The Free Motion Quilting Project: Torrent of Fear - Part 3

Monday, February 13, 2012

Torrent of Fear - Part 3

It's been awhile since I've shared an update about this quilt. I know full well that I'm falling a bit behind on my goal to create 12 goddess quilts this year. Maybe I should change the goal to 12 goddess quilts PIECED, not actually finished!

But then I'd have 12 new UFOs and if my sewing room is any guide, I really don't need any more UFOs.

So what has been the hold up with Torrent of Fear? The biggest reason is I've added a new element to the quilt which makes me scratch my head and wonder how the heck I'm going to quilt it now.

You see, after putting this quilt together, I kept feeling like it was lacking something...some crucial element that needed to go over the goddess's hair and in the clouds.

free motion quilting | Leah DayFinally I realized I wanted more texture and...well...FIBER. I wanted some YARN in these areas.

But not just any yarn. I wanted yard that was bobbly and chaotic and weird. I also wanted it to be black and gray and as thick as my thumb.

To say it simply: this yarn must not exist.

I looked, I searched, but I didn't find it.

It doesn't help that I was being super picky and cheap because I only needed 300 feet of the stuff. Why pay $35 for a giant skein of yarn when you only need a little bit?

So what's a girl to do? Take up Spinning!

Yes, since the middle of January I've been learning how to spin art yarn on a wooden spindle. I've been helped along greatly by two books: Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont and Get Spun! by Symeon North.

Note: Get Spun! is actually written for use with spinning wheels, not spindles, so it wasn't as helpful as it could have been, but it was wonderful liberating to find that you can make yarn out of just about anything so long you can twist it, and it will stand still long enough to be twisted!

So far I've spun several types of merino wool, regular wool, and some very soft bamboo. It's so interesting how the different fibers feel and react to being pulled apart and twisted.

After a bit of experimenting and playing, I managed to make this yarn for Torrent of Fear.

free motion quilting | Leah DayThis is a 2 ply yarn twisted with a hand painted merino wool and black bamboo. It's luscious! It's absolutely everything I wanted it to be so I promptly hand couched it to the surface of the quilt.

free motion quilting | Leah DayOf course it wasn't long after basting this little beauty up before I realized that really thick yarn is a real pain in the &$$ to free motion quilt around. My foot kept getting hooked to the fiber, and when it's not getting hung up, the thickness is so great it's impossible to move the quilt smoothly.

This is probably the only time I'll ever admit this: I have to quilt this with my walking foot.

Lol! I need the stability of a walking foot to go over the yarn without either shifting it or the layers of the quilt. Once the quilt is secure, then I can go back in and fill each section in free motion without getting so close to the yarn that it catches my darning foot.

And of course, I don't have a walking foot for any machine except the Janome Horizon which is still broken!

So all and all, I'm not beating myself up for this UFO since I really can't do anything about it at the moment. This weekend I'll be taking the Horizon to Greensboro with me to get fully repaired and serviced while I'm teaching class at Ye Olde Forest Quilt Shoppe.

In the meantime, I guess I should start working on getting another goddess together for February.

Time to shut up and go make it!



  1. Before I got to part that said you had a solution, I was think 'what about felting some wool yard in strands?' Anyway, you idea will look awesome.

  2. Oh it´s a wonderful quilt. I really can feel the fear!!!!

  3. I love spinning. So neat to see you're doing a bit too.

  4. Unbelievable Leah you have an amazing gift the yarn is so perfect worth the pain of quilting!

  5. I must have missed something. I was going to suggest using the round plastic disc on your darning foot, but then you said your Horizon is broken. When did I miss that? Hope it's fixed soon. I can't imagine doing without mine now !

  6. I love the hair! Can't wait to see your quilting choices!

  7. I love the dimension and texture the yarn added. Wonderful idea, but I can't believe you went to such great lengths to get what you wanted. Amazing!

  8. LOL I have a dog with very long black hair and she sheds all over the place! You need 'hair'! LOL!! (however that is not that funny I remember once hearing about a lady who would make sweaters or rugs out of loved pet hair for people!!)

  9. You could use some water soluble embroidery film to deal with quilting that yarn. Then just rinse it out!

  10. I know you are doing/have done goddess quilts and they are more than just quilts. I was just wondering if you have ever done a male version of any ideas, or any ideas that would work. I understand the female aspect of the quilts but, just had an idea that I wanted to share.

  11. Your yarn is gorgeous, Leah! You are so resourceful :) I love how you live by the words, "necessity is the mother of invention" :) And I'm so glad to hear you treating yourself kindly despite changes to your monthly goddess quilt resolution :) Beautiful job all around!

  12. Leah, your goddess quilt looks absolutely beautiful! Love the hair and the trim around the clouds. Its just stunning.

    Talk about UFOs, my husband things that I just like to start project after project :-)...
    Now its time for finish some of them.

  13. Welcome to the world of spinning - when I've lost patience with piecing and quilting I spin - it can be relaxing and get me back into the quilting frame of mind, so I'm still productive

  14. Adam - While I haven't created a male inspired quilt yet, I do have a few sketched and will hopefully get to one this year. I guess it would be sexist of me to never make a quilt with a guy in it, right?!



  15. When I lecture my tag line is, "there are no mistakes in quilting, just opportunities and learning experiences." I had my share of learning experiences where I embellished first and quilted second. Now I piece, quilt and then add the embellishments. Don't you just love all those gifts of opportunities that push in new directions and cement why we chose to work the way we do?


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