Practicing Headbands

by Nicole

This past week was full of free-motion practice for my Birds in the Air quilt. I went through lots of fabric and thread practicing paisley designs, but wasn’t happy with the look of the quilting.

And then I went back to look at Diane Gaudynski’s Quilt Savvy, a book that I’ve had for some time.


Diane writes for quilters using their domestic sewing machines, but the information is also relevant for long arm quilting. It is filled with lots of helpful information for tackling free-motion quilting, including quilting designs and troubleshooting problems. If you haven’t read this gem of a book and are looking to improve your quilting skills, I highly encourage you to check it out!

After reading the section on paisley designs, which she calls, “headbands,” I quilted this little practice piece. Diane describes the process of making the designs so well, that I got it after only one try.

Quilting Practice copy

My quilting is by no means perfect, but I’m happy enough with how it came out that I’m ready to use the design on my Birds in the Air quilt.

The quilt is loaded and ready to go.

Birds in the Air loaded

Now, for some time to tackle it!

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Becky March 13, 2014 - 7:01 am

Nicole, everything you make is beautiful! I look forward to seeing the finish of this one! You really are inspiring me to quilt something. I'm on a very small budget for sewing right now, but hope to add a walkng foot and a few other quilting supplies to my sewing room this year. Hopefully will do a wall hanging for my sewing room with quilt-as-you-go method. 🙂

Megan March 13, 2014 - 7:22 am

Your practice piece is lovely – your quilt will look amazing when it's done.

QuiltingCyclist March 13, 2014 - 11:23 am

Beautiful! And, thank you for crediting my favorite and most loved quilting mentor. I had the privilege of taking two 3+ day classes from Diane Gaudynski, the kind , talented, and most generous teacher I have ever encountered.

Karen March 13, 2014 - 11:58 am

I think your sample looks perfect! Going too check out the book 😉

Kathy@KayakQuilting March 13, 2014 - 1:23 pm

Beautiful quilting…love the paisley look! And thanks for another great book suggestion!

Cynthia March 13, 2014 - 2:29 pm

You are so smart to practice!!! I am impressed that you got it so quickly! Love this design! Can't wait to see your finished quilt!

Katy Cameron March 13, 2014 - 8:26 pm

Oh so much fun, I do so wish I could get a long arm *sigh*

Lea March 13, 2014 - 8:32 pm

You're quilting is gorgeous. What an awesome practice piece.

shelley March 13, 2014 - 9:59 pm

Your aquas and greens are as beautiful and happy and your signature pinks and oranges. Love love love 'em! Can't wait to see the quilting!

Tamie March 14, 2014 - 2:15 am

Your headbands are beautiful. I can't wait to see your finished quilt.

Debbie March 14, 2014 - 3:18 am

Progress! 😉

knitnkwilt March 15, 2014 - 5:39 pm

I picked that book up at a used book store–guess it is time i read it. Your paisley looks great.

Leanne March 16, 2014 - 4:29 pm

I am off to order it, I cannot make paisleys properly at all. My brain is better at squared off patterns. Your quilt is fantastic, I bet you are finished it by now.

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