Friday, November 30, 2012

Free Motion Spirals

It's the end of November, so this year's Free-Motion Challenge is coming to a close soon. I would like to express my deep gratitude to SewCalGal for organizing this wonderful project. I have been practicing for just under a full year, and what a difference it has made! I'm not winning any awards with my quilting, but I would classify myself as having confident intermediate skills. And even more importantly, I am not feeling intimidated by the prospect of trying new things; even quilting really large projects seems feasible now!

I love these spirals that Sarah Vedeler focused on in her tutorial. I have done a few spirals before, but having some guidance on how to shape them evenly was very helpful. I started by drawing a grid with the FriXion pen, then jumped in with a couple rows of one-inch spirals:
After a few rows of two-inch spirals, it started to get just a wee bit boring. I consider that a good sign in terms of skill development -- when the mind begins to wander, it means "muscle memory" is taking over and the process is less mentally taxing. When I'm working on a "real" (i.e., not just for practice) project, I combat this boredom by constantly mentally recalculating what percentage of the project I have finished ("Ooh, that's 2 rows finished, 30 to go...I'm 6% done already!...If I do this much every day, it will only take me XXX days to do the whole quilt!"). Seriously, that is what goes through my head.
 I filled up a 16" square, ending with some bigger spirals, and an oblong one to finish off the experiment...
 ...then I wrapped up with a motif from Angela Walters' new book. I really like this little grid filler. I have a quilt in the UFO bin right now that this would be perfect for:

8 comments:

  1. Beautiful work! Funny, that's the way I approach the larger projects too! Your spirals area really well done and so evenly spaced - great job.

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  2. Very nicely done - interesting to hear your self-motivation talk. I have only finished one real sized lap quilt. I tired to do a quarter of the quilt a day - then it took me longer to get the binding on. I sit with it almost every night now - wish it were longer but the big square is nice to wrap around me at least part way. I use another practice piece also when I need both my shoulders and legs covered. Will be fun when I really finish more quilts. I will give in and get a FriXion pen, your spacing really makes the pattern look really nice.

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    1. "Only" one is still more than zero! Gotta start somewhere...before you know, you will need a spare room for quilt storage. You should know, somebody warned me that the FriXion pen marks show back up if the project gets cold, like if it's in the freezer. That hasn't really bothered me, because I hardly ever put my quilts in the freezer (and also, it's said to wash out completely after the iron removes the marks). ;>

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  3. Very nice, and I love the little squares at the bottom, I am going to have to try those!!!

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    1. I can't wait to use that motif on a real project.

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