Drowning in Fabric

Forever cleaning, organizing and creating

Back on the wagon.

on June 8, 2013

So, I had my machine unpacked just long enough to get my (rather tardy) mystery border block put together (Another one I really like how it came out) and then had to pack it up again for my class day today!

It’s fun to get out of the house and spend the day sewing somewhere else without interruption or “help” or distraction.Ā  Especially after how busy, upsetting and exhausting my short time back has been (no time for sewing either!).

So I was up bright and early today to head to my LQS for my BOTM class. I have missed the last two (shame!). April because I was at Stash Bash and May because I was in FL. So, out of 6 months, I have a stellar record of finishing three of my blocks. This month we were piecing curves.

I hate templates!

I hate templates!

I don’t know why this was so stressful for me. I mean, I did a lot of clothing sewing long before I ever started quilting. I got spoiled with rotary cutting, strip piecing, HSTs from squares and the like. If I have to bother with a template or pattern or anything, really, that can’t be mass produced from rectangles or squares, I don’t want to mess with it anymore. I am really lazy I guess!

Here's my finished block.

Here’s my finished block.

I love the yellow. A couple of my seams are off, but overall a pretty decent looking block.

Then I took a little lunch break over at the mall, where I completely disregarded my (slow going) diet and ate at Wendy’s. But I got some sort of roasted flatbread sandwich instead of the whole breaded and bunned chicken, and I resisted the frosty! Then I wandered around Ross, Marshall’s, and Macy’s (when did they get so expensive?!?) looking in vain for cheap, summery maxi dresses that short fat chicks with huge boobies can wear for our upcoming trip.

Then it was back for my second class, which I have so been looking forward to. Free Motion Quilting! Now, I haven’t gotten to mess with FMQ since Stash Bash where the likes of Elizabeth and Becky told me I did a great job! Wait til you see today’s efforts. LOL. I need a lot of practice. The teacher was an absolute riot. But, like, without trying to be. Just the way she would say things was hysterical.

First we started practicing some basic lines:


Ok. Here’s the deal with this. My thread kept jamming and breaking and stuff. So, after a stern lecture about the kind of thread I was using (oops!) I switched the pink for the brown. I was also messing with my tension a lot and stuff too. I still had problems, including running through two bobbins (!) but it went better. I couldn’t get straight lines to save my life. And those waves are supposed to be spirals.


After passing that by the skin of my teeth, I moved on to the second assignment. This is such a mess, but I do believe you can see progress from the top to the bottom. Oh, and that’s a big loose thread on the top there that I should have removed before I took the photo. Anyway, for this we traced patterns with markers then had to FMQ on top of it. The lessons here were 1. Following a path throughout the pattern without breaking or going over thread. 2. “I am making you do marking so you realize how much you hate it and never do it again.” LOL. It has its place, I think.


Here is the third assignment, which was really assignments 3-6. In the top two I failed miserably at doing it all in one pass. I had to go back and fill in parts I missed. Other than that, I don’t think the loop one is too bad. The bottom two I did better both in controlling, meeting at intersections, and doing it in one pass. The fourth, if you ignore the border, actually isn’t that bad.


And this was the last assignment. She wanted us to try doing stars, daisies, fireworks and suns in a meandering sort of thing. I got into a little improv toward the end there. She told me not to go so much in rows, but I was trying to maximize space. After that I started on a stippling project (which I was really sucking at) but my bobbin ran out, then it was time to go.

I did a little shopping (bad me!). While the clearance section was seriously reduced (I missed the hot Memorial Day sale šŸ˜¦Ā  ) there were a couple new things down there I needed to get. I was bummed I missed on some clearances I had wanted, so I snapped them up. Additionally, they had this darling Storybook Lane panel all assembled, and I decided I had to have them. But there are no directions. So I am not sure what to do. Boo.



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7 responses to “Back on the wagon.

  1. Ashley says:

    I think your FMQ samples look great – it is so hard! With practice you are going to be doing so well. I don’t know when I’ll even try again. I think I’ll need some wine to get myself through my next attempt. I hear you on maxi dresses. Mine always hit right above my ankles – hate the whole high-water maxi dress look.

    • laurelar says:

      Thanks so much! I am going to keep working on it. Just gotta dig myself out of all this backlog. I really enjoy it, and you really do start to get a feel for it and how to move – kinda like driving a car. LOL.

      I am under 5 feet and I absolutely have to wear a bra, so maxi dresses probably aren’t the best choice for me, but I have visions of wearing flowery ones while walking on the beach on my vacation. šŸ˜€ I may have to try to alter them myself, if I find cheap enough ones.

  2. Adrianne says:

    Cool block! Looks like great work with the FMQ šŸ™‚

  3. Laura C says:

    Maybe a FMQ class is what I need! I keep trying to practice, truly, but don’t feel like I’m making much improvement. Can you elaborate on why you got busted on your kind of thread? I feel like mine gets all linted up and then I get a pill on the thread and then it breaks? If that makes sense? I know I need to get in on the Aurifil thing, but wondered what your teacher said about thread.

    • laurelar says:

      Well, first of all, I was using, like 100 year old thread. Because it was just a practice class and also she wanted us to use different colors in order to see our stitches, I grabbed some old thread that belonged to my grandmother long ago. It was pilling and fraying and catching and breaking and all that. So that was the real issue. But, the important stuff she said was that Coats and Clark sucks (According to her) and to never never NEVER (this went on for a while) use polyester thread. Which, it turns out, is what I have been using. šŸ˜¦ oops. I will be looking for cotton from now on.

  4. Gabrielle says:

    I got sucked into the storybook lane panel when it was in clearance at my LQS. So there is a pattern for sale at the designers website. But I poked around the net and found a free tutorial. short version of the story… I have a half completed house and this is now part of my WIP pile. So not sure if buying the pattern will be worthwhile but this was trickier than I expected.

    • laurelar says:

      Ooh. Really? It looked so straight forward in the display the shop had – I think they just sewed the sides together and stuffed them (see pic) – but I had thought there would be directions. šŸ˜¦ I googled a bit and found a pattern on etsy, but it was sort of like a pop up book design. And now I feel like I need all the other prints LOL and my LQS doesn’t have them.

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