This is one Mean Old Lady!

This is one Mean Old Lady!
Self-portrait: 'Quilter on Fire'

Thursday, September 20, 2012

September Challenge

This is month 9 of the Free Motion Quilt Challenge organized and presented by SewCalGal.  Quilter Paula Reid shared her 'stuff and fluff' method of working a large quilt through the small throat of a home sewing machine.  Her video was helpful!  

This month's quilting project was copying a design shared by The Stencil Company.  Of course, I used the 'light-box' method to transfer the design--I taped the paper to the window on the back door and taped the fabric block over that, then traced it with my hot-pink ceramic marking pen.  
 Here is the design:

 Stitching (or rather, quilting) would involve a certain amount of back-tracking as well as some stopping and restarting as one moved from one part of the motif to another.  Unless, that is, one was determined to stitch this as a continuous-line pattern.  I used the approach taught by Diane Gaudynski in an earlier tutorial, and here is my piece.
The pink chalky line really shows up, but it will wash out.

The back of the work looks handsomer.
 I notice MUCH more ease in following a marked design, thanks to much practice over the past year or two.  
 Perhaps you can see how I altered the design; instead of feather 'petals' abutting one another, each stands alone although very close to the previous one.  I think it looks more graceful and delicate.  I'm pleased with my ability to alter this without having to redraw lines, and I am happy with my results.

On to the next tutorial!


  1. Oooh, what a neat design! The quilt challenge series really sounds like it has been valuable for you.

  2. Good thinking! It looks fabulous.

  3. Very nice job. It looks so pretty!

  4. Wow, Elaine -- your wreath is gorgeous. I am terrified of feathers, and terrified of marking on quilts -- so I have been seriously procrastinating. I still have not done Diane Gaudynski's February tutorial for the same reasons -- I was hoping to build up confidence and skills, and then go back to it. How do you get those feathers to look so effortless and smooth?

  5. I like what you have done with this motif - it gives it a lovely graceful look. I think I would like to play with this method as well. Good on you for retaining information from another class!!

  6. There is a story about a young pianist who complained to the teacher that scales were tiresome and hateful; how long would s/he have to practice them? 'Practice them until you love them,' was the answer.

    After so many hours of practice over the past 2 years, I suddenly realized I was enjoying quilting with my machine. Instead of being tense and anxious, I was relaxed and focused--just having a good time working out a way to complete the design as a continuous line. Just dive in! Diane Gaudynski is right-- we DO get better every day.

  7. Are you spying on me, Elaine?! How did you know I'm taking piano lessons -- and that I skipped practicing yesterday?!! :-) That's a good point, and that's why I signed up for the challenge in the first place. Okay, you're my witness. I'm doing this TODAY!


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