|My July FMQ Challenge Sample|
July's challenge tutorial was written by professional quilter, teacher and author, Angela Walters. The exercise involved stitching overlapping squares and rectangles, filling each one with a quilted fill pattern to create the illusion of layers of decorative tiles. If you want to see what this looks like when it is done well, you can check out the July tutorial here.
For this practice piece, I used a scrap of Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting sandwiched between two fat quarters of quilting cotton, with orange 60 weight 2-ply Mettler cotton embroidery thread in the needle (Schmetz 75/11 Quilting) and in the bobbin. I used my Bernina 200E/730E machine, but did not use the BSR Bernina Stitch Regulator foot. I wore goofy rubber-tipped gloves that make my hands sweat, and I had that Teflon Super Slider thingy on the surface of my sewing machine cabinet, completely surrounding the needle to eliminate any drag when moving the quilt sandwich. In short, I have no excuses!
What did I learn? First of all, it took me over an hour to fill this placemat-sized quilt sandwich with all of the quilting you see above. That was longer than I'd expected. Second, I felt like this was an "intermediate" exercise, but I only have "beginner" skills right now. I have not practiced enough with any fill stitches yet to where I could comfortably fill a given area without getting stuck in a corner or accidentally leaving an unquilted "island" surrounded by quilting so that I can't get to it. I tried spiral swirls, which I've admired but have DEFINITELY not mastered, and I also tried filling some tiles with meandering/stippling. I started in the bottom left corner of this sampler and was working my way up, as Angela suggested, and I discovered that I am not very confident quilting in that direction! I also have not practiced straight lines, as you can tell from the shaky edges of my "tiles."
|Close-Up Included to Make Others Feel Better About THEIR Quilting!|
After quilting tiles on the bottom half of my sampler, I decided that I really needed to practice the background fill stitches I was using, so that's what I filled the rest of the sampler with. I quilted my name and the date, I worked on my spirals and stippling, and even practiced some skinny echo quilting in a couple of places. I think the tile concept is interesting, and it's something I'll come back to and try again once I've got a better command of the basics.
|Why Oh Why Are My Meandering/Stippling Stitches Always Enormous?|
Even though it's July already, I've pledged to complete all twelve months of the challenge. That means I have January through June to catch up on. But before I do that, I'm determined to get Lars's "Drunken Dragons" quilt back under the needle for some free-motion quilting!