Saturday, November 24, 2012

November Free Motion Quilt Challenge with Sarah Vedeler

This month's Free Motion Quilt Challenge (from SewCalGal) concentrates on one quilting motif, spirals. Sarah Vedeler presents very good guidelines for adding spirals to any quilting projects.  The best way to practice spirals is in rows.  The tutorial includes sheets of spirals to print off and practice tracing with a pencil to start building muscle memory.

  Next is sectioning off a fat quarter practice quilt sandwich with my trusty Hera marker into two inch and one inch grids.

This is actually my 2nd practice sandwich, I have just kept this by my machine and tried to practiced a row of two inch and one inch spirals whenever I sit down to sew.  I am currently doing some machine applique work on the Ladies of the Sea (pattern by Sue Garmen) and every time I change thread colors, I just pop on the quilting foot and do a row of spirals for practice.

 I like to throw spirals at random into my background filler quiting or also in small corner stones and this tutorial has definitely improved my spirals.  I have found a little sing song going thru my head as I practice: "leave yourself an escape route"  "leave yourself an escape route".

I am all caught up with the Sally Post Floral Sampler (from Sentimental Stitches)  love how this quilt is coming together.

As well as the Sally Post  is coming, the red and green applique is just not turning out as I had hoped.  I bought three yards of this beautiful new Jo Morton fabric

 thinking I would like it as sashing.  My usual formula of sticking with the same fabric lines for success has let me down.

 I used mostly Jo Mortons for the applique blocks, but I am just not liking this fabric as a sashing for the quilt.  I was thinking a setting sort of like this one

 on the back of Elly Sienkiewicz book Beloved Baltimore Album Quilts.  The sashing in this quilt is a very "busy" fabric.  I think maybe my blocks are too simple for this fabric, so I tried just a solid red:
Hmmm, still not really there, maybe no white corner stones:
Closer, but still not what I thought it would be.  I have totally enjoyed working on these red and green blocks, and I have 21 of them completed, but for now they have been packed away in a tote and put on the bottom shelf...
So, this is what I have been up to lately.  Hope you are all having a great Thanksgiving weekend.  I have one parting shot, this is the fabric I found in my stash for the back of my spiral practice quilt sandwich

Ha Ha, in what life did I think I needed THAT fabric. I could do a whole post on ugly fabrics in my stash.

Happy Stitching All,


  1. I am sorry the fabric didn't work out as sashing
    It has too much of a scale difference within the fabric for sashing, I just used it in a quilt I will share soon.
    Working with large print motifs is a challenge for me!

    I love this quilt and do like the last choice.
    good luck with the decision

  2. I actually like the large print as sashing but can understand your concern. My bigger concern is that the sashing seem too wide for the size of the blocks but maybe that is just a result of the photo - they are wonderful blocks!

  3. Your spirals are wonderful. Good job.

  4. What if you put skinny strips of solid red sashing on either side of your busy print? I think that would be enough to separate and set off your applique blocks, which are gorgeous, by the way. Your spirals look really good, too, and keeping your practice sandwich next to your machine and whipping off a row of spirals each time you change threads is a TERRIFIC idea!

  5. I like Rebecca Grace's idea of the skinny red strips of solid along with the busy print, or your second idea of red with the white cornerstones could also work perhaps a bit better if those cornerstones had a small applique in them to set them off. Your spirals are wonderful and that's such a great idea for practicing them. Mine definitely need more practice so will try that idea next time I have the machine set up for FMQ next week.

  6. Not the bottom drawer! I love those blocks. I like the idea of a busy print for sashing but maybe this particular gorgeous print reads too light? You'll figure it out I'm sure :0) Your spirals look great - I need to practice some of those.

  7. I love the solid red sashing. I'm saving the Sally Post blocks and will put it on my bucket list.