Soy Amado & McTavishing 2

It is Monday, so it is time to show you some more McTavishing! I finished 5 blocks in the last week for the Soy Amado quilt. Four of these have my version of McTavishing on them.

Looking at these 4 blocks, I see elements that I like and elements that I do not like. I have analyzed the curves as I am trying to find out why one block looks “better” than another. I am happy with how the blocks look, but I would like to get closer and closer to the look I am going for. So, here is the self critique!  (“Results of the Dutch jury” ha ha, 12 points!”! Okay, this was a reference to the European Songfestival…. not something I watch on tv, but we all know about!) )



– The distance between the lines varies a lot in this first block. I like it better when they are a bit more uniform, but not TOO uniform…

– Sometimes my echoing is not parallel to the previous line, especially with the short filler lines. (Really, I am all over the place!) I like it better when the lines are more parallel.



– The distance between the lines is more uniform. I like this!

– Most of the longer lines have a vertical direction. I need to use more different directions. (now I am complaining that it is TOO uniform…. 😉  )



– See the longer curve in the lower right corner that curves all the way to the edge? To me it looks like a duck’s beak. (Or maybe pelican!) Don’t like! So, try not to make QUACK lines! LOL!



– I like the backtracking on the longer curves. It looks like shadow.

– The longer curves now go in more various directions. That is better…

… but then there is this:

Something is up with the tension on the old Pfaff. I will give her a good cleaning next time and hope it “goes away!”



A different one! An old orphan block that was a test block for Dazzle.

Simple stitch in the ditch around the paper piecing and FMQ in the dark border. The Soy Amado quilt will contain a lot of hearts: hearts in fabrics and hearts in FMQ:

I “heart” learning and giving!



P.S. I am linking up with all of these parties:

Amy Free Motion Quilting Aventures for the McTavish Along

Stitch by Stitch for Anything Goes Monday

Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story

Linky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the River

Show and Tell Tuesday @ I have to say

Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilt



23 thoughts on “Soy Amado & McTavishing 2

  1. I think the challenge in this quilting motif is to find “your take”/personality in the stitching while maintaining the initial idea (at least, that’s my ‘take’ on it). Anyhow…..I think your stitching gives you much to be pleased with. Sometimes looking around the ‘net at others who are doing this type of quilting will help you meld together what works for you. It’s looking very good!!!!!! Hugs……………………….

    • Hello Doreen!
      Thank you. YOU ARE RIGHT!!! It is not important what the others do, I need to decide what I like. I have changed my wording in this post. “This is the look that I am going for” instead of “what it should look like”.

  2. That’s an interesting post! I’m more a hand quilter and have not much experience in FMQ. I’m trying to learn more about FMQ and make some attempt at it from time to time. So that post was very instructive to me. Thank you for writing it.

    • Thank you very much France!
      I love to FMQ! The strange thing is that a year ago I thought that all of those curves and feathers were “just not me” and straight line quilting would be the thing to do. When I discovered how to set up my old pfaff for FMQ I was completely mesmerized! I got hooked!
      I have worked on many projects, mainly small ones, and used all kinds of patterns. I tend to be better at the curvy patterns versus the boxy / straight line ones.
      I wish you lots of FUN trying out these patterns. Just doodle!

  3. I think you can spend too much time critiquing your work… It’s beautiful, and you’re learning something each time you do it. Remember the quilter’s mantra: “finished is better than perfect”. And as my mother used to say “Perfectie is voor de lieve Heer”…

    • Yep, that is true, 🙂
      I absolutely will not be analyzing my FMQ like this everytime. I do not think that is helpful in maintaining a creative atmosphere to be this picky, LOL!
      The goal of the McTavish Along is giving yourself a challenge and discover what you like and do not like with this pattern. A lot of my FMQ is “just go with the flow” and joy and play. That is what it is supposed to be for me. Quilting is not my job, it is my relaxation and creative outlet! And I hope it can stay like that for a long long time… (Even though I would not be opposed to gaining some quilt cash by showing or teaching others my addictive hobby and selling a quilt or two. 🙂 )

    • Hello Kelly!
      I am creating a whole quilt but not with only these blocks. There will be all kinds of blocks. I have just 4 more to create and then I can assemble (Quilt-as-you-go) the quilt. ( i will show more blocks later this week) I am still thinking about what fabric to use when putting the blocks together: more blue or gray, or a pop of orange or red.
      Have a wonderful tuesday!

  4. Esther — I’m going to go along with what Doreen mentioned. When I first started McTavishing I found my groove and what felt right for me — it doesn’t mean that I am always happy with how things turn out — but it was a groove that allowed you to relax and quilt and go along with the funky results. I think your quilting looks beautiful. Amy has beautiful samples as well but your don’t need to look just like hers. You’re doing a fantastic job and kudo’s on your practicing and sharing!! You deserve a star!

    • Thank you very much Karen!
      🙂 I am going to wear that star today!!!
      Normally I would not put so much emphasis on “getting the FMQ just right”, but the McTavish Along is all about learning and showing the participants what we have discovered. It is supposed to be a challenge.
      I just adore the humming of my machine when FMQ-ing and I feel so at home doodling with thread. The other blocks in the quilt I am making, will not get this FMQ-breakdown-and-analyze approach. They are just all about FUN. Fun for me as a creator and fun for the child who will get this quilt.
      Have a great sewing day,

  5. I love seeing how everybody has a different take on the design and in fact Karen says in her book to make it your own, meaning your own version. Yours is quite fabulous!

    One of the reasons, I’ve been focusing on making mine so long and swooshy is because it seemed as if those who quilt it on a domestic tends to have shorter lines and less swoosh. I wanted to prove to myself that I don’t have to have a long arm to get that look!

    Thanks for linking up!

    • I totally agree with you! I do not think we need a longarm for the swooshy lines, just a bit more practice! I do find that lines that I draw on paper are more swooshy as I am using my shoulder and elbow to draw. Have you ever seen an artist in a movie making big arm movements when drawing with a extented arm? When FMQ we can’t use that movement so we are limited. That is why a longarm machine lets the quilter have the swooshy lines versus the domestic sewing machine where we are sitting down with our arms bend. At least that is what i think, 🙂
      Looking forward to the next pattern!

    • Hello!
      Thank you very much for your kind words! I am creating all kinds of blocks that will form a quilt for a charity called Soy Amado! I am four more to do and then I have to turn the separate blocks into a quilt.
      Bye bye

    • Goodmorning Susan,
      Yes with the McTavish Along the emphasis is really on getting the flow of the pattern and making it our own. Normally i would not breakdown a FMQ pattern like this, but this is an learning exercise. All of the participants are reviewing their work and showing their progress with the design.
      Bye bye

  6. I loved reading what you had to say. I can see how everyone can have their own twist to the same quilting design. But my favorite block you showed here is number 2. I like the pointy ends on your swooshes. (That’s a technical term, right?)

  7. These are terrific and you are so good at McTavishing. I’ve long known about this talented machine quilter!! I bought her book that included a cd and then I lent it out to someone who held my book for over two years and finally when it was returned, she kept the cd, maddening to no end!

  8. Pingback: Spreading the love | ipatch

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