Friday, March 22, 2013

A Cheery Finish

I finished my Marmalade Squares quilt top today! My 9am class was cancelled, so I spent my morning sewing the sashing and piecing everything together. It really helped put me in a good mood after the crap week I had. School has been stressful (it is hard to design a bridge with 17 people with very strong opinions) and Flash and I haven't been able to talk much this week. He's been in Prague and Budapest while I'm in rainy icky Blacksburg... I've been a negative Nancy for too long, and today helped turn things around! I got to sew, I wore a new dress to class (and received lots of compliments!), and the bridge is coming together nicely.

The top is done! The quilt is a lot larger than I had anticipated, but that just means it'll be perfect for a little girl to grow up with. I think I may sew together a lovey to go with it, to cover her in her baby carrier or something. 

And the applique "N" turned out pretty nicely, for my first time applique-ing!

My plan for quilting the blankie is to do a free motion loopy kind of thing, with little flowers. But I tried free motion quilting tonight on a test piece.... and I am absolute crap at it.

I have no idea what I'm doing.

It's so hard to keep a steady hand on the fabric and pull it and guide it and EVERYTHING. I'm just starting out, so I'm not too surprised, but now I'm afraid because I don't want to make this adorable quilt look ugly because I can't quilt like a decent human.

I at least got one flower to look nice.

I'm going to need to do a lot more research before I'm ready to quilt this thing. Any tips?
Linking up to Sew, Love, Live and Crazy Mom Quilts!


  1. Cute quilt. I have tried free motion quiting on baby quilts and tabls runners with some sucess. I find that drawing the design out a lttle and sitting it where I can see it whils quilting helps. Also a glass of wi e and good music. Good luck!

  2. Don't sweat it! Keep testing and.practicing! You'll get more comfortable with time. And honestly, your first attempt looks waaaay better than mine did! I didn't even take a picture of it, it was so horrible. It probably doesn't help that I can't draw to save my life lol so trying to do it by moving fabric around a stationary point is quite a feat. My advice is to just keep practicing until you get a test piece you feel okay with. Then do it a couple more times before you start the quilt! I found it was easier to use small test pieces and.concentrate on filling up the space efficiently and evenly with my chosen design. Slightly large pieces might work better for this design though. Pebbles are the worst, I think... even filling a 6 inch square took an eternity!

    OK. Getting long winded. But it all boils down to practice :) I also remove pins as I go so the fabric doesn't bunch. Not so important on a little test piece, but it matters on a big quilt! At first I had little pouf islands where pins had been. Once I started removing.them and smoothing the fabric with my hands, the went away.

    Last thing- expect sore shoulders if you quilt for long periods...


  3. What a cute quilt! Perfect for a little girl. Unfortunately, I'm crap at FMQ so no advice from me. Thanks for linking up to TGIFF!

  4. That is NOT absolute crap... You can do this! I am no free motion expert, but with practice, you will become more confident and enjoy your work. I did recently buy a pair of those gloves for quilting and am sew happy I did. It is a lot easier to maneuver the fabric. By the way.... Love the quilt! Does the N stand for Negative Nancy?

  5. Yep practice is the best way forward. I love the monogram.

  6. Beautiful quilt top! The only tip is to practice. Not very original I know, but it's the only way to get better. I wish I could have shown you my first FMQ attempts. They were awful and I was so discouraged, but over time, I got better and so can you, if you keep at it. Stitch by stitch, you will get better!

  7. Lovely quilt! Love the appliqued initial!

    I'm terrible at FMQ so have no tips other than we're often our own worst critics and it's likely not as bad as you think!

  8. This is so darling! I love it!

    I'm just barely starting to get into FMQ myself, but everyone says practice is the key...

  9. Your quilt is lovely, great job on the applique. I have never tried FMQ I'm too scared, so I can't offer any advice - sorry, but your test piece looks great to me :o) I came over from the Lets Get Acquainted Linky.

  10. Just relax and keep practicing the FMQ. Try not to go too fast but not too slow either!

  11. What a great quilt for a little girl. I love the colors and after a bit of trial and error I'm sure the FMQ will come out just how you like it. I have only done FMQ and I love it because you can make it anything you want it to be - "perfect", "casual" "doodily" - make it your own! (visiting through Let's Get Acquainted)