Saturday, January 7, 2012

Leaves and the First Finish of 2012


Hi. I'm celebrating my first finish of 2012! I started this table runner in September of 2011, just because I liked the fabrics. I had designed this runner on EQ7 last year, and had made a few in different colors. When I asked my sister-in-law what I could make for her for her Christmas/Birthday gift, she said she wanted a pretty, Spring colored runner that would make her happy when she saw it. So, I decided to finish it. I began quilting it with a lovely blue variagated thread, and realized I didn't like the look or the design. I showed it to her, and she liked it, so I took out the quilting and set it aside to ponder a new direction for the stitching.

Then this challenge began. SewCal Gal is sponsoring a Free Motion Quilting challenge. Each month, a well known quilter offers a lesson, and our challenge is to practice the lesson, and blog about it. There are prizes, but the real prize is the skills developed over the year. I looked at the Leaves design posted by Ms. January, Frances Moore, and immediately realized the design, in a thinner thread, would be a beautiful accent for the Blue and Yellow Ribbon runner.

Here's the finished runner.

Although the colors look pretty good here, it is much prettier in person, with a true sunny yellow, and pretty sky blue. Here is a detail of the quilting, and a picture of the back, to show more of the stitching.
I am not new to Free Motion Quilting, but this challenge will help me get more even stitches as well as more designs. I've created a few of my own, as well, but never used leaves as a full design. I have done leaves in a border.

Here are the first practice blocks I did for this challenge. This is using Superior King Tut (blue variagated) on the top, with Aurifil 50wt on the bottom. I had problems with breakage and tension at first, but changed the needle and it helped. I used scraps from backings and Warm & Natural batting. The test blocks could have been a little bigger, but...I used what I could quickly grab.
This is the second sample, and I changed threads to Aurifil 50wt white in both top and bobbin at the end. I didn't cut the thread between areas, but liked the leaf in the thinner thread better for this runner.



My third sample was actually doing it on the table runner. I love it! It came out really good. The design offers a great texture to the top, without distracting from the ribbon design of the blocks. The leaves are a variety of sizes, which I think adds to the texture, as well. Aurifil 50wt in white was the perfect thread, as expected. I'm happy.

9 comments:

June D said...

Looks terrific! Thanks for also showing all your practice pieces!

: )
June

Christine said...

Beautiful. The fabric is very pretty. I am sure your SIL is going to love it.

SewCal Gal said...

Mary this table runner is beautiful and your FMQ is fran-tastic! Great job! I love it!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Linda Moran said...

really gorgeous! I like seeing the pattern in an all-over quilt to see the effect.

wes said...

Nice job...I need to get on this!

Maria said...

your tablerunner is really beautiful!

Barb said...

Love your FMQ and runner!!

j-andrew said...

looks great! You're braver than I am. I'm not quite confident enough yet to try it on the real thing!

Barbara Sindlinger said...

Great job on the challenge - but I love your runner! Very springy and cute pattern.