Saturday, June 8, 2013

Two Finishes for Project Linus - an FMQ Journey

Awhile back, I promised to share real pictures of my May Finish.  But more exciting to me is that I got 26 blocks out of my WIP pile. 

Most of the blocks were from several rounds of the 3x6 bee. I love the way they all look together.

They say the only way you will improve at anything is to practice, so I did a different motif from Angela Walters' Free Motion Quilting in each block.  I love that book.  Her instructions are super easy to follow, if maybe not so easy for me to execute.  Something about hand-eye coordination, and the disconnect between my brain and my muscles.

I decided on this block that I don't like pebble quilting any more than I did the first time.  But I do like the texture when it is finished.

I kind of wish that Angela would come out with a practice book like we used to practice penmanship when I was in school (I understand they don't teach cursive in school any more, let alone penmanship!  What's up with that?)  Then you could really do as she suggests and practice the designs with a pencil over and over and over...

I did the yellow quilt before I did Krista's quilt as a practice quilt so I would get at least a little better at FMQ.  It really doesn't come naturally to me at all.

This block is far from perfect, but it ended up being one of my favorites.  I tried 3 different motifs in this block.  I really love how it turned out.

I think I just got tired and did stipple quilting in this block.  Never a bad choice, right?

These were bee blocks, which have a tendency to vary in size, so I sashed all the way around each block to even them up.  I ended up trimming to 15", so each block finished at 14-1/2" square.

I tried paisleys on this block.  I really love paisley anything, and this motif was very fun to do.  I obviously need to work on the size consistency of my paisleys though.
 I used another stripe fabric from my Stripes That Bind bundle for the binding from my favorite fabric shop.  I think it looks like it was made for this quilt.

 In her book, Angela talks about not getting stuck in a corner, and that wasn't really my problem.  It was more that I would finish the block and find that I had left a whole big area unquilted, so I need to work on how to get around the quilt more logically.

I really love that these blocks are all so different, but coordinate with each other so well.  This one is more seafoam than aqua, but it still works perfectly.  And the yellow in this block blends so well with the sashing.

I pieced the back together from the two extra blocks and some leftover yardage.  I really like that blue swirl.  Despite its faults, I am fairly pleased with how it turned out.

The second aqua/red quilt is my ALOYF finish for June.  I sashed this one in aqua.  I like how it gives it such a different feel.

For this quilt, I decided I wanted to improve my swirls, as they are such a basic part of FMQ, so I did swirls in all 12 blocks.

 I hope my swirls improved over the course of quilting 12 blocks.

 Still pretty rough, I think.

 I used a different motif in all of the sashings in this quilt.  I like the wood grain.  Not polished, but really fun.

 Wavy lines in between some of the blocks.

 I tried pulleys up this one side (and then covered half of them up with the binding).  I think here they look a little like safety pins.

 These swirls are far from perfection, but I will keep practicing.

 The figure 8's were really fun too.

 These swirls might be {a little} better?

 The triangles were fun, but it took me awhile to get the hang of it.  The first dozen or more were backwards. 
 The wavy lines were harder than they look.  I never did get the hang of keeping them even, so I decided to just let 'er rip and have fun with them.  I really like the texture.

And stripey binding again.  This one was from my stash.

 This fabric was some that Krista gave me that her mom's friend's family had given her.  She brought it home to Arizona from Seattle in a Coleman Cooler, so we call it Cooler fabric.  LOL  This was a pretty large piece, although not quite wide enough so I added a couple of coordinating pieces to make it work.

The print reminds me a bit of Tarzan, or John Steinbeck's The Pearl.  In any case, I think it will make it boy-appropriate.  The ECMQG is participating in a large quilt request from Project Linus.  They specifically asked for gender neutral or even numbers of boy and girl quilts.  They are specifically to go to Camp Corral, a local camp for military children who have a parent who is deployed, wounded or fallen. 

I really had fun quilting these quilts, and perhaps I made a little progress in the FMQ department.  In any event, though, I hope they will keep a child warm, and perhaps let them know that someone cares.  These men and women have given great service to our country, and as always, it is often the children who suffer most.

With a husband who served 23 years in the military, a good bit of it in combat, I often think, "There but for the grace of God go I."


  1. They are awesome! I am certain they will be well loved and I especially love that they are going to military children, as a military spouse and mom of an army brat that hits extra close to home. Your FMQ looks great!!!

  2. Wow, your FMQ is awesome! I also love the Angela Walter's book for the reasons you listed!

  3. you did great! I have just about given up on FMQ. I'm really no good at it at all

  4. Thank you for all the individual pictures of the different styles of FMQ. I've only tried it once because I've been scared of how it would turn out. I keep hearing that they only thing that makes it better is practice. I really like yours! I have several quilt tops made, but nothing quilted yet. I am going to look up Angela Walters' Free Motion Quilting book and see if it will help me as it has you. Appreciate all the pointers!

  5. thanks for linking up to 100 quilts for kids, and congrats on getting all of those blocks into something beautiful.

  6. I'm not sure if my earlier comment went through, but thanks for linking up to 100 Quilts for Kids, and congrats on using so many of your blocks in these 2 great quilts!


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