I made the decision to follow the Free Motion Challenge over at SewCalGal at the beginning of the year because it seemed doable... once a month, low commitment. I did January's, worked on February's but did not get enough practice to have a satisfactory result, March's challenge was very ambiguous and I had a heck of a month filled with other things and April's tutorial is about transferring patterns, which is not what really concerns me.
So I have been going back to the tutorials posted at the Free Motion Quilt Along with Leah Day. Initially these seemed pretty high commitment since she posts one every week. I wasn't sure I could keep up! But, I have always admired Leah's quilting and the methodical way in which she approaches things. So far this year she has covered a lot about stippling, which is about the only free motion free hand pattern I am comfortable with and have used in actual quilted items. I have not done it much in a large scale, but the small scale and I are good buddies (there is a small example in the January Challenge entry linked above). So I did not go back and start from the beginning, although I did do some warm ups with some of the ideas in her tutorials. I think the idea of quilting roughly in 'rows' is probably going to help me the most, especially with patterns that are newer to me. I got to sit down for a couple of hours yesterday with some practice sandwiches and some lovely tangerine quilting thread that I got on super clearance - like .50c for a 350yd spool. I played with the Sharp Stippling tutorial for this week. This was what I got...
|Larger scale - sorry, it is out of focus
Then as a reward I quickly sandwiched a mini I just finished and FM quilted that. Here it is with the binding still pinned, although it has been sewn on by hand now. I did not mark the center at all and marked only the spine and a few diagonal placing lines for the feathers. It is cute, but I have no idea what I will use it for. Do you need a practical use for things you make too, or is the creative process enough? I thought I was getting a bit away from the practical urge (I made a mini in the first place didn't I?) but I still have those pangs occasionally (it was made with left over bits cut off other blocks after all... can't waste anything!).