Friday, November 30, 2012

SewCalGal FMQ Challenge Nov. 2012

Wow, is this late!  It's 10:31 p.m. on 11/30/2012 and I'm just now posting my November results:

Lots of practice first with pencil and paper, I do have more practice squares waiting (getting ready for the holidays simply got in the way this time!)

Thanks to both SewCalGal and Sarah Vedeler, the November FMQ Expert and her wonderful tutorial

I loved the swirls and realized that if I trusted myself to relax and go quickly, it would go well...and it did!
Thanks to all those who tried and advised, too!

All the Best,


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Seth's Zoo Animals Quilt is finished!

This quilt measures 62.5 inches by 55 inches, large enough for a toddler bed.
The white slashing is quilted with heart shaped leaves using Marathon polyester thread that looks and feels like quilting cotton thread.
The binding is 100% polyester rip stop nylon.
Instead of handing stitching the binding in place, I used a three stitch zig zag with variegated thread which gives the binding a lovely texture. 
 My initials and year.
The zoo animal print in the middle was stitched with 100% polyester variegated thread using the jesters' hats design.
 The back side is pieced lime green, red and yellow.
For more photos and details please check out my Seth's quilt on my blog. November's challenge is next quilting project.

Happy stitching all.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

SewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge Bonus #3 Diane Loomis

I am so very pleased with how this turned out.  Thank you to SewCalGal for hosting the 2012 FMQ Challenge and to Diane Loomis, who so graciously provided every single step to ensure near perfection.  What a fantastic teacher!  Never before have I been able to create such a beautiful piece - if I never make anything nicer in my entire life, I'll be satisfied.  :-)

Steps to Success:

1.  Purchased Hari Walner's book "Exploring Machine Trapunto:  New Dimensions" upon Diane Loomis' recommendation:

2.  Used a Frixion pen for the first time - the ability for fine detail was very important here for the sometimes tiny feathers:

3.  Used a light box to trace onto the fabric with my new Frixion pen 

4.  Read Hari Walner's informative book and along with Diane's instructions, also followed Hari's:

5.  Utilized "Vanish Extra" wash-away thread in the top, but used Guettermann cotton thread in the bobbin:

6.  Set my tension to 2.2 for the fine wash-away thread:

7.  Used a small scissors very carefully to clear away the excess wool batting:

8.  Switched to Guettermann embroidery thread in top and cotton bobbin thread once I prepared the quilt sandwich:

9.  And here 'she' is!

This time, I quilted very slowly...much more so than I ever had before.  

Do you like it?

Keep working on your goal - it took me two full years of summers and weekends to get this far!  

Best Wishes,

Monday, October 22, 2012

October fmq - name and fillers

This month's quilting expert is Teri Lucas.  She provided a very interesting challenge, stitch your own name in the block then fill the block in using a variety of fillers and threads.  Teri suggested satin fabric.  However, I didn't have any satin readily available, so I did the practice sandwich on white cotton/linen fabric with cotton batting and a Schmetz 90/14 embroidery needle.
I quilted my daughter's name and did not mark the fabric.  Her name ended up being off centre and not straight.  So on my fmq sample quilt I marked my name with a Sewline ceramic pencil.
It was good fun trying different threads with each filler.
The blue pebbling is 100% polyester embroidery thread from Marathon threads in Winnipeg.
 I stuck in the top left corner of the red grid lines and ended up making what looks like a little roof.
The green heart-shaped leaves are 100% cotton quilting thread.
 My first attempt at sewing nautilus shells.
I love the neon orange thread, it makes those flowers look happy.
Fellow quilters, did you enjoy this challenge?  Would you quilt your name on your quilts?

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I've got a giveaway going on over at my blog.  Click HERE to get the info.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

September results for the SewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge

Here is my FMQ for SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting Challenge. TheSeptember Tutorial was by Paula Reid and we stitched out a circular feather motif.

This was done with a 90/14 needle with gold Coats and Clark in the bobbin.
By the way, "Happy 200th Birthday Coats and Clark!"

This month, I got a new machine (remember my fiasco with tension issues last month?) called the Pfaff Creative Performance.  (See reviews here.)  With Coats and Clark thread, this machine can fmq like crazy without tension issues.  I'm SEW happy to be able to fmq sans headaches once more!  I look forward to using different types of threads and battings and sharing how they work here on RocknQuilts.

Of course, it looks like I'm beginning all over again - because I am - with a new machine, anyway!
I'm sure I will improve with time, however.

Here's my new purple beauty:

I used Don Linn's recommended method for pattern transfer this time:

(There is tulle in the blue embroidery hoop, but it's practically invisible!)

Here's the top with teal Coats and Clark over blue marking pen on muslin with a new batting I hadn't tried before called Hobbs Heirloom Premium Cotton 80/20, aligned fiber, lightly needle punched.  It can be quilted 1/4" to 3" apart.  It comes in 45" x 60", 90 x 108", 120" x 120" and 96" wide by the yard from Harriet and Carrie Hargrave.

I really enjoyed how easily everything moved under my needle with this batting.  I would use it again and recommend it to others.

Looking forward to reading and learning more about FMQ through theSewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge.  Thanks for all you do, SewCalGal!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jesters Hats

For the past twelve days I have been practicing the design called "Jesters Hats", August's tutorial by Wendy Sheppard  for the FreeMotion Challenge at SewCalGal. I found this very hard to re-create on paper let alone doing it in freemotion on fabric.  But I do persist, and 60 sheets of paper later I gave it a try on fabric.  I think I got it, finally!  At least to my satisfaction.  I see jesters hats, do you? 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

SewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge Results for August - challenges galore!

1.  Study Wendy Sheppard's post on SewCalGal.  Check.  Read posts onSewCalGal's August FMQ post.  Check. Doodling for days...drawing ready.  Check.
2.  New quilt sandwich with a batting I haven't tried before.  Check.
3.  After 15 minutes of re-arranging, machine is completely ready to go.
New 90/14 top stitching needle, 30w Sulky in top, Aerofil in bobbin, feed dogs down, replaced embroidery bobbin case with free motion quilting bobbin case, lowered table, etc.

4.  I'm ready to rock like Jack Black in "School of Rock"!

5.  My machine is NOT!
Spend 10+ minutes checking over everything...I find the...

More adjustments.  Change bobbin cases back.  Adjust tension many times.  Try, try again and...

A little better, but thread breaks after six to eight inches of quilting.
Tension is still off.

I've used this same spool of 30w Sulky before with success.

Any suggestions?

Maybe I'm missing something completely??

I am thinking about using 30w Sulky in top and bobbin....what do you think?  
Would it be too thick for the bobbin or not?

By the way, I love the Jester's hats design that Ivory Spring demonstrated for this month's SewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge.  Thank you - I love the design!!  Apparently, it doesn't love me!  LOL!!!