Free Motion Quilt Challenge-April

April’s project for the Free Motion Quilt Challenge used Don Linn’s method of transferring quilting motifs using tulle as a transfer agent. It worked pretty well except the unavoidable problem when marking-what to mark with.

Don’s method uses a Sharpie to trace your desired motif onto a piece of tulle. Once you heat set the tulle, you then place the tulle where you would like the design to be. You transfer the design by tracing over the tulle, using a water soluble marker. Just to keep it simple I used my lily motif as my focal point.

I don’t have much tulle lying around but being a garment maker, I have buckets of silk organza so I traced my motif onto the organza with a Sharpie. I forgot to heat set my design before transfer and oops-the Sharpie bled onto my finished piece in some areas. Leave it to me to make all the mistakes…!Since I don’t like to wet my work, I chose to use the heat-erase Frixion pen. I tested it first on my fabric to make sure it would not leave a bleach mark (I blogged about the Frixion pens here and here). I still have a lot of concerns about the marks blooming back.

I also tried using Misty Fuse as my basting agent (instead of safety pins)-it worked well! If you’re not familiar with Misty Fuse, it is a very light weight 2-sided fusible without paper backing. It’s like really fine cheesecloth. It has a strong bond, adds no bulk to your work, does not gum up your needle and barely alters the hand of the fabric-great stuff.

You first fuse it to one side using a non-stick pressing cloth-I used Bo Nash’s non stick pressing cloth. I fused the Misty Fuse on my backing and my front, and then fused each of them to the wool batting. It worked beautifully.

I really don’t like to quilt around safety pins so I am always looking for my new favorite way to baste. Misty Fuse is a bit pricey and I need to make sure I don’t lose any of the “puff” of the quilting from the fusing. There is more testing to be done on this in the future for me-stay tuned.Just for grins I used my new motif, hmm think I’ll call it “flutter”, and fluttered the space around the lily motif. Although I loooove the flutter design, I think it competes with the lily and is way too distracting. Perhaps if I had made a pool of some repeating motif around the lily, then the flutter motif would have been lovely. Just continuing the echo did not work well on the long curve of the stem.

It is a challenge so I’m glad that I didn’t commit to do this on a major piece as I would have been disappointed in the final outcome. I do love the flutter and I do love the lily, they’re just in competition in this piece. Any thoughts on how to fix it? I would like to keep the two together somehow, but this way did not work so well.


  1. says

    Gorgeous as is!

    If you wanted to make the Lily stand out more, you could make it larger or quilt it with larger or more contrasting thread.

    Your curves are stunning. Any tips on how I can get my “Flutter” feathers that smooth?

  2. jennyklyon says

    Thank you Kelly! Sure, to get your feathers smooth you just practice. Honestly, that is the “secret”. I spent a lot of time examining my own feathers and then looking at others that I admire like Diane Gaudynski. I did not want to replicate hers, but I did learn so much from her and her work: how she transitioned, the beauty of their shape, etc. When I was learning to do feathers I had these kind of words in my little head: voluptuous, bulbous, Rubenesque, pendulous, etc-so silly but it helped me make my feathers “nothing but curve”. Your work is gorgeous btw!

  3. Carol says

    I would think about doing more echo quilting around the lilly before going into the flutter fill. I think that would allow the eye to see it and still allow you to use the filler. Carol

  4. Marti Meadows says

    Beautiful work! To make the lily stand out, I think I would try a strong contrasting thread. However, if you were using the flutter and the lily as a back ground fill it would be stunning. It would make the viewer stop and look at the secondary design.

  5. jennyklyon says

    Thank you all for the suggestions. I had it in my head that I wanted to use the Sparkle thread, the lily motif and the flutter background-thinking now that not all of that can be in the same space. When I echo that long stretch of stem, it just goes weird and dead. I think I have to lose the Sparkle and go with a higher contrast-yup!

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