Tag Archives: FMQ

“Step by step” my first mini quilt

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“Step by step” my first mini quilt

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This colourful mini quilt top was on my pile of UFOs (unfinished objects) for a very long time.
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And now it’s done! I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Add a border? Just square it up and make it into a mini? Use it in a bit of improv slashing? I turned to instagram for help and inspiration, and was encouraged to make it into a mini quilt that will hang above my machine in my sewing corner.

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I decided to FMQ swirls, pebbles and a burst of straight lines, and I really like it.

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I did a bit of binding whilst the kids had their swimming lesson and also added a hanging sleeve on the back. I used a vintage star fabric from Tula Pink as backing. I love this fabric and saw it first on the back of a display quilt in Libertys of London. The assistant there couldn’t tell me what it was so I made it my mission to find out! Instagram helped, I ordered some online… and when I found that John Lewis were selling this half price I then got some MORE! That’s how much I love it! You can see it in the first montage photo where it shows the sleeve.

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These self threading needle are a huge help when you need to bury lots of threads.

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It’s now in the wash for some extra crinkle!

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And here it is, out of the wash!

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Initial cushions

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Initial cushions

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I recently offered to make personalised cushions in a fundraising promise auction. The winning bidder wanted one with S&D on it for her sons, and I said how about two? One each. She agreed.

When I’ve made name cushions in the past I’ve appliqued the letters on the cushion tops. But with one large letter, especially for young boys, I thought I needed a more robust construction. So one night it came to me, why not use the porthole technique I learned in Lu Summers’ class at the Fat Quarterly Retreat 2 years ago?

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It worked really nicely, and I love how it’s a little window onto the seascape fabric underneath. I decided to frame the letters with 2.5″ squares.

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Onto the quilting. I worried that swirls might be a bit too girly, but actually it was perfect – a hint of sea waves! I’ve been taking some Craftsy FMQ classes (Angela Waters) and I have to say it’s given me a great deal of confidence. That, as well as a face to face lesson by Trudi Wood at last year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat, has fuelled my love of free motion quilting. This is done in Aurifil 50, which is thinner than my usual 40wt, one of Angela Waters’ tips is thinner thread, and thread that blends (hides a multitude of slips!) and I’m a convert!

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I love the quilting inside the letter D!

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Best of all the boys and their mum love them. One of the boys took his straight to bed with him, and was still cuddling it in the morning!

Baby quilt

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Baby quilt

Remember my son complaining about the quilt I was making for my niece? Well here it is:

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It’s finished, washed and has crinkled up just as I like it.

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Made with charm squares, quilted in straight lines and FMQ with star, heart, swirls and swirly designs. And here’s her name emboidered on the front:

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Quilting and piecing with Aurifil thread, embroidered with Perle cotton. Hope she likes it!

Celebrating a long awaited finish!

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My big pink quilt is finished and I just love it!

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I had it basted for over a year (not kidding) and the backing was really bugging me, it was too much for the quilt. So I took off the flowery backing that you can see in this post, instead I made my first pieced backing in greys and a row of the same prints as the quilt top.

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After this year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat i felt brave enough to tackle FMQ on this huge beauty too. Thanks Trudi for the instruction in that class – it made a huge difference to me. Of course, I used Aurifil 50wt thread too after seeing how it behaved in that class. I didn’t have one thread breakage!

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Now i’m new at this FMQ, so this quilt is full of rookie mistakes and flaws. I probably shouldn’t have used red on the back. It would have been much better to have have a dark grey matching thread – my flaws wouldn’t have been so visible! But I was a bit nervous of using different threads in the top and bottom. I shouldn’t have been. Next time I will take more care whilst considering the colour of the bobbin thread.

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There’s build up of thread, overshooting my line etc etc…. but do you know what… I STILL love this, and it has pride of place on our bed.

Is it weird to have a “favourite bit” of the quilt – do others have this too? Well mine is the very small pebble bit at the corners of the light blue sashing. Did I say I’m new at FMQ… I kept my dodgy pebbling to a minimum!!

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So there she is – she’s big, she’s bold, she’s not perfect but she’s flippin’ marvellous! I’m so proud of her.

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Pattern and most of the fabrics are Kaffe Fassett.

Maybe I SHOULD be a thread snob

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Maybe I SHOULD be a thread snob

During the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London I took some classes with the amazing Trudi Wood. I love her work and her class was a bit like opening a door on the mysteries of free motion quilting. I have dabbled with FMQ in the past, experimented and stumbled in the dark… but after her classes (in FMQ and FMQ design) I am completely confident in going for it! My FMQ is full of mistakes / flaws or “design features” as she might put it, but I feel that it gets easier everytime I sit down and try.

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The photo above was done with my proper machine, but during the class I was using (well…wrestling) with my 25 year Jones machine. She wasn’t happy, she was presenting me with huge eyelashes all over my practice sandwich.

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I changed needle.
I changed tension.
I adjusted the bobbin tension with a screwdriver.
I rethreaded.
I swore.
I gave up and took a coffee break!
During coffee I was moaning about my frustrations to Cara who suggested that maybe I should change thread completely.
So I went back and rethreaded with Aurifil 50. Now I originally didn’t want to
use my precious Aurifil for these practice sandwiches but look at the difference it made!

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It was as if a little fairy had come down to make it all better! Who knew that a change of thread could make that much of a difference?

FQR London 2013. Fi/Me

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FQR London 2013. Fi/Me

This is me

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(Old picture, my hair is much longer now!)

I will be taking these classes:
Friday pm
Katy Jones’ Spring Carnival class. I’ve already bought her templates. I haven’t decided on fabric yet. This will be my forst foray into English Paper Piecing. Wish me luck!

Sat am
Free motion with Trudi Wood. Although sadly I’ll be there with my small old machine. I’m a bit nervous about taking my great heavy Janome 6600 on the tube! She’s very heavy, and there are quite a few steps to climb!
At the moment the actual quilting is my least favourite step in quilt making. I love the piecing and binding. So FMQ, I’m tackling you head on!

Sat pm
Trudi will be sick of me, I’m in her free motion design class too!

Sunday
Hand quilting with Lu Summers, the designer of the lovely Summersville fabrics. I have bought my needles and some perle cotton from my LQS Tikki in Kew where I pick their brains and get great advice. (It’s also where I did my first ever quilt course).I have also ordered some perle which will be delivered to the retreat via Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quilting from Ireland. I’ve always admired hand quilting, but never had a proper go.

So who else is going to be there? Have a look! Anyone doing the same classes?

For some other projects I’m planning, I phoned U Handbag for some advice on interfacing yeasterday, and by today my order had arrived! Amazing service, thank you!

And now I’m looking forward to use these lovelies:

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