Saturday, March 31, 2012

FMQAYGQAL - Row 4 Summary

Directions for blocks 13 and 14 (Row 4 blocks 1 & 2)
Directions for block 15 (Row 4 block 3)
Directions for block 16 (Row 4 block 4)

Partial Row 4 - Fronts
I am doing this blocks as part of Laura's Free Motion Quilt as You Go Quilt Along.

I am linking to her site.  It's great to be able to see how the other interpreted the directions.  

I seem to be the only one who did not do all the suggested blocks.  It seemed the right thing to do (these different designs) when I was sewing, but now wish I had done the big rose and the tree - maybe later.

I have other posts where I describe a little of how stitching these blocks went for me.  

I see now that the directions for block 16 have been posted, but I will have to work on that tomorrow!
Partial Row 4 - Backs

I'm linking up to Laura's site, I'm #6!

Friday, March 30, 2012

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 13, 14, 15

Directions for blocks 13 and 14 (Row 4 blocks 1 & 2)
Directions for block 15 (Row 4 block 3)
Directions for block 16 (Row 4 block 4)

Laura continues the theme of Landscapes and Seascapes for blocks 13 and 14...

I wasn't clicking with her large rose with leaves and spiral tree so instead did variations on Leah Day's.  These are variations as I didn't remind myself what the designs actually were officially on Leah's site - I did from memory!

Tree Bark - Front
Block 13: Tree Bark 
Directions here:

I've done this design several times before.  I like the way it stitches up, and I like the texture it brings to the fabric.

Tree Bark - Back

Dresden Daisies - Front

Block 14: Dresden Daisies 
Directions here:

This is the second time I've done this design - both times I made the flowers smaller and farther apart than Leah did, but I still think it looks nice.

Dresden Daisies - Back

Block 15:  McTavishing

My First McTavish - Front
This design was really difficult for me to do.  I drew it several times but it never looks great....  My sewing version actually looks better than the drawing!

My First McTavish - Back - Luckily the pattern hides the knots of thread...
The thread is sort of splitting so parts of it gets jammed up before the needle - so then I have to stop, hide thread, rethread and start again.  The thread seems to jump out every once in a while so there is a large section of loose thread behind the machine - I reroll the thread, double check things and can go ahead for a few inches.  But then the splitting is visible so I have to stop, hide thread, and start again.

The sections between the McTavishing look odd the way I'm filling the space so I actually like it better when it's left open...  I may take my machine in for servicing then will continue on this!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

SewCalGal - FMQ Challenge - March

Directions for March Challenge (Squiggle, Squiggle with Stars or Hearts, Swirls, Flowers)

MarchAnn Fahl - The tutorial will be made available only during the month of March 2012, per the requirement of Ann Fahl.

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 SewCalGal site now to see the updates!

This month I drew the designs on papers in several different ways.  Once I had a combination that was pleasing to me I set up the practice sandwich and sewed the design.

I sewed on the dark patterned fabric, the pink fabric was on the back....  I had no idea how the green thread would be hidden on the front - even in person it's difficult to see!
Front of the sandwich

The stitching on the back shows up well....

Squiggle, Squiggle with Stars or Hearts, and Swirls in the Center of Flowers in this sample.

Back of sandwich with cake and drawn inspiration
We had my son's girlfriend over the dinner yesterday - made curried carrot soup for the first time.  I wasn't sure how good it was going to be so asked him to pick up a cake for dessert to round out the meal.  The cake he picked came decorated with flowers very like the ones in Ann's lesson!

My first sewn attempt at this was a complete failure - I hadn't drawn the design and thought I could skip that step.  I put the stitches in my sandwich so it would become part of my FMQAYGQAL so I used the seam ripper to remove those stitches.  When I do that again I will post the photo here. (I'm having trouble with taking photos so just skipped taking the failure photo - I just hadn't followed the pattern correctly.)

Notice I used thread basting - the first time I have done that.  Carolyn showed me how she thread basted so I thought I'd give it a try - it was real easy to do and since I made a frame with the basting I didn't have to remove any as I did this sample...  I'll be trying this again for other projects.

I'm using some batting that my new friend Becky got me from her long-arming friend Martine had left over from some of her projects.  I think it's polyester - it's softer and finer than any batting I have used before! (Neither of them have quilting blogs.)

You too can join up with the 2012 SewCalGal's Free-Motion Quilt Challenge now to become a better free motion quilter and have the chance to win fabulous prizes!!  

 To enter the March drawing:
1. Write blog entry or post a photo on Flicker. Copy and save the URL.
2. Then go to
3. Click on the March link - you'll go to the screen with information about the challenge for March. The direct link is:
4. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and add the link to your site.

I'm #139 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.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sew 15 Minutes a Day

I'm linking to

3-14 Wednesday: (still ill, but getting better!) I picked the smallest quadrant of my black backed practice sandwich and finished that.

3-15 Thursday: (better) I joined two sections of my Leah Day Practice sandwiches using two methods: The way she describes with 1 inch and 1.5 inch strips, and with "Quilting Edge" method (also sent emails opening up the Liberated Round Robin

3-16 Friday: (cold only - so better) FMQed the sash and finished joining the four pieces.  Taped pattern for Leah Day on window, prepared fabric and marked the pattern. Moved fabric from den to dining room (more out of the way) and put up design wall there. (that promptly fell down - oh well).

3-17 Saturday: (cold worse)  I was very excited to get the binding on and the practice quilt washed before we leave on our trip - so I did that when I woke today!  I didn't cut special strips, I didn't measure.  I used a different strip on each side and at the tops I folded the fabric back tried to force the machine to take it all in.  In the end I had to do some hand stitching on the corners, it's a very primitive finish, but meant I could wash and dry the result. Quilt is dry - looks great - all in one piece I'm happy to have my fifth finish - second that I get to keep in the house finished!  Yahoo!

3-18 Sunday to 3-20 Tuesday: Nothing with fabric (traveling)

3-21 Wednesday: Visited Carolyn the Caribbean Quilter - lovely lady - saw her sewing room and various quilts - but really nothing for me with fabric.

3-22 Thursday: Nothing with fabric (cold back!)

3-23 Friday and 3-24 Saturday: Nothing with fabric  (traveling was supposed to be home on Friday night but plane had to be replaced and AA couldn't get a replacement plane until 15 hours after the original time! Had to sleep on the floor of the Miami airport as there were no hotel rooms available!)

3-25 Sunday: used seam ripper to separate pieces of two blocks that I will use for the Second Liberated Round Robin

3-26 Monday and 3-27 Tuesday: Nothing with fabric (sore throat has returned)

My projects on the 'to do' list for the coming week are:

Figure out how to post several photos - in a slide show. I have photos still to post for my Marston/Moran workshop and now photos for the Eleanor Burns talk too! and then I need to find my notes and add the narrative before I forget everything!

Sew blocks 13, 14 and 15 for FMQAYGQAL and do the quilting on the sandwich I basted last week for Leah Day's Free Motion Quilt A Long and prepare the fabric for Leah's Whole Cloth Project. 

Before the end of the month I hope to sew at least one block for the BlockLotto, and to finish the Match SewCalGal FMQ challenge.

Monday, March 26, 2012

LibRR2 Step One

Initial Blocks
I received these two blocks from Marie in the World Wide Swap last Spring - they were the only two traditional blocks that I could find in my stash....

I really like the points in the stars.... They are made of a HST but the second side has two equal pieces.

I decided to take the blocks apart - so as I was watching TV tonight, I ripped them apart (I felt so crafty while I was doing this!)....

So now I have all the pieces and have been working on rearranging them....

A swirl of fabric?
Will I put them in swirl going out to make a hurricane of fabric?  I saw some art in an airport in the past week (perhaps in Kingston Jamaica)- where there was a white pattern that swirled out on a white background that caught my eye.

Or will I make rows of the points separated by white blocks....?

Or will it be one long columns of points?

Column of Points?

Rows of Points?
I haven't decided yet - But wanted to be in on the party of posting things for the LibRR2 so am posting even before I decided how to resew these pieces!  I may just wait for Step Two before sewing - not sure now!  I just know I'm going to make this into at least a lap quilt!

: )
Come Join the LibRR2!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Traveling: Jamaica Quilting

June with Jamaican Quilt
I did something this trip I have not done before.... I met a fellow quilt blogger and went to see her quilts!


I got to go in her two-roomed Quilting Studio. A little dolls house with a wrap around covered deck complete with various antique chairs and tables.

In the Sewing Room she has her sewing machine on a really nice sewing table with support for FMQing behind and to the side. There is a big cabinet with supplies, behind is her design board (rolled up) and then there are many hand basted quilts hanging or folded on the rack right behind her. (Her students and friends appreciate her FMQing and ask her to finish their quilts up for them!)

We left the Sewing Room and returned to the covered deck to turn right to go into her Fabric Classroom.

She mainly uses luscious Moda fabric. She is partial to French General and newly adopting marbleized solids. The marbleization adds elegance and depth that is missing with completely plain fabric. There was a glassed cabinet where she artfully displayed a few jelly rolls, cake layers, turnovers for her students. There are no quilting stores on the entire island, so she is teaching classes to share her enthusiasm of quilting, and gets a little extra Moda for her students so they know what quality quilting fabric is! When she teaches classes she moves tables into the Classroom so the students have space to work, but mainly I think this is a space for her to plan and cut fabric for her projects.

She showed me quilts she had made, quilts in progress and basted quilts. Lots of different designs and methods (for example: folded log cabin with very narrow sides and paper pieced with tiny geometrics).

I also got to meet some of her family. All lovely people. we chatted and shared a glass of wine before I was on my way! They were most gracious and welcoming.

She has a wonderful way of placing her furniture and accessories - in both her studio and her home. The building itself provided beautiful bones, but she provided the flesh and life. (I've very envious of her knack - skill - knowledge - ability! It shows in her quilting, home and dress!)

I think we both had a nice time chatting with each other:

We both have returned to quilting after taking a break for motherhood. She has really been able to immerse herself in the craft and has so much more expertise and experience than I do now!

We both have gotten our husbands to usually reserve a day for quilting shops and fabric shopping when we are on trips! Sounds like she has been way more successful with finding shops that I have been on these trips - but what fun that we get to see shops on our travels!

This visit with Carolyn was the highlight of my trip to Jamaica, and I hope the beginning of a long quilting friendship!

Thank you Carolyn!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stitched: When Quilting Turns Competitive


Some people stitch quilts as gifts, many for stress relief, but for some, it’s a competition.

“Stitched,” a documentary about competitive quilting, has been accepted into numerous film festivals since it was released in April 2011. Produced by Nancy Sarnoff and directed by Jenalia Moreno, the 70-minute film follows the lives of three quilters — their studios, the types of media used and how they find inspiration.

Attendees will have the opportunity to view more than 100 quilts. After the showing, Moreno will answer questions with cinematographer Tom Gandy.

Details: 2 p.m. Saturday. Visions Art Museum, 2825 Dewey Road, Suite 100, Midway District. $10. (619) 546-4872

This just seems wrong doesn't it?

I may attend March 24th, just see what it's all about, not sure yet....

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #7 and Week #9

Directions for Quilt Along #7 - Connecting Quilted Pieces
Directions for Quilt Along #9 - Moving the Quilt

I still have more practice to do on everything, but I thought I would post what I have been working on...  I code all my posts about this projects with the Leah2012 label.
Showing how I was doing the initial quilting.
I worked on moving the quilt with the black sandwich.  I just realized I didn't take photo as each quandrant was done, but this shows the initial legs of the quilting.  This was my first time and realized after I finished that I hadn't lined the legs of the initial quilting up to the center.  It made it easier for me though to fill in the quantrants (I've had a cold but each day I could when I felt better I did a quantrant.  It was nice to have a small one to start with! I relooked at the videos after working some, and realized that I had internalized 'start and center and work outward' and little incorrectly.  Clearly on the diagram once you finish a quantrant you are supposed to loop around and start the next one from the outside in.  The initial leg stitching takes care of the anchoring of the quilt (and I did that sort of as the diagram suggested).

Okay, so I finished my fourth sandwich - and even though I had a million stops and starts and and unknown number of hidden threads in it - it finished very nicely.
This is the side I quilted on
so it's the front.
So I worked on trimming the edges of my fugly sandwiches and getting them ready to join.  I decide to use Leah's method (cut strips 1 and 1.5 inch) and then also to use the method shown in the quilter's edge (cut strips  2.5 and 4.5 inch and batting 1.5 inch).  I was going to try the curvy method Leah used for her Winter Wonderland quilt, but with this cold and coughing, I wasn't up to trying the curves on the front with out a curvy ruler.  (I misremembered and thought she cut the quilt but it's the top joining that is cut in curve and manipulated on the join!)  So it actually might be easier than I thought it would be to do!

This is the better looking side - still not pretty...
But great practice!
After I did the join where the batting was added, I had to spend time deciding on a design to quilt in the space.  I decided on Cave Points - it looked manageable - and it was.  It looks a little spartan the way I did it - but this is a fugly practice piece and I have a cold so that is what I did.

Originally posted 3-16-12 8pm


Update Saturday 2 pm:  I finished putting the binding on!  
Binding on - I just used 3 inch strips I already had and
put a different color on each side.
I used 3 inch strips that I already had and made each side a different color.  

First I sewed on with 1/4 inch seam, I pressed the seam out so it was smooth on the quilt side.  Then I folded the material in half and pressed before sewing.  

The long sides were easy as I just cut at the quilt edge.  
Binding on the plain side

I will add photos to this same post once I'm finished,
but I'm linking to Leah's site now....(I'm #15).
The shorter sides I sewed with about 2 inches hanging on each side.  Then I cut the sides in so there was a point in the material, folded and sewed.  I had different results on each corner.  One was pretty good and didn't need anything.  One I sewed the last .5 inches by hand, the last two I tried to force the machine to do but there was too much bulk, so I added a few stitches to hopefully secure - then for all I use the Leah Day clover needle to hide the ends.  The quilt is in the wash machine right now! Oh and I used my Leah Day 1/4 inch presser foot as my walking foot is not working right - the only wave I see was caused by the dense quilting - I could see it before I added the binding so of course it's still there.  I did not measure anything - I just sewed the lengths on.

I remembered that the black fabric wasn't cotton - it's something my son bought for a Halloween costume he didn't make - so we'll see how that washes up too.  I wasn't thinking when I used it for the last sandwich.

I remembered as I was sewing that I have only put a binding on one other time.  It was for the first quilt I finished....  A very pretty baby quilt that I gave to my manager who had her baby around a year after I had A.  It was a scrap quilt with little bunny rabbit with flopping ears - sort of built like Eddie did her flower ladies.  I had all the same background so the little bunnies stood out.  For the ears I pressed a pleat in so the ears would stand up - but they were loose from the quilt back so they would flop.  I don't have a photo - can't ask her now as her daughter must be around 23 years old now!  I don't remember how I connected the sandwich together, must have been stitch in the ditch of some part of the blocks.  Boy there was a big wave in that binding - it was very stiff.  I didn't wash it before giving to her as I wanted it too look new.  We moved shortly after that and I didn't work there anymore - just emailed her last year or year before to say hello as she is still working at UCSD Staff Development.

We are leaving on a little trip, but I really wanted to get this practice sandwich washed so I could see how the hidden threads end up!


Update 3-17-12 4:15pm

It's all in one piece!  Looks as great as it ever can (given the fugly fabric).  The hidden threads stayed hidden.  There is nice crinkle in the fabric - feels soft.  I'm delighted as this means what I have been doing is okay!  This is my fifth finish but only the second quilt that I have gotten to keep - actually I gave it to my husband for now - will be a small but good lap quilt!
The washed quilt - pretty flat on the floor!

The washed quilt - plain fabric side - flat on floor

The artistically folded washed practice quilt
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 three things that really changed things for me I would pick the table for the sewing machine, the pinmore's for basting, and the cheater needles.  Having the sewing machine at the right height makes such a difference.  The pinmore's really make basting and sewing so much easier - once I finish the projects I have safety pin basted I think I'll never use them again.  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 too.  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.  If you want to kick up your quilting more than a notch, please go to Leah's site and take time to watch the videos.  And buy some supplies from her as a thank you!

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 did Week #10 a few days ago - scroll down to see or click here.

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Question Thursday #8

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Question Thursday #8

This is another test - trying to link to Leah's site so there is a link to my site from her post!

I'm missing a step somewhere....

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #10

Directions for Week 10 Preparing a Whole Cloth Quilt

Clear directions as usual on Leah's site!  I am going to be traveling next week so went ahead and started to follow the directions for this week.

Window light box
I picked the fabric that I have been using for my QAYGFMQAL - it's a light tan 100% cotton so the stitching will show up nicely.  I'm going to use the same fabric on the back.  I have some polyester batting but will call the one place that is within 2hours of here that might have the batting Leah recommends before I baste with my Pinmore ends for the pins that I got from Leah last week.
Here is the prepared top fabric!

I set up a window light box, and used a mechanical pencil that I tested to be sure at least most of the lines will wash away with water.

It didn't take very long at all since my fabric was already washed.

I remember seeing Leah recommend the spray starch method before, but have to admit I had forgotten this step.  So that is why I really want to get the binding on my practice sandwiches and to wash them so I can see if I have been messing anything else up!

I am unclear if I'm supposed to trace the surrounding box - have written Leah to find out.  She said it was optional to mark the outside so I went ahead and prepared the back and basted the project.  I can already tell I need to get more Pinmores....
Whole cloth basted - using pinmores and pins

Back of the wholecloth project basted.

(I got 50 Pinmores and guess I have basted something else that I can't remember as I sure don't have 50 pieces in this project!)

Added 3-28-12:

Carolyn uses thread to baste so decided to give that a try, perhaps that will work for me too.

Front of thread basted sandwich
I made a new sandwich and used thread basting - will practice some FMQ tomorrow to test this method of basting!

Thread basted back.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Idea: Pairie Point Flying Geese

SewCalGal's was giving away a copy of the "Prairie Point Pizzazz", by Karen Sievert (deadline has passed) - this is another way to flying geese!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

15 Minutes a Day

I'm linking up with:

Tuesday March 6th - Sewed part one Block 9 for the FMQAYGQAL -

Wednesday March 7th- Sewed part two Block 9 for the FMQAYGQAL.

Thursday March 8th -  Sewed Block 10 for the FMQAYGQAL.

Friday March 9th - Went to workshop - forgot glasses so I left again.  Sewed my Block 12 for the FMQAYGQAL. And got my blog entries for that posted!

Saturday March 10th - Went to workshop.  Eleanor Burns's sister gave a talk showing quilts and new patterns - I practiced sewing on the mini Jenome machine (wonderfully light in weight, but can only sew with a 1/4 inch foot - no darning foot, etc.). When I returned home I finished stippling the sample sandwich and added a feather to one of the other samples.  I made a new quilt sandwich to practice the all over quilting pattern - then will trim my sandwiches to join together.

Sunday March 11th - (sore throat) In the evening I worked on filling in one of the 'corners' of my practice piece for Leal Day.  Every once in awhile the thread would sort of double up so I'd have to cut it and hide the ends and start again.

Monday March 12th - (ill) nothing with fabric

Tuesday March 13th - (still ill) nothing with fabric (so far).  If I hadn't been keeping track of my 15 minutes of sewing I would have thought I'd be ill for longer.  So achy, slight sore throat and ear aches - blah.

ASAP I need to figure out how to post several photos - in a slide show.  I have photos still to post for my Marston/Moran workshop and now photos for the Eleanor Burns talk too!

ASAP I hope to sew blocks 13 and and 14 for FMQAYGQAL and do the quilting on the sandwich I basted last week for Leah Day's Free Motion Quilt A Long.

Before the end of the month I hope to sew at least one block for the BlockLotto, and to finish the Match SewCalGal FMQ challenge.

The Second Liberated Round Robin will be starting this Friday (March 16th) - hope anyone reading this will join in the project!  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Idea: Lil Twister Quilt

This blog posting shows different stages of making the quilt and how the size changes too.  Nice documentation of the steps for the quilt.

I've shared this before - but like it so much I'm posting again....  Some day I'll make one myself!

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #6

Directions for Week 6: Quilting in Sashing and borders

This is a terrific lesson - I must remember to rewatch it when I have a quilt with different blocks it in with sashing and borders!  Leah has really a knack for breaking down what we need to consider when stitching.

I'm still doing a little catch up now so not really keeping to the weeks....  Unfortunately, I didn't have a quilt ready with sashings and borders so will do that part later, but for now I practiced more with following the line and filling in the space using the technique of doing a line of pattern in the center to the side then looping back to center to another side, etc.  Then filling the area in.

I finished filling in the rest of this practice sandwich. It also has some feathers and other things I was working on....
Here is the front
The back - first I followed the lines in the pattern.

The back - then I filled in all the space with stippling,
starting in the center then going out in quarters.

I think my scale is about 1/2 inch - I can't see myself doing larger scale yet.  During some of the sections this was going very smoothly - but in others the thread split so I had to stop and reset things up.  When the thread started splitting I turned the piece rather than sewing in different directions for the straight lines - that sort of helped.  I think I need to rig up a different way to feed the thread to the machine - having the spool in a cup I can feel the cone bump the side and then the tension gets messed up.

Front new practice sandwich!
Originally I was thinking I was just going to skip to quilting an entire quilt - but now I'm stepping it back and practicing some more on smaller pieces.  I need the practice that's for sure.

My new pinmores arrived from DayStyle Design and I wanted to try them out!  They were so much easier and nicer to use than safety pins.  I recommend them and I recommend getting them from Leah Day. I checked the prices and Leah's end up being lower than the other sites I checked out.

It takes me forever to do FMQing sometimes.  I think this represents about 2 hours of my life!

Back new practice sandwich
In addition to more practice, I needed another sandwich so I could join the pieces together to make a fugly lap quilt that I will only have in the van to offer my mom if needed when we are going places (she is in wheelchair so a little quilt could be useful).  I started with green thread, then the bobbin ran out so I switched to the beige.  Makes the stitching really stand out on the back!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #8a

Directions for Week 8:  All Over Quilting on a Real Quilt

This is just part one of working on this challenge.

So it's taken me a while, but I finally have a real practice quilt basted for Leah Day's challenge of doing an all over design on a whole quilt....

Probably my first quilt top - finally basted!
This top was pieced by me when I was in junior high or high school - well before my present life!  I don't really remember doing it, but sort of remember picking out the material... but maybe I remember working to line up the stripes...  My mom made a pattern for me out of this thick fused material* and scissors must have been used to cut the templates once they were pinned to the fabric. * I don't know what it's called but it has her handwriting on the pieces.

I found these in a box I opened a few years ago when I was going to clean out the garage but instead opened the box and remembered sewing and quilting!  It was like a time capsule with the patterns with funny Mary Tyler Moore style type....  The inner points don't line up, and the seams are 5/8 of an inch but Leah suggested we find an unfinished quilt and quilt it so this is what I'm going to be working on!  (Somewhere in the garage I supposed I have 7 or 8 quilt tops and backs that I sewed when my son was little.  In the house I mainly have blocks and parts - not quilts!)  I ran out of my curved pins so had to use the straight ones I had purchased 16 years ago or when ever it was that I got them.  This was a really pain to baste - I brought it to the adult education class to use their table - but the wide table was gone so I had to use a table that was narrower than the piece.  I think I got done what I needed to get done though.
Fugly back - hopefully my last safety pin basted quilt.

I have been using the material that was supposed to be the back of the project so instead pulled out the Indian feather stuff I got to use for backing....  It wasn't wide enough so I added two strips going in opposite directions to get the width I needed.  I now think this is fugly fabric - had to bite my tongue when the ladies at the workshop were saying how they liked the feathers!  Everyone likes different things - it was nice they liked something I brought to class -usually it seems they say how I should ask the teacher to help me!!

When I came home I went to Leah Day's site and ordered a container of 100-Pinmoors.  Total including shipping =  $43.45 USD

So I hope this will be the last time I use the pins.  I haven't basted many things and appreciate how nice pins are over thread basting - I just hope the Pinmoors will save my nails and fingers more!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Sew 15 Minutes a Day

Okay - I just realized that we are linking on Tuesdays - this is on my calendar now....!

Saturday March 3rd - Went to a workshop and saw other's progress.  I cut pieces for the rectangle part of my LibRR.

Free Motion Quilt AlongSunday March 4th - Nothing with fabric.

Monday March 5th - Nothing with fabric.

Tuesday March 6th - Sewed part one Block 9 for the FMQAYGQAL -

Wednesday March 7th- Sewed part two Block 9 for the FMQAYGQAL.

Thursday March 8th -  Sewed Block 10 for the FMQAYGQAL.

Friday March 9th - Went to workshop - forgot glasses so I left again.  Sewed my Block 12 for the FMQAYGQAL. And got my blog entries for that posted!

Below this updated for these days:

Saturday March 10th - Went to workshop.  Eleanor Burns's sister gave a talk showing quilts and new patterns - I practiced sewing on the mini Jenome machine (wonderfully light in weight, but can only sew with a 1/4 inch foot - no darning foot, etc.). When I returned home I finished stippling the sample sandwich and added a feather to one of the other samples.  I made a new quilt sandwich to practice the all over quilting pattern - then will trim my sandwiches to join together.

Sunday March 11th - (sore throat) In the evening I worked on filling in one of the 'corners' of my practice piece for Leal Day.  Every once in awhile the thread would sort of double up so I'd have to cut it and hide the ends and start again.

Monday March 12th - (ill) nothing with fabric

Tuesday March 13th - (ill) nothing with fabric

Before next Tuesday I hope to sew blocks 13 and and 14 for FMQAYGQAL and do the quilting on the sandwich I basted last week for Leah Day's Free Motion Quilt A Long.

Before the end of the month I hope to sew at least one block for the BlockLotto, and to finish the Match SewCalGal FMQ challenge.

ASAP I need to figure out how to post several photos - in a slide show.  I have photos still to post for my Marston/Moran workshop and now photos for the Eleanor Burns talk too!

The Second Liberated Round Robin will be starting soon - hope anyone reading this will join in the project!  

FMQAYGQAL Row 3 Summary

Here are my four blocks for the third row of Laura's Free Motion Quilt As You Go Quilt A Long.

The theme for these blocks is landscapes and seascapes...

It's a nice variety of designs - while reading and sewing I realized that:

1) I do not really notice landscapes or seascapes or plants, etc.

2) I think I should make an effort to notice all the nature that is around me...!

I'm linking to Laura's site where the Quilt A Long is behing hosted.  By going to that site you'll be able to see the way the other followers have interpreted the designs (and their comments on sewing them!)
Hosted here

At the end of the FMQAYGQAL we will have 24 blocks - once you prepare the quilt sandwiches it really doesn't take very long to do the blocks - so do jump in!  Laura is also going to be showing different ways to connect the blocks into one quilt - cool huh?

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 11 and 12

Directions for blocks 11 and 12 (Row 3 blocks 3 & 4)

Laura continues the theme of Landscapes and Seascapes....

Block 11: Landscapes 2

This block is very close to the design I did for the SewCalGal project in January - so close that I decided to use the extra block I made for that and switch to be an official FMQAYGQAL block.



Block 12: Leah's Sea Oats

This is an official 'beginning' design, so I already had tried it out.  Also, since I'm one of the last to finish this for FMQAYGQAL I was able to read the comments others made about this design.  I also do not know what a sea oat really looks like.  I do not know what corn looks like when it is growing and I have never noticed plants in an aquarium (like Leah's Josh has).  I spent a little more time looking at photos and examples of people who have done this design, then drew it out several times. I brought the example photo into Fireworks and changed the direction so I could draw while looking at the example oriented the same way.....

I do not think I made any improvement from my first try - the first row looks the best, but then I got into changing the direction of the off shoots so much that they look more like circles....

I had moved the sewing machine to the living room as my son was in the sewing room - and now I know that the living room can't be used for sewing.  The chair was too low, and the table legs interfered with the foot pedal.  My straw spindal does not seem to be the answer for my thread - it still is catching every once in a while so I had to cut thread and restart pretty much at every column!

So not really know what sea oats are, I will just say this is a  science fiction plant found on the landscape of some far off yet-to-be-discovered planet!

I hope you will join us for the second Liberated Round Robin - starting this month!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 9 and 10 & Marston/Moran Comments

Directions for Blocks 9 and 10  (AKA Row 3 Blocks 1 & 2)

I'm sewing these blocks in 'catch-up' mode as I spent so much time getting ready for my week long workshop with Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran - then had four days with them - and then had so much to get caught up at home that I'm just now sewing.  (I've solved things by filing for an extension for taxes to give myself some breathing room!).

The theme for this row is Landscapes and Seascapes....

Block 9: Leah's Landscape Stitch

When I was watching the video I thought this would be an easy design for me to do.  (I had a chuckle at the end when Leah advises us to draw our hills like the hills are that we see when we look out our window!  The only hill I see is covered densely with houses - if I were to just draw that hill I'd have one lump and would be done!) I did have to draw it out to figure out why she was sort of back stitching before beginning another hill.  Laura from QuokkaQuilts (running the QAL) mentioned in her notes that getting the hills even was the part that was tricky for her so I was aware of that.  But to be honest the non-example hill that she pointed to on her blog didn't bother me at all.  So after drawing it out I threaded the green thread in and checked that the needle was okay by doing a little stitching on my sandwich that I am practicing feathers and other things on.  Everything seemed okay.

Front - Block 9
But while doing the actual stitching I was very frustrated.  I broke a needle.  I thought perhaps I was pulling the fabric to quickly (as I had done before).  I thought about how cold my fingers were and thought I didn't have good control.  I broke another needle - the first time I 'lost' the point - usually the points stay threaded so they are easy for me to tape up and keep until I can discard in a sharps container at the place where my mom lives.  I broke another needle and decided to stop trying.

Back - Block 9
I thought about not filling the hills in - to leave them open and plain as Laura decided to do....  But with a new day and not feeling as cold I tried again.  This time I broke a needle again.  I could not figure out why this was happening.  I rolled the new needle to be sure it was straight and took really slow stitches....  I thought the thread was being fed unevenly so I found a firm straw and put that on the top of the machine so the cone could be on the machine.  Started again and then I heard the twang sound and remembered to look at the machine to see if the thread had wrapped itself around one of the metal pieces, and sure enough it did!  So I figured out that I could disengage the extra loops and continue.  I did the rest of the design with no breaks - I did cheat and move the block in different directions to make it easier to see where I was going to sew.  I went back and added some extra threads on the top of most of the hills....

I'm pleased with how this looks, but it was very time intensive for me and since my emphasis is on finishing real quilts now (believe it or not!) I'm not sure when I will use it.

Block 10: Leah's Ocean Current

Block 10 - Front
This design is very pretty in the examples - there is an initial line stitched with several hooks to begin the water swirls - that's called a foundation line - then you go back and echo around that line to make the swirls stand out.

Block 10 - Back
I drew the design several times with different spots for the hooks and saw what I needed to do if I got caught inside a part of the design.  I was ready to go.  I guess I should have taken a photo of my foundation line - that really does drive the design....

My water is sort of stagnant maybe there is a lot of trash up stream that is stopping the swirls.....


So those are my blocks that were being sewn by others in the FMQAYGQAL while I was at the Marston/Moran workshop.  I have not uploaded my photos from that great adventure (yet) - and my experiences yesterday and today with doing these designs sort of cloud the great compliments I got from Gwen and Freddy for my FMQing.... but here is one photo that is special to me....

Marston/Moran admiring my FMQing!
The third day of the workshop, I had put my finished pieces of the Wonky Shoo Fly on the floor so I could get suggestions for how to put the pieces together.....  But the teachers were busy so I then went around and took photos of all the design walls....  Across the room I could see ten or twelve students looking down at my quilt pieces - I ran over and heard great compliments and fielded lots of questions.  They were amazed that I did the work on my regular old sewing machine.  I made sure again that they knew I had learned from Leah Day. (I had shared my in-progress-LibRR with the group the second day and told them then too so everyone heard that.)  It seems the people at the class didn't do any FMQ.  It was wonderful to hear them oh and ah my work!

The teachers were still busy so I went back to work on my parts for the project I was working on for the class - then someone excitedly tapped me on the should and said Gwen and Freddy are looking at your quilt! They like it!  So I grabbed my phone and took these photos.  By that time someone else in the class had come up to ask for advice so the photos are a little diluted with that - but really they were looking at my FMQing!  Gwen especially liked the big leaf pattern - Freddy came to me and said it was exquisitely stitched and she had never seen a student in all her years of giving workshops with such wonderful work.  I made sure they knew I was learning from Leah Day's site and that I had won some of the blocks I brought from the BlockLotto.

Gwen thought perhaps they were going to be kept separate - like her little quilts she had shared - didn't really have ideas to help me get the pieces back into a bed sized quilt.  Oh well.

Freddy came up to me two additional times and chatted with me - she said that I had found my niche in quilting and should develop that and disregard the color and piecing part unless I wanted to do that....

Pretty fabulous....  

I have to keep thinking about how great I felt when they were giving me compliments while do the actual FMQing now!

(I'll post the photos from the workshop soon!)

I hope you will join us for the second Liberated Round Robin - starting this month!