The windy, rainy weather has given me lots of time to dance with thread all over my quilt. Luckily somehow the electricity has not gone off even once, with the 50+ mile an hour winds we have been having this surprises me. When the wind stops blowing and rain takes a break I go outside and can’t believe how crisp and clean everything is, those times have made wonderful breaks then the wind picks up or the rain comes down and I am back inside dancing with the thread again.
I have been sticking to my plan to tackle free motion quilting and build my confidence so that I can finish
some all of the quilt tops that I have enjoyed piecing. I want to be able to put them to good use and enjoy them or give them to someone who will. I have been following Sew Cal Gal’s quilt classes and Leah Day, who has some wonderful videos. At the beginning of the month I printed out the class by Ann Fahl on Sew Cal Gal’s website. I read and re-read her lesson. It was jam packed with helpful tips and lots of quilting food for thought. She didn’t give us any real fantastic design to quilt, but went further than that with tips on needles, thread, feet, marking, batting and making a notebook of ideas. I have been pinning quilting I love on Pinterest so I pasted my pins in Word and printed them all out for my inspiration notebook. I left extra space by each picture to practice a little drawing of the design. I found this very helpful on my current project. Ann also covered a topic that I have problems with and that is how to get my quilt sandwich layered just right. She uses dressmaker cutting boards to pin your layers on and then she steams them with an iron to help to block the whole thing just right. I am going to have to get a few of those boards and give this method a try. I think I could lay them on my table and that would get me off the floor with my painters tape.
I am quilting the quilt I put together last year making blocks of things that reminded me of Summer. I am calling it my Summer Sampler. I got the idea from a book I read about making a diary quilt. This is the perfect quilt for trying out lots of different quilt designs. Quilting with white thread doesn’t really show up very well in pictures, but I will try to post them here and see how they work.
This is the background of a watering can where I tried out a loopy flower design. I can see that I have a little space at the bottom I should have filled a little more. I get a little worried when I get to the edges and it shows here, but I had fun and it was done all too quick. Ann talked a bit about stippling which is something I have never done much of, but I guess this is a form of stippling. I don’t usually like stippling on a quilt and I find it kind of difficult to do and make it look right. More practicing…
Here I am working on the edge of my quilt and will have 3 different designs just on the border. Those last triangles are what I am working on now and just quilting some straight lines in them.
My biggest problem though has been on how to mark my quilts. I know I should mark them before I sandwich them, but I can never decide exactly how I want to quilt it. Sometimes I decide while I am sitting there with the needle in my piece. On this quilt I drew on it with a Sewline pencil then remembered that I had a FriXion pen so I also used that and I even tried my transfer pencil in one spot and traced the design I wanted on paper and ironed it on. I also tried sewing on paper and using my Pounce chalk with that, but found it hard to see. For straight lines I used a ruler and my chalk roller and that I like the best, but it isn’t always practical. I can’t wait to wash this quilt and make sure that they all wash out. The funny thing is that after all that marking experimenting the thing I liked the best was to just wing it with no marking. I found that if I spend some time drawing a design over and over on paper I can usually just sit down and sew it without much of a problem. I am not fond of ripping out quilting so I usually leave my booboos there unless it is something major.
One of my favorite brainstorms on this project was to quilt into the quilt “quilted by ferne March 2012”. Now that is there forever, a record in my diary quilt. I still have to make a label for the back and I should have attached it before I quilted it, but I am kind of hung up on how I want to do it so I figure I will stitch it on later and work it in with the binding.
My favorite part of quilting is looking at the back. There are no marks and with this light colored back all the quilting shows and somehow all the mistakes seem to disappear. I really can’t wait to wash this quilt and see it in its quilty fluffiness.