Monday, January 26, 2015

January Lesson: Beginners Guide to Free Motion Quilting & Giveaway results

First for the results. Julie's comment from Better than I deserve! was selected by the ever faithful random number selector. 

Julie said: I like doing free motion but need more ideas and practice!!. 

Congratulations Julie - I hope that this book helps you with ideas and pushes you to practice, practice, practice!!!!

I loved all your comments from the January Lesson & Giveaway post - I wanted to answer some of the comments/questions.

nelliw said... Great suggestions, Rachael! I am petrified to FMQ. I tried when I first purchased my Bernina and didn't feel I was ready. My biggest problem is overcoming the fear of the "big expanse" that needs to be filled and the fear of making a mistake and not being able to fix it! I will definitely give it a go again this year as I am tired of straight line quilting! 
I quilted this quilt with an all over stipple on my domestic machine. I filled each block before moving to the next block. Starting in the middle and working out will ensure you get the most cumbersome bits done first.

Rachael suggests - If you get overwhelmed with the size of your quilt. Break down the quilting into blocks or sections. Quilt a block at a time and remember to step away when you have had enough. Don't feel like you have to quilt the whole quilt in one sitting. Start in the middle and work methodically out - try not to jump around as this can create folds & catches in your backing material.

nancyr said...I a nervous newbie! I have attempted it on practice sandwiches several times...i seem to have a problem with my tension on the back side so I have sorta gotten frustrated and given up for a while! I think though I am ready to try again. I really like swirly type patterns.

Rachael suggests -  tension problems are the worst! They take a lot of patience to sort out - but once you have them set - it makes the world of difference. If you can not find the answer take your machine to where you purchased it from and see if they can help - it really is worth the time. Remember to bring your bottom thread to the top and hold it tight for the first few stitches. Other ideas are:
- use the same thread in the top and bobbin
- if the top thread is showing/nesting on the back your bobbin tension might be too tight or your top tension might be too loose. Try tightening it a little.
- if your bobbin thread is showing on the top your bobbin might be too loose or your top tension too tight
- rethread your machine completely. Check the manual to makes sure you have it right. Honestly - I still check my manual at times.
- pop in a new needle.
I am a bit obsessed by tension and can spend up to 30mins adjusting it before starting a project - but I think this time is well spent. I hope you get the problem resolved and don't let it defeat you in your FMQ journey!

FMQ CAN ADD TO YOUR QUILT DESIGN (and help with whoopsies too!)

Quilting Tangent said...I don't have a favorite design, but do like the ones with curves and loops in them. They seem to add movement to quilts

Rachael says - FMQ can do so much for your quilt. It doesn't just keep your quilt together! It can solve areas that are suffering from not sitting flat perhaps - or disguise piecing problems. It can also add a whole host of qualities to a quilt - another layer of detail, movement - it can draw your eye to particular area - it can help tone down fabrics or add interest to plain fabrics. The options are endless. I think any quilting brings a kind of structure or movement to a quilt.

FEATHERS - the dream & the reality

Rachael says - A lot of people left messages regarding feathers. I mentioned this previously but the best book I have found is Heirloom Feathers Freehand, Formal & Fanciful by Darlene Epp. It isn't super cheap and it isn't a book with pretty pictures - it is a workbook. Photocopy the workbook and just keep repeating the shapes over and over again (until you are yawning!!) it will happen I promise. The more you draw them - the better they will get. My first feathers looked like a line of strange sausages - they then became bananas and now they are more feather like! Pay particular attention to the angle that the feather is join up with the stem -  I have found that is the key with feathers. I will do a lesson on feathers soon.


PK Sews said... Thanks so much for the free motion suggestions! I'm still struggling with getting consistently even stitches.

Rachael says - Getting even stitches without a stitch-regulator isn't as hard as you think. The movement of your hands has to be linked with how much pressure you are putting on the foot pedal. If you are moving the fabric quickly you need more pressure on your pedal which will increase your needle speed. If you are moving the fabric slowly - you need less pressure on your pedal which will decrease your needle speed. After a time your hands and foot will be in tune and regulating your stitch length becomes automatic. Remember speed is the enemy here - take it slow - this will give you more control. The stitch regulator on my Handiquilter Fusion is an utter dream. The BSR for my Bernina I find problematic and I actually prefer to quilt without it. Lower your stitch length and practice keeping the fabric moving at a consistent rate with how much you have the pedal down.  Don't worry about the pattern you are making just concentrate on practicing the hand movement/foot pedal co-ordination - as you practice you will see your stitch length becoming more consistent

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful feature. Thanks for sharing Rachael!