What to do, what to do….

Using what I had on hand, I wanted to try my hand at designing a simple idea that I have been thinking about for a while now. A test pattern of sorts.

Actually what I was thinking was….

My prize, for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, was a Beginner’s Combo Kit. Everything you need to know to learn free motion machine quilting. If you aren’t familiar what that is, it’s the all over quilting that is done by your home sewing machine; sometimes straight lines, sometimes, spirals, sometimes just random quilting. It’s not easy to manipulate your stitching in all directions. We aren’t talking just the usual forward and backwards, but side to side, too.

I don’t want to feel ungrateful. Really, I don’t. It’s just that I feel as if the universe is conspiring against me. I have held firm and hand quilted a hundred quilts while it seems the world around me is putting out 100 machine quilted quilts per year! I’ve been tempted. What with so many ideas for new quilts, quilt tops that are waiting to be quilted, and always more fabrics to use up….  I’ve machine quilting one, two, three quilts in recent years… there may be another random one, but that’s about it…

Now I’m questioning and wondering and a tad bit curious and thinking maybe I should give this free motion quilting thing a fair shake? I don’t know…. Obviously, I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Long before this prize fell into my lap.

I do know if I want to give this a fair shake, I’m going to need some practice material and what better way than baby sized quilts using what I have on hand??? That’s my story, anyway.

Hmm, this is not exactly what I was thinking.

What if I used white to make it pop?

Still not what I envisioned. Too busy, too flag like….

Thinking, thinking…. thinking what a mess these bookshelves have become… I am so easily distracted…. I donated about 10% of the books, dusted and reorganized… Now that looks better….

The seam ripper wants to play along…. something is still not right. Closer to my *vision*, but still not enough pop, maybe?

What do you think???

For now, I think I’ll go do some yard work….

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22 Responses to What to do, what to do….

  1. bold goods says:

    What are the strips, 2.5″? Why don’t you fussy cut a couple bright prints into 2.5″ squares and put them at the seams where the colors meet? And try spacing the colored strips further apart, like 4″, so there are only 5 or 6 of them?


    • sewfrench says:

      Wow. yes, they are cut 2 1/2″ wide. I can get on board with the fussy cut pieces, just not sure what I’d use….

      And the idea of more space between them tells me you are leaning towards the third version with extra *space*? I think that is the one closer to what I was thinking, maybe I just need more blank to rest my eyes on. And the pop of 2 1/2″ squares.

      Now I feel like I’m getting somewhere, LOL! I knew I could count on more ideas by putting it out there!!



  2. Melinda says:

    Well, I have an opinion about the FMQ stuff; I think it does not hurt to have several options in your tool belt. You can be a die hard hand quilter for everything if you want, but there are going to be those times when you need to get a quilt done quickly and machine quilting is going to be very helpful in those moments. Or when you just want to make some headway on the stack of sandwiches you have. It’s like paying the bills; I don’t have to do it because my hubby does it, but I know HOW in case I need to be able to do it for any reason. I wish I could hand quilt more; I have carpal tunnel and I had to stop crocheting because it would get so severe I couldn’t stand it.


    • sewfrench says:

      And you are right. And I asked for opinions ; ) More tools in the tool belt is a great way to look at it. My daughter said basically the same thing, there is always more to learn. Your analogy of paying the bills was spot on, too. Thank goodness, I no longer have carpal tunnel issues, surgery fixed them both. I’m sorry that you do have problems…. I well remember, it stinks.


  3. Christie, Describe Happy says:

    I think it’s fun to try new things and maybe it is a sign to give free motion quilting or even straightling quilting a try. As for your line quilt… I love it. Not sure what you intended, but the colors are very nice and I like the structure too. Good luck!


  4. Melinda says:

    I just saw this and it made me think of yours. Didn’t know if it might give you some ideas.
    It’s the first quilt shown.


    • sewfrench says:

      Ha Ha! I made that quilt in placemat form! Maybe I need to take it that way with a splash of unexpected color?! I need to peruse all their quilts. Thanks, Melinda!


  5. Kim Jacques says:

    I like the first one better the second one reminds me of piano keys.


  6. Becky says:

    Haha – maybe it’s a sign that you won that packet. I think it’s nice to able to do either one- FMQ or hand quilting. I like all 3 – the 2nd definitely has more “pop” but the 3rd one has more separation in the colors – good luck!


  7. When I finally got brave enough to try FMQ, I found that I loved it. So I say… go for it.

    I still do straight line quilting using the walking foot on machine too. And I’m sure someday I’ll try hand quilting.


  8. supermom says:

    When I first got brave enough to FMQ, I really loved it. So I say… give it a try and maybe you’ll like it too.


  9. marjorie says:

    I like it the way it is….just my opinion…lol. I am a long time hand quilter….30 years. I will never give it up….but I am taking the FMQ Challenge on here now. it is interesting,,kind of fun…lol. And I am getting a little more comfortable with it….will never do a large quilt this way though. too hard on my shoulders and back….and I enjoy hand quilting. I just want to know how. Maybe you could give the challenge a try…..the link is on my blog if you want to take a peek..


  10. msminnesota says:

    I also like it as it is. I think sometimes we over-analyze! 🙂


  11. Rebecca says:

    I really like the 3rd version. I’m also in love with hand-quilting. It is such peaceful and rewarding work. Like many others have said, machine quilting is just another option, and it can be very enjoyable too! This baby quilt you are working has such a lovely simple pattern, maybe it would be the perfect opportunity to try out a variety of FMQ patterns on the different lines. Each line could be something different (loops, lines, scallops, etc). Have fun! :o)


  12. citricsugar says:

    Give the FMQ a try! And if you like it but wish to remain “a purist”, only use it on things like potholders and table runners – things that are quilted but can fall outside the “quilt” definition… 🙂


  13. Lily says:

    Hi! I haven’t done a lot of FMQ, but I sooooo want to learn! I am trying hand quilting this summer for the first time (so I will know who to come to for advice!). I say learn how – that kit looks very cool and I may buy one myself! Have fun, Lily.


  14. I definitely think you need some POP…maybe a cool yellow/black/gray combo?


  15. Pingback: Name This Quilt |

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