Monday, March 24, 2014

McTavishing Monday #4: A Free Motion Quilting Link Party

It's time to link up once again and show how our McTavishing is improving. I am certain that everyone here has been learning more about free motion quilting and this design during this series, including me!

free motion quilting design McTavishing

Saturday, I got a little ahead of myself and posted some videos of McTavishing Fun. One of them was an insanely fast time lapse video that still makes me giggle! If only I could quilt that fast in real life!


The regular speed video of some McTavishing practice is below:


I did some quilting with light peach colored thread on white fabric. I wanted it to be a little closer to matching thread and still visible to viewers on the video and in the still photos. McTavishing, says Karen McTavish, looks best in a thin, matching thread.

free motion quilting design McTavishing

I think one of the most important tips for McTavishing is knowing when you are backtracking or bouncing as illustrated below:

McTavishing tip


Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures

I've been working on my Glide sampler of McTavishing:


I think this bit is my favorite so far! I love the swooshiness! That's a word, right? Swooshiness!


Above, the arrow points at a tension issue. My top tension is just a smidge too tight and it's pulling the bottom thread up to the top, especially at points. The points magnify this tension issue, because the change in speed and direction of my hands affect the tension just enough to cause increased tension at those points. I also might have paused too long at that point.


I switched to Glide color Military Gold for the next section. I was excited to get this color as I had heard some longarm quilters mention that this color was a good substitute for metallic gold thread without the fiddliness of metallic thread.

The picture above, I had run out a foundation line of serious swooshiness. Wonder Woman! Wonder Woman hair, that is! One of the phrases Karen uses to describe these curves. Alas, these curves really need some extra speed to whip them out nice and smooth without the stitch length getting too long. The arrow points to where my machine was too slow for my hands.


I love how my "C's" are getting better and I also like this "S" curve thing I have going on at the left of the above picture.


I shot this picture with the flash to show the sheen of these Glide threads. Not too much, not too little!

Technically we still have one more week of McTavishing Monday, since there were 5 Mondays this month. You will still be able to link up your McTavishing work if you have some next week, but I will be doing a summary then and announcing the winners of the Glide thread giveaway.

I've enjoyed this quilt-along link party very much. It's been a challenge to get these up on Monday, but a good motivator. I will continue to do this linky every Monday, but I need your help to decide the next design!

It's important for you to realize that I don't consider myself an expert. I like working on improving my skills as much as I like teaching and sharing what I do know. I am a pretty good quilter and I'm not fishing for compliments. But I'm learning as I go too!

I'd love to do more ruler work as a linky, but that leaves some folks out as there are issues with getting a ruler toe for some brands of machines. So that's out for now.

Maybe an informal feather filler? Big swags of free form feathers? (I am not offering to lead with formal feathers as I am not comfortable with creating really uniform feathers. Somebody else can teach that much better than I!) Feather flowers? A swirly, spirally design?

Or maybe a few grid based designs?



I have a few more grid designs too, but no pictures handy.

Let me know in the comments! This is the last chance to link up or leave a comment on this series before I draw names for the Glide Thread Giveaway! (Sorry, you've got to live in the US so my shipping cost is affordable.)


43 comments:

  1. Amy, I really liked watching your Glide sampler develop. I have been enjoying this terribly frustrating exercise. I never got the break through I was hoping for - where did my smooth curves go? But I would love to continue with grid designs. I also want to work on getting my fat feathers skinnier.

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    1. Frustrating? Oh no! I don’t want you to be frustrated. I tell my FMQ classes that they will have a natural bent towards certain designs and away from others. Maybe that’s what’s going on for you?

      I like the idea of doing grid based designs. And my feathers have a certain long thin look that I myself will never achieve :-)

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  2. Your work is great, I hope one day that mine might come close to looking like your.
    Where can we get the gold thread from that you are using?

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    1. That's "Military Gold" Glide thread from Fil-tec. You can find it at bobbincentral.com

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  3. Hello Amy,
    I would love to continue with the Monday Link Ups... slight preference for flower feathers, but I love the others too!
    Esther
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com

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    1. Esther, thanks so much for participating and giving me feedback on designs for our next linky. Feather flowers would be fun.

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  4. This has been a great series Amy! While I haven't been working on anything with McTavishing style quilting this past little while, I've enjoyed your videos and posts and have picked up some tid bits! Love how the blue Glide looked against the black. I need to practice more ruler work, but get that that is not as accessible to others. The grid designs look good, but I'm happy to follow along with whjatever!

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    1. Thanks! That blue is so stricking, isn't it? I'll have to throw in a ruler post in between linkys for us ruler toe gals.

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  5. This looks so great! I'm trying to master the mctavishing too, and I find it easier as I do more and more. I guess it's right, that practice practice practice is the key :-)
    Happy quilting!

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    1. I’m so glad you’re trying! PPP is the key. Some days the P’s are different words, but it all pays off eventually! There are times for me when it’s Practice, Pain, and Pigheadedness! But then there’s Perseverance!

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  6. Amy your quilting is fabulous! I wish I had more time to join in with you -- life has been nuts. Thanks for sharing tons of great information and awesome videos. Karen

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    1. You're quite welcome. May life become less nuts. (Mine is quite nutty, but I'm getting used to it!) I'm glad to have "met you" through this.

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  7. Great posts. I haven't tried yet but planning on it in the near future!

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  8. I love the way your McTavishing looks like flowing ribbons. What a great look for quilting. I'm so far behind on this challenge but I know with practice all things get better. Thank you for this monthly party.

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    1. Thanks so much and you’re quite welcome!

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  9. I love McTavishing! What great videos! I have been quilting for 9 years on my longarm, but I loved seeing you quilt...gives me new depth to what I already know what to do...but this gives me more "how to do"! Thanks...will really be watching for more of your videos.

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    1. Oh the irony! I have learned so much from longarmers! Glad you've liked what I'm doing.

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  10. I love the McTavishing! I would like if you did gridwork next as it isn't my strong suit!

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    1. I think grid work might be fun and a nice change from what I usually do. I could use the practice myself!

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  11. You do beautiful work!
    sarah@forrussia.org

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  12. I would be happy to follow along with whatever.

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  13. I like those last two that look like Cathedral windows and stars.

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    1. Thanks. Sounds like we're getting a consensus on grid based designs!

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  14. Looks like I'll be reading this linky backwards as this is the first I knew of it, but I'm all for keeping it going. I'm so new you could do anything and I'll be learning something. Thanks for sharing your beautiful quilting.

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  15. Of course swooshiness is a word. And I love it. I have not tried Mctavishing yet, but between Leah Day and your site I certainly need to get to it. I am really enjoying your adventures and thank you for taking us along.

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  16. oops my email is kgrammiecaz@aol.com

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  17. Ooh, I'd like to see how the sashiko designs are done by machine.

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    1. I hadn’t thought of these as Sashiko designs, but I guess they are basically the same!

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  18. I love your quilting! From where I'm sitting you sure quilt like a pro! I'm very new to everything quilting and I don't think there is any possible way to quilt like that on my Brother! I would love a long arm after seeing all your beautiful quilting artwork!

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    1. Thanks a bunch!

      Just in case you didn't notice, all my quilting is done on a Janome 6600. A regular sewing machine, albeit a bit bigger than the average machine, but smaller than some.

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  19. I have been enjoying your series on McTavishing. I posted my pic, but, boy, do I see my errors. I'm just bouncing off the walls, and need to space my lines better. An slow down to actually see what I'm doing. Thanks so much
    Lin

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    1. I thought you were off to a good start. Slow down and relax.

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  20. I have one more project to practice on and hope to get that done this weekend. This post has been a great incentive to get that practice time on the sewing machine in. Practice on new techniques sometimes gets missed when you're working on WIP's. So thank you for the posts this month.

    By the way I got my ruler foot and two rulers for my birthday this month and can't wait to start some practice on using the rulers. Thanks for those wonderful tips too.

    Beyond practicing, I think I'm ready for more ideas on how to utilize these FMQ techniques on pieced and appliqued quilt tops.

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    1. Laura, I think you bring up a good point. There’s a lot on the internet for all kinds of filler type stitches and very little on how to put what design into a quilt, especially pieced quilts. I have a few ideas percolating in my brain to address that.

      I think you’ll enjoy the rulers!

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  21. I have enjoyed this month of McTavishing...my stitching has improved so much and I am looking forward to seeing the linky party continue....I would love to see some grid work as well as free form feathers....I am up to whatever design you decide on....thank you for hosting such a great party and for all the great videos that you have made for us...your piece has turned out really well with the blue thread on black...

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    1. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be doing grid based designs and feathers at some point, just need to figure out when. Doing these designs together seems to help us all get more practice done.

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  22. Shoot.....I have to read better..LOL. I am in canada and wanting that thread??LOL
    I do understand completely though. I will keep watching and trying this.
    thank you ?Amy

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  23. Amy, I have really enjoyed the McTavishing this month. I am still trying to get it down on paper. I have done a little machine practice but not a lot. I have watched your videos several times. I think I am getting my brain to understand! LOL I really hope you keep up the Monday FMQ series. I would be happy to see anything you want to share. Thanks for doing it. I think you have done a great job.

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