A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Friday, 6 June 2014

When All Else Fails...

Read The Instruction Manual

My Alphabet Quilt is coming along nicely, but not without some angst.
I decided that I will do some free motion quilting on this cot quilt but in my haste thought I knew it all and happily quilted away on my sewing machine without realising the boo boos I was creating.
For some reason I assumed that if I used the selection free motion floating on my sewing machine menu and the open toe stippling foot, then there would be no need to drop the feed dog.

Initially I had even assumed that I needed to use my walking foot.  Just WHAT was I thinking?

After many frustrating attempts, failures, and unpicking metres and metres of thread (wasted, I might now add), I decided to very CAREFULLY read my sewing machine handbook.

I realised I was making two mistakes:  
1.  I had not adjusted the tension. 
2.  I had not dropped the feed dog.

Once I realised I needed to make these adjustments I did some practice runs on large rectangles of sandwiches and made this hold-all from one sandwich I had FMQed. 

My Alphabet Quilt is now quilted, but far from perfect.

It's amazing isn't it, how we can fool ourselves into thinking that a panel of fabric will save time.
I bought this particular panel on special in 2012 and while I do adore it, once I started quilting I realised how time consuming it could be because if I let my perfectionism take over I would actually be hand quilting each letter of the alphabet.  It took a lot of obsessing before I convinced my self that there is just not enough time to do this.

As you can see, my finished FMQ is not the smoothest flowing finished product, so again, I have to allow myself the reasoning that for a beginner it's okay.

So here are a few hints for those just starting out on FMQ on their sewing machine.

SOME Very Basic Free Motion Quilting DOs & DON'Ts


DO read your machine instruction manual very carefully and follow it to the tee.
DO pre-wind as many bobbins as you can before starting your project
DO clean and re-thread your machine before starting your FMQ project
DO change your machine needle to the appropriate size, my machine suggest a size 80/12
DO spend as much time as practical making some sandwiched rectangle to practice your FMQ
DO practise 
DO be adventurous  


DON'T clutter your sewing area
DON'T sew too slowly - once you've mastered FMQ a little, you'll find sewing faster will actually give you a better, more even result
DON'T be afraid to invent  new styles for FMQ
DON'T give UP practising FMQ
DON'T give up

I found this video helpful  (and this) to get me started.

1 comment:

  1. Your fmq looks great to me and I like the H. I'm enjoying seeing your alphabet grow :)


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