Monday, March 21, 2016


Don't you just love it when something comes out better than you expected? I still consider myself a beginner in FMQ, and when I try something new and it works, I just love it!

I was quilting on a strippy quilt for DD#1, and I needed a design for the solid blue strips. I thought I'd use a stencil and mark it, but none of my stencils were the correct size. I decided to free hand some vines, which I have never done before.

I am really happy with how they came out. I think this is good for a first attempt, and I won't hesitate to try them on another quilt. I'm already thinking of variations I could try.

The design I quilted in the piano keys, I have done before, but last time I stitched it more like pumpkin seeds with a line down the middle. This time I decided to make the lines curvier, and it ended up giving the design a tulip feel, all from a minor variation in how I stitched it.

I didn't want the quilting too dense on this quilt, and I think this was a decent compromise.

Here is the finished quilt. I finished this quilt top a while back, when I was working on several blue, green, and brown quilts. I had made what seemed like miles of piano key border, planning on using it on most of the quilts I was making. As it turned out, I opted for different borders on several of the quilts, so I took the remaining border, and made it into the star of its own quilt.

The blue fabric I used as dividing strips was 60" wide, so I unsewed the piano keys at just under that, and figured out how many strips of border I had, and how many strips of dividers I needed. I had ten strips of border, so I needed 11 dividing strips. I measured the length of blue fabric, divided it by 11, and that became the width of my division strips. I completely annihilated the blue fabric in this quilt, it's all used.

It's not unusual for me to make miles of piano key borders to use up short strips. I never have a problem finding uses for them. I can use them as borders of a scrappy quilt, I can use strips of them to make a backing a little wide or longer. I can use them as a row in a row quilt. If I have just a little bit of a piano key border left, it becomes the starter of another piano key border. If I have a lot of piano key border around, it becomes the star of a quilt, like the one above. If you like scrappy, this could be a way for you to use up some of the short strips you have hanging around.

Now that I have this quilt finished for DD#1, five of my eight deadline quilts for this year are completed. The last three have deadlines of June, August, and October, so I have a bit of breathing room now. Trying to get five quilts all finished in the first quarter of the year was crazy, but I did it!

1 comment:

sb said...

Your FMQ looks great! You have encouraged me to give it another try. Thanks.
Sarah in California