Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December FMQ Challenge

Woohoo!  I've finished the December FMQ challenge!  
And what a great final project for us!

This month, SewCalGal brought us Patsy Thompson with a fabulous tutorial on using multiple border designs to create a more complex, textured "frame" for your quilting.  We also got two really sweet new feather border ideas to try out!
(here's a peek at some of my notes from the video part of the lesson)

As usual, we started out by drawing what we intended to stitch - both to work out our design ideas and see how they might look, and as pattern practice to get the feel for how the different stitches move.  I actually did several different corner designs before I found ones that worked for me.  And some of these patterns are definitely easier to draw than to stitch!

Then I marked my fabric and created fake pieced borders with lines of stitching to imply a seam line with "stitch in the ditch" (used Gutermann 50 wt cotton top and bobbin).  Then, after marking corner blocks and diagonals, and a few extra dots to help space the repeating patterns, I started stitching.  

This lesson was lots of fun, and a great test of how far I've come (and where I still need to practice, practice, practice!).  I highly recommend Patsy Thompson's videos - her instruction is clear and the lessons are well organized and follow a logical sequence that helps the viewer learn the new techniques.  She also has some very fun and creative ideas!

Border designs used Superior's King Tut - 40/3 cotton, and Sulky's Blendables 30 wt cotton.
Specific threads and colors, from inner to outer borders:
1.  Sulky #4041 Fiesta
2. King Tut # 955  Sunflowers
3. Sulky #4108  American Antique
4.  King Tut #911  Flower Pot
5.  Sulky #4019  Forest Floor
6.  Sulky # 4006  Autumn
7. Sulky # 4002 Buttercream (the center motif is this color as well).
OK, so all these colors were just what I had on hand from previous projects or impulse purchases - I'm just glad they all look kind of like they belong together, mostly!

Used a 90/14 topstitch needle, quilting cotton fabric, 80/20 cotton/poly batting.  

Bobbin thread for the whole thing is Superior's "Bottom Line" - 60wt polyester in color #650 "Champagne".  I wasn't sure how this would work, but I had no tension issues at all really.  Now the question is how well will the cotton top threads last with the poly bottom thread - will this be a friction/abrasion issue?

So, almost done now, just have to do a make-up for the missed October lesson and I will have completed the year's challenge!


  1. Lovely sampler! It showcases your feather designs beautifully. I love the reverse side too!

    1. Thanks! I love the reverse too - I was just experimenting with a new bobbin thread, but it came out looking elegant and dramatic!

  2. Your feather borders look fantastic. You did a terrific job. Bravo .. well done.

  3. You did a wonderful job--your feathers look great!