Free-motion for the First Time

Yesterday held firsts. The Janome serger and sewing machine arrived! I’ve been waiting all month and it flew by. After  returning home safely, I wasted no time switching over needle plate, threading up, and trying out free-motion quilting; Lori Smith’s appliqued piece was my first choice.

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Complete satisfaction: I loved every second I spent trying out this new skill. The hours flew by while I stitched. I’m nowhere near steady, but am enthused to keep practicing; I want to quilt everything and am quickly on that path. Free-motion work is what drew me in to quilting for good: Fabric doodling! I was captivated by the work of other artists/quilters, and I couldn’t wait to join.

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Doodling is an activity I love. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to transfer my ideas from brain-to-fabric. Many draw with friction pens or use an overlay, but I was so excited to try out the machine and an eyeball worked best for me. The endless options are incredible!  Before I knew it, I had a sweet little table accented by a window. This stitching made easy with Aurifil thread.

The table was a little hard to see, and I wanted to play with texture, so in came some thicker thread paired with hand stitching and a great outline formed. All of the applique practice has paid off in the stitch regularity category.

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Happy Spring! It has been a busy and exciting March. The spring peepers are out and the trees are pushing to bloom. Have you been working on anything exciting?

Thanks for stopping by!

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On Its Way: Applique

All scraps are being reused and the stash consists of the small, long, thin bits of fabric. Since I buy all the fabric the scraps all came together pretty well; purples, blues, orange, grey, greens, and pinks merged together in both of these pieces. Many things are on my mind when I work with color: eye-interest, ease of this interest, viewing the piece as fresh, and feeling like it presents something new to look at each time are important. Beautiful and interesting aren’t always the same, but I like to explore the space where two meet in a complicated way. Here is where endless possibilities of fabric keep me awake all night!

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Pattern: Set Fifteen

Aren’t borders lovely? These are my first couple of attempts at attaching borders, but the effect is incredible. The pieces instantly possess weight and feel grounded. Even though I ran out of green for Arcs the grey presented itself as a natural compliment. I doubled the size of the recommended borders for Lori Smith’s project. I like the finish, and am looking forward to quilting these pieces.

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Pattern: Arcs

The new sewing machine is on order and I am looking forward to hearing from the dealer. Thank you, Janome, for your sale in March.

Applique Today

This is my first time using one of Lori Smith’s applique patterns. The directions are simple and well numbered. I was introduced to her work through the applique class I’m taking at the LQS. It is a great pattern to learn many of the skills needed in applique…as I’m finding out! IMG_5265.jpg

The pattern encourages scrap usage and to date I haven’t used any new fabric. We used bias bars to make the stems and these helped make the stems bendy, easier to apply on. Glue was recommended to keep the stems in place, but since I am on the go and recently learned the joys of basting, I decided to baste the stems on. I’m saving most of my pennies, and glue feels like something I could run to pick up if I was screaming for it, but am glad not to buy right now!

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To make circles close to perfect (mine aren’t perfect!) we utilized Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circles. The O-ring to hold all the circles is included, and I love that! Not only are my circles better than anticipated, but each one looks like a sweet little flower while awaiting application.

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I worked on Carolyn Friedlander’s Arcs all week. What I appreciate about this pattern is how dynamic the arcs are despite being a simple shape. I learned a lot about tucking under and securing corners.

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This is all scrap fabric I had from other projects. The raspberry fabric in the middle row almost had me cutting out new arcs, but I decided to roll with it. This project still has a lot more to be added, and the colors can be balanced. Thread color is going to be crucial.

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Other exciting things have been going on here too. I’ve been drawing a lot and am thinking about ordering some supplies to make printed fabric by hand. Any tips? Has any one worked on making fabric?

What are you working on?