Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Memorial Quilt: Fallen Soldier

I have been working on a memorial quilt for the daughter of a Colonel who lost his life while serving in Iraq. 

When I received the box of clothes I was more than moved at the items that I had been sent. Included in the box was his favorite shirt (a red, white & blue Ralph Lauren cotton shirt), his camouflage jacket, a blue polo shirt and his dress uniform - in which he walked his daughter down the aisle when he gave her away at her wedding (black dress jacket & blue trousers with gold ribbon stripe.)

Monday, February 16, 2015

If you buy one thing this year ...

... it should be a couching foot.

Save your pennies or sell an arm or a leg. This thing is so much fun it should be outlawed!! (And yes this is a non smoker, non drinker, passionate free motion quilter talking - so I have a pretty low base to what 'fun' is!)

I went through my sketch book and tried pattern after pattern.

Monday, February 9, 2015

'What not to do' Quilt

Before I start ranting about this quilt I also want to say how much I have learnt from this quilt. Despite really struggling to finish it - but finish I did. I'm still not loving it - but I'm concentrating on the fact that it was a big learning experience for me.

This quilt had a bad start too. My machine lost its timing (which has happened one too many times - so off the machine went to Utah over Christmas to be fixed by the lovely Glen at Handiquilter headquarters.) I think taking a half finished quilt (that I did not baste at all) off the frame and then heap it on a bed for a few weeks before reloading it and continuing - is probably not entirely fair to the quilt.

The idea for this quilt came from a workshop with Amy Butler that I took at the Brooklyn Craft Company. It was lovely to meet Amy - a quiet and totally unassuming lady who spoke about color, travel and design in a quiet but very impassioned way. I had taken along with me to the workshop a bit of fabric that I had been given by my husbands grandmother a long time ago. I had been saving this fabric for a very special project. When Amy gave us a free bundle of squares as a little gift - I loved how the rich colors worked together. Now I wish that I had pushed the combination of these fabrics a little more.

Monday, February 2, 2015

February Lesson (& Giveaway): Thread

Don't forget to also check out January's Lesson: Beginners Guide to Free Motion Quilting.  But now onto thread.

I'll talk a little about thread below - but I also want to state my opinion about making things - it is very important to make something you like in a way that you like to make it. I don't believe that there is a right or wrong way. Personally I feel that it is the enjoyment of creating something that is important. It is important to stay open to learn new things - be open to new ideas too - be open to change the way you do something - be open to allow your way of thinking to change as your creative journey continues.

When you start exploring the world of free motion quilting it is important to use a thread that you AND your machine like. Choose a color that makes you happy and that you think is pretty. I found that when I was starting the bright Coats & Clark multipurpose threads I found at JoAnn's worked really well (I hear a collective gasp of horror!) It really doesn't matter what the thread is - what you are practicing is to relax enough to enjoy the process (this was the hardest thing I found to do) and how to repeat the same movement over and over again - worrying about what sort of thread you are using is pretty low on the spectrum at the beginning of your FMQ journey.

As you advance and get better - when you feel more confident with your designs you can begin to think about thread a little bit more - some threads will aid or interfere with the free motion designs you are working with.