Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WIP: A 2nd Peek at Quilt for 2nd Granddaughter

Monday I finished piecing and adding a border to the top of the quilt for my second granddaughter. Yesterday I spray basted it. Today I am on to the part I fear most - the free motion quilting. My Pfaff does not have a stitch regulator so I obsess over getting the quilt stitch size to look even. I knew I was going to tackle the FMQ  today, planning to start first thing in the morning while I was fresh.

I woke up at 5:15AM today. I cannot really blame FMQ fear for the sleeplessness but still, even though I was up early and refreshed, I rationalized that I preferred to quilt in brighter sunlight. So I delayed beginning, again. But, like any good athlete, before I began this challenge, I prepared by stretching my sewing muscles, making burp cloths. I can make those practically in my sleep. I liked the cute little puppy dogs on this flannel and made this coordinated pair of burp cloths.

I have not identified the burp cloths recipient yet. Maybe these should go to a boy baby. Aren't little boys reported to be made of "snips and snails" and "puppy dog tails"?

All the babies-to-be that I know are little girls. Yellow is a gender neutral color but this particular tone is very soft and feminine. After the burp cloths I then procrastinated a bit more. I surfed online at Amazon and the Fat Quarter Shop and ordered owl flannel fabric. I "needed" this for a friend of my son who is expected a baby in April and has an owl theme in the nursery. Give you three guesses what I intend to make out of the flannel.

I eventually did start the FMQ today, late morning. I am doing stitch in the ditch with a clear nylon monofilament thread, and not to jinx myself ... but, so far so good. Using clear thread and being in the ditch are forgiving. So far they are building my confidence and helping me establish the rhythm and coordination between my hands on the quilt top and my foot on the speed control. Maybe I will build up my nerve to quilt a pattern on the fabric between the seam lines! Here is a sneak peek of a bit more of the quilt. I do not want to reveal all of it to my daughter-in-law before the baby shower – and she reads my blog faithfully even though she is not a quilter or sewist. In the center rear you can just glimpse my darning pressure foot and needle. In the foreground is a bit of border, and yes in the far right background is just a wee snippet of the backing. Maybe my daughter or one of you other quilters can suggest a relatively easy idea for quilting in the larger squares and larger half-square triangles. I have a feeling it is going to need more than the stitch in the ditch outlining.

Once begun is halfway done so I will continue quilting this tomorrow. Writing this blog post is truly just a break, and not more procrastination. I will see what inspiration awaits me with other quilters at for WIP Wednesday. 

I last updated my WIP stats in my 11/12/13 post so here is the relatively unchanged list since then.

Completed projects since 11/12/13 WIP post:
  1. Knitted circular blanket (December 26, 2013 post)
  2. Two burp cloths - this post
Ongoing projects:  
  1. Quilt for 2nd granddaughter
  2. Classic Cars strip quilt (August 3, 2013 post)- need to back, quilt, and bind
  3. Grinch quilt (May 22,2013 post) - all borders added, need to back, quilt, and bind
  4. Jack O'Lantern Trio (February 2, 2013 post) - awaiting FMQ
  5. Chicken quilt - awaiting FMQ
  6. Overlapping square wall hanging - awaiting FMQ
  7. Mask quilt (October 19, 2011 post) - hidden away awaiting inspiration for arranging hexagons
New projects since 11/12/13 WIP post:  
  1. Knitted circular blanket
  2. Quilt for 2nd granddaughter
  3. Two burp cloths
Stats since 11/12/13 WIP:
     Completed  projects - 3
     Currently in progress - assembly completed on 6 of 7;  finishing is my bottleneck
     New projects - 2


  1. Good job on the quilt. It is so cute. Keep going on the quilting! Just keep practicing you will get it.

    1. Thanks for your words of encouragement. I've been at it a few hours today and I can see a gradual improvement.

  2. Lookin' good! I'm excited to see the finished quilt for our daughter! Oh, just FYI, Ryan's daughter is due in just a few weeks in February, not April, like you mentioned in your post. There are a lot of babies to keep track of!

    1. Thanks for the heads up! Soon as that owl flannel I ordered arrives, I'll become a burp cloth factory!

  3. Those are some cute burp cloths, although despite the puppies, the purple still reads "girl" to me, assuming the colors are true in the photo. Also, I am loving the quilt! the border fabric is perfect.

    Also, I highly recommend you check out Free Motion Quilting Made Easy by Eva A Larkin (it's available on Amazon, I checked). Things like flowers and clovers will look great in the squares, and that particular book has a lot of great ideas for simple designs that are easy to learn and make interesting primary and secondary thread patterns on the quilt. My Baskets of Joy Quilting design came from her, and a lot of her stuff is really very half-square-triangle friendly.

  4. I suspect your monitor is interpreting the brown as purple. There is no purple in burp cloth flannel. I will check out the book you recommend, although I have several FMQ books. What I need is a psychiatry book to deal with my irrational phobia of the topic.