Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lessons in Free Motion Quilting

Today I took my finished Ranger’s Pride baby quilt top and the rest of my supplies up to Diane’s in Tigard to try my hand at something other than an all-over design (pantograph, stipple or meander).  I sketched the design earlier in the month on a scale drawing of the pattern and marked the quilt with a CloverFine Tip White Marking Pen in the design.  On the drive up, I started to doubt myself so I decided to get some practice muslin and draw out my design on the muslin and practice quilting over the design so I could get used to the shapes, refine my techniques (as raw as they are) and make some tweaks to the design.  I sketched out a little bit of each element on the muslin and went to work.   
I’ve got triangles that go in the borders and the smaller pinwheels. 
There are flowers that go in the borders and the larger pinwheels. 
I’ve sketched both together in the way they’ll be in the border.  I’ve also got larger flowers at different angles and a filler with hearts and wavy lines (photos not available). 
The finished triangles are a little different from the original sketch.  You can see the lines and the stitches: originally it was 3 triangles inside the larger, now it will be a triangle spiral. 
The smaller flowers were fun to do, I am definitely better going to the right and right-side up than I am going to the left and up-side down.  I started out stitching the lines (I’ll do the same by stitching in the ditch on most of the quilt). 
I also learned I’ll have to stop the machine when I move my body – it is too sensitive to just hold on to and it wiggles and travels in wrong ways. 
I had a lot of fun with the rows and rows of flowers. 
Here is a close-up of it. 
I like how they look all together – one at a time you can see the goofs and funkiness of each flower.  When they are all together, you actually get a pretty neat look, mainly since they aren’t all the same cookie-cutter pieces (but I do what to get them more uniform some day!).  Isn’t the whole far-out picture look neat?  You just see the color designs, not the individual ones. 
The rows of triangles and flowers were fun too – I can definitely say I like the free motion work better than the ruler work. 
Here are the rows of flowers and the rows of triangles and flowers together. 
The larger flowers turned out ok – definitely going to have to work on them since they are larger than the smaller ones and they take more room up on the quilt. 
You can see how wonky they are up close. 
The filler was originally just lines with hearts at the end, but I added some wavy lines to the straight ones and some swirlies to the hearts. 
Here is the finished practice muslin. 
I can’t wait to get on the real thing next weekend!  Here’s to not having too much to pick out :o).

1 comment:

  1. I think you did a bang up job. People like me can't even do that, so good job I say.

    I like it with a few wonky lines, that is how you know it was done with love and not in some factory.