Sunday, April 29, 2012


If I ever do a drawing I'm going to be clear when it's closed and will put the dates of the drawing - not just next Saturday, etc.

Oh well.

The Liebster Blog Award……..

Doreen of Treadlemusic has given me a Liebster award! Thank you so much! You really brightened my day! Doreen is a quilter who rides motorcycle and lives on a small hobby farm in southeastern Minnesota. Grandmother and Great Grandmother and now retired. You-all will enjoy visiting Treadlemusic to see her FMQing - she is one of the folks working on Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Project. So sweet of her to give me one of the five awards....

The Liebster Award (German for favorite) is for bloggers with 200 followers or less. As a recipient of the award, you have the chance to thank and link back to the blogger who gave it to you as well as copy and paste the award to your blog, pass it along to five other deserving blogs, and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog. So, without further ado, I would like to present this award to:

42 Quilts - Jennifer has embraced quilting - she looks at how to construct the tradition block and modern versions of those blocks. She has two weekly online challenges: Modern Monday and Traditional Tuesday, but there are always interesting things to see on her blog.

Ideas of Inspiration - On the first and fifteenth of each month, Sandy posts a prompt - it might be a color shape, adjectives, a pair of words, month, or some other concept. Followers are challenged to interpret the prompt and to post a photo. It's incredible how creative the postings are and how kind and encouraging the feedback.

pattilousquilts - Pat or Pattilou's quilting shows an amazing amount of variety and color. It's always fun to check her blog to see what she is up to! Her posts about making a swirl quilt and how to baste without commercial sprays are very popular and clearly written.

Sara's Scraps - Sara blog is full of quilting and stories about life. Click on the side bar for her topics - in particular click on Liberated Round Robin to see her brilliant tutorial on how to add a border using QAYG method!

Wayne Kollinger's Sketch Book - Wayne has a unique way at looking blocks and experimenting with ideas for quilts or parts of quilts. What if you change the size of the grid for (this traditional block), you'd come up with a unique new probably wonky block! Click on the side bar for his topics, or scroll thru his posts to get lots of ideas!

Thank you all for your inspiration!

And thank you again Doreen!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jamaica Quilting Follow-Up

First blogged about here:

Carolyn sent the photo with the two of us -

Carolyn and June
What a fun visit that was!  

Thanks Carolyn!

Carolyn's blog is at

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 21 & 22

Directions: Blocks 21 & 22: Row 6 Blocks 1 & 2

Block 22: Quilt Jane's Flower and Echo 

Back - Quilt Jane's flower and echo
Front- Quilt Jane's flower and echo
This design was easy to do - I did draw first on paper though so that probably helped.  I was able to continue the echoing more than in the example so there are few odd pieces in the block.  I do not know what happened with the back of the block - there were unexpected extra poofs of thread.  I was successful with hiding a lot of them....

Block 21: Quilt Jane's Shark Filler

This design was very easy to sew.  I oriented the fabric so I was sewing up for the fins and then down for the waves.  Very clean looking.

Quilt Jane's Shark Filler Front
Quilt Jane's Shark Filler Back

SewCalGal - FMQ Challenge - April

Directions: Create a stencil and use it to mark your practice quilt sandwich where you will then use free-motion quilting to stitch along the marked lines.

AprilDon Linn

Before and During:  When I first read the directions, I didn't understand why this method would be good.  I had just had a very successful experience with the Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Quilting Project.  She walked us several marking methods, I did the one that involved taping a pattern on a window, then taping the fabric and then to marking it.  Worked wonderfully for me.

Showing the traced design (blue) and the tulle (black) on sandwich.
But on thinking about it more, Don's method would be wonderful for those times when the marking brushes off once you start to quilt - or for when you decide you really want a particular pattern to be marked on an already sandwiched quilt.

So I got the tulle.  I know have several hoops at home, but haven't found them yet.  (I see one of the other ladies pinned the tulle to the fabric so I am going to try that if I have to.)  I think having the hoop would be much better though - it's just a matter of not wanting to buy something I know I already have somewhere!

SewCalGal April 2012 Design
I taped the pattern and the tulle to a piece of board and traced - then pinned to sandwiched fabric and retraced to get the design with blue on the material...  I'm not sure how long it took, maybe 5 or 10 minutes?

When I do this with a real quilt I will get a different type of marker pen, the blue seemed to fade away a I was sewing.  It didn't take very long to sew this one flower.  The arrows that Don included in his diagram made it very easy to do the stitching - there is a consistent place in the pattern where there is traveling.  I don't think without his arrow that I would have been as consistent at all.

After:  This is a terrific technique for me to have in my back pocket for future quilts!  Just need to remember to get a new marking pen and find the hoop!

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

I'm #70 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, April 24, 2012

Sew 15 Minutes a Day

I'm linking to:

Tuesday - April 17 - No sewing.  Spent the day with my son and mom and finishing up tax stuff.  Went to Beverly's to get tulle needed for SewCalGal.

Wednesday - April 18 - about 1.5 hours FMQing my big star quilt

Thursday - April 19 - About 2 hours FMQing my big star quilt

Friday - April 20 - About 2 hours FMQing my big star quilt  Went thru a few boxes - my DH did too - we put some in trash and some by the front entry to donate.

Saturday April 21 - Attended quilt workshop.  Made a little mug rug to practice sharp stipplng and making binding.

Sunday April 22 - No Sewing.  I did cut pieces to make squares for FMQAYGQAL.  I pressed the material I will use for the binding of the big star - but did not cut it.  Went thru several boxes in garage and sorted to trash, donate, and moved a few things into rooms.

Monday April 23 - Sewed four more squares for the FMQAYGQAL project.  I may end up with an extra row to my project!  Got the pieces ready so they are sandwiched and ready for me to outline the square (something done to all before the design pattern is quilted.  I did one square but it was too late and didn't come out a close to the seam as I prefer so decided to stop.....

Energy: I think I have the pollen allergy under control now.  I have cut back on my outside walking - and take a pill whenever my throat just starts to feel scratchy or I am congested. That mostly then nips it in the bud and it doesn't zap my energy as much.  Of course there are other things to do that.  This week the assisted living place for my mom told me - when I went to pick her up for her class Tuesday - that she had fallen out of chair the previous weekend.  Non of it made sense as she had a seat belt to be used in her chair - and has had it for years.  I will never get a straight answer on what really happened, but I discovered that the doctor's order for the belt had not been copied into the current list of prescriptions for her and since the state? county? inspector has been visiting they had tucked the belt away.  Who knows why they didn't mention to me on one of my three times a week visits!  That's pretty zapping of energy....

I still need to figure out how to post the photos from my retreat and class, do the binding of my big star, and work on my LibRR2!  Then for work or home need to finish putting in Nov and Dec info into Quickbooks and get 2012 into the system too! And post my photos on the inspiration site too!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quilt Along #15: Sharp Stippling


First Practice:  Saturday

To remember how to do binding I made this little mug rug for my husband.  I practiced the sharp stipple (or the way I misremembered it).....

Leah had mentioned to be careful about having thread buildup at the points so I really was conscious and kept the piece moving during the entire process.  Looks good on the top where I was sewing - but I can see thread build up on the back.  Since the thread and back fabric are the same color it doesn't show up that much.....  Now that I am home and next to computer I see I misremembered this design - it's sort of a preliminary sharp stipple....
Sharp Stipple and Binding Practice - Front

Sharp Stipple and Binding Practice -Back
 For the binding the other people recommended 2.25 inch strips so that is what I did.

The first time I joined the strips I goofed and ended up with a strip that was part front and part back of the fabric - so I cut that off and did it again - I think it's front facing each other to be right.....

I had to do two joinings to this little quilt - and wouldn't you know it, one of the joinings ended up being in a corner....  So I had to trim that back a bunch to get the material to flip and pretend to be correct.

After I sewed the binding on I folded the corners and pressed the fabric to help it know where to go - then I folded the corners on the back side and sewed it down .25 inch all around.  I don't like having the extra fabric - and when I really do it on a quilt I will try to borrow a machine with a decorative stitch so it looks more finished too.

When I do this on a real quilt I will do with 2 inch strips and will be really careful on the corners to be sure there is no extra bulk.

I think for my big star quilt I will bind in brown but use the beige thread so it matches the front of the quilt - I'll sew the binding on the front first as the seams are so uneven.  I think I will sew around the outside of the quilt to be sure I see where the binding should be put - but maybe not - I'll decide later....

At the quilt workshop they suggested instead of pinning the flaps and pressing to fold the fabric and pressing - we also drew the cross of the four folds so it was easy to pin and be sure I was in the right place.  And she suggested 2.25 inch strips as she cuts the quilt so the back and batting are about .25 inch larger than the top - that way her binding is filled with this and looks full.

I'll do some more sharp stippling practice on another piece later....!  AND will make some more mug rugs to practiced binding too!

Practice Tuesday PM:  When I finished some other work that I was doing on a sandwich I decided to do another practice at sharp stippling.

Sharp stippling - done with out relooking at directions.
Just to be clear I'm going to paste some images from Leah's site to show what I'm supposed to be doing.  Next time I'm going to have this images in front of me so I have a real model of what to do (as my memory isn't working on this one!) My practice tonight just looks like something a toddle would scribble!

From Leah's Site:  Just like with Stippling, start Sharp Stippling by quilting a row of very simple wiggly V shapes:

Gradually add bends and extra wiggles to add more complexity with the next row:

Now work on blending several rows together to create a random, sharp stippling texture:

I had thought I would have time this week to put together or find a quilt top that was ready for quilting, but was unsuccessful with that so just did samples for this week for Leah's Wednesday Quilt a Long.  I just have to keep practicing so I can make the jump from being a beginner.

My question - my thread keeps jumping up and then I have to stop and pull it out and put it back on the machine.  That seems to solve having extra loops or shredding or breaking.  I'm wondering if there is something I could buy that would hold the thread spool and weight down the top of the spool but some how let the thread feed evenly too?  Or is this a user-error on my part for the way I'm sewing?

Leah announced today that there will be no new posts during May - she timed this so it saves me a bunch of time.  We are having two sets of house guests and I was thinking I'd have to move my sewing area to my room as they will be staying in the sewing/guest room.  So instead of moving I will just straighten up!

I'm linking to Leah Day's at  I'm number 7!


I'm doing this as part of Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Quilting Project.  It's a wonderful set of online lessons - Leah does a terrific job of guiding us through the various steps.

At the bottom of each of the Week pages there are links to the other folks who are participating - please take a peek to see what the others are doing!  Then you will see really nice examples of people who are doing the lessons.

Click on the Leah12 link to see my progress on this project.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Expense: Tulle

I purchased 1/2 yard of Fine mesh tulle fabric - from Beverly's.

The lady gave me the senior discount so I saved all of ten cents.

I had brought in my Jo-Ann's booklet with the coupons but it seems you have to really ask in order to get that discount.  (I wasn't sure if they always accepted the coupons so just held the booklet in my hand so the lady would see it - that wasn't enough to start the discussion of honoring their discounts. Oh well.)   The store is located near where I may be having lunch with my son so guess I'll be using Beverly's for supplies now!

97 cents including tax.

(I got this so I could do the SewCalGal challenge for April, but just last month we did marking in the Leah Day Quilt Along Wednesday Free Motion Quilting and I have to say I really liked taping the design and fabric to the window - and then tracing.  This SewCalGal method would be great when you have a quilt in progress and decide you want to add a special motif that needs to be traced.)

Received: IHAN

The package from IHAN arrived today!  I'm very interested to try out this thread - I know the orange spool color means it's somehow different than the green spools I've been using.  I think it's thicker thread, but not sure yet!

Thank you IHAN and SewCalGal!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sew 15 Minutes a Day

I'm linking to:

Wednesday  - April 11 - Feeling very good today - those allergy meds are really working out fine.  I even walked part way to our local cafe for breakfast (DH picked me up and we ate together).  Then I got to work adding more stitching to the margins of my Leah Day whole cloth, and I did two blocks for Laura's FMQAYGQAL.  I have more to do to get caught up - with my sewing projects and with tax preparation, but feels great to be able to work and sew again!

Thursday - April 12 - Feeling better.  Took my mom out and in the evening watched the videos for the FMQing projects.  The Sew and Vac store was closed so I couldn't check to see if they have more of the green thread.

Friday - April 13 - Feeling good.  Went to cooking class with son and did block 19 for the FMAAYGQAL - started block 20 and ran out of bobbin...

Saturday - April 14 - Feeling good.  Called to different stores for thread - success!  Went to quilting workshop - worked on stippling on the big star practice piece for Leah Day.  After lunch with DH went to the fire sale with hopes of getting more thread in same color as I already had but the selection was very small...  Picked up some thread and fabric.

Sunday - April 15 - Only needing to take meds in the morning (for allergies to pollen).  Worked on taxes and then in the afternoon moved things in the sewing room to surround the sewing machine table with another table to support the quilt I'm working on.  I finished 1/4 of the stippling on the big star quilt!

Monday - April 16 - 45 minutes in the late afternoon - finished about 1/8 of the big star quilt.  Later I did the flame flower design for the FMQAYGQAL, and after dinner I did more work on the big star quilt - I'm now on bobbin three for this project.

Tuesday - April 17 - No sewing.  Felt fine though.  Spent the day with my mom and son.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Expense: Thread and Fabric

Went to the fire sale to get more thread - was hoping to get it in the same color as I had already purchased - but the selection was very bad now.....

I picked up some thread though and some Kona Cotton Fabric.

After I said I'd take the rest of the bolt she said it was not 70% off - only 50%.  

The thread was also 50% off, but I expected that.

1 - Isacord Butter Cream Fb.0270 A3221 (I got this as I thought I already had a spool - but I don't!)
2 - Isacord Empire Blue Fb.3722 A1171
3 - Isacord Devil Red Fb.1306 A5281
2 - Isacord Forest Green Fb.5374 A3281
3 - Isacord Glacier Green Fb.4071 A 2811(I have one other spool of this from previous purchase.)

11 Isacord 1000m ET.40 @ $6.00 = $66.00

8 3/4 yard Kona Cotton @ $5.49 = $40.04

Total $106.04  - 50% Discount = $53.02
Tax $44.11
Total Paid - $57.13

Fabric 8 3/4 yards

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #8b & 14

Directions for Week 14: Stippling Review
Directions for Week 8: Quilting a Real Quilt

Post has several entries showing progress....

Saturday:  I went to quilting workshop and set up my sewing machine on a table and had about an hour and half of sewing time.  I was afraid I was going to break needle or thread since the machine was so high so didn't follow the original plan - modified so I started in center to the side.  Then went back to center to the other side.  Then to center in the third direction, then started up the in the opposite direction when I had to clean up and leave.

After about 1.5 hours - front
After about 1.5 hours back
It would have been better to use thread that matched the back of the quilt - but this will be a good practice piece....

The big star was sewn by me when I was in I think junior or high school - but it could have been first years of college.  My mother made a pattern for me to cut by pinning to fabric and cutting with scissors.  I have the pattern, but it is not dated.  There were other things in the box - perhaps I will be able to date this by looking more closely at those items.

It was sewn with 5/8 1/2 inch seams.....  I know the seams do not match - but this was my very first attempt at a quilt...!  I sort of remember really working to get the stripes to line up.  It's fun to finally know enough to try to quilt it!

(I'm not sure why they photo is oriented differently when I post it to blogger - both photos were taken with the phone oriented the same way.  By double clicking the T shape of the quilting can be seen.)

Sunday:  I just looked and the link to Leah's is only good for one more day, so I'm going to post to the site just to be in the group working on her project.  I think I must be one of the real beginner quilters in this group. Certainly, I am one of the slower quilters.  I'm glad this week was a review week so I had time to work on quilting a real quilt.  I didn't have a quilt ready to work during week 8, but found this one, got it basted about a month ago and am making time to work on it now.

Additional ~ 2.5 hours back
I have been doing a lot (for me) of sewing blocks and starting QAYG projects, but this is the actually the first useable quilt that I'm doing with FMQing that I will get to keep!

Additional ~ 2.5 hours back
There is a great leap that I am trying to make - to actually finish a project!  The link by the other ladies show beautiful work - both in piecing and quilting - they have terrific finished projects.

I am not feeling confident enough to do real quilting on one of my real quilts, so it's nice that I found this one!

I lost count of how many times I had to cut the thread and restart.  With this thread I'm not getting the shredding, instead I'm needing to stop as the needle sort of picks up another loop of thread - I can't tell what I'm doing to cause this yet.  I ran out of bobbin as I was starting the final row of the design.  It's incredible how the actual stippling pattern is getting easier and easier for me to do.

In the links for last week I think a few of the ladies mentioned something about a 40 or 70 inch quilt project coming up - I can't find where they see that.  I do remember reading somewhere that Leah asked if we liked doing actual projects together or would rather do practice pieces, then this week she asked if we'd like to do a full size bed quilt.  That's when I thought I'd better work on finishing this quilt - it's about 48 inches square.  I'm able to manage this quilt so think I could do a twin or perhaps a full quilt.  I just need to know what to get ready - or better yet to be given time in the project to get materials ready or I will continue to always be in catch up mode.  But this isn't like diet, if I can devote enough time I can get caught up rather easily!
45 min to start second quarter.

Monday:  I worked 45 minutes in the late afternoon to get this part started.... I guess I have about 1/2 of the second quarter done.  Leah's method of having us put the center lines in then to work each quarter is genius of course.  It's more doable to work on the project as four-mini quilts!  I had about three thread breaks while doing this - was able to hide the evidence though!
45 minutes to start second quarter. front

I neglected to time myself, but did more work on this after dinner - just have about one and a half 4" row left to finish on this second quarter - I was getting tired so decided to stop.  Had to change the bobbin  right before I stopped...

Tuesday:  No sewing

Wednesday:  Tonight I had a good bit of progress.  In less than an hour and a half I finished the last row on the second quarter (with no thread breaks I'll add with pride) - and I got a good start - say a third of the way on the third quarter of the piece.

 I looked at the original pattern and see Mom had intended for me to add another row of beige blocks all around the piece.  I think I'm going to just put the binding one when I've finished all the stippling....
Original diagram and pattern pieces for the quilt - prepared by mom for me to do!

Additional 1.5 hours to finish second quarter and start third
Additional 1.5 hours to finish
second quarter and start third
Ran out of bobbin about six inches back in the row of stitching before I stopped for the day.  The thread broke two to three times while I worked on the third quarter, so I was able to make very good progress during this session.

Thursday:  Tonight finished the third section.  Took around two hours - there were between 7 and 9 thread breaks I think.  Maybe fewer.  Probably fewer as I don't feel stressed - just tired!
Two more hours to finish the
third section - front

Two more hours to finish the third section - front

Between 1.5 and 2 hours to finish
the top quilting!   Back

Friday: In evening I started and finished the last quarter of the quilt - between 1.5 and 2 hours!  I broke thread more than ten times I'm sure - and had to fill another bobbin as I ran out.  The actual breaking of thread this time was caused I think because the quilt (yes, I feel I can call it a quilt even though it does not have binding) was really fighting me when I was trying to scrunch it in the machine or so it was on the table instead of my lap.  It even seemed to get caught at the sides and back!  So I think this is my limit for now for a quilt when using warm and natural - 48 inches square.  I know if I used polyester it would be more flexible, but this is what I have now.  Actually I'm not sure what the batting it as Becky gave this to me - it was a scrap from her long arming friend - I zig zagged to get the strip so it would fit for the quilt.
Perhaps a little more detail of the stitching....

Tomorrow I go to the quilting workshop and will trim this to size and prepare the binding strips - maybe I'll even be able to apply the binding or at least get started doing that too!  I picked plain brown to use for the binding.

Between 1.5 and 2 hours to finish
the top quilting!   Front

I have finished the quilting of the top.  Probably took about 12 hours and 4 bobbins!

Saturday: I practiced how to do binding by making a mug rug...  I was at quilting workshop so there were people there to help me.

5/2/12 - The quilt is finished!


I'm doing this as part of Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Quilting Project.  It's a wonderful set of online lessons - Leah does a terrific job of guiding us through the various steps.  At the bottom of each of the Week pages there are links to the other folks who are participating - please take a peek to see what the others are doing!

Click on the Leah12 link to see my progress on this project!

Expense: LimaBean Thread (and fabric pen)

Success with getting more limabean thread!

It's the same color, not the same dye lot - but I'm so glad I was able to get the thread so I can continue with my FMQing projects!

2 Isacord LimaBean 1000m spools @ $5.98 each
1 pen to write on fabric (for labels) @ $2.99

Total = $14.95
Tax = $1.16

Total Spent = $16.11

Cozy Quilt in El Cajon

Saturday, April 14, 2012

FMQAYGQAL - Linky 5 - Updated

Directions for Row 5 Blocks 1&2: Laura's Feathers
Directions for Row 5 Blocks 3&4: Leah's Sun and Flame Flower
Directions for Row 4 Catch Up: Helen's geometric spirals or Michelle's fireballs
Linky 5 - Backs

Linky 5 - Fronts
I ran out of thread before I could finish the flame flower.  I'm putting in a block I did of stippling in it's place until I get more thread...!

The row 4 catch-up block is included in the photo too.

I've written more on each design as I finished it up - click on FMQAYGQAL to those entries....
Hosted here

I'm linking to Laura's site where the Quilt A Long is being hosted. (I'm #4.) 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!)

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 - she knows some way to do it where we somehow use the unquilted borders of each block!  My Plan B is to use the new thread for the four remaining blocks and to place them in the corners....

Update 4-16-12 10:30pm:  I found limabean thread and did the Flame Flower design on a block!  The color matches well so can just continue with the original plan!  So I have 21 blocks done for this project!

Out of Limabean Thread...

Incredibly, I have finished the spool of Isacord Polyestor Thread - Limabean #5833 A1971 ET 40 1000m that I have been using for the FMQAYGQAL and for some of the Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Project.

I have to find more thread tomorrow before I can continue on these FMQing projects! I remember where I got this thread and just have my fingers crossed that they still have the same color - and wouldn't it been a dream if they had the same dye lot too?  If not there are several close by places I can drop by to see if they have it....

And I'm going to go back to that fire sale LQS next week and see if I can two more spools of each of the other colors I recently purchased there.  I really thought one spool would be enough for a smallest project like I'm working on now, but I was wrong.  I think I should always get three spools of different colors.....  But perhaps I should adopt a color and just use that all the time!

The first thread I got for FMQing was Superior Red thread - still have a bunch of that left even though I have done more FMQing with it.  I like the way this thread stands out by being a little thick on the fabric and the great bright color.

For piecing I was usually using the beige thread my mom left for me -  I have spools and spools of that stuff - it all works great although I can't see the brand or any codes for color, etc.  I also have lots of Gutermann thread from her too - I test it before using it.

When I was looking up the name of the thread color I discovered there are two sizes of spools: 1000m and 5000m.  I'm not sure why Leah uses the smaller size..... Perhaps I will get one of those thread holder that Leah shows in her videos sometimes if I come across one tomorrow when getting thread.

Anyway, my projects using limabean thread are on hold until I get more!

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 19 & 20 Updated

Directions for blocks 19 and 20 (Row 5 blocks 3&4)

The theme is flowers.....  Leah made a special video for Laura's FMQAYGQAL - what a treat!  The video was easy to follow, and the designs are for beginners too!

Block 19: Leah's Sun Flower
Leah's Sun Flower Front
Leah's Sun Flower Back

I may have made the center circle a bit too large, but the petals were nice to sew and I don't think the thread broke at all!

I did stop pretty much after each petal was added.

I was a little afraid to have too much thread build up, but that didn't happen at all - in fact would be nice to have more in the center section of the design.

I haven't compared this to the video, but do like the way it looks.

Block 20: Leah's Flame Flower
I suspect this design will be easy to do, I have run out of thread so need to get more before I proceed....

Leah's Flame Flower - Back
Leah's Flame Flower - Front
 Okay I was pretty lucky - was able to find a store with the same color thread and even though it's not the same dye lot I can't tell the difference in this block!  The inner circle and first part of the filling to that is in the original spool.  And when I filled the bobbin, I forgot and left the new spool on for the top (I have some of the old thread - just not enough for a bobbin and to sew on the top.).

The pattern was easy to do - I need to practice drawing flames - but this design is forgiving so it just looks like petals - pretty good thing to have on a flower!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I'm a Winner! IHAN

I saw on SewCalGal's site that I won a lovely packets of items....

I'm listed as being on the nominating committee (just a way she set things up for the Golden Quilter Awards).  I was just one of the readers of the blog who put names up for the awards and then later voted.

I put Leah Day's name for Most Influential, Best Teacher, Best Online Quilt Shop, and probably more categories, but surprisingly (to me) I'm not see Leah's name on any of the awards....  I think Leah is ahead of the curve in the fabulous Free Motion Quilting information she offers.  She prepares videos to guide us thru the steps and techniques and supplements them with well written articles.  She makes wonderful use of the web and provides complete information.  She is very accessible and follows up on questions very quickly and completely. Her Day Style Designs Online Quilt Shop webstore has some very nice items for sale too - with great prices.  She has definitely helped me make the jump from being a piecer to actually being a quilter. I sing her praises whenever I can - and know that what she offers is really for all quilters - but that some are just not ready to make the leap and do free motion quilting.

Bonnie Hunter won this year for Best Teacher, her website is full of wonderful piecing designs and tips for piecing - very easy to follow information.  I enjoy going to her website.

But in any case, I won prize #15....  Pretty cool!  Thank you SewCalGal and IHAN Store!
One lucky winner will receive a bundle, with an estimated value of $50, that includes the following items:

Prize #15 winner:
June (Quilt Quest)

FMQAYGQAL - Blocks 17 and 18

Directions for blocks 17 and 18 (Row 5 blocks 1&2)

The theme is feathers.....

Block 17: Laura's Echo Feather

Row 5 Block 1 Front
Row 5 Block 1 Back

This block has a single spine - the feathers are free formed.

I started my making the curved spine and the loop at the end.

Then I moved down the spine and created the side of the feather that was away from the loop first, curved and hit the side of the loop, hit the spine, went down beyond where the feather and did it all again.

When I reached the bottom I went back up the spine and did the same on the other side.  This was a good way to make the design.

When done with both sides I went back and added two toppers to each of the feathers, then I did the echoing. I like everything except the echoing - that part is too loopy so doesn't really add anything to the design. But I didn't know what to do instead so I gave it a try.

Block 18: Feathers in a Circle

Row 5 - Block 2 - Front
The directions were clear, but I messed up.  I drew actually three circles on the block as it seemed Laura was suggesting she would do that next time. "More guidelines required next time."  But maybe she meant something else.

Row 5 - Block 2 - Back
I think I drew the center circle too small as my feathers got all smooched and started looking like a stiff fingers.

I added tips to the feathers in the hope of making them stand out.....

Putting the design in a circle makes it very dramatic!

Blogger Note:  I'm going to click on the option I see in Blogger at the right for Enclosure Links and see what happens when I put the link back to Laura's site there....  (I don't see that it does anything!)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

FMQAYGQAL - Block 16 (Row 4)

Directions for block 16 (Row 4 block 4)

I did the first design option - or maybe I should say this is how I interpreted the design:

I drew it a few times before doing - decided I wanted to fill it in so the borders were more equal than in the example. 
Row 4 Block 4 - Front
 I practiced a little on a pink sandwich and the thread brock and needle broke too - so I did this very slowly - it was done in one pass!
Row 4 Blcok 4 - Back

Sew 15 Minutes a Day

Hooked up to:

Wednesday - April 4 - Not feeling well again.  Tried one of the patterns from Laura FMQQAYGQAL but had the problem with the thread spinning around and leaving extra thread in the piece and then shredding.

Thursday - April 5 - Not feeling well again.  Sore throat - no fever.  In evening did more filling in of the Leah Day Project whole cloth - just have the outside section to go then I'm on track for this week's lesson on blocking and binding!  Called doctor to see I should come in, the nurse left a message to make an appointment - that probably I have infection.  I hope they will do a blood lab to confirm before giving me antibiotics.  I can see from my mom what happens when someone takes a lot of antibiotics.

Friday - April 6 - Feeling awful - very stuffy nose and coughing.  I have doctor appointment tomorrow.  I wanted to finish the whole cloth so I did - I could not get down to microstippling - the mini size looks okay most of the time.  I was so tired of the thread shredding - this size made it so it didn't shred - had many breaks though - but not as much as before so that was good.

Saturday - April 7 - Went to doctor's got prescriptions for allergic reaction to our extra high pollen count - didn't sew today.

Sunday - April 8 - Didn't sew - felt well enough that I cleaned the house! Feels good to feel well.  In the evening I practiced the gear FMQ block for Laura - it didn't turn out well so glad I practiced on scrap sandwich!

Monday - April 9 - Didn't sew or do much or anything - well in the evening I ate, ate, ate.  I didn't feel well so slept or moped around most of the day... Remembered to pay the property taxes (due tomorrow) - they reminded on the news.  I thought I had put that in my repeating calendar - but at least it's done now!

Tuesday - April 10 - Carefully did block 16 for Laura's FMQQAYGQAL - no thread or needle breaks!  I like the way it looks!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Free Motion Quilting Project: Week #12 - Updated

Directions: Microstippling

Status Shots Sunday April 1, 2012 - 11:00pm  (Scroll down for newer updates.)
Wholecloth Starting to Microstipple Back
Wholecloth Starting to Microstipple Front

I was able to start the microstippling tonight - pretty pleased with how it's going - considering this is my first time doing it!  I'm not sure I have gone small enough scale so will check Leah's site tomorrow before doing more....  It looks very good when you are a little ways a way from it.  Up close you can see the little balls of extra thread that happen when the thread splits and you can see the little tab of thread that shows after I hide the thread - and of course the threads that I have yet to hide!  If the little tabs still show after it's washed then I can cut them shorter.  Had a phone call with friend so not sure how long it took me to do this - it didn't seem like a long time though!  Fun!

Status Shots Monday April 2, 2012 - 5pm
Whole Cloth a little more progress - front

Wholecloth a little more progress - back
After a long morning, I finished the points and started the corner hearts.  I may rip out the mess in one of the hearts and redo it - if I purpose this as a pillow then I just need to redo one of them....  I am so pleased with how the project looks when not looking too closely!  : )

Note April 3, 2012 - 11am
I just watched Leah's video lesson on microstippling and realize that I haven't reduced my stitching to the small size yet.  I thought I had watched the lesson before, but now remember I only read the post without viewing the video - big mistake!  But I'm glad I have more areas to practice in after I get the two final corner four hearts done....

Status Shots Tuesday April 3, 2012 - 5pm
Wholecloth - Front - Tues 5pm

Wholecloth- Back - Tues 5pm
I finished the hearts in the wholecloth, now taking a break then will continue with the sections that I skipped!  I tried to go smaller but just can't seem to go smaller at this time.  This is a really good project - and as I mentioned in the previous post for the project this is coming at a good time for me - so good to have something creative to immerse myself in right now.

What the heck?
Every once in a while the top spool of thread sort of jumps and makes the thread very loose - sometimes I can see a few stitches later that the thread has split.  Sometimes I'm curving, sometimes going sideways, sometimes just going backward so I can't figure the pattern for this.  I can't tell if it's operator error, something wrong with the machine, or just that I should get one of those external thread holders that would sit on the desk behind the machine....  If I don't catch it soon enough there is a knot of thread that I haven't been able to rip out so I'm just leaving them in - yuck!

Even though I'm not completely done with this step I'm linking to Leah's site:
I'm #16!  The other ladies are making much more progress and growth in their ability than I am - please go and take a peek at their blogs!

Status Shot - Thursday April 5, 2012 - 10pm
Wholecloth - with more filled in - back 10pm
Wholecloth - more filled in -front 10pm
After reading all the updates on the other quilters who are doing Leah's Quilt Along Wednesday on the Free Motion Project I had to give it another try.  My goal to be honest was just to do it without breaking thread all the time - and I was successful....

Status Shot - Thursday 11:30 pm
Wholecloth - front - 11:30pm Wed
Wholecloth - back - 11:30pm Wed
I went back and did the stitching to the outside of the hearts in the middle, then cut thread and did the four little areas I had forgotten in the center of the feathers on the inside.  

No thread breaking until I started the outside section (and I wish I had marked the outside line so I knew when I could stop - but will deal with that tomorrow when I stitch again).  A few times the thread did jump so I had to stop and reroll the spool on the top so there was a little tension in the thread.  I think I will be able to finish the outside stippling in one day....

Status Shots Friday April 6th 

Friday evening I decided to finish the outside.
This was where the second break was.

I think this is the third break.

Think this is the fourth break.

This shows the fifth stop - ran out of bobbin!

This shows the sixth break - shredded thread.

Ta Da!  I think this is the finished wholecloth - now ready for the next steps! (rinsing, blocking, binding)

I went around two sides again and filled in the little triangles - front.

I went around two sides again and filled in the
little triangles - back view

It's not very good looking so I'm thinking of perhaps making a pillow instead of a tiny quilt - will be reading Leah's directions and see what she suggests.

I may need to add more filling to be sure there is stitching when I do the cutting....

Status Shots Wednesday - April 11 -

I went back and added more stitching to the corners and sides that were narrow.  I was thinking I'd do more after I finished my Leah's Flowers - but now I have run out of this green thread so glad I did what I managed to do!  I'm starting to think I may integrate this in the FMQAYGQAL quilt - since I didn't really microstipple the piece would be soft enough for a quilt....
Corners and Sides more filled in Front Apr 11

Corners and Sides more filled in Apr 11 Back

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.  For many items the prices end up being lower or the same as buying in a local or online store that is not providing free training and help with free motion quilting.  Go Leah!
If you want to bump up your FMQing - please join in Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Free Motion Project

If you want to work on liberating your quilts,
hope you will join in the Liberated Round Robin.