Saturday, June 23, 2012

June: Celebrations and (of course) THE CHALLENGE!

The month of June is a busy one for our family. Emily's birthday is on the 16th, Dave's is on the 20th, Father's Day always falls around then, and Dave's and my wedding anniversary is on the 22nd.  Whew!  We buy a lot of cards and eat out much more often than usual.  All of these dates remind us of how quickly our lives spin past and how important it is to appreciate each and every day. 
 This year was one of those significant birthdays for Dave.  Here's one of my favorite pictures of him, taken when he taught at the Edinburgh Academy.  Except for gray hair and beard, he still looks the same (minus the kilt!)

Thirty-eight years ago, this was the scene......

 And twenty-five years ago, our sweet girl arrived.....

 Here she is being greeted by her grandmother, her Aunt Marce, and her cousin Drew.

Despite all this celebrating, I did manage to complete my Free Motion Challenge for June. The teacher for this month was Cindy Needham who does exquisite machine quilting on whole cloth quilts.  Her tutorial included several parts in which she explained her choices of tools, her method of beginning and ending and burying threads, and her method of dividing the quilting space and quilting differently in each section, much like the Zentagle doodle method.

For some of my practice pieces I used quilt sandwiches I had used to try some decorative threads for bobbin quilting.  Since those threads were white, I used YLI Rainbows thread so I could see the difference between the two.

After several practice sessions, my final attempt is here.   I have a Bernina  and I have done some of the challenges using the BSR, but I did all of this month's quilting without it, and I am happy with the result.  My stitches are more even than I had expected them to be, and I think Cindy's suggestion about letting the rhythm of your machine help you to keep your foot and hands in sync really worked for me.  This is one lesson I think I shall be trying again and again.


I quilted the name of the month and a heart in hand, too, and I think I will do this on all the challenges for the rest of the year.

 I hope that those of you who are celebrating this month and quilting this month have as much fun as I did!