I Quilt: improv quilting


Welcome to I Quilt linky party!  This week I’ve been brave and got my improv quilting on :)  If you’re new, please feel free to join in the fun and link up your quilty process.  Don’t forget to visit three other linkers and add a link to my blog or button to your sidebar or post :)

i quilt blog button

This week I am featuring the lovely Serena from Sew Giving.  I’m not sure when I first ‘met’ Serena, but I love following her quilting and sewing adventures.  She sews the cutest items for her two little girls and seriously looks like she is having fun being a crafty gal, Mummy and farmer.  Her deer cushion with the 3D pinwheel has to be about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!!

Serena deer cushion

Image used with permission from Sew Giving

Last week Serena shared her first foray into free motion quilting.  I love a quilty gal who shares!  Such an awesome effort, the flowers in the border look perfect, I’m pretty certain that my first attempts at FMQ were nowhere near that neat!!  You have to check out her post for the dancing elephants on the binding!  Seriously good planning to get those buddies to line up LOL

Image used with permission from Sew Giving

Image used with permission from Sew Giving

This week Serena has shared her experience straight line quilting on her new machine compared to her old machine.  Serena, I’m guessing that the walking foot on your old machine was not up to scratch.  I also find that I get the best results SLQ if I consistently start and stop on the same sides, rather than going in one direction and then back in the other.  If you go back and forwards it can increase the drag and give that kind of pulled/tugged look on the quilting.  Not that you need any advice now, your most recent SLQ is PERFECT!!  Well done xx

Image used with permission from Sew Giving

Image used with permission from Sew Giving

This week I have been working up a frenzy.  I have so many commitments that need to be met over the next ten days that I am really having to work super hard and yet not burn out.  I’ve been stitching til midnight most nights and this morning I woke at 5am because I realised that my domain name was set to expire and despite months of warnings I still hadn’t sorted it out!  I ran down to the studio and was super relieved to find that I had set it all to auto renew so I still own my blog LOL  *phew*  Could have done with another hour or two of sleep though…

Of course in the midst of all the deadlines I figured that I deserved a treat so I pulled out an old WIP and decided to get stuck into it.  This WIP is almost a year old.  It is a really introspective piece and kind of a self portrait in an abstract kind of way (too arty? LOL) ;)  I guess I had been thinking about it in the back of my mind but I was a little hesitant as it was half quilted and I of course wanted to finish it on the longarm.

This is where I got up to in May 2013 on the Bernina and where I started this week on the longarm.

Anyway, I decided to forget about the rules and I loaded it onto the longarm half quilted and pin basted.  I removed the pins closes to the top edge and thread basted it in place and then did the same for the sides.  I only removed the pins as I moved onto each section.  I think if I had removed the pins earlier I would have ended up with an uneven mess.  Funnily enough I backed this quilted with an unused IKEA sheet.  Man, quilting sheets is a right pain.  I’ve done it many times and I don’t recommend it.  I totally killed the needle on the longarm quilting this beast, but it was certainly much easier than I’ve found machine quilting sheets on the domestic machine.

The grey essex linen blend is quilted with 50wt Aurifil on my longarm. The white with 40wt Aurifil on the domestic Bernina.

The grey essex linen blend is quilted with 50wt Aurifil on my longarm. The white with 40wt Aurifil on the domestic Bernina.

I felt like a total kick-butt rebel quilting this baby.  Breakin’ the rules man and going nuts!  ;)  But seriously, it was fun to quilt and it was a good experiment to see not only how to take a partially quilted piece and finish it on the longarm, but to see my growth as a quilter.  Pretty much all of the grey area was quilted on the longarm and a small section of the white area.  I’m hoping to enter this into a few shows and I really look forward to people’s reactions.  I think it’s OK to break the rules as long as you’ve mastered the techniques.  I wonder how other’s will feel about me breaking the rules…  I hope the quilt police are kind ;)

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I had so much fun creating texture and I really had no plan of what I was doing or where I was going.  I kept kind of thinking “over fertilised”, it felt like an alien jungle with too much growth and very organic and unplanned.

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I plan to bind it in the next few weeks and take proper photos, but the above picture gives you a good idea of how I have grown as a quilter in the past year.  The white was done on the Bernina after I’d been free motion quilting for about a year.  The grey is done after about two years quilting and three months on the longarm.  I must say, I’m pretty happy with how well the longarming is going :)

wips 009

So that’s it from me for this week.  Tomorrow night I will be with the Queanbeyan Quilters for the launch of their exhibition, so if you’re local and at the event, please say hi!  I hope to pop back to the exhibition again over the weekend, but it will depend on other commitments.  You can find all the details here.  There are two amazing raffle quilts, so pop in and buy some tickets if you can :)

i quilt blog button

So that’s it quilty folks.  Be brave and break some quilty rules, you never know where you’ll end up and it might just be awesome!  Thanks for linking up and please remember to visit three of your fellow linkers, we all love comments <3

An InLinkz Link-up


8 Comments on I Quilt: improv quilting

  1. Serena @ Sewgiving
    April 3, 2014 at 9:02 pm (3 months ago)

    Thank you for the encouragement! I think you are right about the walking foot on my old machine. It had plastic teeth whilst the feed dogs on the machine were metal – I’m guessing they gripped differently and so the fabric shifted between the two. Can I just say that this linky party you have created is such a fantastic source of inspiration for me – as is reading and following your own long-arm journey. What a wonderful way to compare how far your skills have come along :)

  2. Elita @ Busy Needle Quilting
    April 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm (3 months ago)

    That is such a beautiful quilt! Very arty with a burst of colour. You’re progressing so quickly as a quilter. Well done!


  3. Katy S
    April 3, 2014 at 10:14 pm (3 months ago)

    I have been following your work on this quilt via IG this week. It is AMAZING! Your quilting is fabulous! I wish I could see it in person.

  4. Leanne Parsons
    April 3, 2014 at 10:27 pm (3 months ago)

    What a beautiful quilt! The piecing has such a flow to it, and the quilting is fantastic. It is fun to see proof of our progress with fmq. That’s why I’m not stressing over my less-than-perfect quilting now. I know it will keep getting better the more I work at it.

  5. Polly @ Pieces by Polly
    April 4, 2014 at 3:48 pm (2 months ago)

    Lovely quilting!!

  6. Lea
    April 5, 2014 at 12:23 am (2 months ago)

    You’re quilt turned out beautiful, and the quilting is fabulous! You are so busy these days you can’t keep up with yourself. :) Glad you had set up auto renew for you’re blog. Whew! I’m a rule breaker too, I think it’s part of the creative and artistic process. It also helps to discover new things, new ideas, a new technique, etc. and create beauty along the way. :) And if it doesn’t work out that’s OK, lesson learned but often it leads to new and wonderful discoveries.

  7. Quilt Paradigm
    April 11, 2014 at 4:51 am (2 months ago)

    Your Linky is showing as closed?

    Your quilting is absolutely awesome! And I love love love the quilt!! :)

    • Quilt Paradigm
      April 11, 2014 at 4:52 am (2 months ago)

      Sorry, just read the date on this :) duh!


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