Monday, December 31, 2012

A Great Finish!

December's Free Motion Quilting Challenge from SewCalGal was from Patsy Thompson.  I had found a few of her videos online already, and really appreciated them.  Patsy chose to challenge us with borders.  It was a great way to wrap up all of the tutorials that I had already done.

Finished in time!

For June's challenge I used some silky gray fabric and it turned out beautiful.  It really seemed to hide the mistakes better than cotton.  During the summer, my daughter, Lisa, and I had gone to a yard sale of a quilter/crafter who was trying to clean out some of her stash.  Lisa found me a beautiful piece of dark chocolaty brown satin and suggested I do something with it.

Well, all fabric has to age (like fine wine, really!), so I set it aside until now.  I thought it would lend itself perfectly to the concentric borders pattern that Patsy shared.  I used my walking foot to quilt the squares.  It handled that silky, slippery fabric perfectly!

The poinsettia in the center is my own design (as much as a poinsettia can be someone's design, one looks pretty much like another), all done free-hand.



The concentric borders are from Patsy's tutorial.  They are also done free-hand with no measuring other than the already quilted squares. 

See those spirals?  Don't they look nice?  They were almost the end of me.  I had done the two borders on either side using Gutterman brown thread on top and some cheap black serger thread on the bottom.  I decided I'd do the spirals in a contrasting rayon thread.  I tested it out on a scrap sandwich and, since it was working so well, went to my satin piece.  I got the first row done, turned it over to check the back to make sure it was working well, and my heart sank.  I had flipped my piece over and was putting the decorative rayon thread on the back!  I took an hour or more to laboriously pick those threads out, trying not to make the satin fabric run.

Borders in a different light.  Look at the beautiful decorative stitch on the binding!

I finished off the binding by machine, sewing it on the back and wrapping it to the front where I used one of the spiffy stitches on my new sewing machine to tack it down.  Had to do that because, once again, it's the end of the month and I'm scrambling to meet the deadline.

I used 80/20 cotton/polyester batting left over from my tree skirt.  I am very happy to say that working with the brown satin and this batting was a dream.  No broken threads at all, compared to the struggle I had with that tree skirt (remind me to avoid metallic thread for a while). I am really pleased with how well this turned out.  I have it here next to my computer and I keep "petting" it.

The finished piece again.

Hope you enjoyed this month's challenge as much as I've enjoyed sharing it!

Kathy R.


  1. Wow, you've outdone yourself on this one! Absolutely fabulous, and your poinsettia center is a perfect complement to the borders. Fantastic job!

  2. I am fascinated by your wonderful poinsetta. Lovely! You give me courage!

  3. You have made a beautiful piece!

  4. This is such a lovely piece! The fabric and threads beautifully highlight your gorgeous quilting!

  5. Oh kathy ! Lovely... Fantastic work and the threads add such dimension ... beautiful!