Saturday 30 April 2022

Another Little Quilt

Have to preserve my shoulder a bit at the moment from an excess of freemotionquilting, so worked on a new pattern instead hoping that the shoulder will calm down a bit.

This little quilt is made with a charm square pack from Elizabeth Hartmann called 'Terrarium'. I tend to pick up these charm square packs quite often and spontaneously and then I am often left wondering what to do with it. There are never enough pieces in it for an entire quilt or at least not for those quilts that require a repeat block design in a traditional layout. Either one pack gives you a relatively small quilt or you need to have two packs to make the blocks that you have in mind. This quilt was no exception. I needed 48, 5in pieces and of course had only 42 squares. Luckily, I had a coordinating border print and was able to cut a few more pieces from that and include a few more solid squares to make up the required number. 
Quite cute...there are little deer in some of the squares. Came out very green and now of course I do not have an appropriate backing in my stash as this was a somewhat unplanned in between project. Will have to wait until next week to be able to go down the shop to purchase some backing material. Would like a brownish backing but we'll see what they got.

The blocks are incredibly easy and fast to construct even though they have to be sewn using a partial seam, where you add other pieces until you complete the first seam at the end of the process. I have done this quilt before and had to think for a moment exactly how I constructed this, but once you work out the order of things it is an absolute breeze. You could easily complete this quilt top in a day. I think I might quilt an edge to edge design over it...lots of low volume prints on there so that show up nicely.

Pattern write up will have to wait for the moment as I am trying to get my Background filler quilt finished or at least close to finishing. As usual too many things on the go at once. 


Saturday 16 April 2022

Still Working On Background Fills

Not much happening on this side of the globe.

Still working away on my background filler project. As usual, it is much bigger and time consuming than I had originally thought. However, I am getting a lot of practice in with some of the more unfamiliar shapes which is great.
I think that I now can do these little round flower shapes in my sleep. Also discovering which ones really flow for me and which ones to maybe leave for smaller areas. Definitely have overdone the pebbling a bit, I think, but have decided since then that this was meant to look like that...think forest floor or similar. We have had another lesson in the Breaking Boundaries class with Bethanne Nemesh since then, so there are even more fillers to explore. For now though I am going to keep it to some more floral motifs and possibly on the side some sort of straight line design before moving on to the second half of this piece. I have about the same area to fill in the second half and need to think that through for a bit.
Must say that this has been somewhat more challenging than I thought. I am using a wool batting which is giving me lots of nice puff, however it has also meant that I have to pay attention to in what order I quilt the various areas and has meant that I needed to break thread more often than I thought to cater for the compaction that is happening. I have found myself a couple of times in areas that had an alarming amount of puff which than needed to be quilted down and distributed evenly across. Definitely something I have to watch out for.
In other news, I have held my first freemotionquilting class the other day. That was very nice and very enjoyable. Had a lovely group of ladies who were keen to learn. It was actually very interesting to watch them quilt... some slow, some fast, a few ladies could freemotionquilt already a little bit while for some it was completely unfamiliar. I have freemotionquilted now for well over ten years and I was surprised at how much I could pick up just from watching them. We started with allover designs which are always a bit hard to do, especially if you are totally unfamiliar with the design. They all had a good go at it. The next class is background fillers which will be just a little bit more challenging as we will have to go more slowly and deliberately. Hopefully the ladies will throw in some practice in between. It will definitely test their patience and even more show how important sustained practice is. There is just no other way really of learning freemotionquilting unfortunately. Good fun ahead!


Monday 4 April 2022

Background Texture

Currently doing Bethanne Nemesh' Breaking Boundaries class. It is as intensive as the Feather Fiesta class was that I have just finished with her. Very enjoyable and lots of learning and experimenting. She certainly packs a lot into those classes.

After a while I got a bit bored with my practice sandwiches and while I could have used the pre-prepared improvisational quilts, I decided to use a very colourful and interesting panel that I had in my stash. Yep, got majorly side tracked once again!

The panel is called Art Excursion by Denise Burkitt for Free Spirit Fabrics. 
It is very pretty with its vibrant colours and odd shapes. I was thinking that I may have finally bitten off more than I can chew. I started off with a loose plan to fill the wormy structures and then add backfill in the surrounding areas. Sounded easy enough but as I found out the transitioning is not that easy. As I go along I find that I start interpreting the fabric in different ideas emerge and the original plan has already been surpassed by impromptu decisions to do something completely different. Couple that with some unfamiliar background fillers plus stitching with 100wt Invisafil is making for an interesting journey. Bernina Q20 is behaving fabulously...I am using prewound decobobs in the bobbin and am stitching in manual.

Not entirely sure what this will look like when finished...I am hoping for an organic flowing picture over the surface that makes sense to me and the viewer (what exactly that picture is remains unclear at the moment) but I am also really aware that someone may look at it and see it as nothing more than colouring in a background. Very interesting exercise. So far I like the 'worms' best...seem to be able to do that for hours. The panel is quite large and I have heaps more to go with no firm plan anymore. Should be interesting to see how this develops. I am thinking that it could turn out to be a stunner or a complete and utter flop.
Linking up to Freemotion Mavericks at Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing


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