Thursday, March 15, 2012

Adventures in FMQ

Following a long day sitting around at the courthouse for jury duty (no panels were called), some sewing was in order yesterday.  This little free motion quilting adventure started with a design from Leah Day's From Daisy to Paisley beginner's free motion quilting book, called Echo Shell. 

Since this would be my first foray into "travel" stitching, a practice sandwich was my starting point.

This time I used Leah's suggestion of leaving the feed dogs up, but setting the stitch length to zero.  "Traveling" by stitching over the same line to echo the half circle isn't the easiest thing to do, but I felt this wasn't a bad go and decided to move on to my tablerunner after a good number of echoes on my practice piece.

An old spool of orangey thread seemed to blend well and I started off down the primrose path.  SCREECH.  Stop for broken threads when going over seams.  Okay, try a larger needle.

Have you seen this gadget?  Funny looking, but very useful. I bought mine at the Husqvarna booth at the Road to California show.

The slot fits perfectly into the screw holding the foot or needle in place.

Easy to get a good grip on the screw and remove or tighten.   OK, back to echoing and a number of  SCREECHES to a halt for thread shredding and breaking, and some ugly traveling that had to be ripped out and redone.  

I decided to quit after finding nests and having to rethread the machine one too many times.  All of this is going to be ripped out and a new spool of thread purchased to replace the old polyester one.  And I'm going to try an even larger needle to help with going over the seams.  The good news is that I like the texture so am going to redo the same design--hopefully with a much better result. The adventure continues...


Janet O. said...

You inspire me, Annie. I need to just jump in and do it. I have so many things I could be quilting and I am chicken.
I also need to get that book!
I admire your tenacity in spite of all of the thread frustrations. That is maddening!

Marg said...

I like that pattern and impressed you kept going. I'm sure you will find with a new spool of thread that all your troubles will be gone.

loulee said...

In spite of all the screeching halts.... It's looking good. :-)

Nana B said...

I have the same book and have used the same pattern. Leah's suggestion to keep feed dogs up and stitch to 0 (using a supreme slider) helped me tremendously. Needle size 80 and the same thread both top and bottom also helped me keep out the nests.

Some of this runs contrary to some fmq classes I have taken and internet reading but it works for me. Good Luck.

Quilter Kathy said...

I would try a 90/14 Topstitch needle ( or maybe even a 100) and Aurifil thread and see what happens. So glad you are trying again because that is a really cool quilting design!

Libby said...

Looks great - you are a natural!

Candace said...

I agree about the topstitch needle and Aurifil thread, Annie! Great work so far!

Shay said...

I love that little gadget doodad...I think I need to get one ! I'm utterly fed up with trying to get the screw in and out with my nails getting in the way.

I really love that quilting pattern. New thread sounds like just the ticket. My machine decided it hated a certain thread when I was doing a quilt last year and changing threads was all I needed to start flying through the project.