Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gaining FMQ Confidence

After three restless weeks, I'm finally settling down and back to the treadle again. I now have three of the large blocks on the Big Quilt quilted, with some spillover quilting on surrounding blocks. This quilt is definitely going to be a little history of my growth in FMQ, especially on the blocks with the floral design. 

My favorite floral patch so far is the orange one in this picture. I can still see some wonkiness here and there, but it is the first block that I felt free enough to quilt without drawing much of the pattern before quilting. I'm getting lost in tight spots less now and am improvising a little more. I've started adding some curlicues here and there instead of just leaves when I get into a smallish space. Now I do have to say that I've been a bit more awkward on some of the patches after taking a break from FMQ, but that's okay. When the quilt is finished, it will be fun to compare my earlier and later attempts at quilting the flowers. 

In other news, I have a couple of snippets to add to the Throwback Thursday post I did last week. The day after I wrote the post, my son sent me a link to a realtor's website that he had come across, and it turns out that the little bungalow that we lived in while I was making that quilt is for sale! There were lots of pictures as well as a video of it, so I was able to see what changes there have been since we lived there. Most of them are cosmetic, and the place still has much of it's charm, especially in the kitchen. The wallpaper in the attic room is gone now (not surprising), and it looks like it just got a fresh coat of bright white paint (the electrical outlet covers were in a pile on the floor). It was fun to see the old house again, and it's such a coincidence that we were able to see it right after I wrote about it. 

The other little tidbit is that some of us fellow bloggers were discussing the fading of the old bedspread and wondering about the instability of older fabric dyes. As I was making the bed the other day (yes, the old quilt is still on it--I move slowly to make changes), I noticed that the fabric that I bought for the binding after I finished the quilting has not faded at all even though the other fabrics are in bad shape where the sunlight got to them. I wonder if that is because it was relatively newer fabric with a more stable dye. Can anyone shed any light (ha) on why there is such a difference in fading?

Otherwise, here's what else I've been up to this week. I have an old spool cabinet that I keep my thread, embroidery floss, and needles in, but now that I'm doing more FMQ, I've been investing in cones of thread that are too big for the spool cabinet drawers. So I decided to check out some antique stores for an old medicine cabinet for additional storage, and I found this little gem...

Selfie! (Old school style)
I'm not sure how old it is--probably not super old. It holds my thread cones nicely. That little tea towel was given to me at my wedding shower in 1978. I use it as a dust cover for my treadle when I'm not sewing. I'm thinking eventually I might hang a little scrap of fabric instead and pin some minis to it. 

Here's my other spool cabinet: 

Someone painted the label areas black and stuck little cherub decals on--I'm guessing this happened a long time ago given their poor condition. I was going to remove them, but I've grown attached to them--and they are part of its history. It was way too expensive, but this was what really grabbed my attention:

It still has the tin lithograph advertisement on the back from when it was in a shop! I have not seen one of these in any spool cabinets I've come across when antiquing. So cool! Just had to share this. It fits so well with my treadle. (Side note: Do you see those little paint chips on the wall behind the cabinet? Some colors I'm considering for painting my bedroom. Got to do that before I replace the old quilt on the bed.)

Well, enough rambling. I'm linking up this week with Sew Fresh Quilts and My Quilt Infatuation for their linky parties. Buttons are on the right. 

Have fun quilting, and remember, practice builds confidence when it comes to FMQ.


Bernie Kringel said...

Fun post (again!) I know that when I start and finish a round of FMQ, my stitching at the beginning is always rough and herky-jerky. By the end, I find a rhythm and it looks much better. For this reason, I usually FMQ in sections, moving around a bit. Otherwise,there would be a part of the quilt that didn't look nearly as good as the rest. Or at least it would seem that way to me. :-) This is going to be gorgeous Janine!

Kate said...

Your quilting is so detailed and small! Wow! Your spool cabinet is really cool. Love the advertisement on the back.

Gina said...

YOur quilting looks great. I've not been brave enough to try the flowers yet. Your spool cabinets are fantastic. I haven't seen anything like them xx

Valerie Reynolds said...

I painted our bedroom that will love it! Very soothing!! Your cabinets are so original...thank you for sharing them with us.