It wasn't too long before church, neighborhood, and guild functions brought us together and we've been BQFs ever since. (Best Quilting Friends) So when Christa invited me to be a stop on a blog hop to introduce her new book, Machine Quilting With Style, I just hollered out the back door "You betcha!!"
Another fun factoid about me - I love pieced backings. Christa knows this, so she asked me to take Technicolor, the pieced backing of her Color Crystals quilt, and turn it into a quilt front. Christa's Technicolor is made up of randomly cut and pieced solid 2.5 inch strips with bold black borders and is quilted with some awesome intersecting radial quilting.
Following Christa's great directions, I cut 2.5 inch strips but instead of piecing them randomly into 60 inch strips I grouped similar colors, moving from one color into the next. When I finished piecing the center I thought it looked like rays of sunlight coming up over mountains and buildings and breaking through pink and purple clouds. I named it "Urban Sunrise" and chose a concrete gray for the top and bottom borders.
Christa has been a great help to me in my free motion quilting education. A lot of that help is contained in this book. Once I was finished with the quilt top, I got a crazy idea and decided to use several of Christa's fmq motifs to quilt in the mountains, clouds, and sunrise that the colors evoked.
It's hard to see on the front but on the back you can see triangle texture, pebbles, and spirals on the mountains, with switchbacks defining their edges. All these designs are taught in Christa's book in a section called Free Motion Favorites.
I also used a simple stipple inside irregular boxes on the gray borders to give an urban, architectural look.
My spirals are different than Christa's spirals. While trying to conquer the FMQ spiral, I was given some good advice by another BQF, Vicki Ruebel of Orchid Owl Quilts. She told me to find my own spiral. That eventually, as I practiced, something would start to feel natural. And that is what happened. I think that is great advice for all types of FMQ. If you practice, not only will the motion feel more intuitive and less awkward but you'll find your own pebble, your own spiral, your own stipple. And then you will start to feel more confident in your quilting.
So much of Machine Quilting With Style is about developing confidence as a quilter. Christa is a great champion of being the maker of your quilts, from start to finish. Her book has 12 great projects and tons of wonderful information about both walking foot quilting and free motion quilting. You can read my Amazon review of the book here.
Something else I love to do, that makes a quilt mine - is to do a pieced binding. I did this on my Fall Out Quilt and my Set Sail Quilt. With Urban Sunrise I was able to use the ombre fabrics to echo the color progression in the quilt. That made me pretty happy.
Be sure to visit Vicki at OrchidOwlQuilts.com today to see her version of the front of this quilt as it appears in Christa's book. And of course, Christa will have the original versions of both Color Crystals and Technicolor. You'll find the schedule for the rest of the blog hop on Christa's blog as well.
And be doubly sure to order the book. Machine Quilting with Style will help you with your FMQing whether you are a trepid beginner or a fine tuning expert. You can order the book from Amazon here or from Martingale Press here. Or if you want a signed copy, you can order one directly from Christa here.
Thanks for stopping by-whether from ChristaQuilts or elsewhere, I'm happy to have you visit.
Stay Wonky my quilty friends!