It's time for a free motion quilting adventure! It's McTavishing Monday and my very first link party! I am so excited to share this quilt-along with you all and totally tickled to tell you that I've got some goodies for you in the next few weeks.
McTavishing is the namesake design of professional longarm quilter, Karen McTavish (below). She brings a certain unconventional flair to the quilting world and she does the most incredible traditional quilting, plus brings her own creative style to her work and influences the work of many other quilters. I think she's pretty awesome! I'll write more about Karen as we continue the quilt-along, but I thought we'd better dive on into this design.
Her book, Mastering the Art of McTavishing, has gone out of print, so snag yourself a copy if you can find it! But the design is also featured in her other books, most noticably The Secrets of Elemental Quilting.
She's got a new book coming out early this summer and I hope to have more on it later in the quilt-along. Of course, her book Custom Curves was the first book I snagged after finding the Janome ruler toe and finding that I could use longarm rulers when quilting on my sewing machine.
Some fairly recent McTavishing of Karen's. I love seeing the spiral curves in the picture below as I tend to throw in the spirals when I quilt this design.
Beautiful trapunto scroll work with McTavishing below. Karen loves to take the traditional and put just a little something new and wonderful into it.
Below is a drawing of a great design featuring McTavishing that Karen sent me for the quilt-along. You can really see the swirls of movement in this design. It's a repeated series of curved and curvy lines echoed 3-4 times. There's some back tracking required to move from line to line of stitching and also to move to a new area. Oddball spots are filled in with what Karen calls "C's".
She mentions "Wonder Woman hair" and the Yin and Yang symbol to describe the wild curves she is going for in this design. Keeping the words in my mind help me to loosen up and swish around.
There are several other videos of Karen on YouTube and more on McTavishing by other folks too. Take a look if you'd like. I've even done my own video on it:
And you can see the difference between THE McTavishing and MY McTavishing! That's one reason for this quilt-along; I want to improve the 'swishy-ness' of my McTavishing! I recognize that some of the difference might just be the difference in the range of motion between the longarm and quilting on a domestic sewing machine. And then the machine does swoosh so smoothly over the quilt with a longarm....but I love the control I have with my sewing machine. Anybody else see the irony in me wanting to get away from my control freak self and get loose and swishy? I want to improve my McTavishing and I thought some of you might want to join me.
Some still shots from the piece from my video, above and below.
Here are two pictures from a quilt project I did over three years ago below. This must have been shortly after reading Karen's Mastering the Art of McTavishing.
And this last picture is my latest McTavishing practice piece. I tried really hard to get more swish to my curves. I found I had to increase my speed a lot more than I'm used to in order to keep my stitch length from getting too long as I swooshed and swished around. That made it harder to hit my backtracks. But it's somewhat better.
So here's how this quilt-along works:
I post here each Monday in March on McTavishing and show my progress on this fabulous design. Then you link up your own work on the design (from your own blog) and we all go visiting one another!
For this first week, feel free to post pictures of McTavishing you have done in the past or just post some drawings of McTavishing, especially if this is your introduction to the design. You have heard me talk about how drawing a design really helps you stitch it, right? If you're a real beginner, this design at its heart is just S's and C's. Practice echoing those shapes to start.
So far for this quilt-along we have at least one give-away planned, and those who link up or leave comments on the McTavishing Monday posts here will be eligible! I have 5 beautiful 1000M cones of Glide thread to give away! More on Glide in upcoming posts.
Some quick rules:
- Keep your post relevant to this quilt along please. Spammy posts will be deleted.
- Make sure you link up to the individual post, not your home page as nobody wants to have to search around for the post if they're a little late to the party.
- Link back to this post somewhere in your post. You've got to dance with the one who took you to the party, so make sure you link back.
- Don't be a wall-flower. (Talking to myself here too. In person I am so stinking shy!) Visit the other links and leave comments.
BTW- I'm linking up this linky with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday.