Saturday, August 11, 2012

Expanding my horizons

I've been feeling inspired to try and expand my free motion quilting skills.  Maybe get a little fancier with things.

Of course, inspiration is all over the Internet.  Maybe you've seen some of these quilts lately.

Generation Q magazine posted this quilt on Facebook a few days ago.  I was simply stunned.

Most of the details about it come from Lisa Iser at That Crazy Girl Quilts.  Her (long!) post about this quilt is here.  She didn't make the quilt-- she's a professional longarm quilter and she quilted this for a customer.  Can you imagine quilting this masterpiece, and then having to give it back?

Also inspiring, on a much more accessible level:

photo courtesy of 

This quilt is from Victoria of Bumble Beans fame.  This is a completed quilt that she showed on her blog today.
To be honest, I don't know if she does her own quilting or not.  But this quilting is not so complicated, just nicely thought out and executed. Something like this could be done on a domestic machine with a little practice, I think.

Here's the whole quilt.  Nicely done, Victoria!

Well, so I need to expand my skills.  I have pretty good control over basic all-over patterns like stippling and running flowers but I've never tried feathers EVER.
Until now.

  My first attempt.  It got a little better as I went along.

That's some of the ugliest brown fabric I've ever seen, by the way, found waaaaaay at the bottom of my stash.  But why practice on the good stuff?

That's a little better!

I also tried a "Baptist Fan" type pattern.

I laid the stem out first.

Then I went back to the beginning of the stem and just started building out from the sides.

I must say, this pattern was surprisingly easy, much easier than the feathers, which are going to take some practice.  And I liked that the foundation for this pattern was laid out first, which made it easy to control as I was moving along.

A great source of free-motion quilting information is at Leah Day's blog Free Motion Quilting.  And she does everything on her regular sewing machine!


  1. I just can't do feathers yet. Some day, when I don't have so much back-log of piecing to do, I'll practice practice practice them until I CAN do them :)

  2. Great FMQ practice - your baptist fan looks great! Thanks for sharing photos of the amazing quilting work too.