Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July's FMQ Challenge - Tiles!

Despite my best intentions, I did not get to practice much on my FMQ this month.  It has turned out to be one of the hottest summers in Western New York on record!  And, unfortunately, my sewing room is upstairs on the west side of the house with no air conditioning (we really don't usually need it here!).  So, I've only had a few days to practice and get my challenge piece done this month. 

But what a challenge!  Our challenger/teacher this month was Angela Walters, a phenomenal long-arm quilter.  She showed us how to break a large area up into "tiles," squares that looked like they were overlapping. 

Here's my piece, quilted on muslin with a cotton/polyester batting scrap pieced together for the innards.  I used some old serger thread in the bobbin (I've got to use it up, and it didn't give me any problems!), and some Coats and Clark Tri-lobal polyester for the top thread in a contrasting greyish/silver color.  The label came off the spool so I'm not 100% sure what it is, but it looks good!

I apologize for the fuzziness of the picture.  I had a lot of fun with this challenge.  It was a great way to try out several of the Leah Day FMQ Project designs that I had my eye on (angles and circles, beaded curtain, beaded lace, flower ball, flower skeleton, icicle lights, striated earth, sunshine, swirl, wiggly tentacles), in addition to a couple of the past challenges (January's leaves, February's feathers, and May's railroad tracks, ) 

I did mark the tiles with a water soluble blue marker.  I know myself well enough to know that I can't sew a straight line unless I have something to follow!  I also marked the center of the flower on the lower right, and the diagonal lines of my leafy vines on the left.  Apparently I can't follow straight lines even when I draw them in, as my leafy vines went a little off-kilter.  I think there was a breeze or something that came through!

I decided to cut the piece into quarters and make them into placemats for my church's annual holiday bazaar (first Saturday in December at the Geneseo United Methodist Church, Geneseo, NY).  I had left-over gray silky fabric from last month's project that I though would match the top thread perfectly.  It had some water/age stains on it so I thought I'd try hand washing it and making it a bit crinkly.  Especially since I know if the placemats are washed the silky fabric will end up crinkly anyways.

Placemats (still need binding)

I started sewing the binding on using the integrated walking foot, I think it's called the Acu-Feed system, on my new Janome 6600. Rats! I started sewing it from the wrong side.  I only had a couple of inches sewn, so it wasn't much of a problem to take it out and start over.  I only sewed the binding on one mat as I wanted to get at least one done so I could show all of my adoring fans (all eight of you!), how it turned out.

Finished!  The picture just doesn't do it justice.
Anyways... I started hand sewing the binding down and discovered, I had sewn it on the back side to be folded over to the front.  I must have had a giant mental blip when I was machine sewing the binding, because I had it right the first time!  Oh well, I wasn't about to take it all out now.  That silky fabric frays way to much.  So, I'll have a Sesame Street set of placemats..."Three of these things belong together... One of them just isn't the same!"  I'll sew the other three correctly, assuming I put my brain in gear before operating the sewing machine.

That's all for now.  Happy quilting!  And if you don't quilt... happy oohing and aahing over your loved one's projects!