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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Free Motion Quilting and surprises

First up the surprise; the other day I looked out the window and saw this:
You can't tell from here but this is our Silk Tree and he's over 6 feet off the ground.   I had to tell him to come down though as the tree is getting old and has die back; luckily the branch he's on is currently unaffected as far as we can tell.   This winter we have 2 large branches to cut back at the base; which is a pity as it will spoil the tree's shape.
I think Ian really needs to live in the country with lots of large trees to climb; unfortunately here in the 'burbs there's only a few medium ones and they're all getting sad about being old.

In other news yesterday was a busy day.  First of all was the spinners guild and I took along my drum carder along with 2 other people and we had a demo.   I hadn't gone in planning on doing the demo, but when it was time to start I found myself up there and showing people how I use a drum carder; apparently a few people learned something from it, so I'm glad I did.  I took along a bunch of fibre for people to play with, so afterwards a few new batts were made and they all turned out beautifully.
I guess the main points I made were:
- don't overload the intake drum, if you can't see the wood through the fibre then there's too much fibre
- tease or flick card locks before putting them in to get a better result
- go slow, and I mean really slow!    If you're watching someone do it and you want to take over and go faster, then that's the perfect speed!
- some fibres are better being applied directly to the large drum as they tend to wrap around the intake drum.  Silk and many of the sparklies fit into this category; also anything hugely long.
One point made by one of the other ladies which is important: if using long fibres with short ones, sandwich the short ones on the drum between layers of long ones.  It makes the whole batt more stable; I think that was Paula.

After that I came home and did my free-motion quilting.   I used a burnt red thread on all the red sections and white on the teal and white bits.    Next step is to trim it, then add the binding.
Quilted but not trimmed, Star appeared to inspect the moment it hit the ground.

1st try of Railroad FMQ (double stippling)

1st try of pebbles

Echoing of the print FMQ

1st try of standard double stippling, you can see a few errors

2nd try of standard double stippling, a bit better.

3rd try of standard double stippling; getting better!

4th and best try of standard double stippling, I obviously still need more practice as the foundation line is a bit long in the stitches, but looking much better!
I've decided that although Ellie (my Elna) does brilliant FMQ her free arm is too small and you can't extend the table on it so I won't be doing larger quilts on her.  Bernie will be my fallback until I can save enough for a Janome Horizon or similar.  I want a bigger harp and more flat space.

Once I'd finished that I got all the school trousers to the next step; today I'll be doing all the seaming and hopefully elastic and hemming to finish them too.  Photo's will come once done.


The Dreamstress said... Best Blogger Tips

The info about carding and spinning is fascinating - they are things I only know about in a theoretical sense; your experience and insight are really interesting.

I love your quilt! The fabrics used are so delicious (mmmm...turquoise and red). Machine quilting is another one of those things I have never done.

Rachelle said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you, I really enjoy fibre crafts and although I'm no expert yet, I'm planning on learning as much as I can.

I love the quilt too, my beloved is now saying it's not big enough as it doesn't cover the edges, but I hate hiding beautiful wood completely; if I did that then I may as well have a chipboard table! I'll have to get started on eldest son's bedquilt now, he thought that one was for him despite it not being his colours.

Mary Ann said... Best Blogger Tips

I love the way you created a practice quilt complete with sashing! Nice work :-)

Rachelle said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank-you; it's finished now so I'll post a photo in the next day or so; love it!

Sew Gramy Sew said... Best Blogger Tips

I don't know if you have looked at everyones projects or not, but I just saw someones that used a double foundation line and it made the rr tracks look real. Leah should have done that. Just sharing that with you. I like your work too.

Rachelle said... Best Blogger Tips

I'll have to go and take a look at that; there were only a small number up when I posted mine. Sounds really good though!

SewCal Gal said... Best Blogger Tips

Love your silk tree and your FMQ work too. I hope you are enjoying the 2012 FMQ Challenge and having fun.


Rachelle said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank-you I am enjoying it. Only done the May one so far as I didn't really discover FMQ until recently. I'm about to start quilting my Patchwork Prism quilt; basted it all together today, will ditch it tomorrow and then start some FMQ in parts of it after that; no idea what I'll be doing yet, suspect the fabric might tell me in each block.

Mary Ann said... Best Blogger Tips

I look forward to seeing your finish! Mary Ann @

Rachelle said... Best Blogger Tips is the post with the photo. It's currently taking pride of place on our new coffee table and I'm attempting to educate the boys on not putting stuff on it!

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