******* My "Ringing In the New Year" mystery starts tomorrow! *******
Looking for resources online to further quilting skills is time well spent. My top 3 favorite sites to check in on regularly are Leah Day's site, Sew Cal Gal's site, and Bonnie Hunter's site. Over the last year, these blogs have given me the knowledge and, for lack of a better word, the GUTS to expand on the basics and go into unfamiliar territory with my sewing machine. It's been worth working past the learning curve!
I figured it was about time to make something full of free motion quilting! Checking out Sew Cal Gal's site the other day, I read the December FMQ Challenge presented by the amazing Patsy Thomspson, watched her video, picked up the flexible ruler she recommended, and began the project. Check it out!
Basically, Patsy said to take a wholecloth, or a simple quilt square full of various sized borders, and start to fill them in with different FMQ patterns. This makes for an interesting panel when it is completed. This was my center square of a little impromptu loop-de-loo and the first border that Patsy called "worms" with teardrop corners.
The next two borders, still on the narrow side, contain a wave pattern and one that reminds me of flames. The wave was very easy to navigate around the sometimes tricky corners. To help me remember how to make the flames, I thought of what the tip of a matchstick looks like. That stick-like sprig in the corner gives a nice break to the swirly lines.
Now for the outer edge borders. The dreaded feather pattern! Feathers have not been part of my FMQ repertoire. They are a little intimidating to me, maybe because of their larger size or that their shaping must be correct for them to look right. But they are so beautiful and I do have the desire to FMQ them. Getting some help from a tutorial given by the talented Diane Gaudynski, I managed to gain some feather success.
This is where the flexible ruler came into play. The challenge video gave excellent instruction on that. My inside border (on the left side) was a simple feather that ran continuously around the entire piece. The outer border (on the right side) featured the feathers with the echo and began in the middle of the panel with the feather sprays going in opposite directions of each other. I had the take off points and the no kissing zones in mind while stitching these babies!
Corners are pretty interesting to work through. The inside feather was in a continuous line so that was pretty clear to stitch out. The outer border had the feathers come to an end and mirrored each other in the point.
So the project came together beautifully! Not so bad when you take one step at a time. Each layer building on the next to result in an eye-catching wholecloth panel. I am so pleased with the final result. Patsy said we could do it. She was right!