Stitches Galore

Dividing my time between all of my projects has been challenging.  When I’m piecing things together I daydream about spending time with my Tin Lizzie and when I’m operating my Tim Lizzie I’m contemplating which piecing project is next in line.  Also mixed in the equation are my long arm quilting classes.

The Author’s version of Sunflowers for Me

The first class I ever took was actually focused on machine quilting techniques for conventional sewing machines.  Created during that session were two 18″ x 18″ panels.  Those two specimens currently hide on a shelf in my bookcase.  Their ultimate destination is unknown.

From my first class blossomed two wall hangings using the Sunflowers for Me folk art pattern by County Lore Designs.  The first wall hanging was intended to be on display in my living room.  I used fabrics from my already existing fabric stash to create the small quilt.  During construction my Janesville daughter saw the wall hanging and immediately fell in love.  Being aware of her attraction there was no way I could keep the quilt for my own.  I just knew I had to give it to her.

With the first Sunflowers for Me quilted wall hanging destined for a new home, up sprang a second one.  This quilt sprouted from a much different color palate with a few minor changes in design.  To this creation I added three-dimensional flowers, leaves and a wing for the crow as well as added embellishments to the vase.  Fortunate for me that lovely wall hanging still resides in my home where I enjoy seeing it every day.

My second class was taken on a Tin Lizzie.  Our instructor taught us all about the machine and its prescribed maintenance as well as basic free motion quilting techniques.  The class was long and grueling.  By the time I returned home I was exhausted.  Carried home from that class was a small sampler quilt.  Currently that quilt is serving as my ironing board cover.  My previous cover had seen better days and needed retiring so I took it out of service and replaced it with my sampler quilt.

The third class I attended again focused on basic free motion quilting stitches.  By the time I took this training I had gained a lot more confidence.  My designs flowed much more smoothly and appeared more uniform.  During the class I got so involved with mastering my stitches that I lost track of time.  When I finally looked up from my machine I realized I was the only student left.  Quickly I filled in the remaining empty spaces and removed my project from the machine.  My teacher was quite pleased with my finished lesson.  She complimented me on my technique and said that some of my stitch samples looked like a teacher had done them.  Obviously I was thrilled.  I am still deciding how I will utilize this sampler.  For now it’s neatly folded and resting on my project shelf.

Nothing can make you more proficient at a task than practice, practice, practice.  During my home practice sessions I created a sampler quilt of my own using muslin for my backdrop.  I had a blast cruising my Tin Lizzie all over the fabric.  That quilt has since been removed from my machine.  I enjoy exploring every inch, marveling at the number of stitches it took to create it and the variety of patterns displayed.  This quilt I believe will be bound and hung on a wall in my long arm quilt machine room.  It will serve as inspiration for future projects and a reminder that practice pays off.  Here are a few samples of my work

On my list of future free motion quilting classes are eye lash quilting, hand dyeing fabric techniques in conjunction with artistic quilts, to name a few.  I look forward to every opportunity I can get to further my education, my talents and my enjoyment.

Thank you for traveling along with me as I described some of my free motion quilting experience.  I hope you stop by again to share in my enthusiasm and observe as I unfold bits and pieces of my journey.

* * * * *

I’m linking up with Freshly Pressed.  Check out her blog to find out what others are doing.