Friday, October 11, 2013

FMQ Practice

Did you ever have a gorgeous piece of fabric that you find passing by because it's "not the right color" or it's "too plain" or "there's not enough" and it goes back in the stash box? Here is my fabric that seems doomed to not be a part of a quilt.
I love the color peach. Unfortunately, this fabric has been passed over too many times and I figured it was a good swatch for some FMQ practice. I pressed it flat, then pressed it folded in half the long way, then folded it and pressed it in half the short way, and then folded and pressed each half into thirds, which gave me a panel of 12 small panels. I made up a nice quilt sandwich, using a backing fabric that has been passed over quite a few times, pinned it up and there was my workspace!
If you have explored the free motion quilting project site for more than, oh, a minute, you would discover hundreds of stitch patterns to use for FMQ. The demonstration videos that Leah makes are so helpful. This site has brought me into the world of FMQ. The first year, I pretty much just watched
the videos. This past second year, I have been stitching! The other day I thought, during a moment of enthusiasm, that I was "going to try them all" and this practice panel was to be my first dozen to stitch up.
Here's Day 1 - "Shadow Waves"  I have used this pattern on borders. Very nice look!

The next one is Day 2 - "Etch n' Sketch"  There's something about this one that I like. I think it's the rounded edges. It's got a fluid feel.

This one is Day 3 - "Gentle Flames"  You just get drawn into this shape. The triangles give good movement and keeps your eyes moving.

The dilemma of what to put on my 12 panels came to mind when I came to day 4. It was like day 3 only with pointy tips. I thought perhaps I should put all edge-to-edge designs on this panel. So that's what I'm going to do. The next one to add would be "Cursive Fs", then "Matrix", and so on. Then, the panels will be handy for holding up by works in progress to do some auditioning. I don't know if I'll get all of Leah's patterns done or not but this is a fun side adventure!
That new machine I got is just great with FMQ. I decided to call her Lacy, short from her model name, Legacy. I usually don't put a name to a machine, but this seems ok for some reason. Actually, all of my sewing machines have names. There's Lacy, Daisy, Humungo Illiundo, and Sergio Fabrico. Funny!
What do you think of FMQ pattern panels? Make up a sandwich and stitch out some audition swatches for yourself! It's fun and great practice!

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