Thursday, January 26, 2012

FFMQ Guest Post--Candy from Candied Fabrics

Links to all of the blog posts in this series are located in the "Focus on Free Motion Quilting" tab below my blog header image. 

Today I'm excited to share a post from Candy Glendening of Candied Fabrics. Here she is!
I'm so happy that Vicki asked me here to share my take on "Focus on Free Motion"! What I want to show you is how my free motion quilting has evolved in the past 5 years. I spent a good 5-10 years BEFORE that learning how to Free Motion quilt like this:
Abstract for Andrew

Also in those early years I also evolved from a traditional style quilter to working with my own hand dyed fabrics and making quilts that come from me, rather than a pattern. The fabric that I dye has a luscious visual texture that I really want to emphasize, and I realized that I didn't want to cover that texture up with a whole 'nother layer of texture via the quilting. So I began trying to figure out how to do that. One of my transitional pieces is this "Falling Leaves" quilt:


I'm using free motion quilting as a line to outline the tree and leaves, giving it a "sketchy" style that I admire in artists who combine water color and pen and ink - with a wash of color underneath a sketched shape. I really liked working in this style, but at this point, I couldn't bear to not use my "fancy" free motion work at all, I'd worked so hard to learn how to do it! My hope was that using it this way, as a smaller part of a larger whole, I could allow the free motion quilting pattern shine when I did use it.
Although I like “Falling Leaves”, I ended up not doing much more work combining the two styles of quilting. Instead, I became more and more enamored of that strong line created by retracing my quilting line 2, 3 or 4 times, not following the same line each time but missing it on purpose: what I now call Free Motion Machine Sketching. After using this style in many many small art quilts…

quArt Lollipop Flower 6
quArt MoonShadow 3

I looked for a way to emphasize this sketching even more. What is beautiful, worthy of contemplation, perfect and imperfect at the same time? Flowers! I started FMMS flowers and leaves a couple of years ago, and this is a subject that I have only scratched the surface of!
Botanical Sketch Warm 01
Larsen Hall_3

I sell my work online, and also at local art festivals. In both places, I talk about how I do what I do, but have found that a moving picture is worth 1000 words! Here’s a video of me doing some Free Motion Quilting:

and one of me Free Motion Machine Sketching:

Believe me when I say that I can NOT sketch with a pen/pencil AT ALL! When I want to sketch a new flower, I just take a quick look at the species I want to sketch (usually a Google image search), grab a scrap quilting sandwich and give it a whirl. Usually after one or two tries, I’ve got the shape I want to sketch worked out and I’m ready to go!
Here’s a quilt I made last summer that features some of my favorite botanical sketches:

Botanical Sketch Quilt 17
There you have it - Free Motion Machine Sketching! I’ve been sketching flowers for a couple of years now, and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon!
I hope this is provided you all a peek into yet another type of free motion quilting. Vicki, this is a genius idea, and all your “Focus on Free Motion” posts are going to be great references for lots of quilters for a long time to come!

Thanks again, Candy! Your free motion sketching is such a unique and beautiful approach to textile art and quilting; I'm so glad you shared this with us! I might need to make my own botanical sketch quilt one of these days (some of you might not know that I was a botany major and studied the ecology of a rare plant in college.) Please visit Candy's website and her shop to find out more about the things she makes AND don't forget to check out her brand new fabric dyeing e-course!

I hope you are almost ready to share your finished free-motion quilted projects on January 31, which is next Tuesday. You'll need to link to a finished, free motion quilted project that was completed this month. Prizes will be drawn randomly later next week. Thanks to the sponsors who are providing our prizes!




Sharon said...

This was a very helpful post. Thanks, Vicki!

Kathy said...

Wonderful, Thankyou Vicki - great inspiration for a nervous wannabee FMQ'er!

SewCalGal said...

Very nice FMQ & thread play. Great inspiration.


Candied Fabrics said...

Thanks for having me as your guest Vicki, it was great fun!

amy said...

love the sketching - so beautiful! visually simplistic in a way, which makes it so darn pleasing to the eye