Improving my skill set and building preferences

In the last two months, I have been a very busy quilt maker.

The image above shows that I have combined some sunflowers (the birds devoured the dried seeds within -Thanks Mom!) with threads for their nests. It seems like a win-win for our feathered friends! Food and nesting material, all on one NYC fire escape! What a great way to use up thread scraps!

Releasing a fabric line has been quite interesting! To experience these fabrics through the designing and print process, submitting them to a fabric house, and now, learning to effectively use them in quilts?

So. Much. Fun.

I will show this entire quilt top next week, during the Florabunda! Blog Hop Celebration. But for now, I would like to say, the pattern for this quilt can be found in Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s Modern Quilt Magic. Like so many of my fellow quilters, I am smitten with Victoria’s innovative quilts, her solid skill set and her precise methods of teaching. This year, I went from trying out ‘y seams‘, to sewing the Cascade quilts’ soft curves, to jumping right into to piecing a Bow Tie quilt with quarter circles! All three quilts use Victoria’s templates (I am a total fan-click links above)!

Where previously, I had told myself these techniques were too difficult or fiddly, now, I am All-In! This is easy! And fun. It’s been a joy to learn new skills, while acquiring preferences in how to most effectively use Florabunda!

During the Blog Hop, I will discuss how these three quilt/tops helped me build preferences and understand how to use Florabunda! effectively. So please join us, on June 7th!

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Finding pleasure.

Last week, I took out every quilting thread I own, made a quilt sandwich and found a thread i wanted to use on my Bow Tie quilt. The thread I chose, is variagated trilobal polyester, Superior brand Rainbow. Now, my Bow Tie quilt is more than half quilted! 

When I was making whole cloth, dye painted artwork, I used an array of rayon embroidery threads. The thread was slick, shiney and became one with the dye painted work beautifully. I fell in love with the shine and depth it gave the artwork.  Now, I find, I can still have that shine, though in a much stronger thread that will withstand washing and use! Win!

Also, in the hopes of hosting a ‘Sip and Sew’ at my local quilt store, Gotham Quilts, I am using their free pattern, Yuma and combining it with Florabunda! Again, my fascination with my own self imposed ‘creative limitations’ reared its pesky head! I froze up and declared, ‘I have no idea how to follow a pattern!’ I fretted, I tried to back out of the idea, I got to work, and…

Wonder of all wonders, I most certainly do know how to follow a pattern! I am even changing it around a slight bit!

It is time to stop listening to that small and limiting voice and settle into the pleasure of streching and growing, while learning new things, all over again.  
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Machine Quilted Sampling with Florabunda!

Hello Good folk.

I am working on my Bow Tie Quilt. It’s been basted and a sample sandwich was made, so that I can try out machine quilting techniques. I am excited about this quilt. The colors dance and sparkle. Sewing the quarter circle blocks was great fun. And now, this great quilt is encouraging me to machine quilt in ways that I have not recently explored. 

Usually, when I quilt my hand printed quilt tops, I machine quilt in straight lines, in order to ‘level the playing field’ and place the focus on the handprints rather than the quilting. Check out my Lace Swirl Quilt with straight line quilting, here

But, straight lines won’t do this time! I want to stretch and learn, which is in keeping with this Bow Tie Quilt top anyway.

So this morning, I rounded up every spool of thread in the house and evaluated my stash. I posted to Facebook, asking about the different threads I rounded up and also, examples of free motion go-to shapes. (I love asking the folks on my feed for their advice! I get great information, differing views, links and photos! Book suggestions too!) Cindi G turned me onto Baptist Fan free motion shape, and Kevin S suggested renaming it Lava Flow, which I must say, I really like!! I have been to Hawaii, seen the volcano that recently erupted and I feel connected to its flow and outcome

I chose this thread and ‘Lava Flow’ or Baptist Fan, though I did need to purchase a large spool, I happily await its arrival. In the meantime, I will use up the spool I have.

This is a bunch of fun!

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