Friday, 14 October 2011

A flurry of charms, a gaggle of geese & Free Motion Friday

Wow, Ive had a busy week!

I knew it would be when I realised I had to start work on projects for 3 swaps, plus my own Christmas charm swap kicked off, all this on top of getting a tutorial ready for a workshop next week!

Firstly, my postman is much beloved at the moment, I've had the first flurry of charms popping through the letterbox already, what quick ladies there are in the group!

Aren't they just fab! I'm so lucky being the swap host and getting to fondle all these yummy fabrics before anyone else!

Mary at Handmade By Mary was so sweet and put in a little gift for me with her charms

Isn't it adorable, it even matches the charms! I've secretly been wanting one of these for a while now so Mary must have read my mind! In fact had I known she would send me one I would have set up the swap just to get my hands on it ;-)

Today is week 2 of Free Motion Friday and I'm linking with with Cindy for drop art practice!

Strangely enough I got going really well. It usually takes me a little time to relax into the flow of fmq, especially with curves but I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt! I realised I forgot to show you the back of last weeks examples. So here is the back of my drop art

Goodness me that tension is awful!

And here is the front of my second attempt:

I'm pleased with the nicely defined stitched, just not the shape of my blobs drops!

And the back of try 2, yet more hideous tension. Secretly I rather like that effect you get on the tight curve of the drops, I know its technically terrible but I like it and that's my excuse (which I am sticking to!)

Pop on over to Cindys FMF and give some of the other linky ladies some encouragement too!

Finally onto that gaggle of geese......midweek I started my swap item for the Sew Happy Geek Runner/wall hanging swap. My partner likes batiks, lots of contrast and Kate Spain, here's what I came up with

To be honest, I hated it! It is such a departure from my usual style I just couldn't judge if it was any good or not. I'd tried so hard to make it perfect for my partner. I duly popped a photo in the flikr group and await comments. I had lots of lovely comments, mostly telling me how they thought the construction and design were great (hurrah!) but that they really didn't like the batiks with the Kate Spain Terrain (poo poo). But then a miracle - my partner commented and she likes it! She suggested some ways forward with it and I found myself tackling a gaggle of geese for the first time.

Man are geese time consuming! And wasteful. I hate to throw fabric away, especially when it has cost good money, so throwing away all those little triangle offcuts from the geese was painful for me. They were too small to save but all I could think of was how much terrain was wasted when you put them all together. Never mind, the end result was enough to make me forget the pain (a little like childbirth!)

I love the geese and think they have really turned the wall hanging around

Its all basted ready for quilting with the backing, I did a scrappy pieced back because I didn't have much fabric left. We also had to label our work so I decided to do this before quilting for a change. I hate it when my labels look like a stuck on after thought. This time I went for a complete change of direction and stamped the quilt using Versaink and set it with the iron.

I'm mega chuffed with how it came out, but you know I couldn't make it look that good again if I tried!

Anyhoo, I need a little help! After all that designing on the quilt top I'm a little drained and cannot for the life of my think how to quilt the monkey! Ive never done such a dark top before so I guess I will have to go out and get some darker thread. I did toy with doing fmq flowers in the dark purple batiks with a lovely orangey variegated thread but I'm not sure I'm brave enough! If I mess it up it will be so obvious with the contrast. What are your gut thoughts?


Pat said...

Nice Free Motion. I too struggle with tension. I have Babylock machines and I found that increasing my stitch length help tremendously. Can't wait to see how well we all progress.

Collette said...

Great fmq and the writing is just showing off! lol xxx

Flying Blind... said...

It's great when a partner loves your makes!

I love the FMQ eyelashes too x

Sarah said...

Hey your FMQ drops look great!

Toni said...

Your drops look great! And they do look like drops! I'm so impressed with your even stitches. Cannot for the life of me get that balance worked out! I think the geese look great. Always helps when you have a partner that comments!

Janine said...

Your drops are wonderful :)

kristastitched said...

Haha, I like the way the drop tips look on the back too! Your stuff looks great! Have fun with that swap :D

Annabella said...

I`m not a fan of batiks either but with your design and Terrain, your wall hanging is looking great and I agree the geese have brought it all together! Your fmq is great!

Lynn said...

Your drops look great.

pippablue said...

Your drops look great! Still waiting for my fabric for the swap!! I hope it arrives in tome to send it to you...!!!!

Sarah said...

I think your drops look great! Your wall hanging is a great job too - the batiks are not my thing either although i love the Terrain but your piecing is fab and your geese really pull together the whole thing and i can't imagine your partner won't love it! I think you could outline quilt it on the block seams and do some handquilting. Or you could do a FMQ meandering stipple. Or you could do diagonal cross hatch lines following the pinwheel lines?

Catherine said...

your fmq'ing looks great. I sent my fabric off this morning, so you should get it Monday. The fabrics that everyone has posted are great, can't wait for the return package!

susan said...

You've got a full schedule right now! Glad the fabric is coming in and you are getting a nice fondle in. Great fmq and and your quilt is fab because you thought only of your partner and not yourself. I think the flying geese make a huge difference!

Cindy said...

Your FMQ is SPECTACULAR! And you show us all up with a stitched note :) I can't get over how good you are...will you come over to teach me?

Katy Cameron said...

Fab FMQ, and glad your partner was in love with your swap item :o)

mammafairy said...

Your drops are lovely, and I love the pieced work you have done. It looks amazing, with you not liking it yourself that takes some doing. It looks loved.