This past week and a half have been spent free motion quilting for the first time. On this quilt:
I wanted leaf veins in all the leaves, and I was reluctant to give it to someone to custom quilt it, so I am doing it myself. The machine quilting has been fun, but I can't believe the amount of bobbins I've emptied, and the amount of time it has taken me to quilt this quilt. Plus I'm not finished with it!
I still have all the smaller leaves to quilt, but have veins in all of the larger leaves, and I just love this quilt - no leaf fabric purchased, all from stash, and a few traded fabric from my friend Julie's stash, as we each made this same quilt at the same time.
Here's a picture of what I did for the big leaves. It was fun and a good starting project for free motion quilting, as each leaf vein could be wherever it went, and I didn't have to be very precise. I did get better as I went along.
Also, I learned, after a mistake, to listen to my machine. It was making a funny noise on one leaf, and I just kept on going until the leaf was all quilted, but when I looked at the back of the quilt......there were lots of snarls of bobbin thread at every stitch. I must have had the bobbin in backwards, or something wasn't threaded correctly. So Mr. Seam Ripper and I fixed it.
I outlined each leaf with straight stitching, and did the free motion veins on the large leaves, so I could go ahead and bind it to show it to my local guild this past Saturday.
But I am going to go back and free motion quilt veins in all of the smaller leaves, which will give me more opportunity to practice free motion quilting.
Here's a picture of the quilt on my white couch - which is where it will be until after Thanksgiving:
The backing is a Hoffman print of orange leaves, which hides all of my free motion quilting sins very well. The quilt is a whopping 84 inches by 106 inches, which has no business being on a blog about small quilts, but I wanted to show it to you. The pattern is "Third Weekend in October" and costs $8.00 on the web. They describe it as follows:
This scrap quilt pattern is a real show stopper! Random leaves are scattered across the surface like leaf litter on a sunny autumn day. Simple piecing using foundation papers results in the most unique maple leaf quilt yet. Themes: seasonal, autumn, leaf & vine, foundation & paper pieced. Designer: Ruth Powers
The quilt is composed of 2.5 inch squares, 34 across and 44 down. My friend Julie, and I mapped out our quilts to do five rows each month, starting in January, 2012, and planned to do five more rows each month to have it completely finished by the third weekend in October. We divided each month's squares into smaller 5 square by 5 square units, 7 each month. (technically 6 of the 5x5 units and 1 5x4 unit per month).
Julie and I were great support for each other through this process, and when I would get behind, Julie cheered me on to keep up with her. Thank you Julie! I enlarged and copied the intimidating pattern, cut it into the small doable chunks, and looked at them separately, concentrating only on that week's task.
It is not a hard pattern, but it looks hard when you look at it all at once. I encourage you to give it a try. Any color red to orange to yellow works in this quilt!