Hi friends. I have finished my BALANCE wall hanging which portrays my 2020 Word of the Year in a creative way. I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
I have been working on this, off and on, since January. It was the free motion quilting around the letters that had me stalled for a while. Once I dug my heels in, it only took me two days to finish it.
I made this wall hanging to represent my Word of the Year in a way that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve been dabbling in modern calligraphy over the past year and I really enjoy the creative expression of it. It ties in really well with free motion quilting, too. I practiced the letters on paper until I was happy with them and then I drew the letters onto my fabric with a Frixion pen. For more information on marking, you can read Are Frixion Pens Safe to Use for Quilting here.
I made a quilt sandwich with wool batting and basted the layers together. Then I stitched over the letters using 12 wt. cotton Fruitti thread by Wonderfil and a size 90/12 topstitch needle. I have 60 wt. Bottom Line thread by Superior Threads in the bobbin.
I went over the letters several times to fatten up certain areas. I’m using my Babylock Crescendo sewing machine to do all of the free motion quilting and stitching. I know I need to talk more about my sewing machine and why I chose this one. I will get to it one of these days.
The filler stitching around the letters are two different designs that I learned from Diane Gaudynski in her book, Guide to Machine Quilting, which is no longer in print. Diane is one of the early pioneer’s of FMQ and has since retired. The first design is called Bouncing Bananas. It is so appropriately named. I had to practice this one first to get the hang of it.
The second design is grid-based and it’s an orange peel pattern. This one is definitely not perfect but I like the overall texture it gives. I had to first draw a 1/2″ grid on the quilt top (again with a Frixion pen) and that was my guide for the orange peel stitching. I didn’t take pictures of this one, but here’s a close up.
Now I just need to practice the word BALANCE! I am enrolled in Ali Edwards class, One Little Word, so I get monthly prompts in my inbox. This was not one of those prompts, but my own way of making my word visible to me.
I hope you’re all staying healthy and finding your way through the COVID 19 restrictions. It’s a very strange and unsettling time for all of us. You may have seen the requests for homemade face masks going around the internet along with many different patterns and tutorials. I’ve been testing out a few and I’ll do a separate blog post with my own recommendations.
Stay well and happy quilting,