Friday, 17 October 2014

Machine Quilting Class #4 - Final Class

For this class, we were supposed to bring in a project to practice on. While a few of us did bring in projects, none of us were actually brave enough to start quilting on them. We just continued to practice on our muslin samples. Even though I had both a project and some unused practice muslins, I decided to fill in the empty spaces on the ones I had already been working on. 
Remember the hearts I did last week? I finished echoing this one:
I added one echo to this one and then filed it with free motion meandering:
This strawberry was done using tracing paper and a pattern from 
501 Quilting Motifs: Designs for Hand or Machine Quilting :

I'm quite pleased with how the end leaves turned out. The rest of it needs more work. I'm also pleased with the fact that I figured out on my own how to do this motif in continuous line stitching. I like the book this came from, but if you choose to order it, be forewarned that a lot of motifs are not suitable for continuous line machine quilting. They're more for hand quilting.
This following flower was also done with tracing paper. It's from the book Machine Quilting with Alex Anderson: 7 Exercises, Projects & Full-Size Quilting Patterns .
This one was actually quite easy to do in continuous line stitching.
Then I decided to just fill some space with some random meandering:
Really need to work on my meandering skills.
I watched a Leah Day video of a free motion spider web, but when I tried it, it definitely did not resemble the real thing:
However, I am still pleased with the results because I think it's kind of pretty, whatever it is. I finally remembered what it actually looks like: an ammonite fossil! Next time I will try this with a much larger square like Leah did.
After this, I got bored with red and switched to citrus. I also didn't want to do another motif for which I had to use tracing paper. I really hate having to pick all those tiny little bits of paper off. So I bought a couple more stencils. Here's the first:
I like it very much and am not unhappy with my stitching either.
The other stencil (seen partially in the top of the above picture) is actually meant for a 12-inch block, so I only quilted one quarter of it here:
I think I was getting tired by this time and the stitching certainly shows it. This was my last motif of the night. And I'm glad it was the last class. I'm not fond of night driving. I find it rather disorienting. On my way home, my mind kept trying to convince me that I was driving in southwestern Ontario (where I'm from, originally). I kept imagining that I could see the shapes of huge deciduous trees along the roadside, like they grow in Ontario, but definitely not here in Alberta. I was quite tired, so I'm sure fatigue was a factor. Maybe also a dirty windshield.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention something I learned in that class. If you're going to need several of one motif for your quilt, trace it onto one sheet of tracing paper. Cut out enough sheets for the number of motifs required. Stack them all onto a piece of batting with the traced one on top. Machine stitch without thread through all layers. Voila! All of the tracing papers now have the motif marked on them with the stitching. The batting just provides support to the tissue paper. On the other hand you probably only need to stitch one, because you can then use it as a stencil. The instructor demonstrated how to use a Quilt Pounce using one of these. A quilt pounce is a little "whatchamacallit" that you fill with Pounce chalk dust. You just lay the perforated tracing paper (or stencil as the case may be) where you want it on your quilt, rub the Pounce over the pattern and it's transferred to the quilt. I bought a Pounce at the class and plan on using it soon... The white dust can be ironed out, the blue has to be washed. Meanwhile, I also thought that, instead of tracing the pattern, you can just photocopy it, and then perforate the copy paper with your sewing machine.  And fortunately for me, I have a home photocopier.
And more on the subject of marking quilts - If you use one of those blue quilt marking pens, make sure you remove the markings as soon as you no longer need them. I didn't get around to removing the markings from last weeks samples until today and they were much more difficult to remove than the ones from last night's class. If you leave them long enough, do they become permanent? I don't intend to find out.
In my last post on acrylic painting, I also spoke about taking quilt photos. I dragged out the wicker peacock chair and here are the results:
Go Wild! quilt on the chair, Bearly Hockey quilt in the foreground.
Trying a better angle, but still not quite right.
Busted! Yes, I'm taking these pictures in my downstairs bathroom. The previous owners of my house had the shower removed, so there's a fair amount of empty space in there. If I was any good at photoshopping, I would get rid of the toilet. However, if I decide to paint this picture, I can just leave the toilet out. It's not my prop of choice. :-) If I ever get my basement finished, I will set up a corner for quilt photos, so I don't have to use my bathroom.