Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quilt Fabrics and Free Motion Practice

Hmmm.....less to share than I would have guessed.  So I'm sharing fabrics for Sweet Teen's Opportunity Quilt and a strategy for quilting practice.
 This fabric is what I'm thinking of using for the background; however, I'm still debating and may decide to order something the color of New Mexico sand and dust.

 This fabric has a gold overlay print that does not show up in photos.

 This fabric has a lot of color variation.  Here's one section of the fabric....
...and another.  This fabric also has a gold overlay print.

 This is a contrast fabric for between the rows of the chains.

 This is one of my own hand dyed fabrics with a lot of changes. Since there are so many colors,  I'm guessing I dyed it with leftover dyes at the end of a dye run. But that was many years ago, so I don't really remember the details.

And this is one more fabric that I may use at the edges of a pieced border.

Connie, over at Free Motion by the River has posted about some of her most recent practice quilting pieces.  Her post is here.

A few weeks ago I posted about how I used a batik fat quarter to practice a new-to-me kind of feathers. That post is here.

However, I've never shown my largest practice piece.  It's destined to be a 100% cotton mattress pad (because every time I see 100% cotton mattress pads at a price I can afford, they turn out to be not 100% cotton--and, of course, finding that out always requires at least an 80 mile round trip).

This is my second mattress pad practice piece.

If you want to see the quilting, you'll probably need to use the photo viewer or open these in a new window.
Because it's for a mattress and pad and because we use mostly vintage white sheets, it's quilted in white.

I've been adding to it for several years, so it's nearly done. 

Oops!  I guess I should clarify.  For my first "practice pad" I used a layer of broadcloth, a layer of Warm'n'Natural batting, and a layer of muslin.  For the current "practice pad" I've used two layers of white broadcloth with a layer of Quilter's Dream Request in the middle. Quilter's Dream Request is a thin batting that is closest to the look of antique batts.  At the time I wanted to try it to see how it worked, and now I've quilted many quilts with this batting.  Once it's done I add more broadcloth around the perimeter, cut wide enough to go under the mattress and to accommodate a casing and elastic.  (I may have to replace the elastic in the one I made about twenty years ago, but the rest of the mattress pad is still holding up well.)

A crib or twin-size mattress pad not only provides a chance for lots of practice but also makes a great gift for a favorite young person.  I discovered several decades ago, at the height of the reign of polyester, that when I slept on 100% cotton sheets and pillowcases, I slept sooooo much better.  When I mentioned that to moms and grandmas of toddlers who were screaming at night and they changed to 100% cotton bedding, the children slept through the night.  (Yes, I know manufactured bedding for children must be fire retardant by law--I'm really skeptical about exposure to fire-retardant chemicals.)  A few years ago I was still able to find 100% cotton mattress covers from the 1950's and early 60s at thrift stores, but those finds are rare these days.  So, this is just one more idea for a great way to practice machine quilting.

I'm linking this post up to a couple of parties, because I don't seem to be creating my usual number of posts this week.  (Might have something to do with the headache that is still with me despite huge burdens of stress having departed.)  In any case,  I'm linking to:

You might want to check out my sidebar for some more linky parties that I was just too late to join.

Happy quiltmaking.....


Cyn ;-) said...

Mattress pads! Now that is a brilliant idea. I LOVE it and plan to 'borrow' it...k? Now we can practice FMQ with abandon and no stress. This is just the kick in the pants I've been needing. Thank you so much for sharing this idea, Dora!
Hope the headaches are better. Sending you extra {{hugs}}.

Rosemary said...

I would never have thought of using mattress pads for practice! What a great idea! Love your beautiful hand dyed fabrics. They're all gorgeous.
Hope your headache goes away. I get headaches a lot too and find them quite debilitating. Feel better!

O'Quilts said...

The minute I heard that you were using a treadle to freemotion quilt, I knew you were something else!! Now another Dora "special"..mattress pads with outstanding quilting. I am very impressed!

Connie said...

Dora what a great idea on making a mattress pad for FMQ practice and you are so right about sleeping on 100 percent cotton instead of polyester! Thanks for the link also!

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