I always find marking stitching lines on a quilt a bit problematic: Will the marker stain the fabric?; or, what if the marks disappear whilst I’m squishing the quilt through the sewing machine throat? Some time ago I wrote about the pros and cons of the various markers I’ve tried.
Well! I’ve made a start free motion quilting my Scrappy Trip Along quilt. I can’t say it’s been plain sailing! Never mind, I’m doing it!
I’ve found one of the issues I have with fmq is creating the ‘right’ scale. Ideally I want to achieve a fairly open quilting pattern so the finished quilt will feel soft and drape easily. However I end up with stitching lines closer together than I intend. I think there are two factors playing against my intentions (in addition to lack of skill!):
- I’m concentrating on the small section of quilt under the machine foot and bordered by the span of my fairly small hands.
- Any lines of stitching behind the needle are obscured by the machine foot and the body of the sewing machine so I sometimes mis-judge how close I am stitching to previous stitching.
Here is the first feathered swirl I stitched. It measures a much smaller than intended, 6″ long by 5″ wide:
My second feathered swirls measures a much more satisfactory 13″ long by 9″ wide:
The second is larger because I drew the curved spine of the feathered swirl onto the quilt using a Chaco marker. I found this simple measure a great help in stitching out a larger, more open, relaxed motif. Not perfect by any means but much nearer to what I’d set out to achieve.
Serendipity and all that…. Teri of TerifiCreations shared a short, encouraging video clip by Angela Walters’ entitled ‘Three Things Quilters Shouldn’t Do‘. It spoke to me at just the right time 🙂 encouraging me to stop doing these things and start enjoying the quilting I am doing!
Finally: A shout out for what a wonderful bunch of people there are inhabiting the Worldwide Quilting Community. This morning I was so fortunate to have Jo Westfoot aka ‘The Crafty Nomad’ come visit me at home to, in typically generous fashion, share her knowledge of the Electric Quilt software. Thanks to Jo I’m now much closer to publishing my first foundation paper pieced pattern 🙂 Her kindness didn’t stop there though! With her encouragement and practical experience I have for the first time submitted a quilt pattern to a magazine! How exciting! As my boys would say, ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained!’
Check out Jo’s website, gorgeous patterns, subscription groups and workshops here and let’s keep being thankful for the lovely community built around the craft of patchwork quilting.
I’m off to enjoy some more free motion quilting 🙂
At last Saturday’s Beginners Course we reached the quilting stage of constructing our quilts. I demonstrated a few ideas for quilting using a walking foot eg. in-the-ditch, echoing, wavy lines… I’d had a think about how to quilt my version of the Dashing Stars quilt. In-the-ditch would work but I favoured stitching a quilting design over the patchwork to add ‘movement’, helping to take the eye roaming around the patchwork design. I considered a diagonal hatch across the quilt and considered curves, maybe echoing arcs or a swirl. Eventually I came up with stitching a large zig-zag down the centre of the quilt and then echoing the shape to either side.
It’s a bit cheeky to call this post Saturday Quilting Bring & Share but I will push my luck and hope you have had a chance to sew with friends or can enjoy this virtual sew-in as a gentle way to end one week and start another. Bring along your project and share in some of the conversations doing the rounds in the quilty world 🙂
My projects over the weekend including a FINISH! I did a happy dance 🙂
I went ahead with my plan to quilt a swirl design on the ‘Pink Supreme’ quilt sandwich. I started by stitching around a paper circle that I positioned off-centre on the quilt. Using the built in walking foot of my sewing machine, I shortened the stitch length to try and keep this initial circle as smooth as possible.