed up two opposite sites, then cut in half, pressed, changed direction of one of the pieces of fabric, and sewed the final seam.  This is a variation of the Billie Lauder method.  This method is genius!

I first picked a black and a purple, the I picked white and turquoise, and because I had a few left over I made some in black and white too.  I really like the black and white!

It makes a very nice design when they are all lined up.

Think I will make some with green in them too.  Maybe green and purple?  I'm not sure.
When I was sewing I tried to sew in the same order - but doing the final pressing I can see I was not consistent after all.  I wonder if it will make a difference?

There is a way to make the center seam flatter by cutting a few stitches and then pressing to spread the fabric out - perhaps someone in the class can demo to me.

It's much easier to work with the 4-inch squares rather than working with 2 inch strips.  The finished size will be one inch less than the starting unsewn size (so my 4 inch squares will be 3 inches in a quilt.  If I had started with 5 inch squares it would be 4 inches in a quilt.).

I think when I do start to precut my fabric, I will do 4 inch strips even though that is not a number I have seen in different people who cut fabric when they get it....

Only need to cut one time per
4-patch to finish these up!
Added later same day:

I decided to pick a different turquoise and to add a green for the next 4-patches.  I consulted with A on the color - it looks better in person I think - but now that they are sewn I think I should have picked a darker or brighter green.

Two turquoise 4-patches
I made these follow more of Billie Lauder's steps (after yesterday I didn't go scrappy).  First I sewed two squares together by placing them good sides together, then sewing up two opposite sides.  Cut them in half so the long seam in in the center.  Alternating colors, place the short sides together and sew together (that's what in the photo).  Make  circle of the fabric.  Determine the center point and cut - then continue to do that until all the 4-patches are sewn!

I didn't pick the right colors (again) but think I have enough 4-patches, so will move on to make something else from the list of homework for the Marston/Moran workshop:

  1. Making “Parts” in advance.  You will see in their book that they used, black and white Sawtooth, Wild Goose Chase, Four Patch and Nine Patch blocks for fillers, borders and sashing.  They also used Strata in a number of quilts.  You can make a bunch of these parts before you come to class if you want.
    1. Sawtooth: made with 2” squares or 3”squares cut diagonally
    2. Wild Goose Chase: made with 2 ½ x 4 ½ rectangles and 2 ½ squares
    3. Four Patch: Strip pieced with 2” wide strips
    4. Nine Patch: Strip pieced with 1 ½ wide strips
    5. Strata: Cut long strips of fabric between 1 ½ and 2 ½ wide and sew together to make new fabric which will be cut up in different ways.  Make a new fabric 45” wide and about 25” long.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tips: Getting Parts Ready: Spikes

I'm finally starting to get ready for my workshop with Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran.

I have had several of their books here (checked out from the library) - and have been exchanging emails with one of the ladies who is attending the workshop too.  She received 100 pieces of fabric (scraps and fat quarters) in Freddy colors from one of her friends and started by washing and ironing.  So I did that too - only I had to buy fabric but that was okay.  I thought I was clever as I cut a 2 inch strip from each piece of fabric....

What I didn't remember was that I should have been cutting a variety of width strips....

I re-read the books and looked on line to see how to quickly do some of the parts - and what size people cut their strips and pieces.

I decided the spike part was what I would start with as Gwen suggests starting with 2" x 6" pieces - I figured I could use the strips I already had made.

Spikes made by other attendee.  Notice
she has same theme fabric or black and white in all.
Then I had to decide what colors to use.  I'm going to bring the log cabin blocks I won in the Block Lotto - they were to be made with blue, green, purple and then black & white or white & black or white and black.  Rereading the directions and looking at the blocks I can also see grey - and sometimes orange or pink.  The eye really goes to the different colors - unfortunately they aren't always the best looking fabrics - but at least a I had something to work on.  My new friend made all her spikes with either a red or black and white on one side and then an assortment of colors on the other.  I decided to make mine so they were blue, green or purple one side and black or white on the other.  I hope there will be enough variety - some of my purple is sort of pinkish so it's really more than just the three colors. I suspect many of the attendees will be coming with red and I'd like my project to look a little different..... But oh the colors she picked look so rich - especially compared with my colors below.....

Now I spent a ton of time looking at the pattern.  I didn't like the way it seemed so much fabric would be wasted.  Why couldn't I just put the fabric together, draw a  line and sew?  Seemed then I would get two spikes.  Maybe the second one would be oriented the other way so I could just save them for another project.

I found some scraps and tested my plan - it would not work.  Doing that there are two wide pieces at the bottom and it sort of forms a V...

My Untrimmed spikes
So I thought I'd cut the fabric, move the fabric and still sew both pieces up - still thinking I'd have to save one set for another project.  But it turns out that it results with two spikes!  I've relooking at Gwen's books and it doesn't not clearly say you will end up with two pieces - no wasted fabric.  So I'm letting anyone reading this know it will result in two usable spikes!

The books does say to be sure to cut the fabric in the same orientation - it doesn't say to not put the fabrics good sides together as usual - but one has to be sure to cut the individual or the groups of fabric so it's all facing the same direction.  I messed up on one piece (most of my fabric does not have a right or wrong side).

These pieces are ending up being very small...  Looking at the examples I can understand why the spikes are put in as accents not as something that goes along the full quilt.  I've done a bunch doing the pretty much 2" x 6" pieces - I'll have to cut these down so they are useable....  In one of the books Gwen says they will be 4.5" inches wide so that is what I will shoot for.

And I just relooked at the class list and spikes aren't even on the list of parts to premake.... Ugh!

A non-example of using too many varieties.....
I decided to pick some that are the nearer to being the same length already and to pair them up - so I have several done now.

I'm thinking I made a mistake and should have used less variety for the background parts.  I was so pleased that I had so many pieces of black and white/ white and black.  I think I should have only used black or black on white - the spikes are not showing up as much I thought they would.

Hmm I'll have to think of how to proceed...
Purple spikes

Green spikes
Blue spikes
My husband and son came back so I asked their advice.  They both agree that there is too much variety.  They thought I should try doing them with just two colors/fabrics.  I thought that might be a good thing to try - but asked myself what I was going to do with the pieces.  After cracking his 'jokes' - Aren't there quilting classes for blind people you could give them too? - Isn't it a tradition that they end the quilting class with a bonfire? - he did have the idea to put all the blues together, the purples together, the greens together - so I did that and actually it does make the points stand out....

My color confidence is gone though now - I have only a few days before I leave for the workshop.  I need more parts done before the class meets to make best use of the time.

If I didn't have the log cabin blocks my colors would be yellow, orange, and black or brown - maybe some green and blue in the background a little.  I don't think I have time to prepare parts in all these colors though.....

UPDATE 3-30-21: I found a really nice site with clear directions on how to make these kinds of blocks:

Idea: Iron Board Cover

Little Bluebell just shared a project she is working on:

The directions are over at Fresh Squeezed Fabric/I Have to Say

This is something I'd like to do - but later when I have my parts for the workshop ready!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Idea: Lil Twister

 I really like the way this pattern looks - and how fun to see how positioning the fabrics changes the way the project will look too.

Idea: Red String Runner

Red String Runner Tutorial

Still distracting myself by looking at blogs...

This lady has a clever way of cutting a string block into smaller blocks to make a table runner. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fun Fugly Fabric Party

If you'd like to see what other quilters consider to be ugly fabric - and possible have it sent to you click on the link above!

I've avoided doing some bookkeeping today and instead had fun clicking and looking at all the sites - but my name in the hat for some of them too!

If I can find more than my ugly Indian feather fabric I will put some fabric in the mix as well....

Some of the sites have already decided who will get their fabric - but most will be making their decisions by random generator on Valentine's Day.


Also, make sure you see the cute robot she created in the header of her blog. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

FMQAYGQAL Row 2 Summary

Here are my Row 2 summary photos for the Free Motion Quilt As You Go Quilt A Long! These designs are all "Pointy Designs".

I have linked to Laura's site - I'm #2 this time!

At the end of the project we will have 24 quilted blocks - she is going to give suggestions for how to get the blocks together so we end up with a quilt.

I have two quilts* that I started doing as QAYG projects, but I still have them in sections to get ready to quilt as there is more to quilt in both of them.  I'm hoping this challenge will make it so I'm better able to do the bed sized quilts - and hope this will be nice enough for me to give to He&Ka...

Laura says she will keep the guidelines up for this FMQAYGQAL so you can join in anytime!

I'm coding all my entries on this with FMQAYGAL - so clicking on this link will show all the related posts. (Most recent will appear first.)

My Other QAYG Quilts
  1. Wonky Shoo Fly - FMQ on plain blocks of a quilt 
  2. Liberated Round Robin - FMQ done in sections 

Expense: Mailing BlockLotto

Mailed my two Block Lotto blocks to Ohio - about 50 cents.

I always go to the post office and have them weigh the envelope...

The eclipse block will make a wonderful quilt....

: )

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Italian Food Forever Site Drawing: KitchenAid 7 Quart Stand Mixer for Valentine’s Day!

Contest Rules: To win, you must live in the continental United States, and be over 18 years of age. The contest will run for 7 days, and end at midnight Monday, February 14th. One winner will be chosen by random number generator and the winner will be posted here, on Twitter, and on FaceBook and contacted by email. The winner has 72 hours to confirm, and after that period, an alternate winner will be chosen. The winner will win a KitchenAid 7-Quart Bowl-Lift Residential Stand Mixer donated by the folks at KitchenAid.

You can enter too at the Italian Food Forever Site!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Preparing More Sandwiches

I prepared 12 more sandwiches to use for the FMQAUGQAL, the Free Motion Quilting Challenge and Quilt Along Wednesdays.  Pulled out two more fabrics with the same colors (they both have dots) so now I have twelve different fabrics for the borders around the blocks - and seven prints for the back.

I considered doing some piecing for the back of the sandwiches, then realized I need to get started with making pieces for the Marston/Moran workshop I will be attending the end of this month.  I goofed and should have been cutting strips off the fabric I have been washing and folding so I have them ready to sew parts....  Oh well.  One step forward, two steps back...  (So the back of these are either the same plain beige or a print).  When I sew I'm only looking at the back sides to see if they have beige or pattern - and I'm alternating which ones I pick.

Time has sped by - incredible that it's already one week into February!

I want to do one more practice for Quilt Along Wednesday and more for the feather practice for the FMQC...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 7 and 8

Directions for Blocks 7 and 8 (AKA Row 2 Blocks 3 & 4)


Block 7: Spiral Illusion

I hadn't done this Leah Day design before as it is the 204th design and I haven't gotten that far in the Free Motion Quilting Project - but Laura suggested we do it this week so I gave it a try.   The video was clear.  I drew the pattern out then got my block under the needle.  I knew starting the second part of the design might make it have an odd center, so when I got there I tried to make it a little symmetrical....  But by starting it where I did the pattern was not in the center - and it ended up being a rectangle shape.

But I did a pretty good job of keeping the lines straight, so I'm pleased with it. I think I would do this in two passes next time though, then the second box could be totally symmetrical.....

This is one of the first blocks I prepared - the walking foot wasn't set up correctly and there are puckers that I had hoped would settle down.  Hopefully once it's all together the puckers will not stand out....

Block 8: Pointy Paisley

I watched the video - it seemed clear.  I watched the regular paisley design too and then went back to the pointy version.  I drew a few on a scrap of paper and then went to the machine.

This is not an easy design for me to sew.  I really wanted the points to be pointy, but it was the in between places that really stood out.  I went back after I finished the block and added some additional lines to fill in the holes.  Now that it is done, it looks pretty good - but it wasn't a fun design to sew.

A triangle design that I really like to do is Trippy Triangles.  I've done that in both my Wonky Shoo Fly and the Liberated Round Robin.

Ah, and I used a 1/4 inch foot for block 7 so I can't take credit for the straight lines....

Saturday, February 4, 2012

SewCalGal - FMQ Challenge - February

Directions for February Feathers 

FebruaryDiane Gaudynski   (Diane says on her blog (Jan 27-12) My tutorial will be available online for one month, so please print it if you need it for future reference.)

Feb 3 2012

I drew the pattern actually on the fabric - I'm not sure why I didn't just use paper.

When I did the practice, I disregarded the pencil marks and did it all free hand instead.

Next time I want to add a larger bulb at the top of the spine and work on how the bottom of the spine looks too.

I was sewing on the edge of my practice sandwich - it would be easier to do in the center of a properly prepared block!

But actually, for where I am with my sewing skills, I'm pretty pleased with how this looks!  I think my feathers have the correct shape - need to really work on everything but next time hope my echoing will be closer to the edges of the feathers.

Feb 8 2012

I made a new practice sandwich, and did another feather - although I have to admit that I sort of forgot it was supposed to be a feather - I was thinking leaf as I sewed this....

I did put the larger bulb at the top and was tighter with following the feathers/leaves on the way back.

These are not the flowing feathers others are doing, but this is the way I draw it on paper so guess for now this is the style I sew!  I'm pretty happy with it actually, as long as I don't compare with the beautiful examples others are creating for this challenge.

I will add more feather practice shots here - it's a busy month so I'm linking to the SewCalGal site now... I'm entry #40!

Added some more echo stitching and stippling around the feather - to join up with my LeahDay practice.

The color of the fabric and the thread makes this feather look really nice.


Feb 12, 2012

Double click to see the bearding on the back.
I did another sample and learned that even when things are going well, it's important to actually look at the back every once in a while.  I could feel that there was a build up, but everything was working well - I had put a fresh needle on too.  Anyway, I got my practice in, but the needle was blunt or something as it caused all the stitches to pull out a little of the batting to the back.  So good thing this is a sample.  When I was working on one of the FMQAL I had a similar thing happen (also polyester) but because of the colors it doesn't show as much....  (I think you'll need to click the image to see it large enough see this....)

Changing the needle made everything look great again.  The second feather I did top down (the directions say to make the vein, then to start the feathers at the bottom, when you get to the top to echo back down and then start the feathers on the other side go up, echo down.  I did this one in reverse, and actually flipped the fabric and did the echoing so I had the feathers on the bottom - made it much easier to do the echoing...

I don't really see a difference between the two ways - and it looks to me like my right and left sides are pretty much the same too....

I can see that the color of the fabric and thread can really enhance the look of the design though so that is something to be aware of!

I'm working on this design as part of the SewCalGal 2012 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge.  This event will have a new designer and design each month - it will be open all year - so go to the site now to see the updates!

To enter the drawing: 

    1.  Write blog entry or post a photo on Flicker.  Copy and save the URL.  
    2. Then go to 
    3.  Click on the February link  - you'll go to the screen with information about the challenge for February. The direct link is:
    4.  Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and add the link to your site. I'm #40 on this list!
      I'm coding all my entries about this project with SewCalGalFMQ2012 so clicking on that will show the most recent post on top.

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    I'm a Winner! Incomparable Buttons

    I won the buttons for last Friday's drawing on the SewCalGal site.  Very nice.

    Thank you SewCalGal and Incomparable Buttons  (my name here).

    Now off to read about other drawings to enter!

    The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #5

    Week #5: Stippling in Blocks Directions
    Filled in star - approx 1/4 inch design
    I peeked at the entries made my others people and can see that indeed I need to do more - and I need to try more to love what I'm working on.  Leah mentioned that recently in one of her entries - it's hard to love these sample pieces done on scraps though - so I'm looking forward to seeing her ideas on what we can do with these samples.

    It was pretty quick work to fill in the outlined star - I had used beige thread for the outline.  Once I was done I decided to go back and outline again in red so it stands out more.

    I'm getting more comfortable with doing this stippling - still haven't found my unique pattern though - and can't picture doing it as an all over pattern in a quilt.... and oh my gosh I can't see myself actually doing this in the large three inch scale!

    Retraced the outline - front
    After I did the smaller scale star, I made another outline and intended to fill it with a larger scale design.  I think I really need to finish some quilts so I can get the concept/reason for having the stitching so far apart.  Like the other people working on this I'm having more trouble with the large scale stitching - so again more practice is needed.

    Retraced the outline - back
    In the middle of this practice my bobbin ran out so I switched to the green thread that I will be using for the FMQAYGQAL and had the strangest thing happen with the thread.  It broke but when I was fixing things I could see it seemed to have a strand shear off and then build up on the bobbin? - or maybe it was the top.  I don't remember where I saw it - and don't remember ever seeing this before with the thread I have been using.  There was one place on the back where the thread didn't look right.  I don't remember feeling or hearing any warnings - this would have been so sad if it was a 'real'quilt.  The only thing that was changed was the thread...

    Another star filled in larger scale design - front
    Star with large design - back with threads
    The last part of the assignment was very difficult for me - and it was the part that really wasn't covered in detail in the lesson....  We were asked to draw a design she gave us, quilt it, and then put more stippling inside and around the design....

    I had a heck of a time figuring this out.  First I only have a regular pencil to use as marking as that's difficult to see and I think the professional pencil must have softer lead as I felt I was scratching the fabric.  But then it's mainly for me just the matter of being able to see the pattern.  But I sure had a hard time picturing and drawing this design....

    Almost the whole time I was remembering the test they gave my mom to see if she had Alzheimer's - that was such an unfair test for her as she can barely see or hear.  But they gave her a piece of paper with two figures that were next to each other and asked her to draw it.  No modifications were made for her - it was a small one inch drawing with light ink....  

    First I did the outside outline - then I did the inner outline - then I broke thread for each of the triangles and lines to show the weaving of the squares....

    After doing one triangle, I flipped the material so I could remark the design on the plain fabric - then sort of got in a rhythm  for sewing the finishing touches.

    The stippling was easy after that!

    Added Feb 8:  I peeked at a link to Jeanne's practice for the week and see she was much more sensible and just used a simple heart for her design to practice putting stippling in and around.  It didn't even occur to me to change the design for the practice...  I made it harder than it needed to be....  

    I am doing this as part of Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Project.  The directions to this (and much more) are there for you to learn.  To help support the project I have purchased some of my supplies from the Day Styles Design Quilt Shop.

    If I had to pick two things that I really use, I would pick the table for the sewing machine and the cheater needles.  I feel quite smart each time I take that needle off the pin place and hide the threads...  Here is the link to her  video on the how to hide threads...

    But really the bobbin washers and the gloves make things go much smoother.  I rarely even have to think about my bobbin now, and putting those gloves on made me feel so much more relaxed but also so much more in control of the fabric. 

    I have a long way to go, but truly appreciate the time that Leah Day has devoted to all her training and instructional posts and videos.

    I am coding my entries regarding this challenge with Leah2012 so clicking on that will display those posts with the most recent on the top.

    I have been working thru the beginning designs that are also on her site - taking photos and notes as I go.  It's already been helpful to me to go back and remind myself of the designs and what I thought as I did them.