Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Granny Square bee quilt ~ finished

I received the granny square blocks for this quilt from my bee mates in the Don't Worry {Bee} Happy group on flickr, plus one from Holly when she and I did a little swap, and two that I made myself.  My month was January, so these blocks have been sitting in a nice little pile for more than half a year.  Now was a good time to pull them out and the rest of the project came together quickly.  The quilt finished at approximately 33" x 44".


I found this super sweet backing fabric at my local Fabricland, and at $6/m on sale, I can't complain!  The binding fabric is comparable to Kona Grass, though the colour is not coming out true in the photos for some reason.

As you can see, I tried my hand at some free motion quilted spirals on this one.  I could easily be self-critical about how it turned out but I'm deciding not to go that route because overall I am SUPER happy with how it came together.  More about the free motion quilting a bit later (I'm going to be asking for some tips, so get your thinking caps on!.....)


The above photo captures the quilting fairly well, but I also really like the next one for showing the spirals and the texture of a newly washed quilt, taken in the light of the setting sun.


Okay, so back to the free motion quilting.  I hadn't done any FMQ in a long long time but I was happy to find when I was doing my practice piece that I could actually still do it.  My speed was good, my tension was good.  Check, and check!  

What I really struggle with still though, is figuring out the best way to do it so I can actually see where I've been and see where I still need to go.  This became an issue on this quilt, and it was manageable since it's a baby size and could easily be turned/pivoted as needed, but what about on a larger project???  What's the best strategy?

Also, the spiral motif required a LOT of 'traveling' (ie. stitching back over where you just stitched) and I found that to be so difficult.  Part of it is related to the above point, I couldn't see where I was going so sometimes I'd hit the mark and sometimes I'd really miss.  I'm thinking that a lot of it is practice practice practice, but if anyone has any tips for traveling stitches when FMQ, I'd greatly appreciate it!!

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Better Off Thread

23 comments:

Katie B said...

I don't have any helpful FMQ tips. I often have the same problems! But yours looks awesome!

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Absolutely gorgeous!! The quilting looks amazing, love the setting sun picture! I haven't done any fmq for awhile so I'm not going to offer any advice. Practice is the best way to go and Jess@theelvengarden has been doing some amazing fmq so maybe check out tips on her Blog :)

Patchwork and Play said...

I love the scrappiness of these granny squares! I am not a FMQ expert and can offer no suggestions. I agree with Lucy, Jess did a great series of posts on the topic.

Kristan said...

Ooh, Heather, I just want to wrap up in all that pretty, textury goodness. As for the FMQ, I just do stipples and haven't really gotten more complicated in that, so I don't have any advice for you.

Patti said...

Love it, Heather! The photo post washing is just gorgeous, and I love all the scrunchy goodness. I struggle with direction as well, and tend to reposition my quilts alot when quilting, but it sure is hard on the back and neck!

Kelsey said...

Your quilting looks amazing Heather! I don't often 'travel' during FMQ since I struggle with the same problem. As for handling a quilt, I tend to keep what is already stitched in front and what is stitch-less (or not yet quilted) behind the machine. That way I find it easier to avoid stitching over myself. This method means your quilt tarts on your table and eventually all ends up on your lap :) I'm excited to try something new this week now, thanks for sharing!

mle said...

I'm impressed with your spiral quilting! nice work! I'm afraid I'm not very adventurous when it comes to FMQ.

Alisa said...

Love the quilt, Heather! It turned out beautifully. I don't really have any FMQ advice. I think it looks gorgeous. Maybe drink more wine before you start? :-)

Debbie said...

Beautiful quilting! Very cool! The quilt turned out SO nice! And random - I met Holly this weekend! What a sweetie...

Jodie said...

I love patchwork quilts and I love that this has that patchwork feel, but so different with being on point. Beautiful work!

snips said...

Love the quilting! It looks awesome, as for FMQ tips, nada from me, mine's totally rubbish!
And Fabricland? How did i not know that you are a fellow Canadian?! I must be living in a hole...

Erica said...

That quilt looks so great and vintage-y, I love it! I am certainly no FMQ-pro and I hate traveling too and avoid it if I can. I have read a lot of other bloggers say that the pull the quilt toward them as the FMQ so that the part they have haven't quilted is behind the machine, but I do the opposite because I don't like to not be able to see what I'm doing. Plus I pin baste and I have to watch out for those pins, so I push the quilt away from me when I FMQ.

Poppyprint said...

It's beautiful and your spirals are outstanding!! Re-quilting over existing lines is really hard for me, too.

Carla said...

It's fabulous Heather! Lovely finish

Svetlana said...

such a lovely quilt, Heather. And I so love your quilting, it looks wonderful.

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi Heather! This is very beautiful! I love grannies and your blocks are lovely! Great quilting and the last photo is best! x Teje

Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi Heather! This is very beautiful! I love grannies and your blocks are lovely! Great quilting and the last photo is best! x Teje

Suzanne said...

It turned out beautifully! You did a fabulous job with the free motion spirals! I'll be checking the other comments for tips :)

Kelli said...

I have no tips for you as I struggle with the same thing, but I had to tell you how much I love this one! I love that you didn't sash the granny squares but let them meld together for scrappy greatness and how your spiral quilting sets off the geometrics of the design. I really really like this one Heather. Great job!!

Mike Pearson said...
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Mike Pearson said...
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Mike Pearson said...

I have the same problem with travel stitching, both FMQ on my home machine and on my long arm. I remember what someone once said about it... "remember, it's not going to be perfect... you don't have a computer chip in your brain!!!!" But, I do agree that you get better at it as you do it more and more... looks great by the way!!!

CitricSugar said...

Gorgeous quilting! Lovely to see it finished - so pretty and cozy!

I have no advice for travelling stitches except that I try to mentally plan out a route the leaves me with the least amount of travelling if I can at all help it. I haven't done much of it and therefore, i'm not really good at it. :-)