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Ducky quilt FMQ
Quilts

Tackling FMQ

Finished Ducky Quilt
My first try at FMQ turned out so good! I was surprised at how good it turned out!

 

So I’ve been wanting to try free-motion quilting (FMQ) for some time now. I just never have been brave enough. I knew I would mess it up and ruin my fabric. But when I got my new Bernina, I decided it was time to tackle this new technique!

I watched many, many videos by Angela Walters and by the Missouri Star Quilt Company. They made it look so very easy! Yeah, right! They’ve been doing this for years! And the quilting juice that helps Angela?! Yup! that would be a new design on my quilt LOL! So after alot of putting it off and talking myself out of doing that one more thing before starting, I bit the bobbin and prepared my quilt sandwich!

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I had just the right size of yellow flannel for the backing. Just enough batting to fit the ducky panel, so I guess it was meant to be! Here you see my sandwich. I used Dritz Basting Spray. First time I used the basting spray. I usually use big safety pins. Why not get all the way out of my comfort zone, right?

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So here I have the quilt in place and ready to go! Well, almost ready… It took me about an hour to actually sit down and begin. My anxiety level skyrocketed! I had my regulator foot on, white thread threaded, a full bobbin… Just had to work up that last bit of courage…

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After alot of pep talk from me to me, I began! OMG!!! How cool does that look! I was so excited that I had to send my mom a pic! LOL Someone needed to know what I was doing! It’s not that hard after all!

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I kept moving around and around. I did learn pretty quick that you just have to relax and steer the quilt, not force it. Nina, (what I named my Bernina), yelled at my a handful of times because I was trying to go too fast. After a few conversations with her, we got on the same page and began working together.

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Another thing I learned is that when those more experienced quilters tell you not to use the basic thread, you know, the ones you pick up at Walmart quick, they are not just partial to those better brands. I kept getting lint in my needle and my thread kept breaking. I have since gotten myself some really fun colors of REAL quilters thread! I’m a REAL quilter now!!!

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By the time I got near the end, I was feeling really comfortable with this pattern. It’s really easy to do and there is no wrong way to go. Perfect for beginners.

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I also love how the back of the quilt looks! It has it’s own design and could really be used with that side up, I suppose.

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So there it is! FMQ all over this panel! It gives it motion and depth… I just love how it turned out! Feeling so confident and so excited, I was going to try some vines and leaves in the teal border but decided against it. Less is more.

I ended up doing a straight stitch on both sides of the peachy border. I was figuring out how to finish it off and realized that I had to cut that out yellow border off so that I could used the backing to self-bind it.

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Here is the completely finished quilt! I think it turned out really great! I can’t wait to do another!

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Here is the back. I think this really shows the FMQ the best and the pattern really pops!

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I hope you enjoyed my FMQ adventure! If you were like me and do not think you can do it, or your anxiety talks you out of it, I say just do it! You will be so excited and proud of yourself!

Just a few tips to remember:

  • Take your time! You are not racing against the clock. You are on your own time.
  • Don’t be afraid to stop and reposition your hands. Really. Stop and reposition. It’s ok and will only help keep you moving along comfortably.
  • Try the stipple pattern, or something very basic the first time. Don’t do feathers, flowers, swirls or leaves. Do something simple so you can get comfortable with this new technique.
  • As far as basting, I think my next one I am going back to my pins. I wonder if the basting spray tacked up my needle and made my thread break more then it would have…
  • Use quilting thread.
  • And just HAVE FUN!!!

Please share any pics of your first try! I would love to see what others are doing and how you FMQ!

Thanks for hanging out with me!

Have a blessed day!

Becki 🙂

 

Fabric Art

Turn Your Photo into a Quilt – Part 1

I love to quilt and am always trying new ways to make unique quilts. I have found that creating a quilt from a photo gives me this opportunity and makes a fun and interesting way to preserve memories.

So you may ask, why use photos? Simply put, I was never blessed with the talent to draw. I do have a talent for utilizing design software for more than creating marketing pieces. I use Adobe Photoshop to simplify the photo I want to quilt. Photoshop allows me to create shapes and grids to help me translate the image into the type of quilt I choose to make.

In this article, I will walk you through the steps of taking a photo and preparing it as a quilt pattern. You will need Adobe Photoshop. Any version will do. You will also need to choose a photo that has some contrast, although I will walk you through enhancing the contrast so that creating shapes in later steps is easier.

STEP 1: To begin I open my original file Photoshop. I recommend saving this file as a different name or in a different location. This allows you to preserve your original file.

Step 2: Duplicate background layer by right clicking the background layer and choosing Duplicate layer. A window will pop up and this is where you will name your new layer. I normally name mine working. Next, turn off the visibility of your background layer. To do this, click on the eye icon to the left of your background layer thumbnail turn off the visibility – or hide – this layer. This will allow you to keep your background layer in it’s original state and make adjustments to your working layer. By comparing these layers, you ensure to not lose too much of the photo, but can simply enough to create your Photo Art Quilt.

Step 3: In the Adjustments panel, choose the Brightness & Contrast. Here we will create more contrast in the photo to get less shapes, yet keep the the objects in our photo recognizable.

The image above shows how I have turned the contrast in this photo up quite a bit, but did not distort the photo. The higher contrast has brightened colors and allows more details to pop. At this step you will have to play with your contrast see make sure you don’t have too much or too little.

Be sure to save often to prevent any mishaps or lost work.

Step 4: Once you have your contrast set you will need to merge your working and adjustment layers.

To do this you will hold the Shift key and select each of the two layers. Once selected, you will right click on the selected layers and choose Merge Visible. This option will do exactly that. This is why we turned the visibility off on our background layer in Step 1.

Step 5: Now to break down the photo into shapes, we will posterize it. Go to Image – Adjustments – Posterize. At this point you will want to play with the different levels to see what works best for your style.

The lower the level you choose, the less shapes and somewhat more distorted your image will be. The higher the level you choose, the more shapes and less distorted your image will be. The image above shows what the photo I chose looks like from level 3 on the left, level 4 in the middle, and level 5 on the right.

This is the time to decide how detailed you want to make your quilt. When looking at the level 5 image you see more shapes, which means more fabrics, more time, and more layering. Looking at the level 3 image, you will use less fabrics, not as much time, and won’t have as many layers. No matter which you choose, you will have to make sure you have enough shades of fabric of the colors in your photo to help show depth. You will not want to choose any large prints either because you do not want your quilt to be too busy.

At this time you can print your you photo that you have made into a quilt pattern. You will want to print the size of the quilt you are planning to make. Begin to gather fabrics that you will want to use to quilt your photo.

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of Turning Your Photo into a Quilt! I am not quite finished with the quilting my this photo, so I will post a Part 2 with step-by-step photos of how to take the print out of your photo and turn it into a quilt!

Quilts

Rag Winnie the Pooh Quilt

I would like to share with you a podcast I made about rag quilting. It is just an informational podcast sharing the basics and some tips for rag quilting. I hope you enjoy!

 

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This is the quilt put together before clipping the hems.

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This is the finished quilt having been washed once.

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And one that shows the back.

Let me know what you think!

Thanks! 🙂

Silly Stuff

My little helper

So I wanted to introduce you to my little helper. He is about 3 years old and was rescued from a parking lot. He was so tiny when my husband brought him home.

We had a hard time deciding what to name him, so he was “kitty” for a week or two. I learned quickly that he was my little helper, especially in my sewing room. Every time I was sewing something, he had to be right at the sewing machine to see it sewing. I had finally had the perfect name… Mr. Bobbins!

To this day, every time I am at the sewing machine, Mr. Bobbins is either on my lap or right there “helping” me sew.

Quilts

Piecing my Quilt

My mom and I decided to make a quilt together. We live 8 hours away and this sounded like a fun project to help keep us connected.

We chose a pattern and we each chose a layer cake that we thought was perfect for the pattern. During our trips to visit each other, we have cut our pieces together, laid out our block, and have sewn most rows while we were together.

We are now at the point where we have sandwiched our quilts and all that is left is quilting them! Each of us are a little hesitant about how to quilt them, so I think we are each waiting on the other to start…

I will keep you posted 😉