Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Stitching, Planning and Learning

I've been busy stitching, and working on projects. 

I finally straight line quilted my son and daughter in laws Signature Quilt, from their wedding (May 2015).  Yes, I should have gotten this done ages ago.  I made the binding, and attached it to the front of the quilt this morning.  I just need to stitch the binding down, on the back.  Hopefully, some of that will happen tonight, while watching NCIS, and the following shows.
back of Signature quilt
I don't think I'll add a label to this quilt, since it already has all of the signatures on the front. 

I need to make binding for another quilt.  Erica quilted my Happily Scrappily Irish quilt today.  I'll get it from her at quilt guild, on Thursday. 

I have been working on Half Square Triangles, too. 
HST's, ready to be stitched into blocks
These are for 2 baby quilts that I need to make.  I'm late, as usual, since both babies have been born.  I do have an excuse for one of the quilts, since he was born more than 6 weeks early.  He is still in the hospital, and will be for a while longer. 

I still have these Triangulations left to stitch.
Triangulations still to be stitched
I'll be making Bear Paw quilts (minus the Bear blocks), for these babies.

I went thru my Christmas list, to see what I still need to make.  I found that I don't have as many things to make as I thought I did (thank goodness).

I have 2 more purses to cut out and stitch.
fabric for one purse

fabric for the other purse

I also need to make a table topper. 
table topper kit

I also need to make a fleece tied blanket (no picture).

If I get the time, I need to make some placemats, too.  I've had the fabric for quite a long time now, but, haven't gotten around to making them.  We'll see how much I get done on the other projects.

Pat Sloan is doing a 'Teach Me to Machine Quilt' challenge, using her new book 
Pat Sloan's new book
 I've been wanting to work on my machine quilting skills for a while now.  About a decade ago, I took 3 different free motion quilting classes.  They were boring, and I never practiced.  Now, with encouragement from a blogging friend (thanks Deb), I'm finally going to make time to try again.

Pat Sloan suggests that we use panels to practice on.  Well, I picked up several pillow panels last weekend, for a quarter a piece.  I've spray basted them, and, I have 5 of them ready to work on.  Pat suggested using baby quilt panels, but, I'd rather start a bit smaller, and work my way up to the baby quilt panels (yes, I have a collection of those, too). 

Pat suggests that we practice for at least 10 minutes a day.  I practiced for over an hour today.
1st panel to practice on

up close, after more than an hour

back of panel, showing my work, so far
Not too bad.  So far, I've only used the walking foot, and straight line quilted.  After I finish all the straight line quilting on this pillow panel, I'll put the darning foot on and try free motion.  Frankly, free motion scares me.  I don't like the look of stippling, and, back when I took my classes, that was all they taught you. 

I have my Janome set up in the sewing room.  It's sitting on a table in the middle of the room (in the way, really), since I don't want to move my other machines, and, the table is better at supporting the quilt sandwich.  My sewing room is very hard to move around in now.
Janome 4800QC
I haven't used this machine since last Fall.  The only thing I ever use it for is some machine quilting (straight line only) at times, and sometimes for some of the special stitches it makes.  I decided to use this machine for the 'needle down' feature. 

I've been listening to an audio book while I was machine quilting.  I listened to Harry Potter #7, while machine quilting the Signature quilt, and, I've started Eragon, for while I practice machine quilting.  We have all four books, so, I shouldn't run out of listening material any time soon.
Eragon audio book

I'll be doing lots of practicing over the next few weeks.  We are suppose to finish one panel before we move on to the next one (5 panels in all, at least).  You'll be seeing if I get better or not, over the next few weeks.  I really want to get better, since I asked for a ruler and ruler foot package for Christmas. 

Wish me luck, and, if you have any suggestions or links to short machine quilting videos, please send them to me.  I'm NOT on Facebook, so, I don't know if I can watch anything there. 


  1. I can't wait to see how your FMQ goes. I have my big fancy machine that I use for straight line quilting. I have a 66 which I use for FMQ.

  2. Leah Day has a lot of tutorials and U-tube stuff for FMQ that I think would help you - I started with her years ago, and with panels instead of the little 'sandwich'. I have tons of panels and they are on next years to-do list to clear them out.

  3. You sound very organized! And I'm so happy you are learning fmq. I spent an entire year, 2012, learning. I think in Leah Day's class we spent 2-3 months learning stippling. Even though it's not my favorite, it really helped me to learn scale and smooth curves. I used scrap fabric - I don't think I made anything for use until month 4 or 5! Good Luck - I'll be enjoying your journey. ~Jeanne

  4. I knew you used that Triangluations paper, but seeing it like that makes me want to take another look, I really dislike drawing lines on my fabric. I've seen so many FMQ videos on youtube, I would just search there and find someone you like.

  5. Your stitches look great! Practice turns into muscle memory, and that gives you confidence to try motifs and FMQ. I am glad to have moved you to the edge and into this space:) Check out my board on Pinterest for fmq videos,too.
    I agree with Dana about your triangles and the papers.

  6. You certainly are a busy quilter! Thanks for sharing the projects and thoughts.

  7. I've wondered if I could machine quilt myself. Hate tearing out stitches! Your work looks very good. Don't know how you get things done so fast. I try~

  8. I've been afraid of FMQ, too. I tried a spiral on a single block once, but I'll be tearing out those stitches... Good luck with your venture!

  9. I love that elephant batik fabric. Congrats on your quilt finish. I wish I had started smaller with my fmq, I still make a lot of mistakes.

  10. Congrats on the quilt finish! Looks like you are going to be busy for the next several weeks with projects. I only straight line quilt on a domestic for now.

  11. So far I quilt by checkbook, but I'll be interested to see your progress.

  12. I am so like you in being a little afraid of the FMQ. I practiced last year and got okay with it, didn't do any for a year and when I tried again last month, I was back to square one. But I'd love to be proficient at it. I will follow you and thanks already for some good tips...the panel idea for one.


Comments are IMPORTANT to me. Thank you for commenting. If you are a no-reply or Google+ commentor, please leave me your email address, so that I can reply to you. If you don't want everyone to see your email address, then you can send me a private reply (my email address is listed under my profile).