Monday, 23 January 2012

Smug Happy Dance

Linking up to Sew Modern Monday and Manic Monday:

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge CreationsSew Happy Geek

I'm not normally smug... rarely do I feel completely happy with something I've sewn but this time I really am! Excuse the ensuing smugness...

I have been working on my 'Not So Charming Rainbow Stars Quilt', which wasn't turning out exactly right. This has become a slight comedy of errors. Anyone spot the mistake??:

Yeah, see the middle block at the bottom - it's the wrong way round!! Whoops. I only noticed it when I was basting and at that point could not be bothered unpicking. It'll just have to stay that way!

Then when I did some straight line quilting and the bobbin ran out I stupidly put the wrong colour in - I was using a different thread to match the backing and out of habit used the top thread colour. A bit of unpicking later (I couldn't leave that - it was too obvious and annoying!!), the right thread in place and the straight lines were done.

So with renewed confidence I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and practice my fmq - Nicky will be proud :)

I had a gander at Leah Day's designs at the Free Motion Quilting Project, just the beginners ones obviously!! There's so much choice but I wanted something that would counter the pointy stars and also a design that would suit the backing fabric.

I went with the Echo Shortcut:

first and second attempts
third attempt!
My tension was all over the place and the first attempt was with the feed dogs up. I thought since this was a function of my new machine it would make it easier. I hated it, so feed dogs back up and attempt 2 and 3. My design looks less curvy and more like mussels than Leah's but I really like it!!

Happy with the pattern, I switched to the thread I'd picked for the quilt to try and sort the tension out and had another go:

Not too bad. Feeling more confident and excited I said to my husband, 'Shall I just do it on one of the stars?'. He said, 'go for it!' 

Glad I did!:

I totally love it!! The texture is amazing.

I had to stop and start a couple of times to get into all the points and I did slip outside of the star a couple of times. I sewed into the dark red square but since it already has black lines on it I just grabbed a micron pen and coloured in the little threads! You'd never know ;)

Despite that it's not bad! My stitch length is somewhat random but not horrendous, I still just tend to go a little fast sometimes:

Using the different thread really helps the design blend in to the backing, also the design works really well:

Overall I'm chuffed to bits!! Now just have to attempt this 8 more times to fill all the stars!!

In other news I had a nice delivery:

I'd seen this Habitat fabric around on other blogs and knew I had to have some. Those pixels are SO PERFECT. This may just be may favourite fabric ever (so far!!). I also got some lush Essex Linen in grey, oh so scrummy :) I've never used it before but I couldn't resist.
The service at Marmalade fabrics is fantastic, great choice, very quick delivery and so nicely wrapped. Highly recommended!

I also ventured out to Nantwich for a quilter's fabric sale. Now I have to be completely honest and say it wasn't really my sort of thing. I'm way too laid back for elbowing nice ladies out of the way for some bargain fabric but it was fun to see. There were so many people there and lots of stalls. There were also some demonstrations and I was able to pick up a few tips from a very kind and patient lady (I did ask some moronic questions!!). Much of the stuff on offer wasn't my taste but I did get these beauties:

from the lovely folks at Patchwork Corner
And I have plans for these already!

Another quick reminder of my Fugly fabric party!! Please check it out and help to spread the word, I'd love people to join in and we also need some blog hoppers to enjoy all the delights and grab some fugly fabric!! :)

Charm About You


  1. This looks great and is an inspiration to me for all those charm packs I have lying around...your quilted star looks wonderful :) Good job!

  2. the quilted star is great. the whole is quite lovely!

  3. I need glasses - I can`t see the mistake! Your FMQ is amazingly impressive and you HAVE to rename that quilt. Thanks for the tip off on where to get linen - off to order some for Mouthy Stitches..fingers crossed it arrives soon!

  4. Lucy, that looks fantastic! Yay for you! I think that I'm probably in for the Fugly fabric party. Most of my fuglies are from the 90s though, when even quilt store fabric felt different. I'll see what I can dig up.

  5. oh you are so brave and you did such a lovely job with your fmq! Good goin girl!!! It's looking so good!

  6. Wow, wow, wow! The quilt and quilting are both lovely!

  7. Wow, it looks fabulous!! Well done!!!!

  8. That is a really nice texture on the star. You'll be a fancy FMQer soon!

  9. Good job on the FMQ. Bet you're glad you went for it!

  10. I love the texture and the quilt! beautiful!

  11. Lucy I am proud of you and what's more you seem to be proud of yourself - with good reason - this is bloody fantastic! Way to go girl!

  12. Lucy, even after you pointing out the "mistake", I still had to look really hard to see what you meant! It totally blends in and I expect would only ever be noticed by you.

    Your FMQ skills have come so far, it looks amazing.

    I have Marmalade Fabrics bookmarked from a while ago but have yet to order from them. I only bookmark fabric sites that have reasonable shipping outside the US, so they must? Should go check it out again. :)

  13. See, what you say is that you turned that one square on purpose as "design element" to throw everyone off. haha!

    Your FMQ looks awesome and good for you for trying it. I always have good intentions, but often chicken out when it comes to it. It feels good to just go for it, huh?

  14. Your quilting is gorgeous! I often think that you just have to go for it on the real project like you did. You can practice and practice and get too caught up in mistakes and trying to be perfect and suddenly start getting worse rather than better. Then you switch to the real project and just relax and go it just flows. Ok, what's next? Feathers?

  15. You are an FMQ superstar - it looks amazing - good on you!

  16. Wow, Lucy, your quilting looks so great! I am just at the beginning of FMQ and I wish my attempts would look only a little bit like your quilting.
    I think it is a matter of training, so I´ll practice a LOT more.

    Your new fabrics are beautiful!

  17. Yes, everyone else has said what I want to say, so I shall just say, Fantastic!
    I look forward to you finishing, and photos of back and front with that lovely texture!

  18. Uh, yeah, I think you're hallucinating about that block, it looks fine! Love the quilting though, gorgeous pattern

  19. I agree- your rotated star is a design element! AND your FMQ is amazing! Love the Essex Linen!

  20. Smug happy dance is right!! Your quilting is fantastic Lucy!!! It looks excellent!

  21. Oh yay! I love your quilted star. Keep it up! This is definitely inspiring me to work on some FMQ myself.

  22. Great work Lucy! Beautiful quilt and fantastic quilting!

  23. Great job with the quilting - it looks awesome and I am very impressed and inspired!

  24. Your FMQ looks fantastic, very impressed.

  25. Hi Lucy! Testing, testing...

  26. The quilting looks beautiful Lucy!!

  27. Fabulous FMQ! Loving that pixel fabric too...