Saturday, January 31, 2015

First FMQ Attempt

I finally found the courage to place a quilt top under the needle and go for it !!
By no means is the finished product perfect, but for a first try I am content with the outcome. I learned alot along the way - I had MANY errors as you will see - and I just kept plugging along. Take a look:

in each row, I tried a different design
swirls here

loops in the gray area

stars in the jungle print


hearts in the gray/red small print



loop - de - loop vines



here I did geometric squares

This was so hard to photograph - I'm not sure that any of the pictures were very effective in showing my work. Sorry for that -- for me though, it is a great document of my first try at this technique. What I have learned is that I need to continue practicing this and other stitching styles and DO NOT BE AFRAID. The worst that can happen is that I have to rip out some stitches if they are tryly awful.

What did your first try look like? How long did it take you to see marked improvement in your stitching?

Have a great day,
Pamela



Jaxson's Quilt

I am blessed with a little grand baby who will be ONE at the end of this month. My daughter wanted red/grey/black. I loved the jungle print and pulled from stash all the other prints.
This string quilt will be my first finish for 2015!

This is the back before being sewn:

And this is the front:

Sorry for the dark photos, it was late at night when I got around to taking these.
I'll get better ones in the light of day soon.

I am also planning to FMQ this myself. I have no experience, but I'm never going to get any/get better if I don't start somewhere and I figure this is a good one to start on.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WIP Wendsday #2

I purchased this fabric last year -was completely in love with it - only a yard - but I couldn't figure out how to use it so it sat on my shelf for quite some time. It was almost like a painting and I hated to cut it up into little pieces that wouldn't show off the image. Then I decided to cut out a piece and try using it as a center "medallion" and see where it took me.

so far this is what I have:





I had a couple of false starts with the border ideas, I had alot of softer prints with a low volume background blocks that I had made - flying geese and some wonky crosses - they looked terrible! I realized that with this strong of a central fabric - I wanted to use bolder colors to stay in balance with the strength of color in the center fabric.

I continued making this next pieced border, then I decided to see what a curvy border would look like, so I grabbed a grunge white & an old batik mottled green/blue ( I figured if it was a flop, I wouldn't feel bad about "wasting" that old batik ) and bravely cut my FIRST improv curve border strip. It was very easy and sewed together in a breeze. The result was this:






I like it quite alot, but I want to add a dark strip between the 3" bars and the white portion of the curve, I feel it needs the visual definition. So I've made 4 more curve strips and have the black text print cut to add in. I need to select cornerstones for each border and figure out what comes next. I'll be cutting back the green curve fabric - I know it is too wide - I just didn't know how the curve cutting border would play out and I wanted to make sure I had enough.

Stay tuned for progress updates as it grows. Thinking about a name. Any 
suggestion?

Linking up with Freshly Pieced.

Have a great day,

Pamela



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Stash #1

Hopefully linking up with Molli Sparkles for this, my first Sunday Stash post ever! I have quite a bit to share with you since I'm new to ALL of this - quilting, stashing and blogging - so here we go!


One can never have to many dots right? I loved the colors in this bundle and opted for a half yard of each to fill in my stash.


I also added this great bundle of squared elements to the mix. I don't have specific plans for any of this just now, but I'm sure I'll be cutting into some of it soon.

How do you keep your stash organized? There are so many posts around on stash management and organization I do not think I could add one more bit to what is already out there.

Fo me, I have chosen to use a couple of different tactics to corral all the various categories. First, and I think most important: I sort by color. That being said, I also keep collections together initially - although I rarely EVER use one designer line in a quilt top, until I know what I plan to do with the fabric - I think it is best for me to keep it all together. There is an upcoming post with tons of photos on my stash in keeping with the Sew My Stash 2015 resolutions I am making.
NO NEW FABRIC - FOR ANY REASON !!  Hahaha - how long do you think I'll last with that declaration??????a week? a month? 3 months?
We'll see..........stay tuned (and laugh all you want, I really am going to try)

Pamela


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

For the love of a dog

I feel shy about showing my work here. I am a new quilter and do not have much experience in different styles of quilt creation. I've only ever sewn straight seams, blocks and rows. I have so many things I want to make, techniques to try and skills to learn.

I've had an idea rolling around in my head for a quilt for some time. I had no idea what I was doing- which was probably good - since I just jumped right in a let it flow. I started fooling around with this August 2014, and then let it rest for the past 4 months - until last week when I pulled it out again. Here is what I have so far:
I started with this drawing I made. But as usual, I'm terrible at following directions - even my own. And, I can't draw - but this gave me a general idea of what to shoot for.


I have NO IDEA what is happening here, I just kept going on intuition.


At this point, I was ready to throw in the towel. Many areas of the dog were just not coming out how I saw it in my mind. AND, I realized too late that I should have made templates for each section, then pieced the fabric to fit that section. OOPS!


So, I went back a few steps - generated some manageable size areas to piece and cut out pattern pieces to fit those areas. Now I felt like I was getting somewhere.


As you can see, I left the crucial area - the face for last - LOL. Talk about avoidance. I am a stickler for details, and with these dogs (Bernese Mountain Dogs) the face is so important and distinctive - I just wanted to get it right.
I was pleased with how the "fur" area was coming out in the black, and happy with the various greens for the background. I had a heck of a time with the nose and muzzle area. I must have made 5 noses - finally I cut it off and started over. Ouch. The next time was the charm, and it infused me with enough excitement to carry on to reach this stage:




So this is where I stand today. I am so proud of this accomplishment. I have never tried anything like this before and I found it to be a very exciting, frustrating and fun process. My hope is to use this as a center "medallion" to a throw sized quilt. I have many friends involved with this breed and I know they would die to have a beautiful quilt styled in this fashion. Current measurements are aprox  20" x 26".

I would welcome any suggestions on how to proceed from here. I've auditioned over 1/2 my stash, created tons of various blocks to audition around this center and - arghhhhhhh....nothing seems just right! I could really use some help.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post and for visiting my new blog.
Have a great day

now to try and link up with Lee at Freshly Pieced...I wonder if this worked???

Pamela



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Getting Started

I've decided to create and keep a blog documenting my journey in quilting and life. I don't know about you, but I am TERRIBLE a keeping up a handwritten journal - plus I love photos - so I think this is the way to go.

I have a very large collection of fabric, plenty of time to create and more ideas than I believe I could execute in a life. I also enjoy photography, cooking and gardening - so you might find a bit of that here as well.

I look forward to meeting you and making new friends in the blogging community.

Thanks for stopping by and
Come back soon,
Pamela