Friday, January 3, 2014

Free-Motion Quilting....03 January, 2014

For Christmas I treated myself to a few more online classes.  I love the Craftsy platform which allows you to watch the instructional videos at your own pace, as often as you want.  I enjoy reading all the questions posted by students as well as the responses by the instructors.  

One of my new classes is "Design It, Quilt It" taught by Cindy Needham.  I've taken several quilting and sewing classes and Cindy is my favorite instructor by far.  She shares a wealth of knowledge and expertise in a way that is not overwhelming.  I appreciate all her insights and personal suggestions.  But most of all she encourages and inspires me to go fire up the machine, experiment and "make it my own".  If you ever have opportunity to take a class from Cindy I highly recommend you jump at the chance.  She's an awesome teacher.

I put together a quilt sandwich of a couple pieces of tea-dyed muslin and some Warm and Natural cotton batting.  The first picture is my swirls and curls practice as I experimented with machine speed, looking for that perfect combination of speed and fabric movement to achieve a consistent stitch length.  I added a bit of grid work and a small feather before launching into the "S" curves.  

We were supposed to stitch a feather/teardrop shape and then subdivide it with an "S" curve shape or two.  Next we were to fill in the smaller area with "S" curves.  They end up looking a lot like skinny fern leaves.  As suggested, I added a spine of circles between the areas and around the outside.  I had never done "S" curves as a filler before and it took a little getting used to.

In the next section of practice I drew grid lines (my ruler's width) and filled the spaces with repetitive lines.  This piece is small enough that I could turn the piece to get straighter lines.  I find it difficult to stitch a straight line when moving the fabric horizontally (side to side).   I also tried some diagonal lines and square spirals.

After doing a column of circles, I experimented with more "S".  I changed direction and added a bud shape in the middle.  The end result is a row of flowers (like tulips) that I could use in a sashing or border area. Then I made a large feather.  After stitching the feathers on the left side of the stem I echoed each feather on the outside as I worked my way back down to the bottom of the stem.  I like the result.  The feathers stand out more than they do without the echoing.  

I also did another column of circles without drawing guidelines.  That's probably the reason why the sizes vary so much.  But I did like the echo lines I put next to the circles.  

Another new-to-me fill is the cathedral windows grid.  First I stitched my 1" square grid then added the arches.  I'm calling them pedals because, when you finish, they look like flower pedals that touch each other with little pillows in between.  In the center portion I subdivided the area between the pedals which made it lie really flat.  Last of all, I switched to a thinner, darker shade of thread to do the scribbling between the pedals.  I had some thread breakage issues until I got the tension set properly.  The scribbling makes the pedals pop and adds some shadow effect.  There are still some more grid styles I'd like to try.....1/2-inch and 1/4-inch diagonal grids for example.  

Well, that's what I've been doing over my holiday vacation.  Be sure to stop over at The Free-Motion Quilting Project for more links to free-motion quilting.  

Thanks for stopping by today.  Happy Quilting!


  1. Hello Diane,

    What wonderful quilting - so many different patterns packed into a small space. I love it!

  2. Wow! That is what I call delicious free motion quilting! It's so pretty it makes me drool... which probably sounds pretty weird. Lol!

  3. Love it! Looks wonderful. Inspiring work!


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