Sunday, June 9, 2013

Free Motion Quilting

A couple years ago, I took a class about Free Motion Quilting.  I'm glad I took it, even if I really wasn't ready skill-wise to understand most of it and haven't used it since. I kept thinking about over the years, and it has made me aware of all the possibilities out there.

With me working on the mini quilt, I don't want to pay someone to quilt it. That would be rather dumb. I also don't want to just quilt it with straight lines. That would be rather dull. So, I pulled out my notes and samples from the class. I also pulled up freemotionquilting.blogspot.com for where to start. I've been following Leah Day for a while now. 

But before I could get started, I had to fix my tension problem.  
The stitches on the top would look just fine, but the back would look like this:
BabcoUnlimited.blogspot.com - Free Motion Quilting
 

The stitches weren't meeting in the middle like they should. 
What to do? How to fix this? I did what anyone would do. I called my mom.

My mom suggested I make sure everything is clean and oiled. Then she said I'd just have to play around with the tension settings. So, I did just that. I had to get the manual out to figure out how to change the tension and not make it worse. After about and hour, I finally had success. 

Now that I had removed that hurdle, I had to actually practice quilting. I hadn't done for 2 years. And I had only tried it that one time. And I wasn't even good at it then.

But here is my first attempt a learning to stipple. I did as suggested by starting off with big loopy letter U's. I then tried to move it around. Sometimes I did better than other times. But I still think it's not so bad for a first attempt. 
BabcoUnlimited.blogspot.com - Free Motion Quilting
 
Then I tried to make the stippling smaller, and failed. couldn't really do it on a small scale and not have a million stitches all together. I tried a loopy stippling--I like that one. I tried a paisley design--I like it, but would need a finer thread if I were ever to use it. I then tried to do a design called McTavishing. I was failing miserably when I ran out of bobbin thread, so I just called it a day.

BabcoUnlimited.blogspot.com - Free Motion Quilting
 
Now that I have the tension all sorted out, there are so many possibilities. 
I'm getting really excited to quilt my own mini quilt, even if it does make me panic slightly as I don't want to ruin all my piecing. 

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