Wednesday 9 September 2015

WIP Wednesday - the quilting one!

When Angela Walters would say, “Quilting is the funnest part!”, that would grate on my ears. No offence to Angela, I’ve signed up for 2 of her Craftsy classes and learned a lot – she is a great teacher. But that phrase would always get inside my head and my inner voice would say nope its not!

It’s not because funnest doesn’t sound quite right and most fun pops into my head every time I’d hear that phrase, I think its because when you are learning free motion quilting, its kind of tricky, a little bit difficult! Not so much fun.

Concentrating hard,  stitching out of the ditch instead of in, messing with tension, learning to co-ordinate hand movement to foot speed and ripping out quilting (I wonder why I bury threads when its so hard to rip out teeny tiny quilting stitches!) -  takes a bit of practice, a small dollop of hope, a large dollop of fearlessness and a ‘what’s the worse that could happen?’ attitude. It’s definitely not fun at the beginning, at least not for me.

This week though I think I might just be getting at the spirit of what Angela means!

I’ve seen the question asked are you a quilter or a piecer and I would instinctively be on the piecing side, though I do prefer when possible to quilt my own projects. I have 2 quilt tops sitting, waiting for me to get brave enough to take the plunge and quite a few that needs finishing.

This week intending to finish the binding on my Swoon quilt for my cousins wedding, I found myself wanting to quilt not piece, for the first time ever!

Maybe its the Dog Gone Cute cushion I’ve been making using Lorna's pattern or the quilt writing I attempted in last weeks tote bag or maybe its just my new Janome or the fact that I hate binding but my hands have wanted to quilt all week and here’s the thing, it was fun!

I really enjoyed the whole process this time around and didn’t feel the pressure to not mess up my piece like I usually do! I still did some practice sketches and 1 practice piece to get the dog paws in my head and then just went for it!

Normally when drawing I try not to allow words in my head and just think about moving a little bit this way, a bit more that way but when quilting the dog paws I found it really useful to talk to myself and say wiggle a little bit, mushroom, button, button, button, button and wiggle a bit again. For some reason this helped me keep the shape in my head. Anyone else do that - talk to yourself while quilting?

Some are quite good, some not so good but all are ok and no ripping required! Apart from the quilt writing.  I think I did ok with Patch and Charly but the T in Toby looks more like Yoby! For some reason that makes me smile!  We used to call him Tobes, Tubsy, Tobster - I should probably change the Y but I am tempted to leave it!

The Dog Gone Cute Quilt-A-Long has started and Lorna has the instructions up on her blog for making dog number 1 & 2.  It will be my turn on the blog hop where I get to show you my finished  cushion of our Jack Russell Terriers and I hope to make the 60" x 60" quilt for myself! Fingers crossed I'll get that done in time!

If you want to see more the hop participants are here and posting progress over the month of September following the QAL:

Tuesday, October 6
Karen of Run Sew Fun
Kris of Kris Loves Fabric
Anja of Anja Quilts
Kelly of Quilting it Out
Tish of Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

Thursday, October 8
Carol of Just Let Me Quilt
Nina of Inchworming
Doris of The Quilting Queen Online
Brandy of Pampered Pettit
Leena of Creative Instincts

Tuesday, October 13
Ruth of Charly and Ben’s Crafty Corner
Tanya of Tanya Quilts in Colorado
Laurel of Quilts by Laurel
Kathy of Kathy’s Quilting Blog
Deb of New Creative State

Thursday, October 15
Anita of Daydreams of Quilts
Gina of Quilts and Cakes
Beth of Words & Stitches
Rachel of Quiltineering
Julie of Mack and Mable

Tuesday, October 20
Cathy of A Quilting Chick
Selina of Selina Quilts
Shauna of Shauna’s World
Gayle of Pedal Sew Lightly
Kathy of Kayak Quilting

Thursday, October 22
Sandy of Upstairs Hobby Room
Heide of Heide’s Quilty Hugs
Britt-Inger of Hill Valley Quilter
Judy of How ART You?
Louisa of Sewmotion

Tuesday, October 27
Teje of Nero’s Patch and Post
Stephanie of Jak and Will
Valerie of Val’s Quilting Studio
Ellen of Georgia Florida Studio
Cristina of Pretty Little Quilts

Thursday, October 29
Abigail of Cut & Alter
Magdalena of iloveneutrals
Jenn of A Quarter Inch from the Edge
Anne of Batiks by the Bay
Susie of Susie's Sunroom
Tracy of Tracy’s Bits N Pieces
Sew Fresh Quilts


  1. I am so with you.... Quilting has never been my 'favourite' part. But it looks like you were having a great time quilting up those doggy paws! They look fabulous!

  2. I am so glad you had fun with the quilting. I started out as a piecer, then became more of a quilter, but think I am now just a finisher. Fast piecing plus fast quilting is fun to me. And yes, I do like to think through all of my quilting designs. I encourage my students to do the same thing. For example I see tiger stripe quilting, but some see flame quilting.

  3. Your quilting looks fantastic, love the little paws. I So want to be able to quilt a whole quilt by myself but, even after taking the long arm class, still not my favorite part.

  4. It's so pretty. Your quilting looks super cute too! I don't worry if ditch quilting don't stay in ditch(never happen even with walking foot for me) Once you started having fun, nothing can stop you.

  5. Very Cute. I am Ellen of Georgia Florida Studio (October 27, LOL). I have made 2 blocks, still working out the project in my head.
    I have always thought the quilting is the BEST part. Sitting and doing FMQ just puts me in the zone!!. Love the Paws.

  6. Quilting is not my favourite part either. I'd prefer to piece and have someone else do the quilting. Love your FMQ....the paw prints are awesome. I cut out pieces last night to make my first block.

  7. I've only done really basic quilting so I think I'm definitely a piecer. I love the puppy paws and putting their names in is so sweet, it makes me wonder whether I should do the same for my girls quilts so they know whose is whose!

  8. There are times when the quilting is a a lot harder... But clearly the quilting you show here is joyous and so paw-fect (OK it was a stretch...). I am glad you found a fun groove!

  9. Hi Ruth! This looks fantastic! Your quilting is super! I enjoy the quilting by hand part. x Teje

  10. It's definitely more fun quilting smaller things because you get to try stuff without pulling your back and its easier to see your progress. That being said I think nowadays I'm more of a quilter than a piecer, and I am yearning for a long arm to make things easier (the constant pain in my shoulder blade this past fortnight may have something to do with it). Thank you for the thread guide by the way!

  11. I'm always so scared that I'm going to mess up my quilt top (that I've worked so hard on) when I start FMQing ... I usually chicken out and straight line quilt instead ... love those little paws though! Looks like you were definitely having fun :)

  12. Quilting is my most dreaded part. I was trying to straight line quilt a lap-sized quilt today and it was all bunching and going wrong! I think part of it is the rubbish synthetic batting/wadding, well that is my excuse anyway!

  13. I like the quilting portion of this entertainment, but the phrase funnest sounds like poor English, something a 4 year old would say then be corrected by a mom who tells her to say, the most fun instead.

    But I'm a bit of a purist with English and there is a lot of lazy communication being done these days. Communicating in written form is hard enough. LeeAnna

  14. Your paw print FMQ looks terrific. I'm with you about being a piecer vs. a quilter, but I do want to expand my FMQ skills. What can you tell me about your new Janome? I'm thinking about getting a new sewing machine and I'm seeking recommendations.

  15. I am a piecer too. I found a small glass of red wine helped give me a large dollop of fearlessness in the beginning. Now I am brave enough to FMQ (simple and basic only) without alcohol! Woohoo!
    Glad you went with the paws.

  16. Hi Ruth: Love those dog paws and I just might steal the idea for my quilt whenever I get it done. Your quilting looks great. I'm also a piecer and sometimes I think quilting is fun...that's usually when I've given up all hope of getting the result I want and settle in for what I can do. Which new Janome do you have. I'm saving up for a new one at the moment.

  17. I absolutely love your honesty here and have felt all of this over the 2 1/2 years I've been quilting. Yes, I do talk myself through sometimes! Your puppy paws are so sweet. Very well done!

  18. Ruth, you could have been putting words into my mouth regarding the quilt-your-own-quilt process. I feel exactly like that! And I do chant things in my head for repetitive designs. It's like when people mumble while they are dancing "right foot in, left foot back step, step, twirl" LOL.
    Your pawprint quilting and Patch and Toby's names turned out wonderfully! I just might borrow your motif when I quilt up my own Dog Gone Cute quilt!

  19. This is really interesting, though I guess it makes sense that we enjoy something more as we get the hang of it. Your quilting certainly looks good here. I love the paw prints and the words; they definitely add to your already lovely quilt. (And my tiny voice would say 'most fun' too!)

  20. Ruth, this post makes me smile!! I'm so excited for you that you have caught the quilting bug, I just knew it was a matter of time ;) Your dog paws are awesome!! I totally talk to myself as I am quilting, I find it is very helpful in keeping the flow.

  21. You quilt is adorable. Love the names you quilted!


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