Friday, January 21, 2011


(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.

Go Tigers!


Babs said...

Love it Regina -I think it looks great! Really like your colors and the fabric for the tiger is awesome!!!


Suzan said...

Congrats on getting so much done last night! Outline quilting was a great idea. Hope the borders come out just the way you want them!

Colleen said...

I think that turned out great. It looks really neat and you should definitely FMQ more often!

Barb said...

Your quilt is sooooooooooooooo fun and wonderful!!

Angie said...

You had a great FNSI - Love the FMQ and your translation on the title of your post.

Jennifer said...

Great project and the quilt looks really good. Hope you get some quick inspiration for the borders and have it up on Monday! You are a brave woman for FMQ'ing without a flat surface!

Shellie said...

wow Regina! What a wonderful layout you created. I love the 4 patches, tiger and sun. Your fmq was fantastic. Youre a natural.

Anonymous said...

Great FNSI! I love the story of the little quilt that grew. =)

jillquilts said...

It looks awesome!!! And your quilting looks pretty good, too!