Sunday, April 15, 2012

Free Motion Quilting Inspiration

I know I have been quiet for a few days now, but that is because I have been massively productive!  I always get an energy spurt in the spring, so I am trying to make the most of it.  I'll share some of my work in the next few days, but in the mean time, here is an inspirational quilt by another TQS member, Terry Knott from Boring, Oregon:

Bursting With Joy

All the colour on this quilt is thread!  And it is all free motion quilting, no machine specialty stitches.  Terry was kind enough to also send me her Smilebox slideshow, with close-ups of all the stitching.  You can find it here.  If you go to the last slide there is a photo of the label.  428 hours of stitching and 29 bobbins full of thread!  Here's some additional background on the quilt from Terry herself:

In October, I took a "ZenSuedeled" class from Sue Patten and drew the outline of the shapes. It took me a couple months to find a backing fabric that I loved and then I purchased six cones of Superior's Highlights 40 wt polyester thread and one cone of Superior's Rainbow 40 wt polyester thread. I started stitching the first of December. Before this quilt, I was comfortable stitching pebbles, small stippling, meandering and was making progress on feathers. I wanted to be more comfortable stitching background stitches without marking.
The thing I like the most about Terry's quilt is that even though it is machine quilted, it still has a "hand drawn" feel to it.  I am finding that I have a strong dislike of computerized quilting.  It always looks too rigid to me, and lacks "flow."  Terry's stitches are lovely and even, but they don't have that impersonal feel that computerized stitches would have.

I was very inspired by Terry's quilt, because I really want to bring my free motion quilting up to this level.  Terry suggested that just 15 minutes a day would improve my skills quickly.  I find that idea to be very appealing!  I immediately started to think about a 30 day challenge to quilt every day.  I think September will be an easier month on Sedona Star, so I may think about doing it then.

I am not a great finisher of 30 day challenges - my 30 day drawing challenge fizzled before it really got started.  Last spring I did a 30 day walking challenge, which lasted about 15 days before my outdoor allergies completely paralyzed me.  But in both cases I still learned something valuable, so it may be worth starting even if I don't finish.  Maybe I can re-vamp that drawing blog!

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