Two weekends ago (I know, I’m really slow), I did a weekend free motion quilting class with a local Norwegian quilter, Nina Lise Moen. She is one of those people whose ideas come so fast, she has a hard time to keep track of them. Although she loves large quilts, she makes mostly small ones, so she can try out each new technique and see where it leads her. One of those ideas was “Quilted Shapes”, and this is what she shared with Berit, Liv Helge and me.
It was a good thing that I contacted Nina Lise that morning about the location of the Gausel Hall, and Google Maps would have led me a long way from my intended destination. I packed all my supplies and my trusty Janome sewing machine (and that horribly heavy power transformer as my machine is a North American that has been sizzled once already by 220 v electricity), and away I went.With the address and my GPS (who doesn’t always know where I want to go either) I found my way with no problem.
Lug, lug – sure glad I got a zippered bag and luggage wheels for this sewing machine in Kuwait – soon I found the room the class was in. Nina Lise had all her sample projects and examples displayed on a long table. This is only some of them.
We started out with a circle of freezer paper and used several stippling patterns around it, which made the circle puff up in the centre. I do very little quilting on my sit-down machine as I have a mid-arm on a frame, but it’s always good to learn something new, and I do do small pieces once in a while.
No matter what kind of gloves I have tried, I always find myself grasping the edges of the fabric sandwich to move it around under the needle. I had cut my samples all even with no extra batting on the sides, so I found it a bit difficult, especially on the corners where I had nothing to grasp on to. Nina Lise had some locally-available polyester batting that she let me try, and it worked much better. I kind of got the hang of it, although a smaller stippling pattern and more consistent turning around the circle would have improved the outcome, but I was here to learn, not achieve immediate perfection (heck – perfection is a long, long way from my mind). This is the back of one –
For the second day, I remade my remaining sandwiches with borders to hold on to. Much better.
Next, we fused and sewed contrasting strips to our sample pieces. We got into more complicated patterns – like the tree trunks, where we used tape to delineate the trunks and free-handed the branches.
And then – a really neat idea for marking a quilting pattern without having to worry about removing all the marks afterwards……. water soluble interfacing. I’ve seen it used as a base for thread painting, where you can wash it away and leave just a lacy thread creation, but had never thought of this application. I had even bought some in Kuwait, but never really had a use for it. Wow – what a great idea.
The final challenge was to use some of these new techniques on a project – a table runner or pillow cover. Being me, I chose the runner, which meant I had to do twice as many quilted shapes, and quilt the centre part as well. I had chosen some bits from my Christmas stash (I really don’t sew many Christmas things, but it is such beautiful fabric).
Not perfect (you already know my thoughts on that), but I am now armed with a few extra quilting tools to be used on the frame in quilts as well as on smaller projects.
Nina Lise Moen has published a quilting book in Norwegian – “Gledesspredere”, which translates as “Joy Spreaders”. It is full of whimsical ideas that are sure to put a smile on your face, and a lot more interesting techniques and new uses for materials. she also has a blog – in English – that you might enjoy checking out. It is at http://mrsmoen.blogspot.no
This was a great weekend! It was nice to get to know three Norwegian ladies, and to listen to them speak (it’s amazing how many words you can recognize and still not really know what is going on, but they always made sure I did, as they all spoke very good English as well). It was a real boost to my getting busy in my sewing room again, and the first time Nina Lise had taught a class in English.
Thanks, Nine Lise. what a treat to be here and have this opportunity.