Friday, September 20, 2013

FMQ Friday #3 - Learning Spirals

I've been wanting to learn how to FMQ Spirals. Ultimately, I want to quilt part of my baby boy boat quilt with spirals around the sails to look like wind. But I have to learn how to do it before I can attempt to quilt it on my finished top. 

So, first step was to doodle it. I then tried quilting it, but wasn't happy with the results. I consulted the instructional video here

This is what I got: - Learning Spirals
1st Attempt at Spirals
It's hard to reconcile the results with the image I have in my head. I just have to keep reminding myself that I'm just beginning. 


With that in mind, I found a great tutorial that really has made a difference for me. 
SewCalGal has a Free Motion Quilting Challenge I stumbled upon thanks to Pinterest. She has one specifically for learning how to do spirals with printouts to practice on. I love this!

She advocates learning to do swirls in a row to learn the motion and general concept. It helped me a lot.

I printed out her practice sheets where I can trace the shape and then try on my own. - Learning Spirals
Learning Spirals
 I'd take it with me to doodle on while I waited for the kids at school pick-up or to doodle on while chatting with my sister on the phone, etc. 

I finally decided I needed to try with needle and thread. I was anxious to give it a go.
I drew grid lines onto fabric to mimic the paper I practiced on. - Learning Spirals
Learning Spirals

Here is my first test with this method. - Learning Spirals
Learning Spirals
I have to say, I like this second organized attempt better than my first willy-nilly attempt. It was easy to see what I need to work on and focus on. 

I'm going to practice a lot more before I make any attempts on my finished pieced quilt top. 

3 comments: said...

Nice. Learning a new design requires baby steps. I like the steps you are taking to learn spirals. Thanks for sharing the links. I am definitely going to check them out and down my own baby steps for spirals! Dena

Gwyned Trefethen said...

WOW! I can see you confidence and comfort level improving the more you practice. Is there something you FMQ more easily than spirals? Perhaps meandering lines with loops? If so, you might want to warm up with something that is natural. That will get you hands, eyes and foot in synch. Then move from there to spirals.

Leah said...

Spirals were definitely a challenge for me in the beginning too. In fact, that post of Basic Spiral you linked too - that took 3 tries to quilt decently on video. So understand you're doing everything right by practicing, trying different methods, and best of all, not giving up!


Leah Day

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