Tag Archives: free motion quilting

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Fandangle Scrappy Squares is a variation on my technique from my Planned Improv: Scrappy Squares workshop. This piece followed my Modern Batik Scrappy Squares (<-- which will be hanging at PIQF in Santa Clara, CA Oct. 11-14). I shared my quilt top as part of the Fandangle blog hop in July. Last month I rented time on a local longarm to quilt it up and I'm excited to share the finish with you today for TGIFF. (Be sure to scroll to the bottom to link up your projects and visit the other finishes this week!)

I rented time on a longarm at Always Quilting (San Mateo, CA) for the first time... eleven months after taking the certification class. I warmed up a smaller quilt and then loaded this one up for some more dense quilting.

I opted for two motifs, a flame design in the grey background and spirals in the feature squares.

There's something exciting about seeing the full view of the quilt during the quilting process. I did pause on occasion to drool over the beautiful texture.

Just like my FMQ on my domestic machine I strive not for perfection, but for relative similarity in the density of the quilting across a space.

This quilt took me about 2 hours (and 3.5 bobbins) to quilt. It is about 41" x 54". I considered a grey thread that would blend in the background and I'm really happy that I went with the turquoise. It provided such a great variety of blending and contrasting across the quilt top.

I opted for a bit of fussy cutting from my favorite print in the collection to make my bias binding, finished with some machine binding.

I'm so pleased with this finish. I just love the cool palette of Fandangle and really enjoyed working with it.

Please share your Friday Finish in the linkup below and be sure to hop around to view what everyone else has been up to this week! Thanks for visiting!!

I've linked up to the Q3 Finish Along finishes linkup. See my whole Q3 list here.

 


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The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik and Aurifil.

This month's Island Batik theme was Starstruck. We were tasked with creating anything featuring stars.

I opted to use my Victoria and Albert 10" stack to create simple, large scale sawtooth stars. This fabric collection is a lovely floral collection with a great variety of values. I split my 20 fabrics into lights and darks and pieced ten large blocks.

Nine of my blocks went into a lap size quilt top and the tenth block was quilted into a finished pillow.

Here's a bit of a closeup showing the four motifs of quilting (in four different Aurifil 50wt colors) I chose for the pillow.

I used a bit of leftover fabric from a different collection for the back of my pillow.

 

Thanks for visiting!

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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.

I've also linked up to the Q3 Finish Along finishes linkup. See my whole Q3 list here.

 

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