Fur Motion Quilting

Well, it was bound to happen sooner, rather than later.

I'll say this: it puts a lot of drag on the quilt when one is trying to do free motion quilting...which is why this needs a new name in the form of "fur motion quilting". That would be slow quilting, even if the cat is fast. At least his feet are clean. At this time of year, that is a rarity. Caution is advised.

Yesterday afternoon, I did a little more quilting on the Gardener's Journal. I decided to quilt one big tall honking potted flower in this vertical row of rectangular patches.

And I just did some cross-hatching in this row of little one-inch jobs.

Then I just did some wavy lines in these rows of vegetables...mounds of dirt, maybe?

Then I was trying to copy Laura Lee Fritz's little "hedge clippers" motif from her book, 250 More Continuous Line Quilting Designs.

I absolutely love her books. She is so clever in her quilting. So, I think these are actually technically what I would call "pruning shears" I did quite a few practice tries. I'm only showing you two of them.

The one on the right isn't too bad. I tried doing it on the actual quilt, but then wasn't happy with it. I wasn't happy with it so much that I took it out, something I almost never do when I'm quilting, no matter how bad the design is. I'm telling you that so you'll know I really, really, really didn't like it.

I haven't given up on this, and there's no time like the present to practice and learn. I've been doing it free-hand because, so far, I've been kind of "meh" about the stitch regulator. The problem I'm having, though, is that I need to go slow to draw this. When I go slow in free-hand, I don't have good control over my stitch length. So, I think I'm going to try the stitch regulator for this. Maybe the stitch regulator has its place. If so, this just might be it. More on that later.

This morning I did some more stitching on my current Vintage Tin stitchery. I've made my way almost all the way through three oil cans now.

As I was moving my hoop from left to right this morning, I realized that I'd come to the first area of overlap on the Sticky Fabri Solvy. Recall from my post last week that I've been strategizing about how to keep the SFS from shifting. Overlapping the sheets, rather than butting them, seems to be working better. There's still a slight amount of shift, but not nearly what I experienced when I did this on another piece.

So I moved my hoop, and then tightened the fabric by pulling from the stitched side on the left, and the top and bottom, avoiding pulling on the unstitched right side.

Then I started my stitching right where the overlap is. Hopefully, that will continue to hold it in place. 

Today I'm going to continue on with my free motion quilting and try again on those pruning shears. The sun is supposed to come out around noon today. Mike is home today and tomorrow for the Veteran's Day holiday, and so we're going to go out on an errand run a little later. The object of our desire is still the eagles and the eagles' nest at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, but we have some other things to do too. These errand days are a lot more fun when he's around to do them with me.

Also, in honor of the Marine Corps' birthday and Veteran's Day, I'm reposting an image here that I posted on Facebook, along with the comment I made about it.

While I think Veteran's Day is technically tomorrow, I've seen quite a few postings this morning thanking our veterans for their service. Today I want to thank this one United States Marine in particular. He's a WWII and Vietnam Veteran. This is my dad, and I believe this image was taken during his first tour in Vietnam in 1965-66.

This image is the only time I've ever seen my dad with his pistol strapped to his hip. I knew he had guns, but they were kept put away and out of sight. Although he was a qualified expert in shooting, he did not glorify guns or war. He saw war as a job that needed doing and guns as tools for doing that very specific job.

My dad and I have had our differences over the years. He's a conservative military man. I'm a liberal social worker. (Gasoline and a match, anyone?) But I'll say this about my dad: I'm proud of him for his service to our country, and I'm proud to have grown up in a military family.

So happy Veteran's Day to you, and especially to those of you who have served.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

SewCalGal said...

The fur quilting quacked me up. Beautiful FMQ.

Please tell your father thank you for me, for serving his country. Not a day goes by that I don't think how lucky I am to live in a country with such freedom and know that it was people like your father who fought to ensure we still have them, as well as to help others around the world have freedom too! While I don't like war either, I am still proud of those that serve when necessary.


Marei said...

It was a good life being a Marine Corps brat....we certainly saw a life much different than our friends who were born and raised in one place. Since today is the Marine Corps birthday (239th) I, too, posted pics on FB of my 3 favorite Marines....Mom, Dad & Son. Enjoy your days off with Mike. As for Eliza....what % are you stitching at for the slow stuff? I find a faster percent of speed allows me to move the fabric slower and not get humongous stitches.

Quilter Kathy said...

Hey... I'm a liberal social worker too! Small world!
You are doing great with your machine quilting... so adventurous and brave with trying new designs. It will be like another layer of things to find on your wonderful quilt!

Diane Wild said...

I sure like the quilting on the Gardener's quilt. Keep Smitty's tail out from under the needle, please. Hoo-Rah.

Vicki W said...

Your quilting is coming along great! You need to do something bout that helper though. :)

Denise :) said...

Haha! I'm a conservative military (wo))man! LOL! Very nice tribute to your dad -- please thank him for his service for me. Your "fur" motion quilting *cracked* me up!! That Smitty...! :)

Dana Gaffney said...

Smitty just wants to surf the quilt.

LynCC said...

Very fun quilting on your garden stitchery quilt! Love that super-tall potted plant. That sure is a sobering picture of your dad in Vietnam - so very glad he made it through that time! Vietnam vets are the most special of all in my opinion because of the nature of their experience there and back at home afterward.

liniecat said...

Glad your dad came home and how lovely to post a pic of him.....that too, was one hell of a war.

Valerie Reynolds said...

Look at you go with that quilting!! Off to a fabulous start with your new machine!!

Mary Huey said...

Fur motion quilting -- LOL!!

quiltzyx said...

Yep, we knew Smitty would be sure to want to help you & Eliza. You're both doing such a nice job of it - even if the pruners were acting up. Looking at the row of carrots, I thought I had a hair on my screen, but, silly me, it was the fur quilting!
I posted a picture of my Dad, 5 of his brothers, one SIL & my Grandma Dickie that was in the newspaper when they all came home from WWII. All before my time, unlike you & your Dad. I'm glad they all came home safe. Happy Veteran's Day to you too, for I think the families deserve credit too.

Brown Family said...

I have had t problem with free motion when trying to move a quilt with 10 pounds of cat laying on the other end!

My Dad was a WWII vet. Someone ask him if he had ever killed a man and he said, No, but I do not know how many my gun killed. He was a gunner in a tank.

Michele said...

Your designs look great on that quilt and of course you were going to have help. I wouldn't expect anything less. :)