(translation: Friday Night Sew In - Free Motion Quilting - Frustrations And Successes)
Tonight I worked on my Tiger Twiddle. This wall hanging started out as randomly sewn orange/brown and white scraps, which became 4 patches, which became this checkerboard. The school colors where I work are orange and brown, and our mascot is the tiger - so I began envisioning adding a tiger to this using some tiger print fabric I had in my stash. I found some clip art of a tiger online that would work good in outline only, and pulled out the fusible, and went to town.
I was totally flying without a firm plan - I even ended up with a square when my original layout on the floor was a rectangle - and I wondered why I was one 4-patch short. And the borders were pulled from my stash AFTER the rest of everything was pieced. I have some dark brown leftover binding from a prior project that I think will be long enough - otherwise I think this will be bound in a dark rusty orange.
Once I started placing things, the tiger looked a little lost on the big square -in fact the whole thing seemed a bit unbalanced, so I took the scraps of fabric with the double sided bond on the back from cutting out the tiger, and created this "sun."
If you have followed my quilting for a while, you will notice I do not do a lot of FMQ. Part of it is lack of practice = lack of confidence, and part of it is lack of throat/work space on my machine, which is not set into a work table, and does not have an extension table on it, so I am reluctant to commit to wrangling a large quilt with those "challenges."
But this was little - so I thought it would be good practice, and good fun, to FMQ this piece. It is for me to hang in my cube at work, so I knew the recipient would be fairly forgiving.
So once I got past the frustration of sewing the wrong two edges when piecing some scraps of batting (aka flannel) for the inside and having to rip before I even got started, I got the whole thing sandwiched, pinned, and then I went to town.
I started with the tiger - the fusible was old and I did not prewash the fabric - so I knew I would need to anchor him down nicely or he would not stay. His one leg was already starting to lift. So I followed the tiger stripes on him -and this is the result:
Then I did the sun. That was fun because I just did flaming petals and did not mind of they crossed or not. It was a fun "organic" shape to work with. I need to work more on transitions but for an 'artsy' piece this worked.
Then I decided to switch to a different color thread and echo quilt the entire thing - since I wanted to have the orange "flames" stand out and I was afraid the same color quilting for the echo would blend it all together too much.
That was fun - but a bit frustrating as I kept losing track of where my last line was, and getting very close to it - even crossing it a few times. I also learned lots about my tension, my speed, and my eyes... which I think were crossed by the time I got to the end.
I still need to think about how I want to quilt the borders. I tried to see if I could do without -but they are a bit too wide, and there is a bit of a ripple going on in one, so I need to do something with them. I think I will ponder the possibilities and sleep on it - and look at it again tomorrow. I hope to get this finished and bound and hung up on Monday morning.