Monday, January 2, 2012

My blog anniversary and FMQ Challenge

I've been blogging for a whole year.  How about that?  My primary goal when I started last year was to keep track of my projects.  I had been quilting for less than a year and I wanted to try new things and improve some of my technical skills.  I've really come a long way.  I can now sew a consistent 1/4 inch seam and I've tried sewing curves, HST and come to love improvisational piecing.  This year, I want to keep improving my technical skills.  I want do more precise piecing.  I have a few more complicated projects planned.  In addition, I've found that my actual quilting skills are holding me back.

To remedy this, I've signed up for the Free Motion Quilting Challenge hosted by SewCalGal.  I dove right in last night and was pleasantly surprised with the results.  Previously, I have only attempted stippling and pebbling on small test swatches.  I know those are some of the harder patterns to get right.  One of the suggestions SewCalGal made was to make big test swatches.  I had been working on 8x8 swatches.  Last night I made up some big ones, 18x24 inches.  What a huge difference that made.

 I started off doing the heart shaped leaves and they flowed really nicely.  That was the pattern for January.  Then I tried a few other patterns, some stippling, some loops, swirling thingies and back to the leaves.

 I burned through a bunch of odd end bobbins, which was nice.  Even the back is mostly acceptable.

 This is probably the worst part of the back.  I guess I'm moving too fast through the tight curves or maybe I need to adjust tension, or a bit of both.
Here's another not great section of the back.  If I make the top tension tighter, will that help?  Do I need to slow down?

I really liked doing those heart shaped leaves.  I think I have good project to use them on.  My little quilt group is going to be working on a Valentines day project.  It seems to call out for some hearts.

1 comment:

  1. I would say a little bit of both slowing down and upper tension increase. My backs used to look like that and that's how I was able to fix it. Keep working! You're doing wonderfully. I challenged myself to finish a quilt each month last year, including the quilting, and it really helped push me into a moderate ability with FMQ. If I can do it, you can!