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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Quilt doodles

Perhaps one of the ironies of having a blog called "Quilting for England" is that I am actually not very good at the "quilting" bit.  More accurately my blog should be "Mainly piecing and the occasional bit of applique for England (and Wales)" but it didn't have quite the same ring to it.

My choices would appear to be:
     (a) change my blog name
     (b) live with the hypocrisy
     (c) learn to quilt, woman

I am opting for (c).

I am far better at being a "theoretical expert" - got the books, bookmarked the blog posts, noted all the top tips - than I am at biting the bullet and actually *doing* it.  One of the "top tips" I speak of was to doodle quilting patterns on paper before trying them on a machine.  I realised I had to get better at this, as with my first few doodles, I would get stuck at a point and not know how to get out of it.  If I can't doodle my way out on paper, there's no way I could quilt my way out.

I have been practising swirly doodles and I think I have finally found a pattern that I can do competently and always find a 'way out' for where I would move next:

My doodle is based on Judi Madsen's Feather Swirl Tutorial on Youtube - admittedly I was watching this in a popup window at the same time as my youngest was watching IgglePiggle - but I think I caught enough of it to work out how to do the basic move and then move onto the next space.

If you haven't read Judi's blog (Green Fairy Quilts) before, do pop over - but first fetch a cushion and pop it on your desk so that when your jaw drops at what this lady can do with a long arm machine, you don't injure your chin too badly.  Here is the link to a "Dear Jane" quilt which is one of my favourite quilts of all time - but if you read the rest of her blog, you will see it is fairly par for the course for Judi, who is playing a whole different quilting game to the rest of us. 

Judi has a book out in the near future which I will be popping onto my Amazon wishlist straight away - it is called "Quilting Wide Open Spaces" and is due out in the Autumn.
judi madsen book quilting wide open spaces FMQ

Totes amaze, as the yoof of today might say.


  1. Come on put the FMQ foot on, I want to see you quilt this pattern ;-)

  2. Oooh looking forward to seeing what you come up with! And that book looks fab too I'll have to check it out :-)

  3. i'm on a "learn to quilt, woman" drive this year too. perhaps we could start a support group, although your scribbles look way more advanced than mine!

  4. Once you get started, it's amazing how fast your FMQing skills improve, I've just had to learn not to be overly critical with my designs. Especially the FMQ'd peacock feathers that looked rather more like skeletal fish :) Interesting book ah, sewing books, they are my one weakness!