Metro Rings FMQ

You guessed it, I’m still working on my Metro Rings. I’m filling in spaces with free motion loops and stipples and it is going well!. Here’s a little sample:

I’ve also been cutting and sewing for my QCR blog hop post, but you’ll have to tune in next week for the reveal(s)! In the meantime, I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Thanks so much for your thoughts on work and craft. It seems like a lot of us are in the process of thinking on this issue and living in this tension. This week for me at least feels more hopeful; I have a game plan for some additional creating on the side of my 9-5. Within my 9-5, my manager told me yesterday that she knows I’m creative and wants to use these juices in a few upcoming projects. So my mindframe is hopeful. Here’s hoping for creative outlets for you as well!

Last night’s Arcade Fire show included Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) which I’ve been humming all morning. Yes.

Metro Quilting

I’ve been chugging along with quilting my Botanics Metro Rings this week. After thinking and doodling, I settled on the following pattern and dove right in.

Metro Rings quilting

At first, I was going to switch between the walking foot and the FMQ foot and quilt each block separately. When I realized that this method would make so, so many loose threads I’d have to tie and bury at the end, I decided to switch to stitching in the ditch along the ring sections and then FMQ in the negative space once that is complete. This seems to be working well; each row is quicker than the last as I get the hang of using my walking foot.

Keep an eye out later this month for more Quick Curve Ruler inspiration – I’m going to be participating in a QCR blog hop hosted by Laura at Quokka Quilts!

Finishing this is going to be my ALOYF August Goal – I think I can make it! Also, I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Foxy Quilting

One of my favorite parts of a day is sitting down to this:

Quilting Fields of Foxes

Fields of Foxes is nearly quilted with spirals and I’m really loving this pattern and quilt and thread (Aurifil 50 wt in Butter, yes I indeed splurged) combination.

Quilting spirals on Fields of Foxes

I like piecing and ironing and figuring out a pattern, but there’s just something lovely and meditative for me about free motion quilting, when one’s hands and foot are moving in harmony.* There’s a freedom in fitting each individual spiral exactly where it needs to go in relation to every other spiral, and a joy in stitching a perfect center point. They remind me of ocean waves or of roses or pearls.

Of course, all this is Best Case Scenario business. There are skipped stitches, and weird zaggy lines, and non-air conditioned workspaces made stifling by being draped with quilt. Usually, I have the windows open while I sew, but last night, my neighbors were throwing a loud and epic beer pong party. I maintain that when you can clearly hear every conversation and are starting to learn the names of all in attendance through closed windows AND over a sewing machine and an episode of Amazing Race, it’s a loud party.

In any case, hopefully this one will be done after one more night of quilting! Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced – she’s giving away a FQ bundle this week!

Adventures with Seam Ripper

After spreading out all my fabric across the floor and reorganizing a lot of it, I managed to select fabric for the back of Fields of Foxes from my stash. The teal and white print is Put a Lid On It from Michael Miller, the grey chevrons and bird vine print is from Cloud 9’s collection for Joann, and the blue and green chevrons are from Joann several years ago. Yay for using up fabric that was languishing in my stash!

Fields of Foxes back

Then I got to quilting. Because the fabric is so bold, I was thinking of doing some straight lines along the diagonal diamonds with a bit of FMQ in the diamond centers. Note the operative word ‘was’ in the sentence above. I was thinking of doing that. I spray basted as usual, and then got down to quilting the FMQ bits.

Pretty quilting on Fields of Foxes

Sadly, the back turned into a puckering mess. I didn’t take any pictures because truly, it was disheartening. I have a few theories why:
1. Usually, I FMQ from the center out, but this was quilted from the edges across. I thought that if everything was quilted down that it wouldn’t shift, but I guess that wasn’t the case.
2. The backing green chevron fabric is a little lighter weight than the others and may have gotten a bit stretched.
3. Aliens. Small, pucker-causing aliens.

Also, my quilting thread didn’t get along with my machine and kept snapping.

I talked all this through with my sensible husband and tried to convince him that I’d be okay with tucks. He responded by looking me in the eye and reminding me that I would be much more pleased with the finished product if it had no puckers. So, to the seam ripper I went.

Unquilted

Three nights of unquilting and two thirds of a season of New Girl later, the layers are separate again. This time, I’ll pin baste the sucker and quilt it with some all-over spirals. Boom.

Quilty mail!

Oh hello, fun quilty mail! The jelly roll is for my next (secretish? I haven’t decided) project and I can’t wait to start cutting and piecing.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Fortunate Granny Quilting

Finishing Spring Stripes II gave me a lot of new ideas for how to quilt future quilts. One of my favorite designs to quilt were the echo flowers, which I thought would be perfect for Fortunate Granny. This weekend, I finally got the quilt basted and dove right in with quilting.

Basting Fortunate Granny

I am really loving how these flowers are turning out. They’re a great complement to the soft floral motifs in the fabric.

Quilting Fortunate Granny

So far, I have about a third of the quilt quilted. The hardest thing is figuring out where to go next and make sure gaps are filled in, but it is coming along nicely!

Fortunate Granny is my Lovely Year of Finishes May goal!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Finished: Spring Stripes II

Spring Stripes II is quilted and finished!

Spring Stripes II

My goal was to finish it by the end of April and I succeeded.  I also wanted to use a different quilting pattern for each block of color.  This wasn’t as easy, and I did duplicate some patterns a couple times (but never in the same row!).

Spring Stripes II quilting
Mod overlapping squares and railroad squiggles

Spring Stripes II quilting
Bubbles, thin echo squiggles, and flames

Spring Stripes II quilting
More bubbles and flowers and leaves (sorta hard to see)

By the end, I could really see improvement in my quilting. The first pattern I used was orange peels (tutorial by Oh, Fransson!), and I also quilted orange peels as one of the last blocks. The first stripe is tentative and hesitant, as I really hadn’t quilted anything but a stipple. The second stripe (below) looks a lot more even.

Spring Stripes II quilting
Triangles, wood grain sorta, second go at orange peels, and more mod overlapping squares

The back is Ikea SMÅBORRE fabric, which somehow, I managed to buy in exactly the right size. I love when things work that way and I appreciated how wide this stuff is. The binding is Emerald Kona, same as for Neptune, because that is what I had on hand. I like the pop of darker teal!

Spring Stripes II back

I enjoyed the exercise of quilting many patterns, and I think I added a couple of new designs to my arsenal.  I especially like the mod overlapping squares and the flowers and leaves patterns.  In fact, I’m planning on quilting Fortunate Granny with allover echo flowers!

My Button
This is my April finish post and I’m linking this post up with A Lovely Year of Finishes with Fiber of All Sorts and Sew BitterSweet Designs!

This is also my first finish for the Q2 Finish Along at The Littlest Thistle!
FAL-2014-Button

 

 

 

 

Just for fun and comparison, here’s Spring Stripes I, finished just about a year ago!
Spring Stripes I quilt

Finished Size: 53 x 64
Fabrics: Echo by Lotta Jansdotter for Wyndham, Kona Ash and Emerald, Ikea SMÅBORRE