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New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Welcome to my world where I try to figure out what I'm going to do next! These days, it is mostly quilting, but you never know what it might be... come find out with me!

Monday, January 2, 2012

let the fun begin!

January 1, 2012 - I can't believe how quickly it arrived!  I do hope that 2012 doesn't fly past as quickly as 2011 did - I still am looking over my shoulder and going "huh? - how'd that happen?"
Let's see - one day down, and I can say I've not added anything to my stash!  In fact I used a bit of it it!

Currently on my design wall - This is a leaders and enders project - eventually, it will become a quilt of some sort - still in the planning stages as to what it will actually look like and how big it will become.  The beauty of this piecing is it just happens while you are working on something else, and before you know it, you've pieced together enough blocks to create another top!  For those of you unfamiliar with leaders and enders, it is a method you can use when chain piecing to limit the amount of thread wastage between piecing sections, and to keep your threads all nice and neat at the beginning of each section.  I went through my scraps and cut a pile of 2 1/2" squares, roughly sorted dark, medium and light.  I match a dark with a medium or light, and start my stitching on those to control the threads (leaders).  After stitching my project pieces, I finish off by stitching onto another pair of squares (enders).  (I try to always go for some contrast with my blocks, but don't put too much thought into it.  After all, it is all just scraps!)  Then just snip my threads and take my project to the pressing table.  The enders then become the leaders for the next set.  I keep my needle in the down position, and I always have fabric under the needle and my threads controlled.  While I am currently doing it with squares, you can do hsts or anything that you want as a leaders and enders, although some will require more prep and planning!

Also on the design wall is this bit of play - one of my goals this year is to do a few more preemie donation quilts.  I could just cut up big blocks and stitch them together and create a quilt a little faster, but I like to use these small pieces (36" square) quilts to do some experimenting, and definitely as practice pieces for my FMQ.  The extra time it takes to create something a little different isn't that much, and it is fun to play!  This one is currently measuring about 30" square, so I am planning a couple more borders, but then look at the space where I can quilt the heck out of it! 

Speaking of quilting - the first tutorial was posted in SewCalGal's 2012 Freemotion Quilting challenge yesterday.  It was the perfect design to use on another little quilt I had made a couple of days ago. After a little bit of play on a practice sandwich, I switched to the preemie quilt and off I went!  I love the way it has turned out!


This quilt was made using a charm pack and a Candy Bar - quick and easy and uses up a bit more of my stash!  Binding is on, just a bit of hand sewing tonight to finish it off.

Still waiting to be quilted - the pinwheel quilt I showed yesterday- I think I'll be practicing some feathers on it.  I will also be pulling out some of my UFOs and working them into the mix, too.  Some of them might be cut down and become multiple projects - we'll see.

Other projects that are really starting to get pushy - my Tangled Textiles challenge that is due January 15 - better get busy on that one! And we're doing a Mentors workshop at the BMQG - I've got to get my sample done for this Friday's meeting, so it looks like the FMQ fun will have to wait a few days!

Happy quilting!


Beth said...

I love doing leaders and enders. I have a bunch of squares cut too. That might be my next leader and ender project.
All of your quilts look amazing. Love the new FMQ design.

dutchcomfort said...

Thanks for explaining the leaders and enders. I never understood the advantage, but now that you tell that you have an ender under the machine to be the leader for the next set, I get it!!!

You have some lovely projects on the go!

Maggi said...

Great start with the FMQ. said...

your FMQ talent is really great.

Mary said...

Beautiful quilting!

Mary said...

Beautiful quilting!

Renate said...

Looks like you have a full plate there! Love the way the FMQ turned out on the little quilt.

Helen in the UK said...

Loving your quilting! Those smaller quilts are perfect for FMQ practice :)

Cynthia F said...

Oooh nice freemotion stitching! I saw your link to the challenge the other day- now I'm inspired to try it, thank you!!

Joan said...

Just lovely Janet - I need to get some of those leaqders and enders going up some of my stash. It really does look great.
Nice to know you are in the challenge too :)

quirky granola girl said...

your star block is gorgeous! did you use a pattern?

Vicki Miller said...

As usual, your freemotion is gorgeous. I have recently altered the set up on my long arm machine from the rollers, to a sit down table, where I move the quilt and am finding that this is much easier for me.