Friday, February 22, 2013

Free Motion Quilting

This was my first attempt at free motion quilting.  This is the quilt I am donating to the Veteran's Home this year.  I love the scrap was so much fun to do!  The (domestic table top, Bernina 820 midarm) machine quilting, well, not as much fun.  I've got to get in a rhythm and get better; then I hope it will be more fun.

Since this is a medallion-style quilt, I took advantage of that and practiced a few different quilty techniques. The center section was just stitched in the ditch.  The blue star border got some loopy loops.  The string blocks were meandered and the final border got some star and loop patterning.  I purposefully used a neutral bobbin so that I could see how the effects were working on the dark backing for this first attempt.  I realize that this isn't the most desirable way to finish a quilt - it was for the learning curve!

This month our guild's baby quilt coordinator challenges us each to complete at least one baby quilt to donate.  Thus, my second attempt at meandering was this baby quilt panel.  I found that I was beginning to get some skipped stitches when moving the quilt towards me, so I tried to focus movement on pushing the quilt away instead.  It's done...

And since I got that one done early, I went ahead and whipped up another one!  This one did give me a tough time quilting.  Lots of skipped stitches, but I stopped, tucked threads, etc., and got it done.  I'm chalking this up to an experimental learning experience in thread and fabric weights.

Done, done with charity projects for this month.  And of course, after I turned in the Veteran's quilt at the guild meeting this month, the Veteran's Home coordinator issued HER challenge for a 40x60 vet quilt per member by next month - I guess all of our charities are stocking up early this year!



  1. Looks really good Heather. I love a large meander on almost all quilts. It's my FMQ of choice. The texture is just great and the quilts aren't too stiff from too much quilting. I've found that different fabrics, especially what's on the back, make a huge different in skipped stitches and breaking needles and thread.
    Keep at it and it will come more naturally.

  2. Well, you've taken the first brave step! I've done a few baby quilts and given them to non-quilty moms. They have been declared "masterpieces" and "works of art"! So know that people are really going to appreciate what you do!

  3. Love your FMQ - for more tips and how-tos, you might want to check out Christina's blog, over at A Few Scraps. She did a great series of tutorials that show you how to do a lot of different designs, plus she talks about how to set up your machine and what you can do to get the best stitches. Keep on practicing!

  4. Hi Heather. Your free motion quilting is very nice. I hope to get the hang of it someday. Just letting you know I stopped by. I found your blog from your posts at MSQC. I'm also in the UFO challenge group.

  5. Panel make such cute baby quilts - I hear that free motion quilting getting easier with practice!


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