Free Motion Quilting as Surface Design

Most people think of  quilting the quilt as the utilitarian step that holds the quilt sandwich together. Many folks certainly use attractive designs to do this and enhance the overall appearance of their quilts. But me? I love the quilting itself! I've been getting a lot of inspiration from henna tattoo designs, Zentangles, doodles and illustrations on Pinterest.

I used some free motion quilting as decoration for a new purse. I just find of doodled the design on the fabric, batting, and interfacing sandwich before I cut the pieces out. First the black thread to define the main shapes, then the blue followed by the white thread. This is all Superior's 30/3 Sew Fine poly thread, also once sold as Brytes and New Brytes.

 I think it turned out quite well. At least the quilting did. I made up the purse design without a lot of planning and I'm not too happy with the handle and worse: I ran out of fabric!
 I had planned to bind the edges with bias binding cut from the same brown fabric. But as I ran out of fabric and time, I had to improvise. So I zigzagged the edges in the black and blue thread. Looks kinda cool from a distance, but not so great close up. Think I'll redo that finish either with a different fabric, or take it all apart and make it so the seam finishes inside the bag and bind it.

I made this purse to take to a quilt guild meeting (a first for me) and I admit it, I wanted to show off my FMQ skills. Nobody commented on it. That'll teach me!

I do like the size of the bag; perfect for my notebook computer, plenty of pockets and yet not too big. For years I have been lugging around a huge bag so I could be somewhat prepared for mishaps with my kiddos. Now that they can care for themselves better and tote some of their own stuff, it's time to lighten the load!
I'm thinking I'll bind it in black and add a black strip at the top and put straps at the top. The current handle is too flimsy and if I don't have my computer or book in it, the strap's attachment point causes the bag to fold inward.

I could blog more and get more quilting done, but I'd have to give up a lot of time with these three cuties. Especially that little guy there----see those blue eyes and curly hair? There's dimples too! One way or another, they take a lot of my time. It's worth it though in the long run!

But I do manage to quilt a bit. Gotta love quiet time! We all get a break of 2-3 hours nearly every day from each other. If we didn't, I'd go bonkers for sure, cute, sweet kids or not.


  1. That is some gorgeous quilting Amy!

  2. Some people just have not taste. Your quilting is loving on this purse and has inspired me to give something similar a try. Those guild folks just need a little education.

  3. This quilting is so beautiful! Not only do I love the contrast of color, Amy, but the style and motif is perfect. Come by my blog and put your name in for one of my mug rugs, girl! {For all that 'quiet' time you have with a cup of tea??!} Someday?! Your KIDS ARE SO CUTE.