Tag Archives: free motion quilting

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The thread featured in this post was given to me by Aurifil.

Way back in May I made this quilt top as part of the 2018 Pantone Quilt Challenge. This year's Pantone color is Ultra Violet. What a fabulous excuse to make a purple quilt! I opted for a version of my All About Angles.

It was so great to see what everyone did with Ultra Violet for the challenge, which was judged in three categories: Quilts, Mini Quilts, and Just the Top. I'm honored to have received the Judge's Second place prize in the Just the Top category of the challenge. But then my quilt top got set aside for other projects. I definitely need an external deadline to finish a project and once I decided that I wanted to finish this up to submit to PIQF I had a firm August 28 deadline.

My Aurifil Artisan package included monofilament thread, something I have never used and was excited to try. At some point I got it in my head that I wanted to do allover graffiti/improv free motion quilting for this quilt, but I wasn't excited about using a cotton thread in a color that would distract from the piecing in this quilt. With a variety of values including the black, I knew that no matter what thread color I chose, it would get lost in some sections of my quilt. At some point I decided that this would be a great opportunity to try out monofilament thread. I opted for the clear Aurifil Monofilament and did I little reading online and an informal IG survey for monofilament tips.

I feel like monofilament had gotten a stigma in my mind for being hard to work with. Mostly, it was a dream. I wound the first bobbin only halfway at slow speed. I quilted until I ran out of bobbin with no thread breaks and no trouble. Then I rewound the bobbin with... more thread. Not quite full, but way past halfway. I had many problems. These problems went away as soon as I wound a new bobbin no more than halfway.

So my quilting... first inspired by Karlee Porter's graffiti designs, I have a small tool box of motifs that I include in my FMQ mash-up. These include spirals, paisleys, arrows, buildings (that's what I consider the rows of rectangles), and leaves. You can see these dating back to my first graffiti quilted projects, the Schnitzel and Boo mini swap quilt and R's Pattern. Now if I'm doing some FMQ mash-up quilting I peruse the IG hastags #graffitiquilting#wildquilting#flowquilting, and #freemotionimprov and look for motifs in the mix that aren't in my repertoire. I like to practice on paper to develop a bit of muscle memory.

This go round I made short little sketches of interesting motifs that I wanted to work in. I pinned these up on my design wall to have a visual reminder. This helped when I felt I was being too repetitive. It allowed me to just look up and be reminded of what else I knew how to do. This technique really helped me and I prefer it over my past strategy of post-its on many pages of my FMQ inspiration books.

I knew I wanted a purple binding. I really wanted to make it scrappy with the purple solids in the quilt top, but due to time constraints I opted for Kona Bright Peri for the binding. I used one leftover unit from the quilt top to include a pieced section. I was glad to carry more of the colors into the binding as well as the same angular piecing seen in the quilt top. This section is on the lower right edge of the binding (shown sideways here).

I backed my quilt with a purple print from my stash and attached my label before quilting. Most, if not all, of my purple solids came from the Kona Lavender Fields bundle. It finished at approximately 33" x 33".

I'm so pleased to have my quilt completed, and finished in time to submit to the PIQF Quilt Competition in their wall quilts division. (It was a little too small to be submitted to the Modern Quilt Competition.) I also submitted Modern Batik Scrappy Squares in the Modern Competition. Notifications will be out by mid-September.

 

Tips for Using Monofilament Thread

  • To avoid trouble with spool unraveling, try a mesh sleeve or a thread stand.
  • If using monofilament in the bobbin, only fill the bobbin halfway (or less).
  • Aurifil recommends you hand wind your bobbin. If winding by machine, wind on slow speed.
  • Use a new size 90/14 needle.
  • Keep a piece of blue tape near your machine to stick the trimmed bits of monofilament to so they don't end up all over.

 

Looking for inspiration? A couple books I love for free motion quilting motifs are The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, Machine Quilting With Style, and 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs.

I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday and TGIFF.

 

This post contains affiliate links. Following these links will NOT affect the price you pay.

 

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Shortly after I joined Bay Area Modern I took home a charity quilt top to quilt and finish. I don't know who pieced it. (If you know, please let me know and I'll update the post.) Once I brought it home it was initially set aside and for the past couple months I've been moving it around in my work space. I decided this week it was time to get it done. And it's like cleaning, because I can bring it to the guild meeting to drop it off on Saturday. ;-)

I opted for a large scale meander in a light colored 50wt Aurifil thread.

I used one of my green bindings that I had recently prepped. (I actually made another green binding, for four in a row total.) It was bound using my machine binding technique.

The quilt is about 32" x 32", a quick size to quilt and bind. And it's for such a good cause as it will be donated to a local NICU.

I've linked up to 2018 Q2 Finish Along linkup. See my whole Q2 list.

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Since I'm without my own laptop, my posts will be pretty brief. (But oh how nice it is to be type on a machine with a working space bar!)

My One Monthly Goal for December is to finish my son's bed quilt. It is a twin-sized quilt and had been basted for quite some time. I had thread and a quilting motif picked out. This week I finally got it under the needle and got started. After the first spiral I calculated that I needed to make about 179 more to finish the quilt. Eek! I made some of the spirals a little larger to help cut down the total number needed, but this is still going to be slow going. And I'm going to try to resist calculating how many more spirals I have left. It's still a lot.

I love the texture created by this motif that I also used on this smaller Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt. I'm working in small chunks of time on this large project. It may not get done this month, but I'm happy to be making progress.

Thanks for visiting!