Wednesday, 18 February 2015

February 2015 FMQ Challenge

Finished my pillow!
As for January, the FMQ challenge over at QuiltShopgal had 3 options to choose from. This months' expert is Leah Day whom I cannot praise enough for getting FMQ out there with her blog The Freemotion Quilting Project. When Leah ran her 2012 FMQ Quilt Along, I participated for the year and I must say that I learnt more than I ever did in any workshop that I attended. She is a very talented woman (obviously) and also a very good teacher.

For this challenge I chose Option 3 as I had purchased Leah's Craftsy class 'Freemotion Quilting a Sampler' some time following 2012. If you have not tried the Craftsy class experience I can highly recommend it...I did not do the sampler (Free BOM class on Craftsy) but I do tend to go back to this class quite often to just refresh my memory on a particular design and to learn new ones. The great thing is that you can go back to it over and over's really like having an interactive reference book that you can consult any time. Great resource.

Was a bit stumped for ideas and felt too lazy to piece a block so had a look at block #11 of that Craftsy class as Darlene had suggested and decided to stitch that one out...actually my whole purpose for this pillow was to use a very exuberant orange Aurifil thread (#1154) and mix it with the most fantastic blue-grey Aurifil thread (#1126) that came as part of Sheena Norquay's thread collection. This was the perfect opportunity.

First did a sketch as always...if I cannot draw the plumes properly in one area I also will not be able to stitch them properly, so I make sure it flows for me. I did mark my fabric but will often deviate from the lines, however the marking helps me not to loose direction. This was a bit tricky in parts with the curvatures and some plumes were in danger of being too long and drawn out and that became evident when I was drawing it. Leah had alerted to this in her Craftsy class which was great as I would have run into trouble if I had just stitched this out completely freehand.
Progress was a bit slow...I took my time, enjoying stitching with this beautiful thread even though the orange did not come out quite as bright as I had hoped. Also, while I followed Leah's example, I mixed in a bit of Patsy Thompson's hyperquilting (yep, a bit addicted to that ever since I watched her DVDs) and Angela Walter's nifty wiggly line filler. Thoroughly enjoyable. Noticed that I was quite out of practice stitching straight lines....Then onto the Paisley...had not done this for years. Never have been very good at Paisley for some reason as I tend to get confused on which side of the shape I will end up on and generally have some gaps. In Leah's Craftsy class she was suggesting to just fill this in with some Pebbles...ingenious...why did I not think of that before! So, at some stage I started to just do Pebbles and had to remind myself to not opt out and continue with the Paisley.

Then came the pillow...had watched Leah's Butterfly pillow video and got a bit enthused about doing the buttons on the back. For the life of me could not work out the required measurements for my pillow size (16in) and searched and finally found a tutorial which really spelt it out for me over at Sew Sweetness. While that pillow did not have the accent fabric strip on the back, it helped me with the measurements and it also had a binding around the pillow which I liked. In the end I literally combined the two instructions and muddled my way through it. My Pfaff has an automatic button hole function which was great to use (after consulting the manual!)...worked like a dream. Given the floral design on the pillow I did not try Leah's spiral design but just meandered over it to as I felt that suited the overall look a bit better.
Work in Progress
Wiggly Lines

Paisley with lots of Pebbles
The finished pillow
16in finished pillow with accent binding
Back of pillow

For all the Pfaff followers, here are the settings that I used with Aurifil Mako 50/2 thread.
Feather: New Open-Toe Freemotion Spring foot on the spring foot freemotion mode with tension 3.8 on a slow setting.
Wiggly Lines and Paisley: Dynamic Spring foot 6D on the Dynamic springfoot freemotion mode using the modified Pfaff ankle for better visibility, again with a tension of 3.8 on a medium speed.
Meander: Closed Sensormatic foot in the sensormatic freemotion mode on a higher speed, with a slightly lower tension of 3.6.

Now it's time to link up and check out some FMQ Goodness over at QuiltShopgal.



  1. This is beautiful! Looks so professional!

  2. Oh your pillow is gorgeous and perfect! I love the way you framed your design and also the buttons look so classy! I want to do something similar!

  3. Karen, wonderful work! Lovely feathers!!! Thank you for explaining your proces.

  4. Your pillow looks just great - I really should get going with the FMQ at the QuiltShopGirl!

  5. Your new pillow turned out fabulous, Karin! Your fmq work is amazing. So detailed and such a lovely variety!

  6. Wunder- wunderschön Karin!!!
    Ich bewundere wie du vorher überlegst und übst und wie man sieht lohnt es sich auch,
    denn das Ergebnis ist perfekt!
    Ich weiß noch nicht was und ob ich es diesem Monat überhaupt schaffe mitzumachen...
    Liebe Grüße

  7. your quilting is just beautiful... i love all the different designs you did...

  8. Karin what a great pillow and a fantastic finish on it! the framing fabric is perfect for the threads you used and the pillow button backing looks wonderful. You are such a good quilter and it shows. I too really enjoy the craftsy classes, and go back and watch them often! Congrats on such a nice February pillow.

  9. Hallo Karin,
    das Kissen sieht einfach wunderschön aus...das Quilting gefällt mir auch sehr!
    Liebe Grüße aus Germany,

  10. Gorgeous! I never thought about about combining Paisley and Pebbles - very nice! ~Jeanne

  11. Stunning! Love the colours too!


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