About this blog

I am Amy, but here on the web I go by A.J. Dub. And hey, I like to craft!
Sometimes things turn out well so I will share with you how I did it.
Sometimes they don't turn out well and I will share that with you too!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Learning and doing and learning some more.

I have had the notion rolling around in my head to make some dish-mats. I also wanted to practice free motion quilting on something that didn't matter, but would not go to waste. I did not want to experiment on my "pretty" fabrics, however so I used some yardage I got from my mom (I think) ages ago. I also wanted to see how well using microfiber towels would work for the back. My original plan was to use bar mop towels but I did not want to give any up from my stack for making Stay Put Kitchen Towels.
In the dollar spot at Target I found sets of 2 microfiber towels that are about 12 inches square. I figured I would just sew them together to get the long mat bottom I needed. I found a batting scrap that was only slightly smaller than my Frankenstein towel, cut a piece of fabric and got out my new open toe darning foot. I chose white thread so I could see what I was doing and then spray basted my fabric and batting together. I just did those two layers, because that microfiber was sticking like mad to everything. It even stuck to my cutting mat!
Then I got my smartypants phone to put by my sewing machine for tutorial help. Well, I could not find the tutorial, so I winged it and listened to music instead. :)
I started out with some swirls (okay, but stitches too big) and tried to do some stippling (fail) and then remembered someone had said to put the pedal to the metal, so I did that and it helped a ton. Then I also remembered to put on my "quilting" gloves (from Home Depot) which helped a bunch more.

I cruised around making a giant mess, trying to make flowers and stars, and writing things like "dry the dishes" and my name. It was totally fun but it really looks pretty cruddy in person. Good thing I have a lot of that ugly fabric to practice on! (Sorry about the bad pictures. Our kitchen has the worst lighting!)

The dish-mat

The microfiber backing that I will (probably) never use again. Way too messy/sticky to work with. I left the tag on the towel for the special washing instructions.

The quilting supposedly says "dry the dishes". You can see "dry" and "the" here if you look carefully.

I think that was supposed to be a flower.
And here is the book cover I made the other night. My daughter was working on a case for her crochet needles and I sort of morphed the tutorial into a book cover for my church manual. It turned out just a bit too small so I am making adjustments and will try again soon.


  1. I think that it's great that you are practicing! Beautiful book cover.

  2. Good for you! I havent practiced my FMQ since the first attempt. Yours looks pretty good. I love Leah Days site, she's running a whole tutorial right now on FMQ.

  3. Good idea to at least practice on something useful...coming along too.