Finally Quilting

Seems I’ve been saying, “After X I’ll start quilting…” for a long time. Actually it is since the Sisters OR Outdoor quilt show and classes. There was always something else that needed to be pieced first. I didn’t run out of things to design, but had no pressing due dates, so I headed for the box of tops waiting with backing.

Oops. not prepared backings, but fabric for backings.

The first three I tried would need to be pieced to be large enough. Then there was the issue of thread.  I piece with gray or cream, so haven’t thought thread color for quite a while. Finally found one with thread on hand and a back, a top I’d started in August.

I had done some practice and, for the most part, could maintain an even stitch length. I outlined the monkeys and did pebbles around them.


Practicing Pebbles

I didn’t want the whole quilt to be pebbles because I wanted the quilt to be softer. (It is infant size, 36 x 36.) But I wanted something special to highlight the monkey row.

I moved on to the other lighter squares, saving the dark green for a later thread change.  Since I like high contrast, I’ll probably always be dealing with thread changes–or become confident enough to quilt with contrasting colors.


First Spiral

I decided to put a large spiral in each light 4-inch square. I practiced with pencil and paper and thought I had it. Nope.  I had a hard time keeping the curve curvy. And something was wrong with the center where I changed directions. I studied and studies as I quilted new squares. Even after I figured out the spacing issues, it took till the sixteenth spiral to do it.

 A better spiral

After 16

I did practice the design in a small scale, but I think problems show up more when it is enlarged.  I do some practicing on swatches that are sandwiched, and some on quilts for children. Remember the mantra?  Altogether now: The kids don’t care.

The spiral makes me think of the monkey tail. On the dark green I’m going to do arches that suggest the grinning mouth.

ETA I tried sketching the “smile.” I didn’t like it so I’ll opt for a simple zig zag. Linking up with Leah Day’s Free Motion–see button to the right if you want to check on other’s stitching. I hope someday FMQ is as easy for me as it looks for her.


Filed under quilting

6 responses to “Finally Quilting

  1. I am terrible as curves in quilting…and people say straight lines are more difficult? I think the spirals do mimic a monkey tail, how clever! Cute monkey fabric 🙂

  2. What a fun quilt. I am confident whoever receives this quilt will love it!

  3. Sounds like fun quilting to work on!

  4. I’d say that your quilting looks wonderful – thanks for sharing how you went about it!

  5. Good work! I find the key to swirls is keeping my movements smooth. Thanks for linking up!

  6. Cher

    your spirals look great to me…one of the best tips is to use a white board and draw your pattern over and over, so you have a muscle memory that helps when you are free motion quilting…I use a warm up piece to get into my free motion groove…that way I can see if the thread will work the way I want and it loosens me up at the same time…you know that saying, 10,000 hours to master a skill 🙂

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