Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Free Motion Quilting improvement

My goal for April was to practise and improve my FMQ with Lori Kennedy's QAL. This has now been going for 6 weeks, and I've been quilting every day, well, almost every day for the last four. Some days I spent so much time doodling motifs that I didn't get to doing the real thing! According to Lori, doodling is an important prelude to quilting, and I agree! (Who am I to disagree?) 

I didn't set a landmark date for this goal as the course is due to continue for another couple of months and I plan on continuing the course right to the end, even if it takes all year! For this month I have achieved what I set out to do: improve my FMQ

I'll spare you the doodles, but here are my quilting attempts so far, in chronological order:

1.  starting point: no lessons yet, just quilting and tension check (31/03).

2.  1st assignments: loops and scallops. Also general practice for following assignments.

3.  Assignment: Sailing boat sampler. This took several days; 2 rows per day

4.  A posey, in a frame with text (W.H.Davies)

I see some progression between 1. and 4. What the photos don't show is that I no longer finish a row with my shoulders hunched up by my ears; that's progress too.

Anyone who is not satisfied with their attempts at FMQ should definitely try following this course, for free on Lori's blog. She also explains a lot about related topics, like choice of needle, adjusting tension, choice of thread, and, most importantly, she explains why they contribute to a good result.

I'm linking to

Click on the button above to see more goals achieved.

Stay safe and healthy

Happy sewing


Friday, 23 April 2021

Quite a blue catch!

My April table runner is as blue as the sea. Blue is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour this month, and the table runner is a response to the table scraps challenge.

My inspiration came from Nicholas Ball's "Shoal" quilt in his book "Inspiring Improv".  The fish were cut freehand from grey and white scraps together with blue scraps, and then more blue scraps were added to the fish blocks.

This measures 49"x13" (1.25m x 0.33m)

I have yet to quilt it. First I need to get backing fabric! Our lockdown is likely to finish next week; I know where I shall be going first! After 5 months of  shops being closed I'm tired of choosing fabric from a computer screen. I know how I'm going to quilt it, so that's one puzzle less.

I'm linking to:    


Click on the button above to see more table scraps.

Keep safe and healthy.

Happy sewing


Friday, 9 April 2021

Fishing for blue

This month my blue scraps are going into a fishy table runner. The inspiration is from Nicholas Ball's book, "Inspiring Improv".

A couple more tails needed here, and the rest of the shoal.
I haven't caught many fish yet, but there are plenty more fish in the sea blue and light scraps where that came from.

blue scrap basket from a previous RSC project

Meanwhile most of my sewing energy is going into Lori Kennedy's current FMQ QAL.

(dreadful mistake in the bottom line there!)
This is nowhere near good enough yet, but I'm hoping, "Practice makes perfect"!


I'm linking to:


Click on the buttons to see more handwork in action.

Stay safe and healthy. 

Happy sewing


Thursday, 1 April 2021

One Monthly Goal in April

My goal for April is a change of focus from my year-plan. My plan for this year, as expressed in January, is to focus on shifting UFOs, either finish them or re-purpose them. March's goal hasn't moved anywhere, but January and February have both seen completed tops reaching the "waiting to be quilted" pile. There are quite a few more UFOs in that pile, so this month I'm deviating from my year plan.

I'm participating in Lori Kennedy's QAL based on her book "25 days to better Machine Quilting" and have decided that my goal for April is to focus at least 20 minutes per day on practising free motion quilting. 

Progress in my first week.

The stitches at the beginning were really uneven, but at the bottom they are a lot better, but still far from perfect. I certainly have more control, and I have learnt to adjust the top tension - never knew that - and the right tension has made a lot of difference. This was also my first try at FMQ using the darning foot and not my Bernina Stitch Regulator, which means I have to do more myself, matching the speed of my hands to that of my foot on the pedal.

With any luck, and enough practice, by the end of the month I'll be up to the challenge of dealing with UFOs again. With very little to distract me this month this looks achievable. 

I'm linking to:


Click on the button to see more monthly goals.

Stay safe and healthy.

Happy sewing