I think it’s been a bit since I wrote a post that was only about some thoughts, but I used to do it often. Maybe I’ll bring that back. Today I just wanted to put some of my thoughts down on paper or just this web page.
I am currently in a mood for quilting and a curiosity to know more, get better and be more versatile. For over ten years I have quilted almost every quilt I’ve made with a basic meander and it’s worked well for me. Lately though, especially after Tracy quilted last summer’s Bad Girl, I’ve wanted to do more. I played around with stenciling, but to be honest, when you are doing all of your quilting on a domestic machine, that chalk doesn’t stay put and tracing something ended up being hard for me. Free hand, however, is a bit easier. Maybe I can’t draw birds free hand, but I can still do some really pretty designs.
Here’s a few classes I’ve been watching during Bluprint’s free week:
- Wild Quilting
- Free Motion Quilting Essentials
- Free Motion Quilting with Feathers
- Machine Quilting Negative Space
- The Secrets of Free Motion Quilting
All About Chunky Stitch Binding
There are so many places to go for quilting inspiration. I visit my board on Pinterest called Free Motion Quilting every time I want to quilt something, because I just need to see other FMQ before I start. I need to be inspired. Sometimes I just feel so stuck.
There are other places to go too. Leah Day has one of the most extensive quilting libraries I’ve seen. Angela Walters is one of the most beautiful quilters I’ve seen. My quilting is never going to look like theirs. It’s mine, afterall, but it can still look good.
And that is one of the things I’ve been learning. I don’t need it to be perfect to look good. Yes, yes, we all know this, but REALLY, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It only needs to be decent.
My Newest Quilt Pattern
- Skill Level: Beginner friendly
- Available in PDF and Paper booklet
- Video tutorials
- Pattern is clickable with lots of helpful links included (including methods for basting, quilting and binding)
- 3 scrappy quilt patterns included.
The other day I showed you my first Para Para. I spent about 6 or 7 hours quilting this one. I did that in two days. Not terrible, but way longer than I’m used to spending on a quilt just quilting it.
There’s been several times over the eleven years I’ve been quilting that I ventured outside of the meander. I can do swirls or loopy loos, but it was always an “all over design”. For those new to quilting “all over design” means that it’s the same design repeated over and over again. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. It’s perfectly fine. And for some quilts it’s the best thing you can do. Lately though on quilts like Para Para, I’ve wanted to do more.
When Tracy sent me back Bad Girl what I loved the most was how my stars and Dresdens were different than my background designs. This really lit a fire inside of me. I can’t send every quilt to Tracy, I have to learn to do this myself. And so I started branching out with my designs. When I made Tea Time I felt I’m now capable of that elongated curl I’m so in love with. And when I made that table runner, I learned to switch my designs up (background different from main). Then I made that Thanksgiving table topper and got decent at curvy square. And now with Para Para I’ve learned that I can do all the above on a very large quilt on a very small domestic machine. I think my problem was just mental, or maybe a lack of interest in this particular subject.
Now though, I’m considering it another layer of design for a quilt. Another layer of play.
One new thing I did on Para Para that was new for me was those echo curves. I’m sure these have an actual name, but I’ll be calling them echo curves until somebody corrects me. 🙂 If you look in my hourglass you’ll see them. You move from corner to corner of your shape and make a curve to get there. This is the first time I did this and I was not so great at it, but it’s good enough, I think. And I’ll get better as I use it more often.
I repeated this in all my little HSTs for the Trees of Paradise section. It was surprisingly less time consuming than I thought. If you are looking at this and thinking, “Girl, you got a long way to go.” I’m aware, and I’ll get there, but I’m perfectly content on this journey right where I’m at. Right in the middle of the learning and trying.
I’m not particularly happy with the designs I used in my stripes, but they’ll do for now. I’m currently working on my second Para Para, so I’ll get a chance to do them again very soon.
One of my goals last year was to create a Pillow Club. My idea just never came to fruition in 2019, but it’s still on my mind. Last year, I was consumed by getting Meander + Make off the ground and now that I’ve done that I only need to keep growing it. My mind can move to other things and Pillow Club is something I really want to do. The idea is to create a new pillow each month, but they’ll be more to it than that. It won’t just be a pillow design. I’m planning on making it a quilting design too and really go through the how tos (via video) to show you how to do it. There’s something in all the FMQ tutorials I’ve watched that I feel are missing and I want to take that on as well and make it easier to learn. Plus, doing this will really push my own self and make me jump down deep into quilting.
I don’t know when it will start or the format, but it will be started this year. In the meantime, I will be posting quilting tutorials here and there this year. One last thing, I’ve been getting lots of emails about the next quilt along and all that. I’m going to be writing up my goals in a post next week and will cover the quilt alongs I have planned for this year.
Hugs and thanks for reading!