I'm still hoping to get some more pictures up, since I've been making lots of cards, but so far I'm still sewing :-) I've made well over 200 cards for the bazaar, which was my goal, although lots of them still need things like buttons, beads, or card stock...I think we'll make it though!
Once I got to 200, I decided to slow down a bit and make sure I was making fun ones; if I stay in production mode for too long, it's not fun and creativity goes way down.... I need to spend more time playing, which is one of the keys to designing new ones! I found some fun beads to finish off these scrappy backgrounds.
I'm back from a very fun and productive quilting retreat, hopefully I'll get some pictures up soon...still in the mad rush for the bazaar. But I thought I would do a post about free motion quilting, since it comes up a lot on facebook groups that I am in. Free motion quilting is my favorite part of quilting, but for many people, it makes them break out in a cold sweat :-) I teach classes at a local quilt shop, so I have learned a few things that I think are helpful to people starting out. (Also, I have a tutorial here, or click the tutorials page above)
1. I tell students that I can give them lots of information, but I can't give them experience, and there is no substitute for it! It takes time to learn a new skill, like learning to play an instrument, and you can't get there without putting in the time.
2. Be fearless! I think I spend more time being a cheerleader than teacher :-) Practice on cheap fabric, or fabric you want to get rid of. You can even use your practice pieces as insulation in potholders. A friend said she uses hers in her dog coats :-) Then you can move to potholders or coasters. My card patterns are a good place to try it on a small low-risk project, there is very little investment of time or materials. You are probably going to have to kill some fabric to get experience. Just think of it as the expense of taking a class from yourself :-) As an art quilter, that's been the hardest thing to learn, I have to be willing to "waste" some supplies. (It's not a waste if you are learning!)
3. There are no rules. Some people are purists about not crossing lines. I'm actually one of them when it comes to stippling, but you don't have to be! And there are lots of other designs where lines have to be crossed, do whatever you want!
4. Have fun! The people who become good at free motion quilting are the ones who push past their fears and just do it :-) If you really like it, you can move on to thread sketching and thread painting, lots of fun! :-)
Scroll back a couple of posts to see the moose quilt I got to do the free motion quilting on recently! (I didn't make the quilt, it is the sample for a new pattern at a local quilt shop, the Material Girls)
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The sewing machine is home, now the mad rush for my biggest bazaar in two weeks. I have a quilt retreat this weekend, so that's a good thing, I always get a lot done there! I have 200 cards in progress, but not very many all the way done, so no pictures today :-)
A few weeks ago I was asked to do the free motion quilting on the sample/cover pic for this new pattern, called Moose Madness, from The Material Girls quilt shop in Fairbanks. They asked me to wait to put it on my blog until the pattern was done, which it now is! I don't think it's on their website yet, but if you call or e-mail them I'm sure they'd be happy to get one to you :-) (click on their name)
Even the back looked cool :-) (scroll down)
Two weeks to go until my biggest bazaar, and my sewing machine is in the shop... I have a couple of really basic ones, so I will have to see what I can do. I've also had 4 offers for machines to borrow, I have nice friends! I think I can do everything but free motion with what I have, but I've been amazed to see how many card designs have free motion on them, probably 95%... I've also been getting some organizing done. I have a quilt retreat coming up so I made myself a bunch of 'kits' with parts for different batches of cards in them. I've also been teaching my kids how to use Microsoft Access so they can help with bookkeeping! It's been good to be forced to do some things I usually put off, and it's kind of a challenge to see what I can do with what I have, although the timing could have been better :-) I've also been tempted by a sewing machine sale that is going on, I could use a spare and another good one to use when people come over to sew, which has been a lot lately. Even if I do that, it may not be set up in time to help my current crisis though :-)
Still making journal covers with young girls instead of making cards, the first and biggest bazaar is three weeks from today... But ultimately I know this is a better use of time, trying to be purposeful in how I use mine! I'm also working on a parka for a friend, that's next on today's agenda...
The girls did everything but the names on their book covers!
I'm really supposed to be cranking out cards right now, and I am getting some done, but I've taken a couple of breaks to sew with my daughters and some of their friends. Yesterday was the 16-18 year olds, today is the 10-11 year olds. They're all making these quilted journal covers, which are a great beginning art quilting project. I'm working on a tutorial for them, but that may have to wait a bit, we'll see :-)
Fall is winding down here, the leaves are mostly on the ground, so I thought I'd extend it a bit with some fallish cards...the last one was a bonus card made from the trimmings of the other ones. The sheer gold fabric behind the leaves is cool, and a little better in person, but not quite enough contrast once again....
I don't have a pattern for this exact card, but the Wildflower 1 pattern is close, it could be adapted.
Congratulations to Carolyn N for winning a card in my Facebook "like" contest! Please contact me so I can get that to you. I had fun hosting the Quilter's Show and Tell this week, those winners will be announced later.
I'm going to do a sewing project with a few teen girls later this week, so I made my sample yesterday, an art quilty journal cover. Art quilting is a great way to get into sewing or quilting, there are fewer rules to follow, it's very forgiving :-) This is a really easy project, maybe I'll do a tutorial on it sometime!
I am a homeschooling mom of three fun kids, who are now old enough that I have a little time to pursue my passion for sewing! After several years of making quilted cards and art quilts, I'm now designing kits and patterns. Some of them have even been in Keepsake Quilting! I teach classes at local quilt shops, and would love to do more traveling and teaching eventually. I also have many tutorials, including some on you tube. I am blessed to live in Alaska where I am surrounded by the inspiration provided by the beauty of God's creation!
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