2012 FMQ Challenge: January

7 01 2012

I had fun practising free motion leaves, the first ‘lesson’ in the 2012 FMQ Challenge.

I think I improved, and I enjoyed trying some thread enhancements I’d never done before.

I used my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen to do the quilting, and except for the final practice piece, all practice sandwiches were done on off-white sheeting, with some offcut cotton or bamboo batting (I can’t remember which as I made these practice sandwiches ages ago!). The bobbin thread in all cases was a soft pink Deco-Bob.

Here are my practice pieces, with a little about each. Click a picture to see it in full size.

Practice piece 1

My first attempt; dark green rayon thread:



Practice piece 2

I enhanced this piece with some echo quilting; same dark green rayon thread as first piece.



Practice piece 3

I elongated these leaves so they were more like eucalypt leaves, and made them stand out by flattening the background with very tight bubbles (a la Susan Brubaker Knapp’s approach). Dark green rayon thread with an off-white Deco-Bob thread for the bubbles.



Practice piece 4

To avoid getting into a ‘leaves are green’ mindset, I used a purple rayon thread (Robison Anton) for the base leaves. I then went around them loosely with a fluoro orange thread (Mettler?), then again with a variegated metal thread with copper, gold, red, and green in it (Guterman?). I then used a lighter green rayon thread (Mettler) to echo the leaves and make them puff out a bit more.


Practice piece 5

Still sticking with the ‘leaves aren’t always green’ theme, I decided to do some elongated leaves in a blue and tan variegated cotton thread (Superior?), then went around them with an aqua blue variegated thread (Rainbows), then I used a silver metallic thread (Wonderfil) for the stems and veins of the leaves ONLY, then followed that with tiny bubbles in the same silver thread. I quite liked how this turned out and call it my ‘Blue Gum’ piece!


Triptych of practice pieces — #3, 4, and 5 (right to left); each section measures about 5 x 6 inches.

Practice piece 6

My final piece. I decided to get away from the off-white fabric and used a large scrap of bright pink cotton I’ve had for 25+ years! I just stitched basic leaves, but in silver to show the effect of metallic thread (Wonderfil) on a plain background.




I changed the photo to grayscale to show the stitching in metallic thread as the bright pink fabric doesn’t photograph well.

So there you have it — January’s challenge completed!



7 responses

7 01 2012
Linda Moran

I really like all you’ve doing with your pieces. It’s encouraging me to try a few other things with my big practice piece. I like the piece with the different threads – number 4 – that would look spectacular on a quilt! I think I’m going to cut some other fabrics and try a few of your ideas for some placements. Great job – very inspiring!

8 01 2012

Looks great Rhonda – great work šŸ™‚

8 01 2012
Sharon ML Schutt

Lovely quilting you’ve got going here. Like your fillers around the leaves.

23 01 2012

I’m exhausted just reading about all the stitching you did! Great ideas. The multiple passes with different threads is an interesting approach.

24 01 2012

Wow! Looks like you were having loads of fun. Your challenge pieces look really good, and reminds all of us that even “really good” looks terrific when we relax and have fun. Good work!

27 01 2012

I love your practice pieces they are so nice. Fun to join this great challenge :-()

13 12 2012

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