Sunday, April 15, 2012

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!


  1. Wow. Excellent work and determination! Keep up the good work.

    1. Thank you so much - next step - preparing and applying the binding!


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