Sunday, August 5, 2012

And the Quilt Goes On: FMQ PAISLIES on the Drunken Dragons Quilt!

Paisley FMQ Fill Added Between Flame Paislies
Well, it seems that all the paisley-doodling I've been doing on my iPad over the last few days has really paid off.  I only practiced stitching this paisley free-motion quilting fill pattern for a few minutes on a scrap of fabric and batting before I felt like I could start in on the real quilt -- but I've been doodlling the design on my iPad with a stylus every chance I got over the last few days.  Not only did this allow me to practice the quilting design at times when I wasn't near the sewing machine, but it also saved a lot of fabric and thread.  I'm so excited about how this looks that I had to post it right away!

Completed Half Block
Surprisingly, the small paisley fill pattern is easier for me than the large FMQ flames that I quilted earlier, radiating out from each quilted medallion design.  You don't have to move the quilt as much to stitch little shapes as you do for a long line of quilting, so I'm finding that my stitches are coming out much more evenly (more or less the same length) with less effort and the whole process just feels so RELAXING.  I think the paisley fill between large flames will help to camouflage the jerky, uneven quilting from the early part of my learning curve, and they also help to make my blazing suns look like blazing suns again instead of like big Roses of Sharon with leaves.  However, I'm going to need a lot more thread to do the remaining 35 blocks...

Now that I see how densely I ended up quilting this, I'm really glad that I choose a lightweight quilting thread instead of the pretty-but-heavy 40 weight machine quilting thread.  Already I'm feeling some stiffness that I hope will soften up when I wash the finished quilt, but if I'd used 40 wt thread I'd have a cardboard quilt by the time I was finished.  The only bummer is that the shades of Mettler 60 wt cotton embroidery thread that I chose only come on dinky little 200 meter spools, and I've already gone through at least 10 of them and I'm headed out to buy 6 more spools tomorrow.  This is not, I repeat NOT, an economical way to buy thread.  I really need to get my hands on some of that Aurifil Mako 50 weight cotton thread that everyone has been raving about -- it comes in pretty colors including variegated (love!) AND comes on nice, big spools!

I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.  This quilt, begun in October 2011, WILL be finished in less than a year.  And then I'll start another one.  ;-)

1 comment:

Jenny K. Lyon said...

It's really looking good! Yes, smaller shapes are easier to quilt-less movement. Aurifil rocks and won't make your quilt stiff. I also like Superior Threads-Rainbow (Poly).