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Showing posts from March, 2011

Improving Free Motion Quilting

Three years in, I think that I am finally starting to understand why some quilters actually enjoy the quilting part of making a quilt. Aside from the basic stipple, my free motion quilting skills are nil. And the actual quilting part has been something to deal with in order to have a finished product.

But the tricks of the trade seem to be 1) go slowly; 2) don't worry about imperfections; 3) pay some attention, but not too much; 4) take regular breaks. So I tried to just have fun doodling with thread onto the Bohemian Bird quilt.

Mostly swirls, although some random echoing lines too. There are lots of mistakes, but nothing that a shrink in the wash can't fix. Or just don't look too closely. All this dense quilting shrunk the quilt from 50" x 52" to 48" x 49", all before a wash.

Roll Call: Quilt Alongs

There are a lot of very generous people on the web who host free quilt-alongs and sew-alongs on their blogs.  I have created a page to keep a running list of these free projects. The purpose of the page is to serve as a resource for both new and experienced sewers to learn new skills and create new projects. Because it's always fun to be able to add to our ever growing "want-to-make" list.

The rating level is a combination of the blogger's own assessment of skill level needed and my own two cents based on what I remember what my beginner skills were. So take the ratings with a grain of salt.

If you have a quilt or sew along to add to this page, please let me know by email at serendipitijoy {a} gmail {dot}com or leave a comment. Thank you.


The second in the series using the half-square triangles:

I sketched out the design in a book and then played with the pieces on a design wall.

I knew I wanted to do a star and then it was just trying to figure out how to create some movement from the center.

Modern Quilt Back

This is the second back I've made for the Bohemian Bird quilt, again just using left over scraps and pieces.

No thinking or planning. Just sewing and adjusting to size. Super simple with fun results.

I like how the seams create a stained glass look when held up to the light. Yet for some reason I am okay with doing this style of improv piecing for the back of a quilt, but not with making this the front of a quilt.

A Ripple

Still working with the half-square triangles and invariably what I had originally planned to make changed and ended up with this:

I'm calling it "Ripple" because the radiating lines remind me of the movement of a drop of water in a still pond.

I'll finish quilting it in straight lines to emphasize the concentric movement of the quilt. The quilt is a 48" square.

Mini Cross-body Bag

My mom asked me to make her a small bag that she could use while traveling.

I was happy to oblige. This is my second attempt. My first version are always invariably a prototype - meaning that there is always something to fix or make better.

If I were to make this again, I would reverse the zippers so that the zipper pull is on the right side of the bag and add a third zipper for even more places to store things.

The bag measures 8" wide by 9.5" high. Perfect for holding a passport, some cash, and a souvenir or two.

A Good Bag is Hard to Find

There must be a bajillion bags out in the world, but despite spending an unhealthy amount of time and money to find the right bag, I finally conceded defeat and made my own.

It's not perfect; things I would fix in the next iteration would be to add an interior inset zipper to discourage pickpocketing and reposition the magnetic snaps on the cover.

But of the pluses, it has lots of pockets to hold way too many things. It has a fun lining instead of usual boring black or beige. It's not too big and is a cross-body to help relieve tired shoulders. And I like the white piping on the navy for a fun nautical look.

All that's left is to buy some webbing to make the straps.