January 31, 2016

Mini Mania Challenge # 11

The Mini Mania Challenge group over on Flickr was a fun one this month. The challenge was to make a nine block sampler quilt based on traditional blocks. The size cannot exceed 20 inches.

My first idea was to use all solids - different colors with white. I started and hated it so wen t back to the drawing board.  I decided to use gray with bright prints and that made it fun and inspiring to me.

FMQ practice on wonky star block

I am learning to FMQ so had a great time practicing on this little quilt.  Over all I feel that my FMQ went pretty well.

But other things did not go so well.  See that little nine patch in the upper left corner? Some nicely matching points but some not so nicely matching ones, too.  And then some of my blocks did not turn out the right size which caused me to cut down some of the others to match, which resulted in the geometry of the block being off. And last but not least, this method of binding did not work well on a mini quilt.  I love to machine stitch bindings on "life-size" quilts - I just think it is more secure - not to mention faster. But on this mini it just overpowers the whole thing - and further dilutes the geometry. See that cut off star point above?

I love the bright prints with the gray background, and I'm happy with the FMQ, so I still love this little quilt.  And maybe I even love it a little more for all the lessons learned.  :)

Go see what everyone else has done for this challenge here.

So what lessons have you learned this week? I'd love to see what you have been working on.


Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

January 22, 2016

Project Quilting "Seasons" Mini Quilt Finish

Snow scene mini quilt
sugarplumpatchwork.com  Project Quilting Seasons Mini Quilt

 I joined Project Quilting for the first time this month. If you are not familiar with it Project Quilting is a challenge group where you have one week to design and complete a quilt based on the weeks challenge. It is hosted by Kim Lapacek at Persimon Dreams.

The theme this week was "Seasons" so since it is January I chose winter to illustrate. The title for my quilt is "Winters Eve." I have been taking Sarah Fielke's Craftsy class - Big Techniques from Small Scraps and this was inspired by one of her lessons. (Although the lesson was on piecing - I chose applique for this quilt.)

I pieced the background and all the objects in the scene are raw edge fused applique. I layered up the top with backing and batting and then appliqued so that I was appliqueing and quilting in one step. (Is "appliqueing" a word?)  Then I added some free motion quilting swirls to the snow and the night sky, then some walking foot quilting to the houses, tree and moon.  That cute little snowman was fussy cut from a fat quarter that has been in my stash for years.

This detail shot was taken indoors - hence the poor color, but I have been practicing my free motion skills so loved adding some swirls to this. And isn't that white on white fabric with snowflakes something? You really don't see them unless you get really close. Are all my stitched perfect? No but they have improved.

This quilt finished at about 15 inches by 14 inches.

And by the way - we are in the midst of a winter storm here in NC so my little snow scene was photographed while laying on the snow!

Be sure to check out all the other quilts in the challenge this week! You can vote for your favorites next week.  ;)  I really enjoyed participating in the challenge and even though a week seems like a short time to design, create, photograph and blog a quilt it was quite a lot of fun!

Have a creative weekend!


January 20, 2016

Free Motion Quilting Practice

I have been working on several projects lately, but they are all mini quilts for challenges or for gifts so I can't reveal them yet. However, I have been practicing free motion quilting.

I am not particularly fond of this fabric. It has a weird metallic-like glaze on it and it has a stain so I decided it was destined for a practice sandwich for quilting.
And in addition to just practice, I decided to try some free motion on the projects I am working on. I have been reading that you may find some fmq designs easier or more natural to you as you are learning. In playing around I discovered that I like doing spirals. So I included some on my current projects.

I can't show them yet, but here a few sneak peeks showing my fmq.

First, just a single spiral shape on a patchwork square.

Then free form spirals moving over the surface of the little quilt.

It really does make a difference to practice and it is motivating to practice on a real project.

So that's what I have been up to in my sewing room. I'd love to see what you are working on.

Have a creative week!