Saturday, October 20, 2012

October FMQ Challenge with Teri Lucas

October FMQ Challenge Piece, 15" x 15" Silk Taffeta with Double Batting
I just finished my free-motion quilting sample for the October tutorial on SewCalGal's blog.  Although this is the 10th month in the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge, I still have several months that I need to make up in order to get all 12 finished before the end of the year.  I have to say, I really am seeing huge improvement each month.

This month's tutorial was courtesy of the very talented quilter Teri Lucas.  Some of the interesting twists for the October challenge were:
  • Teri suggested a silk or silk/cotton blend fabric for the sample instead of a quilting weight cotton.  I found a yummy scrap of terra cotta silk taffeta that was leftover from a client's drapery project years ago, so that's what I used for the challenge. 
  • I almost missed this, but Teri directed us to put TWO layers of batting in this quilt sandwich, a bamboo or needle-punched low-loft polyester batting closest to our backing fabric, and a layer of wool or silk batting on top of that, just beneath the silk fabric.  I found some thin Mountain Mist poly batting and layered Hobbs Tuscany Silk batting on top of that.  I attempted to baste this much-thicker-than-usual sandwich with safety pins, but that was a disaster -- I ended up using 505 Temporary Spray Adhesive between each layer to prevent shifting and distortion.
  • Teri also wanted us to play with different threads, which I don't normally do.  Since the silk fabric had a sheen, I decided to experiment with a box of forgotten Sulky rayon 40 weight embroidery thread.  I used the same thread in the needle and in the bobbin, and reduced my upper thread tension down to 1.5 in order to get a nice, balanced stitch on both sides of my quilt sandwich.
Pebbles, Nautilus Shells, and Feather-Like Leafed Thingys
I practiced several motifs that were new to me, like the nautilus shells, pebbling, and the feathery leafy thingys.  Oh, and notice how nice and even my tiny little stitches are?  I have finally gotten comfortable with the "laser" powered Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) on my Artista 200E/730E sewing machine.  I set my stitch length to 1.8 and worked slowly, and had no problems whatsoever.  The laser actually counts fabric threads as I move the fabric beneath the needle so the computerized machine can speed up or slow down the needle speed as necessary to maintain that even stitch length.  Pretty cool!

Meandering, Jester Hats, Feather-Like Objects and Today's Date
I also worked on improving a couple of motifs that I'd attempted in the past but was never really satisfied with.  Today's meandering fill stitch (upper right area in the photo above) is the best I've ever done.

One last look:

Completed October Challenge, approximately 15" x 15"

Thank you, Teri, for sharing this wonderful tutorial with us!  It was a lot of fun.


Elaine said...

Brava! Loved your work!

I have been putting this off, because I am NOT going to do a (dumb) name in the middle of my piece, even if it's practice. Maybe a peace sign (ha ha) since that is my generation.

I purchased Cindy Needham's Craftsy class and I am loving it. Even OLD (cough cough) quilters can learn new tricks, and I am pleased with the valuable instruction.

Linda and Michelle said...

Love how the piece came out! I'm jealous....guess I'll have to try again!

Jenny K. Lyon said...

This is a beautiful piece! I love the motifs, and the thread really adds to the lovelieness.

Anonymous said...

This is gorgeous Rebecca! Now I will have to redo the lesson and follow directions this time. LOL! I have used Sulky rayon many times, and I do love the sheen of it.

Rosemary Dickinson said...

Your piece came out so beautiful! I didn't change threads on my piece. Love your different patterns and effect of the threads. Just lovely!!

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Oh wow!! now yours is stunning!! I really appreciate you stopping by mine and the lovely comment you left. The filler you liked is paisley...I took a class last week; and she showed us that one. I am afraid mine is nothing compared to yours, but getting more relaxed with it. thank you

SewCalGal said...

What a beautiful piece. Love the collection of designs. You did a great job on this challenge and perfect balance of designs. Love it!


Quilting Babcia said...

This is a beautiful sample Rebecca! Such wonderful stitching and your hands are very steady to produce that wonderful movement of the piece. Don't feel badly about having several months to make up - I'm also going to be very busy in December making up what I've missed over the past couple months.

Raewyn said...

I really like your piece - well done on producing such a lovely piece of work. You have blended the different motifs/stitches. I'm at the drawing stage of mine and am really enjoying the inspiration from the other blogs like yours.

Ivory Spring said...

This is absolutely scrumptious!!!! Great job, Rebecca!

M and M plus 3 said...

Wow, your quilting is gorgeous! I love the different stitch motifs you've used.