FMQ Challenge & 2 Baby Quilts

Because I don’t have nearly enough to do (🙄) I am participating in the free motion quilting challenge “hosted” by Angela Walters on social media. I figured it’d be fun and would refresh me, right. So I got the quilt put together pretty quickly, and even jazzed it up a little with some cool colors.

I like it a lot. And since this pic, I decided to add a border using this fun fabric.

I know, right! I’ve had it for years and thought the colors just worked. I also used it on the back and plan to use it for the binding. So the first block we were supposed to meander quilt it. It’s never been a favorite design of mine, mostly because I was always terrible at it, but it turned out pretty nice.

Yes, it’s supposed to look like that. The next one included smaller meandering and a “frame” within a square. Meaning, straight lines with a free motion foot (on the sewing machine). Now, I can sew a straight line, but I have a walking foot for that! I tried it anyway, thinking I’d 🤗 jazz this one up too with a square in a square….I even marked what I thought were the middle points! I feel this one was a bust! (No pun intended.)

Straight lines are hard for me. I don’t want to invest in a ruler foot or the rulers at this point, so I will continue to practice as needed. The next challenge were curves. I’m pretty comfortable with quilting curves so I felt like I had this one down. 🙄 When will I learn?

I did some marking with a chalk pencil but it didn’t help me much. Not thrilled with the light gray block, but the pink doesn’t look as bad as I thought it did right after finishing it. Today’s challenge is a leafy meander, which I do all the time so it should be fine. I’m not sure what I’ll do with this quilt once it’s finished. I love the bra fabric, but I still have some left to play around with. I think the challenge goes thru early April. Anyway, it’s good practice.

I finally got two baby quilts sent out last week. At this moment both are “out for delivery” so I thought I could blog them without spoiling any surprises. The first is a Carpenter’s Star (or wheel, I don’t really know what the difference is) which we named Pretty in Pink.

When I started working on this quilt, I tried to incorporate some other colors so it’d match the nursery. A couple examples…

Neither of these options worked for me. Green has never been a favorite and the floral in the second pic just stood out too much, instead of blending in. So I cut a few more pieces of pink and decided that was the way to go. I quilted this with the arch or paisley design, pretty densely actually. I love the texture.

I used the pink plaid on the back and for the binding too. It’s a favorite fabric of mine. I hope the sweet baby and her mama like this quilt.

The next one I started was for a baby boy. He was actually born the day I completed the top! I had given his big brother a fox quilt a couple years ago, so I knew I wanted to use another of Elizabeth Hartman’s patterns for the new guy. I went with Bjorn Bear.

I think it’s a little longer than his brothers quilt, but that’s okay. The pics I had seen of the nursery made me want to use some bright colors, but a dark background, which worked out well for this project. Each bear’s ears has ten pieces! I think that’s right.

I quilted this in a bark-like design, a little further apart than I normally would because I used thread to match the background and didn’t want lots of brown thread on that polar bears face.

I decided to use a scrappy binding on this one. I love the touches of color all around the edges. I used a cool deep purple for the back. If I had found it before I made the bears I would have used it for one of them. The fabric in the top right, with all the dots, was my focus when I chose the colors. It’s a busy one, and caused some eye weirdness when it was all one big piece, but I think it worked out okay. We called this one Bear Cub.

I still have one more gift I need to give before I can blog about it. One of these days that’ll happen!

Finally, I was feeling adventurous so I thought I’d try quilting feathers this weekend. I’ve struggled with them for YEARS. I layered something that’s been in the closet for 6 years with a fabric I’ve had and not used for many years, and gave it a shot.

Not perfect, but not horrible either! It was fun and challenging too. Some of the “petals” kept getting all weirdo on me, like the one in the pic above with the speck of thread in it…. But I just tried to adjust and move on. I don’t know that I’d like to do this on anything of real size (the sample was FQ size) but for now I might stick it in here and there just to get some more practice in.

So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Along with some physical therapy because I have some terrible sewing habits that make my neck and back hurt. I’m learning that as I get older, I need to stop and stretch things BEFORE I can’t move.

Have a great week, friends!



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