I never remember the things that annoy me about free motion quilting until I sit down at the machine. And then it all comes flooding back to me. FMQ on a domestic machine is a pain in the ass. I don’t know how people quilt full size quilts on a domestic machine. They are much stronger people than I am and I have great admiration for them.
I sat down after our walk this evening to continue doing the quilting on my sea glass wall hanging. It all went so smoothly in the two previous sessions. And tonight, with the darker blue thread, I had nothing but troubles.
The thread kept breaking. I kept having skipped stitches. And the upper thread would fray and eventually break. After changing my needle, switching to my single stitch plate, and re-threading my machine, I realized what the issue was. I was going clockwise around the pebbles, rather than counter clockwise. In both previous sessions I had gone counter clockwise.
The issues I mentioned above always happen when I’m traveling in a northeast direction. When I go counter clockwise I never have to travel in that NE direction and it all works beautifully. I know I’ve figured this out in the past, but I had forgotten.
Needless to say, my quilting session involved much more profanity than should have been necessary. But after the nightmare of the first six darker blue pebbles, the remaining ten or so were a dream.
It’s so fun to see the texture of the quilting as I finish more and more of this piece.
The back is a bit of a mess, but I’m going to have to live with it.
All I have left to quilt are the aqua pieces at the bottom. I should be able to finish this tomorrow night — now that I have “counter clockwise” embedded in my brain!
I have a virtual conference going on this week so am spending a good deal of time on zoom presentations. So today I was looking for some hand work that would keep my hands busy while my brain paid attention. So I pulled out a big pile of Australian Aboriginal fabric 2.5 inch WOF strips that a friend gave me about a year ago.
I’ve been thinking about making either a trip quilt or a 16 patch from these strips, and today I paired these up in sets of two with the plan to make them into a sixteen patch.
I tried to pair these sets up with a good variation in either value or color. And then I ended up with a small stack of about a dozen strips that were all dark mostly brown or black. So I pulled some brighter and lighter fabrics from my stash that I will cut some additional strips from to pair up to make the remaining needed blocks.
I won’t use all of these but I will use some of them. And I still haven’t committed to a 16 patch. I may make these strips into a scrappy trip quilt. I still have time to decide. It will probably just come down to which one sounds more fun to make. And as I type this, I’m thinking it will be a trip quilt! I’m sure I’ll change my mind six or seven times before I start sewing strip sets.
Another thing I did today was make a list of new color combos for upcoming Frankenbags. I’ve been noodling on these ideas for a while now and I figured it was a good idea to write them down.
I received photos of some more Frankenbags made by blog readers. This first bag is from Annette LeBlanc from the province of New Brunswick, Canada.
I love how she incorporated that paper pieced flamingo, combined with that dark and rich pineapple block. And those strong graphic diagonal lines on the back are wonderful! This is Annette’s first Frankenbag.
These next bags are from Ingrid Cruz. She didn’t do any improv or crumb piecing on her bags, but I love how she kept these big, bold and graphic prints whole. What a great thing to incorporate into this basic bag body.
She even made a zipper placket on that last one.
Thanks to Annette and Ingrid for sending photos.