Arcs + Free Motion Quilting

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The Free-Motion quilting bug caught me! Carolyn Friedlander’s awesome pattern Arcs  waited patiently to be quilted and with the new Janome now here I was more than happy to start quilting. The sun came out strong yesterday, perfect to sit down and sew by.

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Speed and stitch length are two of the things I am thinking about while quilting. It takes strong hands and arms to move the layers quickly under the needle. Sometimes I have a gap, but others I don’t move enough and the stitches are tiny. I am staying present! If my mind wands the needle wiggles! Quilting gloves may be helpful in this department by making sure for a more steady grip. Have you tried quilting gloves?

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The design translated prettily from the front to the back. My husband said it looks like an ancient calendar, and it certainly does! The scale was an easy and the most fun shape for me to make, with a swoop-away-and-back towards me. The thread is gold Aurifil, and didn’t break at all. For the background fabric I used Sarah Watts’ Honeymoon. Earlier I mentioned the front of the piece felt like a sunrise to me and this background fabric felt like night and how light time feels around those hours.

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The trees are blooming. Awhile ago I noticed this tree was shaped like a heart from growing around the powerlines and thought it would be magnificent in Spring. Here it is! The blooms aren’t in entirely, but this is a sneak peak.

What is blooming near you? Have a great weekend!

 

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Tiny Cards & Applique Arcs

Valentine’s Day is fun. This is a sweet time of year, and I love to send out cards. For previous Valentine’s Days I’ve sent out postcards, embroidered hearts, glitter cards (and those turned in to glitter bombs after being processed through the mail!), and now these old school grade school valentines I found about a year and a half ago when helping a relative move.

These sweet animal cards were perfect. Time has been a bit crunched the past two weeks, but I still wanted to send out cards.

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The other evening I sat down with some Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache in Gold and set to drawing. It’s been about eight months since I used a calligraphy pen and nib, so there were some rusty moments and valentines were limited, but I was able to ease up on the amount of pressure my fingers wanted to apply to the pen and the cards turned out cute. The sun came out just as I was taking pictures, and the gold really sparkles.

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How and why colors coming together are constantly on my mind. I want to tell a story with each piece I make, and it should not be a story that leaves one wondering why it was created. The story should be steady enough to enter and fresh enough to the eye each time that one keeps returning; I’m thinking a lot about it! After trying many other combinations, these two were my final contenders.

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Chain-piecing was one of my favorite skills I learned in beginner quilting. The product makes me want to hang garlands all around the house.

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A new sewing machine is close to being a part of my life, but I still love my little Janome. It is doing a great job sewing up those seams!

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I decided to nestle the clouds between the solid purple and blue Arcs to give this more of a sunrise feeling. Catching the sunrise everyday is one of the most amazing times of the day, and the sun pushes the pinks, purples, and dark reds against the blue sky. With this much print, I felt it was important to create a balance within the already chosen colors, and then find the most cohesive union between these rows. I’ve been contemplating a border the entire week and have yet to settle on any one idea.

Any tips on how you decide on borders?

Happy Valentine’s Day! What are you doing to mark the day?