Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bugs R Us Completion

In my previous blog entry, Post July 4th Sewing I had just begun the FMQ on Bugs R Us. The grid work in the checkerboard blocks was easy to decide so I began there but I stalled with indecisiveness at the bug blocks. I'd wanted to do arcs in the bug's tummies but my curves were wobbly and jagged and looked awful. I had to pick them out.

I moved forward with the borders instead. A blue flitting-bug inset border has flight paths of the bugs that I wanted to accentuate with the quilting. I sketched the following arc ideas. In the top row the curves alternate between concave and convex. I was afraid this would look too regular and any inconsistency I introduced might degrade the overall look. In the middle row, the curves all face one way. My husband  said this looked like shark's teeth. I thought it looked like waves. Neither of those go with bugs. I chose the third lowest row where the direction the curves face is random and so is their length.

Knowing my proficiency with gentle, smooth, arcs is very low, I decided to use my Versatool Ruler. Its arc echoes the flight paths of the bugs.

Here is a better look at the ruler I used to make the arcs in the blue border. I was not slavish to the bug paths but captured the general idea.

 I had to fudge around the corners a bit but it turned out ok.

I did have to go back and FMQ the five big bugs themselves. No alternative stitch pattern other than the arcs appealed. There is a saying that goes something like, "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" I answered myself - those arcs. So I helped myself out by using a ruler. This large band is from a half-circle ruler set I requested for Christmas from my son and daughter-in-law specifically for a certain quilt. I have used them at least twice now for purposes other that the original intent so I guess they are more versatile than I thought.

I gave the bug his tummy ribs and then inverted the arcs to use up on his face. I kept the arcs parallel more or less but did not fuss about keeping them equally spaced and think they look more natural that way.

I kept avoiding it but I had to do the area around the antennae. I wanted to echo the two spirals but I was not steady enough and the appliqués edges were not smooth enough. The result of my efforts looked like the furrowed brow of ET or Yoda and not at all the effect I wanted. I picked out all but the first echo. Luckily I had made the mess on only one block. On the plus side, I noticed that my stitch length is getting pretty consistent for not having a stitch regulator.

Instead of echoes, I added more orange peel type grid work to fill in most of the area. I only echoed each spiral once, so wobbliness would not be as noticeable.

I did a few diagonal squiggles in the legs, or wings, or whatever they are. I left him noseless and did not circle the eyes. He looks somewhat like he is wearing a mask.

I added my title and signature labels.

A section of the binding, backing and border are shown here. I pieced the binding from all four colored spots of the checkerboards.

I finished Bugs R Us before my grandson arrived and in time to take to Oklahoma with me. It measures 34" x 46", a good infant size. I got a lot of FMQ practice on this one!

Now I will link up to this week's Freshly Pieced WIP.


  1. Very impressive! You are getting VERY good at quilting. When I first started following your blog, I think that you sent out most of your quilts to be quilted by others. Now, you do them all yourself and they look fabulous. You should be very proud!

    1. Thanks Carrie. I am glad I am improving and my confidence in growing. I keep taking more classes and buying more books! I will also keep requesting quilting gifts for Xmas presents. As you can see, I put last Christmas' present to good use on this quilt.

  2. I am always amazed at how much thought you put into the quilting designs. And the results are gorgeous.

    1. Thank you, Tami. I am just beginning to embrace the quilting part as equally enjoyable as color section and piecing. Sometimes I think planning is the best part. Things are still perfect in the planning stage. Glad you visited and commented. Always nice to hear from you.

  3. This quilt is amazingly adorable!

  4. This quilt is so adorable, and it's getting tons of use. Isaiah does his tummy time on it more often than not, because there's just so much to look at!