A Wild Zenspiration Tulip

MarveLes Art StudiosBlogs 7 Comments

 My first “Zenspirations-styled” free motion quilted piece is done.  “A Wild Tulip” was a bit of a wild ride!

“A Wild Tulip” — 8″x17″ approximately.

Challenging? Yes!  Fun?  Mostly!  Learning?  Most Definitely!

I started out with 50 weight Masterpiece ELS cotton in my top and bobbin.  I would do that differently next time, and did change my threads, mid-way through the quilting process.  I switched to 40 weight King Tut ELS cotton, leaving the 50 weight Masterpiece in the bobbin.

That was a good change. I did think about starting out that way in the first place, but I decided to try the lighter weight thread first, because some of the ‘zenspirations’ styles are fairly delicate, wouldn’t you think? The heavier thread was much nicer, and had a better overall presence.  I also had issues with the 50 wt thread breaking when I hit those thick seams…

Well, one must start somewhere, and it’s not always the destination, but the process of getting there. I love it!  Yes, there are little ‘dings’ going off in my head about it… but hey, I get to start on another piece now! (And this is the first piece I’ve done with some of my ‘tie-dyed’ fabrics!) Yay!

It’s not easy to come to the ease of quilting this style.  I believe one should be fairly accomplished, and comfortable with delicate, intricate, and specific lines and precise placement with their free motion quilting.  I need some more practicing, definitely!  I repeated some of my lines, for added emphasis, just as I do with the doodling.  And I didn’t like it when I ‘went off the edge’ and bobbled. (as you can see in the above picture)  and that is why I chose this goofy pieced one for practice.

This is my critique of this piece:

  •  Next time, I will copy the pieced top on a copy machine.  It would have been really great to practice, and audition the styled designs on paper, first!  Doodling Practice… makes for Excellence!  Thought I was going to say perfect, huh?  No way! Note to self: “This is the Pursuit of Excellence, Not Perfection!”
  • Use that 40 weight thread for heavier lines.  Delicate work… like the triangles… perhaps I would still stay with a 50 weight… have to try that out again!  And a 40 wt definitely for ‘fill-in’ types of details.
  • Circles on the right-side border… I should have ruled with chalk, a 1/4″ border on the quilt sandwich, as by the time I went to finish the edge, the free motion circles were cut off.  Ugh. I did try – I realized that I needed that 1/4″ border while free motioning the circles … but it’s hard to gauge that when you’re concentrating on the motif. (at least for me)  AUhhm… a little pre-planning goes a long ways towards a better finish!
  • Make sure you have got a needle that can handle repetitive “in place” embroidery styled quilting.  A little stabilizer under the top would have been a nice little bit of insurance.
  • it was hard to quilt through the thickness of the seams at times. Mostly where there are four or more meeting in a tight area.  Next time, I will press all those babies open!
  • I think I will pre-quilt the entire inner border with a walking foot, just to make sure things go a little easier. Doing the quilting the way I did, I think it looks better to ‘quilt in the ditch’ for most of the seams.  Otherwise, one had better be darn sure of  stitch placement, if you are going to free motion a straight stitch ‘in the ditch’ as I did.  Again… I need more practice!!!

I would not exactly call this an advanced technique, necessarily… but it is not really an ‘easy’ beginner thing either.   Especially with smooth, straight lines…smooth circles… all of which will be funner to practice now that I have an idea of what they look like in this  piece!!!

I think I really like this piece, and I know I’m excited to try those little “Zenspired” quilting  motifs in other ways.  So what do you think?   Do you agree it’s slightly advanced in the technique?  Would you want to try it?  Do you have other ideas, or suggestions that would be easier or smoother?  

Thanks for stopping by, and have a blessed Monday!

Comments 7

  1. I love your work. MasterPiece is converting to 3/ply, which means it will be much stronger. You did a fantastic job. I want to go home and try it. Bob!!!! Can I go home?????

  2. your fabulous tye-dyed fabrics made for an absolutely spectacular little tulip quiltie! and all of your zenspiration stitching are the perfect finishing touches!! bravo! :))

  3. YES! I think I will try this. I like the idea of zentangles but pages and pages of paper aren't too appealing but I think this is very much something that would personalize my stuff, fit my emerging style. Luv it!

  4. Oh goodness it turned out great. I think I would have done the same thing you did with trying the threads in the same order that you did. Keep going!!!

  5. I love black stitching that looks like a line drawn with a pen. This piece is great really wild. I love it.

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