Saturday, August 21, 2010

Free Motion Quilt-Along

When the student is ready, the master appears. -Buddhist Proverb

I've gone and joined another quilt along. I'm really excited about it. This is a Free-Motion Quilt Along and I am so ready to learn! The ability to finish your piecework is, in my opinion, what really makes you a quilter.

In the past I have taken my quilts to the long-arm quilter. I've been afraid that I would ruin all my hard work with some really craptastic quilting. Interested in broadening my skills, I took a beginning machine quilting class at the LQS in February of this year. It was really fun, and made me brave enough to try out a bit of quilting on my own. I've only really dabbled with it a little bit. I've done mostly straight-line quilting, {Scripture Covers for the Little Bugs and pink sleep masks} or projects that allowed me to use my walking foot {double-wedding ring block}. I did get a little bit brave on a table runner and added in a few free-motion details, but was really tempted to rip them out after I'd finished. If there had been time, I probably would have, but it was a birthday gift and it was late :rolleyes:.

When it came time to do the quilting on the snowball quilt I made for my sister's wedding, I briefly considered doing these pretty loopy flowers, but after practicing a bit, I decided that for a first attempt at doing an entire quilt with FMQ, it would probably be best to stick to a simple stipple {or meander}. It was a really scary thing to contemplate doing the quilting myself. But money is tight right now, so the long-arm quilter was out. I procrastinated for as long as I could, but eventually, I just had to do it, and it was surprisingly . . . well . . . satisfying. I made a few mistakes and sometimes I meandered on top of myself, but it felt really good to do it all myself. I'm looking forward to finishing my other snowball quilt so I can do it all over again.

As of late, I have been contemplating those pretty loopy flowers again. I want to do them on the Frolic tops I pieced together but haven't quilted yet. I'm also dreaming up quilts I want to make for Christmas gifts and wondering how I can branch out a little bit from stippling, so this quilt-along is perfect :clap:.

Christina, who is hosting the Free-Motion Quilt Along over at A Few Scraps, says this will require about 35 minutes of quilting time each week. I'm looking forward to that, and may do a bit of extra-curricular free-motion quilting on the side. This is one skill that I'm looking forward to honing.

I'd also like to give a bloggy shout out to P. at The Way I Sew It, whose post got me into this, as well as Mrs. P at Quilting in My Pyjamas, whose post got P. into it. I follow both their blogs, so it really was a toss up between the two as to who would get me to do this. As we all know, I'm highly susceptible to peer pressure. Christina has just listed the supplies that we will need and if you hurry and join today, you can also be entered in her giveaway for an awesome FMQ prize pack. I hope you'll consider joining in the fun!


Paulette said...

Yay! Misery loves company (just kidding, of course...I think). This should be fun!

She makes those loopy flowers look so easy, doesn't she? My goal is to be able to do them when we're done with this quilt along!

Shay said...

I'm unofficially following this with interest because I cant FM quilt to save myuself and like you Elizabeth I cant send my quilts out to be done or quilt in variations of straight lines forever.

I'm looking forward to it and feeling optimistic I might be able to finally do it !

Michelle said...

While I don't plan to "quilt along", I do plan to "watch along". :-) I'm working on my "hooked feathers" amongst other things and am really pleased with how that's going, but I'm still looking for new techniques and ideas. This is a wonderful idea!

Love the Buddhist proverb, btw. :-)

QuiltNut Creations said...

oh this looks interesting! thanx for sharing it :)