A new leaf

I've been diligently quilting my MIL's quilt. I'm calling it Topsy's New Home or Topsy's New Community. But, that's just a working title. I got hours and hours of ditch work done and then I did all the invisible thread meandering in the sky to imitate wind. And, then I started on the sashing.

And, I started ripping out.

And, I quilted, and I ripped. And, I could not be happy. I even pulled Rob in, hoping he would disagree with me. But, alas he thought the same thing I did. It just was not working.

So, I went out in search of a new pattern. First, I went to one of my saved standbys, http://www.forestquilting.com/motifsfree/motifsfree_pg4.html, but I didn't really feel feathers. So, I tried http://www.thisbe.org/cheryl/Patterns.html and went down to the quilting motifs and checked out Designs by Vickie. There was some great stuff there. And, I checked out Patsy Thompson and found exactly what I was looking for in the flowers section.

First, I doodled it. I doodled it during a meeting and I doodled it while I was waiting for Sydney at the dentists office. I doodled it over some notes from the office and after my first photo, realized there were phone numbers in the picture. That could get me in trouble.

And, then I practiced it on my practice sandwich, keeping in mind that I was working along a narrow sashing.

And, then I quilted my new leaves into the quilt.

And, below is what I took out. It looks nice, but it's too busy. And, if you go back up to my practice sandwich, there's a line of ferns and flowers at the top that I tried and pulled the other day. If I filled the space like I needed to, both were overpowering and the lines were too regimented and drew attention away from the piecing. Not what I want to do. But, the more random leafy pattern above fills it in perfectly. Not too much. Just enough.

So, a word about ripping out quilting. Normally, when I pull thread, I try to pull the longest length of thread I can, slipping out the stitches until the thread breaks. That is a fine way to pull straight line stitching with the seam ripper. But, when I pull quilting that way, I invariably pull a single thread from the fabric and end up with a white line. Don't want that. So, instead, I cut every second or third stitch from the top and then flip it over and pull all the boobin thread out. I get a clean pull every time and if there's a spot where I paused and stitches built up, I can pull the thread from the back through those stitches instead of digging them out with a seam ripper to cut them. Below is what it looks like after you've cut every other stitch.

Okay. That's it for me today. Except one more word of advice. If you're going to FMQ, buy seam rippers every time they're on sale. I probably own 15 and yet I can never find one when I need it. I think Gremlins use them for manicures.



qltmom9 said...

OH, man, I wish I would do leaves like that. Your FMQ AMAZES me. Thank you for your tutes...they inspired me and I'm trying (again and better).
NEAT post...thank you~

Lucy (in IN)

vivian said...

That's true about the seam rippers!! Never can find one when you need it.

lw said...

I have only unquilted once, due to loss of bobbin tension (lint build up, now I clean the bobbin and race every time I change a bobbin.) I did end up with places where the fabric thread was pulled, so I appreciate your advice of cutting the top thread every few stitches.

Susan said...

Your FMQ is beautiful -- I love the leaves! I haven't done any FMQ in several weeks and did some a couple of days ago. It was terrible. As for unquilting, I've done it a few times. I hate it, but I couldn't live with the quilting and had to redo it. I was glad I did.

P. said...

I think the new leaves and loops quilting in the border is perfect. I admire your tenacity.

scraphappydenise said...

Lane.... you're a horrible influence! LOL I just spent an hour looking at just some of all those free quilting designs you linked us to! Thanks for a wonderful resource....

Now, back to special ed paperwork......

Elizabeth said...

Love it! You always do such a beautiful job! And what patience you have to rip it out if you don't like it.

I unpick regular seams the same way you do your quilts. I learned that method sometime in the last year and wonder why no one ever taught me before. My mom would pull the seam open and snip at the threads with the scissors. I did too, but decided it was too messy, so I started pulling out each individual stitch. After I tried this unpicking method, I've never gone back - it is so much faster!

xo -El

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Your quilting is beautiful Lane. I have two of Patsy Thompson's DVD's, She makes it looks so easy :-S May I ask about the house pattern? It's really an adorable quilt. Is it a BOM pattern??

Coloradolady said...


Happy Easter Lane, to you, Rob and Sydney.....it is the little things that make our lives so much better!!!

Thank you guys so much for my little surprise.....it made my whole week.

Enjoy your day....don't eat too many chocolate bunnies