My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Irene and FMQing

A quick little Hello to start the weekend with; hasn't the week flown by fast?! I've had a little sewing time, and completed month /row 4 of Goodnight Irene.
I am loving doing this so much - simple and straight forward; I've tried doing it as a Leader -Ender project, but once I pull it out, I'm hooked!
I've also added an extra block at the end of each row to make it a little wider.. now to decide whether it looks lopsided or not - do you think I should make it more balanced by having each row start and finish with a cross block or 16-patch?
This photo is a little dull, while it's not going to be a bright quilt, it's
definitely brighter than this photo shows!
Thank you Terry, once again, for hosting this sewalong, I am really enjoying it. To see the variety of quilts everyone is making, click *here*... Terry has put the link-up on her sidebar which I think is a brilliant idea as it doesn't get lost in amongst her posts!

I squeezed in a little free motion quilting this week. Amy, from Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures has started free motion quiltalong Mondays, designed to help us with our fmq-ing skills. At the start of the month she introduces a quilting design. The idea is we have the month to play with it and improve it. Last month was McTavishing which I was a bit slow to join up with.
This month's is a Scroll Flower —
Of course the first step is to get your tension right!! ...
...then you can play!
This was fun. You can see the scroll shape in the centre of the flower - then
a round of petals, then echo the petals once.
Then branch out and make another scroll...and so on.
This is my first attempt at it, I look forward to playing some more and mastering it fully :-) like not getting caught in a corner, keeping my petals nice and round, playing with variations and so on!
Amy gives very clear instructions and a video *here* on her blog, so visit her if you want to have a play too.

I've had such a lot of fun with my free motion quilting that when I had the opportunity, I decided to get myself an HQ Sweet Sixteen. How exciting!!
Nigel was the first one to have a play....
....But then I quilted my first quilt, Paintbox, on it - oh joy!
The Sweet 16s are a sit down machine with the machine facing you straight on; you still move the fabric around, just like you do with standard machine fmqing. There is a lot more room and other bells and whistles. I'm still mastering it, but am thoroughly enjoying it so far!! Here's to lots more adventures :-)
I have some sewing with friends planned for this weekend, so must get myself organised..... have a great weekend,
Happy sewing, and thank you for visiting,


  1. Happy Saturday to you too. I think it depends how you plan to use the quilt. If it will be folded or actually in use most of the time the balance doesn't matter so much. If you're putting it on a wall, maybe the balance does matter. Nigel looks right at home with your new toy. Your quilting is going so well, I can sense a new business venture in your future!

  2. Your Irene looks great! I think if it was me, I'd have the same block on both ends of the row. But that's just me. :0)

  3. Oh darn...I haven't tried it yet.....yours looks good.

  4. Your Irene is looking fabulous ! Lucky you getting the new machine , you will have lots of fun , your quilting looks wonderful :-)

  5. Hi Raewyn boy this machine sounds like a lot of fun,enjoy..xx

  6. Your Ilene is lovely..... hard to judge what you do ... I suppose you just have to stop somewhere...
    I am very green over your Sweet Sixteen... speechlessly green...
    .... no seriously it's wonderful and I know you will become great friends...

  7. Your quilting looks terrific. You did all that FMQing?

  8. I really like your "Irene" quilt top! I don't think it looks out of balance. I think in some ways it adds interest. Will you put a border on it? That might make a difference. Great FMQ!

  9. I decided to make my Irene bigger too, but ended up balancing it by adding two blocks.

    I love this month's FMQ design. Yours looks great.

  10. Oh bless nigel! He is a quilters cat! Irene is lovely, I can see how it would be hard to put down.
    Great fun with your new machine, you can reduce your flimsy pile now, but I'm sure you can easily add to it again!
    Happy weekend.

  11. I think I would go for the balanced look and add another block to each row sorry making more work for you! Envy oozing at your new machine looks amazing, the opposite to me who has just got an elna mini for taking to MQG meeting, very light to carry, pretty old but working well and best of all only had to pay for the delivery.

    You have good FMQ skills still to have a try myself

  12. Your Irene quilt is very fun. My obsessive nature would demand a symmetrical quilt, but I admire those who can live without it! : )
    I loved seeing your machine in your workspace. Isn't it fun? I'm over two years ownership on mine now and I haven't had a minute of regret. You are doing a great job--love that scroll flower design. It is fun to quilt, too!

  13. It's always hard to decide what looks best.....I think it it were my quilt and was going on a bed I'd add an extra row to start and end each row the same! It's looking so good though and I'm sure when it's quilted the quilting will really finish it off. Looks like you might be using your new 'best friend' for that job....lucky girl!

  14. Your "Goodnight Irene" looks great!

  15. Hi Raewyn! Lucky you and Nigel and your new Sweet Sixteen. I'm sitting here drooling!

    I'm like Janet O which is to say that I like symmetry and would achieve it with an odd number of rows and columns (i.e. five blocks across and seven blocks down). That would result in the same block in each corner. But it comes down to a matter of personal preference. You quilt looks lovely as is so you should do what makes you happy!

  16. Irene is coming together nicely . I am also making Irene a row wider and didn't think about it being odd ends..
    How lucky you are to have your new toy... You will have many hours of fun on your Sweet Sixteen.

  17. It looks fabulous! And I'm sure you'll have fun with the sweet 16! My daughter got a laugh from seeing your cat at the machine! Thanks for linking up and playing along!

  18. your practice looks wonderful! Congrats on your new machine!

  19. How do you like your HQ Sweet Sixteen? I have the same machine and love it. I found you over at Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures. I still need to practice my scroll flower.

  20. Ooh looks like fun that new sweet sixteen. Your quilting looks fab and I love those scroll flowers.

  21. Great progress on your quilt and I do like seeing your FMQ.
    How lucky are you to get a HQ16!! So exciting. I think they are wonderful. I have tried them a few times at the quilt shows, but sadly still don't have one.

  22. Such lovelies! Since I've been traveling, I've been out of pocket, but can't wait to get back to my machine. How I envy you! A Sweet 16 or something similar is at the top of my wish list!! Your FMQing is gorgeous!Irene looks lovely! I'd balance it out if it were mine, too, but hey - there are no rules!!

  23. Dear Raewyn,
    your "Irene" looks so lovely, I love these scrappy quilts.
    And your Nigel looks great in the middle of the "sweet sixteen"!!!
    Many hugs and until soon.

  24. Oh man! I am green and purple and yellow with jealousy! A sweet sixteen has been my coveted machine for ages!! Keep us updated with all that's good and bad about it, I'm desperate to know.

    As for Irene, I'm a little OCD and would need an extra block on each row...

  25. Hi Raewyn, just playing "catch up" on your posts today :-) I love how Irene is coming along but I especially LOVE the pic of Nigel checking out your new machine. What a stressful life that cat leads!!! Have a great week, Julie x0x

  26. I like your quilt layout as is, a lovely quilt. Now, your Sweet 16 is very nice, but I would rather have Nigel!

  27. Hi Raewyn
    Your quilting skills are amazing!
    Your machine looks incredible too - looks like it's got a GPS gadget on top - shows how untechno I am ha ha!

    I tried FMS a couple of times but it was way too hard on my plain machine - I can't drop (or is it lift) the dogs!!! Doomed before I start I reckon!
    My friend Carole of Madness & Mess blog had a class I wanted to do called 'The Road to My House'.
    I've done a couple of her other classes and they were great!

    Nice to catch up - I've been working full time for a while but now back to 2 days - thank goodness!
    Shane x

  28. Hello Raewyn!
    Your FMQ is amazing! Your petals are so nice and round! I have been having a hard time with these flower swirls. I do much better with a denser pattern. I will give it another go this week!

  29. Your Irene looks fantastic. And I`m happy to see a quilt under the Sweet Sixteen.

  30. I was looking at the sweet sixteen at the recent quilt show. I would love one.
    Your quilting looks fun

  31. Your Goodnight Irene is looking fab, it is nice and colourful but all tones to beautifully. I think I would add another block to 'balance' it more.
    The new Sweet 16 looks wonderful, you will have lots of fun on that! Your FMQ already looks great, so imagine the possibilities now!

  32. great quilt and love the quilting.


Thank you for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate them all and try my best to reply. Have a great day!!
(If you are a no-reply blogger and would like a response, please leave an email address.)