Tips-as-we-go quilting (4)

Ooo! Friday was day four of quilting ‘In the Cool of the Evening’. Undeterred by the disappointments of the previous days walking foot quilting I got into the sewing room bright and early. I knew it was to be day when I would have to don those ‘big girls pants’ and get down to some free motion quilting! So from 8am ’til 11.30am I went into procrastination mode: first I cut and stitched together the strips of fabric for the binding (well! I reasoned it had to be done sometime…);Binding strips next I made a fresh practice quilt sandwich from wadding off-cuts and an old polycotton sheet (well! I’d need to do some warm up stitching before I moved on to the actual quilt wouldn’t I?); then I did some practice stitching (well! practice is important!); I cleaned the fluff out of machines bobbin race (it’s good to have a well maintained machine…)Bobbin fluff; next a coffee break and a chance to catch up reading the blogs I follow (well! it’s important to be refreshed and relaxed before doing fmq); and then a quick walk to a local hardware store to pick up some garden supplies (well! fresh air is good for us, isn’t it?).





By 11.30am I had no place to hide! I positioned the quilt under the needle and went for it… And, much to my surprise, I enjoyed a rather intense half hour of stitching 🙂 Here are the results:

FMQ leaves
The leaf outlines overlapping the green ‘hedges’ on to the ‘paths’

Fmq leaves 2

I could point out some faults but I won’t: as Melanie wisely advised in her comment a couple of days ago, ‘Don’t be more critical of your own work than you would be of a good friend’. And a key word in the paragraph above is that I enjoyed doing the fmq and any self-judged imperfections in the workmanship can not take away the satisfaction I experienced from executing that stitching 🙂

On to my quilting tips and techniques:

  • Practicing fmq really does help to raise confidence and improve skills – even if you only get the chance every-now-and-again, no practice is a waste of time.
  • The quilt is much bigger and heavier than my practice sandwich. I found the speed I could move the quilt under the needle was considerably slower than I’d been moving the practice piece so I had to adjust my stitching speed too.
  • Whenever I paused stitching – to move my hand position or shift the quilt – I thought about the next few inches of quilting to be done and made a little plan in my head which helped me feel in control of the pattern I was creating.
  • I regularly checked the scale of the shapes I was stitching to make sure there wasn’t a noticeable difference to the scale I’d used at the beginning.

I think I have another six hours of stitching leaf shapes before the hedge areas of the quilt are completed. Thankfully I do have a full spool of the green Aurifil 2902 as fmq sure does eat up thread.

If you would like a break from all this machine quilting talk I’d highly recommend you take a look at Bella’s beautifully hand stitched Valentine’s quilt – it is stunning 🙂 Click on the link here or find the link on my Pinterest board, ‘Pins of the Week‘.

Hope you have a great weekend.


I mentioned the modifications I made to my fmq/darning foot to stop it bouncing using the tutorial by Leah Day. Here’s a photo of the foot along with the new practice sandwich.

FMQ foot modifications




4 thoughts on “Tips-as-we-go quilting (4)

  1. I love all that procrastination! You are very human and easy to relate to! And you did get down to business and found that you enjoyed it! Keep up the good work! 🙂


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