FF: Ducky Quilt
This is a story of small risk and big reward. I had a quilt top lingering, it started as practice, but I feel in love and feared screwing it up. “Just send it out,” my mom said, but I had declared I’d do it myself. Last November when Christina of A Few Scraps, announced that she was teaching a free motion quilting class, I jumped at it. We brought our own machines and she supplied small quilt sandwiches, instruction and trouble-shooting. I was so excited and proud of my little practice pieces. But then the fear set in… the risk felt too high, my free motion quilting wasn’t really that good, what if I screwed up the quilt? So I decided I needed to practice some more. Except I’m still in love with most of my fabric stash and making stacks upon stacks of FMQ swatches wasn’t sounding appealing. That is when I spied the remaining 1/2 yard of the duck print used in the on my crochet-edged ducky blanket (such creative naming, I know). I quickly plotted a low risk quilt, made of large squares, alternating solids with the duck print. I ended up buying another yard of fabric, two solids (Kona Papaya and Honeydew) and two prints (Tula Pink’s raindrops and a Navy & White polka dot) from Cool Cottons. And then I pieced two remnants of flannel pieces I had bought along with the duck print so long ago for the backing. And then I had to go back for another 1/2 yard for binding (I often forget to buy the binding while I buy the other fabrics).
I started thinking about what I wanted to free motion quilt, an all-over pattern, something that reminded me of moving water. I settled on the curvy key from Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting Project. I practiced on paper with a sharpie, then I practiced with a couple bits of spare batting and the flannel that wasn’t needed for the back of the quilt. Finally I sat down and quilted. Halfway thru, I started getting worried, the prints read much cleaner on the unquilted side, but the whole point of this was to free-motion quilt a quilt. Perhaps not surprisingly once the entire quilt had the same texture that was no longer a problem.
Of course I did make a few mistakes, my sizing/spacing is inconsistent (design feature I tell you), sometimes my curves are choppy, my stitch length isn’t consistent, and at the very end I made a wrong turn that nearly resulted in crossed threads… but I saved it with this little drain (design feature!). I conquered my FMQ fear (with help).
I did however forget to take a photograph of it once I “washed out” the mistakes and turned it into a perfectly crinkly quilt. The quilt itself is just over 40 inches square.