FF: Long awaited dissappearing nine patch

Finished Friday.  After putting off quilting for so long I managed to finish two quilts last December, the already shown Ducky Quilt and this quilt for my niece B.

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I had to practice another free motion quilting design, since I wanted to quilt this with randomly placed flowers.  When I was doing my practice piece I tried traveling from one flower to another but found the traveling stitches too distracting and chose to do each flower individually  – never again – soooo many ends to bury (4 per flower if I was lucky). I aimed for each flower to be about the size of my hand.

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The quilt measures about 45″ x 60″.  I used 5 fat quarters and 2 half-yards of the black & white prints for the front, a whole piece of green polka-dotted yardage that was just barely wide enough for the back (I had to quilt this, because it didn’t have the fabric overage a long-arm quilter requires) and 1/2 yard of a third black & white print for the binding.

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The quilting thread I picked out, a light green that looked subtly variegated on the spool but not at all on the quilt, was just different enough that I could see what I was doing as I quilted but it did not stand out – which meant that my random spacing left a few holes that I didn’t notice until the quilt was washed and crinkly.  Luckily the unquilted spots are still within the quilting distance minimum prescribed by the batting.

March 2, 2012. Tags: , , , . quilting. 2 comments.

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).

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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.

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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).

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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.

February 24, 2012. Tags: , , . quilting. 2 comments.