Friday, May 29, 2015

You Can’t Go Wrong with Moose

Woo hoo! I have another quilty finish to share with you, friends. This rail-fence quilt, which I originally pulled fabric for last July (eek!), has been quilted and bound, ready for the little guy who will receive it next month.


I was planning on making this quilt my first real free-motion quilting project. I envisioned big loopy swirls adorning the front and softening all those right angles. I ultimately decided, however, that such an approach might be more feminine than I wanted, so I came up with an alternative.

I consulted Amanda Jean’s post on her own rail-fence quilt and Lorna’s insights into quilting designs, and then I traded my darning foot for my walking foot. Without marking anything, I quilted wavy vertical lines.

Originally, green was going to play a part in this color palette,
but I decided it was a little too 1978 for me.
I swapped the green for aqua. Mmmm ... much better.

After a first pass I decided those organic lines were the right fit for this child-size quilt. What I didn’t like was the weight of my thread. I used an orange cone of Aurafil—that is, 50 weight thread. I love it for piecing; I think that thin thread helps me with precision and pressing. But I often prefer something thicker for the kind of quilting I do. It seems more forgiving; little imperfections are less noticeable to me with a thicker thread.

The pieced backing features two Denyse Schmidt prints,
one from Flea Market Fancy (legacy run) and one from Hadley.

So, inspired by the sketch stitching I did on my Dogwood Blossom Quilt, I quilted a second wavy line on top of each line of Aurafil, using a polyester thread from Gutermann. (Don’t judge me! I often use Gutermann’s polyester thread because it’s easy to find. I could have tried a green cone of Aurafil, which is the thicker 40 weight, but no one stocks it near me.) Sometimes this second line of Gutermann is right on top of the Aurafil thread; at other times it winds to the left or right. The result is chunky and ropy. I love it.
 
More detail of quilting on the back.

The majority of the fabrics used were from my stash, many of them initially bought for other projects, and my scrap bin. Among the creatures in this quilt are Rae Hoekstra’s orange frogs and mustard snails as well as Ann Kelle’s sweet raccoons. But it’s the wide-eyed moose, also by Ann Kelle, that steal the show.

Frogs? Check. Snails? Check. No puppy-dog tails here,
but the moose more than make up for it!

So what are your thread preferences? Am I the only quilter in the world who uses polyester?!

Linking up to TGIFF, Finish It Up Friday, Oh Scrap!, Sew Cute Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social and Scraptastic Tuesday ...

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22 comments:

  1. The FMQ is terrific, especially for a first FMQ project! I love the whimsical fabrics, and the quilting sets off nicely against the very straight lines of the rail fence pattern

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  2. Love the wavy quilting, it fits perfectly with this design! And you're right, the little moose steals the show. :)

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  3. Polyester is actually better fro the quilting part in my opinion :) Cindy Needham also uses polyester threads for quilting so you're in good company.

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  4. Very cute finish! And your quilting choice looks great. Hope you share this quilt with Oh Scrap! on Sunday.

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  5. I love FMQ with polyester; it glides through the needle and onto the quilt! It can fray a bit, so make sure you have the correct size needle (and a sharp one to begin with). I also find that the sheen that some poly threads have really adds dimension to the quilting, too!

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  6. My machine loves poly thread for quilting so I have used it quite a bit! Plus I can easily find it in tons of colors locally

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  7. What a great finish! I like how playful and fun your quilt is.

    I too use Gutterman thread when I need to. It is just available in so many more colors than the Aurafil. Mostly, I end up using it for topstitching on bags.

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  8. You definitely are not. I don't like Aurifil - i know, shock, horror, so i use Guttermanns which is available locally and cheaper than Aurifil

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  9. lovely baby quilt :-) I use the Gutermann polyester for piecing, but it didn't work well for quilting for me, so I use the Aurifil 50 wt (I don't like to draw attention to my quilting because it is not always as perfect as I'd like!)

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  10. Such a lovely quilt for a boy. Great job on the quilting. Visiting from FIUF.

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  11. I haven't seen the moose by Ann Kelle...they are so cute!! Thanks for linking up with TGIFF.

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  12. Gutermann is my go to for EVERYTHING - both machine and hand piecing, quilting, cat toys... :D Both my machines like it, I can easily find it locally to match fabrics, and it stands up over time to my cat's affection. I like your solution to FMQ, and despite what I think (ahem) you could just keep using your walking foot. Look at Jacquie Gering - she never FMQs! The moose quilt turned out great!

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  13. Looks great! I thinks it's a great first FMQ transition project! As for thread, I'm a Mettler girl, myself. Although I do like Aurifil in the bobbin.

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  14. So cute! Love the quilting design.

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  15. Looks nice! And I love your title. Very clever. :) I tried using Aurifil, and my machine said "Thanks, but no thanks." So I still use primarily Gutterman thread. I think I might even piece with polyester.

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  16. All the longarm quilters that I know use poly thread. When I quilt on my Pfaff, I use mostly 100% cotton from Connecting Threads because it is inexpensive, comes in an amazing array of colors, and works well in my machine. The moose absolutely steals the show. I like the organic quilting you did. Congrats on the finish--I am visiting from Let's Bee Social!

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  17. Great choice in quilting - looks really good!

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  18. Great quilt! And yes I do use polyester too at times. Thank you for linking up to #scraptastictuesday

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  19. I loved this quilt at show 'n tell! I also use Guterrmann too it does quilt nice an for a kid quilt does wash and wear well, so no judgement there :) Well done on working toward FMQ, baby steps.

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