Just a reminder to go to this post to sign up for my mini-quilt giveaway! You can sign up until Friday night. Winner will be posted on Saturday.
I got this highly recommended and as-it-turns-out thoroughly excellent book, Machine Quilting Solutions by Christina Maraccini, in the mail yesterday and was so excited after flipping through it that I jettisoned my other naptime plans -- you know, clean the house, do some grant work, take care of various responsibilities, or even take a nap myself -- to come down to the sewing room and play on the big practice quilt sandwich I made for last week's class.
And, because a lot of commenters seemed interested in my first post on my fledgling free-motion attempts, I thought I'd show a few more. I had about five squares left on my practice quilt, so I started from the beginning of the book and tried a few things until I ran out of steam.
I started with her heatwave pattern, an all-over pattern. Yes, my stitches are ENORMOUS, but I'm trying to get used to doing this without the feed dogs:
Various leaves with swirls, including if you look closely, one abortive attempt at a holly leaf with only one recognizable leaf -- but overall these came out pretty good:
The answer to my question about whether it was easier to make a row of leaves if you were moving horizontally or vertically -- horizontally looks better, but vertical is easier. But in the vertical version the leaves don't really point out at an angle the way I'd intended.
And something she calls the artichoke - the lumpy thing in the bottom left corner of this square, with an attempt at her crocus border (a pattern I've always liked and which wasn't too hard) up in the top and left, and an e's and l's border along the bottom (not difficult technically but keeping them even was beyond me:
And this one was fun - this is a chrysanthemum, designed to fill up a square rather than be a repeated pattern:
Lots of fun! And my stitches are getting smaller. I finally quit in frustration not because of the quilting but because I keep having endless problems with my thread! The bobbin thread breaks, gets stuck and won't spool, gets loose and overspools, gathers up in lumps on the bottom, you name it, it happens. Every few minutes, it seems like, one of these things happens. My machine was recently serviced so I don't see how that could be the problem. I've dusted. I've changed the needle. I've threaded and rethreaded a billion times. Any thoughts from the quilters out there? (I have a pfaff, if that helps.)