Close Stitching

prettyplanet16detail2It was a near miss. Machine quilting near hand embroidery is a challenge. It’s those dang French Knots and Pistil Stitches sticking up that catch on the machine foot.

prettyplanet16But I managed to complete Pretty Planet #16 without bad words being spoken. I must confess: machine quilting is not my favorite part of creating art work. Designing and hand stitching the pieces float my boat. But after finishing this little quilt, I realize that free-motion machine work really adds another layer of texture to the piece.

MEMEME and a Thread Winner!

mememeI thought I’d show you a detail of the machine work on my Whimsy Lane #4 quilt. This free motion stitch is called the MEMEME stitch. You make an M, you make an E. This stitch allows you to get in and around organic shape easily. And it’s very calming. Give it a try!

Oh, and the winner of yesterday’s Free on Friday thread sample is…… Karon. Hope you enjoy the threads!

Spring Blooms #2

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Spring Blooms #2 by Laura Wasilowski

I’m pretty sure it is the height of summer in Illinois. But this past Spring I started a series of flower quilts, Spring Blooms.

This version of Spring Blooms #2 has been hanging on my design wall since March when the tulips first popped through the ground. Why?  Because I could not decide if I wanted to add machine quilting or not.

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Spring Blooms #2 by Laura Wasilowski

Yesterday I stitched it. Those tulips finally bloomed! It’s small (9″ x 9″) so it didn’t take long. And like it much better. What do you think?

Stitch Evolution

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Free-motion stitching detail, Penelope’s Art, 1995

Believe it or not, at one time I made pieced quilts. And soon discovered that I was no good at it. Then I discovered pictorial quilts made with fusing. Yipee!  I also realized that free-motion machine stitching looked best on that type of quilt. So around 1993 I started to learn how to do free motion stitching on my sewing machine.

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Free-motion stitching detail, Blue Chip Chair, 2005

About 10 years later, I finally perfected one stitch pattern, the MEMEME. Or so I thought. Sure my stitches were inconsistent in length and jumped all over the place. But the MEMEME was so usable on pictorial quilts with all those odd shapes and nooks and crannies.

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Free- motion stitching detail, Color Chip Collage #6, 2015

About 20 years after first attaching a free-motion foot to my sewing machine, I’m still trying to figure it out. My friend Frieda says it’s practice, practice, practice. I say if I don’t see any improvement in the next 10 years, I’m giving up.

Making Spring Blooms #8

blooms11It was a struggle but, I finally chose a hot red thread to do the machine quilting on Spring Blooms #4. For a while I was going to take the safe route and use a green thread. But the red thread twisted my arm and made me use the color found in the other elements of the design.

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Spring Blooms #4 by Laura Wasilowski

What do you think? Would you have dared to use red thread for the quilting and binding stitches? I kind of like it!