Because of this ....
There's been precious little time for this ...
July's Free Motion Quilt Challenge tutorial was provided by Angela Walters, modern quilt FMQ expert extraordinaire. She provided a tutorial for a design called Tiles, which is also illustrated in her new book Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters - Choose & Use Quilting Designs for Modern Quilts. My copy of her book arrived just a few days before we received our July Challenge tutorial, and this book is definitely a keeper! Not only does it illustrate some gorgeous modern quilts, but she provides step by step diagrams and instructions for all of the featured designs.
So, this design challenge looked easy enough. What I've learned about SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilt Challenge is that some of the most deceptively simple designs prove to be the most difficult to achieve, this one being the latest case! Thinking this challenge block would take 15 or 20 minutes to complete, ended up taking an hour and a half, and it isn't that large! Those tiles turned out to be difficult to freehand - found myself dead-ended more often than I'd have liked.
Lessons learned: I don't draw a straight line any better with a needle than with a pencil - take the time to draw out all the straight lines with a ruler and washout marker before starting to stitch. Secondly, practice lots and LOTS of swirls before attempting to use them in a quilt. My swirls were abysmal at best. Think they might go a little better if quilted in a larger scale.
This will probably be the best I can do this month. The garden is coming on strong now that we finally have summer in the Pacific Northwest. But, I know Angela's designs will be used often, especially in the quilts planned for the older grandsons, who will definitely appreciate "modern" rather than traditional feathers!
Thanks to Angela Walters for a great tutorial and to SewCalGal for providing us with new opportunities for growth each month. Links to both of their blogs can be found in the list at the right.