‘wild flowers’ ~ hand painted ~ quilted ~ done!

MarveLes Art StudiosArt and Collage Quilts, Blogs, Mixing It Up 15 Comments

hey there, and happy shining day to you ~

and a shining day it always is to finish a project… this one is not really a ‘ufo’ but definitely one i had hoped to have finished earlier this summer.  {didn’t happen!}  sometimes that’s how it goes, and i’m glad to call it finished.  looking at it now, i think it could have benefited from some extra details, but … i wasn’t sure what… and decided it was better to finish, than let it languish!

i began by painting a plain piece of white cotton fabric, using  the beautiful silks acrylic glaze paints by luminarte on white cotton fabric.  i added some angelina fibers on some of the flower centers, and petals.  and then ~ time to quilt free motion style! 

over the course of time, i’ve been asked frequently, being a bernina girl, “do i use the ‘BSR’?” {which is the bernina stitch regulator}. my answer: “i do not.”

why? well, because as the famous stockbroker commercial said {or at least alluded to} in it’s ads: “because i learned {and earned my skills!} the old-fashioned way!”  let me explain. i do like the BSR ~ but i do not love it. it came along a little too late for me, and i had to learn without BSR all those years ago, and so that is what i am really comfortable at, and have honed my skills using and doing.

i love to teach the BSR techniques, and it’s strengths.  but i  teach it as an enhancement to traditional free motion skills.  this specialty foot ~ a computerized, ‘perfect stitch length’ free motion foot, can be particularly ‘freeing’ for those who are new to free motion, and especially those who felt frustrated, and just could not master traditional skills of free motion.

there are tons of details and information, hints and tips i share when i teach it, but what it always boils down to is simply this:  time!  it just takes time to master anything!  and i believe that we spend time {on many things} when we are motivated to master a technique, or for that matter ~ anything in life!

and we are drawn to what we love!  that is why i teach, and say these very things:

~ start with fabric or colors, you love
~ start with a pattern or project you love
~ start with threads you love
~ expect to learn troubleshooting {needles, tension, thread weights}
~ expect to {lovingly} spend hours upon hours,  perfecting your skill, enhancing your knowledge, and finally, 
~ treat it as a great adventure! 

i often hear “i wish i could be as good as you.” 

ahhh ~ but you can…  please~please… {i beg you!} do not rob yourself of the joy of learning, by letting the thief of your joy ~ ‘comparison’ ~ butt in on your thoughts and steal it!!

it takes time.  practice. practice. practice.  you know this ~ deep down in your heart.  and know i’ve spent thousands of {mostly} happy hours free motion quilting.

and not everything i do, am i pleased with.  in saying that, i realize too, that the bonus was in actually doing it – not necessarily in the final results.  we tend to base our expectations on what the final project looks like, rather than what was gained while we were doing it

the backing {a commercial batik}

after all ~ it’s the pursuit of excellence, not perfection.
{i repeat ~ not perfection!}
you can do anything ~ you want to!
~ soli deo gloria ~


Comments 15

  1. I love each piece you do and feel they are a labor of your love. I also thank you for your sharing of your talent. I love to free motion, but you are the queen~which makes me happy.

  2. Your post is particularly timely for me. Have you felt someone watching over your shoulder this week? I've tried two of your techniques with success! Added some Razzle Dazzle along the binding edge of a Halloween table topper. Yesterday, I made a baby blanket following your recent tutorial and did the scalloped edge. So cute! I can see all sorts of uses for this technique. Thank you, thank you for continuing to share your time and talents with us!

  3. It's really beautiful! You always give such thoughtful advice. I especially like what you say about enjoying the process. It's so important! We tend to focus too much on the end product.
    I am currently in trouble shooting mode. I can't get my new machine to free motion quilt with any specialty threads! I'm taking it in to the seller tomorrow. It's very hindering to the artistic process.

  4. Beautiful runner, Leslie! And lots of great advice.. so many want instantaneous results when practice and time are key.

  5. Well Leslie, I am plunking along and having a ball without a "B" so no "BSR". Your skill, practice, desire, insight and art shine! 🙂 Yes, art. THAT is what commands your pricing (I digress to a previous post of yours) it is not just "stuff" with hours and raw materials… it is ART. As an artist, you may charge what you will. Nuff said.
    I better get back to my present UFO which is languishing (love that word) as I type.
    Peace, love and great tension,
    Christina in Cleveland

  6. Lovely piece (as usual!)….I too have the BSR on my Bernina but don't use it…in fact, I use my 1090 Bernina, which I love, love, love for my FMQ!! I do like the embroidery stitches to use for edging/etc. but give me my 1090 anyday! It's a work horse and moves perfectly with my FMQ 'hands'! good post my friend!

  7. Thank you. I know this to be true, yet I sometimes forget. Practice, practice, practice and more practice will give me the results I'm looking for.

    I LOVE that fabric. Beautiful painting and stitching.

  8. This is a great post, Les, and I am in 100% agreement and also identify with the BSR reports. You have packed a lot into this beautiful runner. Bless you!

  9. I love your advice! It is spot on. If you want to do it bad enough you will. As a beginner it was frustrating not to have a machine that really worked doing what I was trying to do. Never the less I still kept at it. Now that I am a bernia girl too it has been much better. BSR? Well mine is not working correctly. I am still using it most of the time but I try without it as well. I feel it might sort of give you a push but learning without is ideal in my opinion. Thanks for all you
    you do. It has spurred me on for keeping on keeping on.

  10. Great advice and thoughts! I too, learned to free-motion quilt the old-fashioned way. I do sometimes use my BSR, but people don't always understand that I really had to go through a learning curve with the BSR, too! The positive (and adventurous) attitude in learning something new is always so important!! Thanks for sharing! The table runner is beautiful!

  11. This is so beautiful, it makes me want to grab some paints and start working!! Do you use a special kind of fabric to paint on? I use my old vintage Singer for FMQ and there is no regulator on it, I have actually never tried a machine with one.

  12. Leslie this is fantastic ! It is most awesome to follow your blog — talk about inspiring! So now I have to try the paints… AND the ? Angelina fibers ?

    Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful work!

    Also thank you for sharing your view on BSR — I've been putting feelers out there on BSR lately to see who uses it, who likes it, if it makes a difference. I gather from this post that I'm not missing anything major by not having it. I work on a Janome Horizon with no BSR, that and my little Bernina Activa 240 are what I quilt on — recently I was considering taking the jump to a Bernina 830 or higher… $$ouch$$. I guess it's not really necessary to do for BSR. I'll stick with my tried and true for now….

    Thanks again,

    Karen on Keuka

  13. Such wonderful advice – thanks! – but that's just the bonus to the wonderful eye candy of your gorgeous runner!!!!

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