Monday, March 2, 2015

Owl finish

When I tried all-over freemotion designs on a practice quilt sandwich, I always had trouble keeping the scale consistent, and I would paint myself into a corner, or my design would morph into something else by the time I finished.  This made me a little wary of trying it out on an actual quilt.  What if I messed up?

This little baby quilt, however, was very vocal about how it wanted to be quilted. It wanted all-over swirls.  I thought up all sorts of straight line walking-foot options, but nothing stuck.  The quilt was very clear:  SWIRLS if you don’t mind.  Well, I do mind, but OK already.

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I googled free-motion swirl tutorials, watched a few and finally got my a-ha! moment when I stumbled on this one from APQ, with Angela Walters explaining.  The reminder that it is OK to stop (with the needle down of course!) and think about where to go next and how to get there was just what I needed.  The swirl design she demonstrated isn’t all curves.  There are points where you finish one swirl and start on the next, so stopping doesn’t involve the risk of spoiling a smooth curve, which always happens to me when I stop mid-curve.

Deep breath. Feed dogs down.  Another deep breath.

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This very first bit I quilted, in the pink, is the best on the whole quilt.  I never quite got it that pretty again, but overall it looks pretty good.  I stopped a lot.  And ranted about breaking thread.  And quilted myself into corners a few times despite my planning.  But it’s done and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

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Ms. Owl was stitched in the ditch around all her parts with a triple frame in the background.
I used Invisafil thread. I really like the way it blends with all the fabrics so that what you notice is the quilted texture, not the thread.  When the thread kept breaking (well, shredding, actually) I switched to Aurifil but didn’t like the way the thread stood out on the colors, so I picked it out and went back to the Invisafil.

Here’s the back, in fun alphabet prints:

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I even remembered to put the labels on when I put on the binding.  One label has the quilt info, and the other has signatures from all the folks pitching in to give this gift.  The quilt will be delivered tonight.  I hope baby Isabel enjoys it!

And now to go try and get better pictures of it before I don’t have access to it anymore!

Linking up with Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

20 comments:

  1. Good on you! The quilting on your gorgeous quilt is beautiful! Ms. Owl is soooo cute! I've never tried an allover design either.

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  2. Your quilting looks terrific! I totally agree with the deep breath when the feed dogs go down! I think the swirls were a great choice. I'm sure Isabel will love it!

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  3. Congratulations; it is a great quilt. I think you did wonderful on the swirls.

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  4. You did a great job! Love that purple owl. What a fun quilt. The swirls were a good choice. Well done!

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  5. Well Done. It looks great. We are always our own worst critics when we should be celebrating "I did it'. It's all about practice they say just keep going. This is such a cute quilt.

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  6. Awesome! This quilt did want swirls, and you did an amazing job. It is sure to be loved.

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  7. this is so adorable. you did a fabulous job

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  8. Wonderful! Marvellous! Fabulous! I haven't the courage to try swirls - yours look fantastic. It's a super quilt.

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  9. It is the cutest thing with the Owl perched in there!! Your swirls look wonderful :-)

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  10. Super job....glad you were brave enough to jump right in! Hint...that invisible thread tends to stretch when you sew, and that messes up the tension...so sew slower with it.

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  11. I can't see a single slip-up in your swirls! You did a great job! Wish I could gather enough courage to try! ---"Love"

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  12. What a sweet baby quilt! And the quilting is perfect! I have one of Angela Walter's books and it is my "go to" book for figuring out what to quilt. I used the same design on my GS's graduation quilt. The hook on the swirls didn't come naturally for me, but I caught on after a while. :-) Great job!

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  13. Such a fun quilt and your quilting is great!

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  14. Looks great! In a class I took on quilting she said to visualize what you will do and where you will go before starting. I tend to stop a lot and figure out where to turn and how to get there and it really helps. Mine don't look as nice as your's always turn out though =).

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  15. It is sooooo cute! What a hoot!! Love it from head to toe, from front to back. The colours, the quilting, the owl everything is just so cute. Adorable!

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  16. So cute. And remember, look at the whole quilt, not just little bits of the quilting. Event he best quilters have parts that don't look fantastic! The quilting is perfect for the quilt and I'm sure the quilt will be loved.

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  17. This might just be the sweetest and most fun baby quilt I've seen in a long time! Love the one applique block - makes such a pretty statement! Congratulations on a wonderful quilt...

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  18. Your swirls look amazing Joanne! Thank you for talking about your process and the frustrations you work to overcome. It makes me realize this is normal as I learn to FMQ.
    Your quilt turned out so adorable and it is sure to be a hit!

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  19. That quilt is adorable! I love the bright colors and the cute little owl. Your quilting looks wonderful to me. I am always afraid to try to do FM quilting so good for you in giving it a try. It turned out just great!

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  20. You need to go back to Angela, actually go to her blog, Quilting is my Therapy, and watch the video she posted last week. Your swirls are terrific Joanne, and perfect for this quilt. FMQ is not perfect. It's okay to stop and think, as Angela said (geez I always do, didn't think it was "not allowed" in some schools of thought out there??) and it's okay to quilt yourself into a corner, end with 5-6 teensy stitches, you know the kind that are next to impossible to pick out, and start in the section you need to be in. I love when I quilt talks so strongly. They all have voices, some stronger than others, as this one surely showed you! Great finish; I love it, and that will be one happy baby. (aside, I have not got notification of your last 2 posts, what is going on, grr...)

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