Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WIP Pebbling Place mats experiment

Warning!  I'm getting all reals on you guys - ugly quilting ahead. If you're ready for this jelly, read on.. :)

As I've been working on my wonky square ring blocks (another WIP, coming along pretty well), I've been thinking about how I'm going to do the quilting. I'd like to expand my FMQ skills. I can do a decent meander/stipple, but I'd like to try something new. I've always really loved the look of pebbling, so I thought I'd give it a go on a small project. 

Place mats are a good idea for me because I'm a slob. At dinner last night my fiance had to inform me I had A1 sauce all over my white tank top. Smooth! Lol. Since this is just practice, if I make a terrible place mat I won't feel bad slopping food all over it.

I went through my stash and pulled out some dark fabric so I could see my work. I started with a bit of a tension problem on the lower right, but ended up fixing it.

Here is where I need some advice! Just looks at this mess. LOL. When I was doing the pebbling, it seems my hands were working a lot faster than my brain. My brain got sort of stuck sometimes and didn't know where to tell my hands to go, so I'd end up making an awkward leap to another area, and the pebbles didn't end up looking right. The "brain and hands out of sync" thing usually is okay with meander, this was trickier.

The photo below shows how they looked when I first started pebbling.. not pretty.

And this photo below shows my work towards the end of the place mat after a bit of practice... the pebbles are bigger and more uniform.

The fabric I'm using for the binding is this colorful print from Hobby Lobby.

So I'm not totally sold on pebbling. I'm going to finish up this place mat and make another and see how I feel. It's very time and thread consuming!

Has anyone done pebbling? Do you have any tips? Is it just a matter of practice makes perfect?

Linking with Freshly Pieced , thanks for visiting - I'll be stopping by everyone's WIP's after work!


  1. I think it looks great! I was trying to do exactly the same thing last night, and your description of your brain getting stuck and not knowing where to tell your hands to go made me laugh - that's just what I felt like! It's moving the fabric instead of the needle makes everything seem back to front. Left, no right, no left!

  2. I've not tried any FMQ so far, but I can totally get behind your description of brain freeze! The pebbling is an interesting effect and if you hadn't called it a mess, I'd never have noticed.

  3. Cute idea for placemats, I think your quilting looks good! The binding fabric is super pretty, I kind of want to run to Hobby Lobby right now :D

  4. The few times I've done pebbling, I found it looked a bit better if I went around the circle twice instead of just once. That hid the spot where I pealed off to start another pebble and resulted in deeper "grout" between the pebbles. I'm not sure if this method is correct, as I am still a Newbie too, but I liked the way it looked.

  5. I love that quilting pattern. I've been practicing it. Not ready to put it on a whole quilt yet.

  6. I've never tried pebbling, so you're one up on me! I think your "after" picture (the one after some practice) looks pretty great! Pebble quilting is supposed to be kind of loose and improvisational, I think. Good job! Thanks for linking up to WIP Wednesday. : )

  7. I actually thought your pebbles looked nice and even when I first saw them - way better than my pebble practice, which was so nasty that I decided to put pebbles on the back burner for a while! Even after you pointed out what you thought were flaws, I still think they look good :)

  8. I haven't tried pebbles yet but they are on my list of quilts things to try. Yours looks good to me!

  9. I just found your blog from WIP Wednesday, and I really like it! I just started blogging this month too. :) My third quilt is also poised to be a wedding gift, so I feel your terror on that! Kudos for trying pebbling--it looks neat, but I'm not sure I'll ever have the patience for it! Never say never though, I suppose.

    Anyway, nice blog!

  10. Popping over from the WIP Wednesday post. I'm also a new blogger! I'm pretty new at the whole sewing thing so I think your pebbles look great!! Someday I will venture into doing some FMQ!

  11. I think your pebbling looks great!


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