I was so excited to see Cindy Needham's challenge on SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting Challenge. This "divide and conquer" design is part of what started my FMQ internet search 9 months ago. I have been absolutely blown away by the support, growth and talent shown on the associated Facebook page.
Some of these folks have been quilting on satin-type fabric. Those pieces have looked phenomenal, but I figured that the slippery fabric would be too hard to work with. But when I came across a large piece that had been water stained and was good for nothing else, I thought, "What the heck, why not?"
So, without further ado, here is my piece for the June Challenge.
I am absolutely thrilled with how this turned out. Not only was the silky fabric easy to work with, but it hid a multitude of mistakes - places where I had wandered when I traveled, not quite round circles, and just plain "oopses."
As I said, Cindy's challenge was perfect for me. I have doodled these designs my whole life. In fact, within the last year I had done this one:
Now I find out that someone has labeled my type of doodling "Zentangles." Who knew? If I had just thought to publish my doodles I could be rich and famous! I had shown a couple of my friends this particular one, and both of their reactions were, "You should quilt that!" Riiggght...Sure... I'll get right on it. NOT!! At the time I couldn't see any way, short of working with an overhead projector and tracing the doodle onto a large piece of fabric, to quilt this.
Enter Leah Day and her wonderful Free Motion Quilting Project with 365 designs and I had a glimmer of an idea. Then this month Cindy shows up and voila! I'm off and running. I started with some more doodles, this time done in color. My future son-in-law gave me some great pens for Christmas, I just had to use them!
And then I started on some practice sandwiches. I wasn't very happy with the results. I was using "normal" Coats & Clark sewing thread and found that it had a tendency to break when I sewed over the same line multiple times. Since these were practice pieces I just trimmed the threads close, rethreaded, and kept on going.
|first practice piece|
My second piece was on scrap fabric, which was quite busy. You can see the design better on the back. It's not filled up yet, so I will go back to it and practice some more. I'm finally learning to move my hands slower.
|second practice piece - front|
|second practice piece - back|
Here's some more close ups of my silky satin piece. And one with a pen in it for scale. I used some tri-lobal polyester on it in a matching gray. I think it was 40 wt, but the label has come off of the bobbin. I don't think the thread broke once! I just keep "petting" it. It looks and feels so neat!
Thank you so much, Cindy, for showing me the way! I can't wait to get back to my new machine and do some more!
Happy Quilting, if you're a quilter. If not... just ooh and ahh over your friend's quilting projects!