Saturday, August 30, 2014

Humming bird wall hanging

Kelly is having a "celebrate animals art fest" at her office in October and they are taking submissions, so of course I had to give her something to put up. I've had this pattern for a few years.  Actually I bought it before I even knew how to paper piece.  I remember when I bought it I got home and started reading the directions only to feel like I was really reading a foreign language.  Fast forward to last year where I taught myself paper piecing in order to make my mom an adorable mini tree skirt for Christmas. Now it was time to tackle the hummingbird.

I thought it was going to be really hard but I had the bird section of the wall hanging finished in two days.  Once I got in the zone I started rockin through the pattern.  Little did I know the hard part was still coming.  

I pieced two borders around the bird in a medium and dark purple. Then came the quilting. Oh the quilting. A side note- I bought my sewing machine with the intention of learning how to free motion quilt but in the year and a half that I've owned it, it's a technique I have still been intimidated by.  There's no time like the present to learn something new, right?  Well, I had alot of frustrating setbacks including thread breakage almost every 3 or four inches and horrible tension on the back of the quilt.  I really wanted to give up.  Really.  So I stepped away from the project and decided to take a class on craftsy called Start Free-motion Quilting with Elizabeth Dackson.  After the first couple lessons I felt confident enough to try again.  It was still a little rough going but I was doing much better. I figured out, after changing to an appropriate needle, that I was having a problem with evenly matching the pace of the machine with how fast I was moving my hands, causing the thread to fray and break.  Unfortunately that really only gets better with practice. Of course.  
I kinda love the color changing thread I used, even if my stitches are wonky.
After a few more hours, and more ripped out stitches, I was done.  The only step left was the binding.  Piece of cake. I even added a couple triangles of fabric to the back so I could hang the quilt on a dowel. 

Dino was a little upset about being forced to sit still for a picture. Guess I'm not the only one who needs practice at something.  

The quilting still needs work but I'm super proud that my little hummingbird quilt will be hanging in Kelly's office for all to see.  The quilting did get incrementally easier so I really do need to practice but I've decided that I need an extension table first. Doing free motion on a standard machine bed is super hard cuz the fabric gets stuck on the edge of the machine.  Hmmmmm I smell an idea for another project.....  Have you tackled a new skill lately? 

Quilt on! 


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