Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stressing about my Quilt

I decided to "stitch-in-the-ditch" quilt my Mother-in-law quilt around each block, but the squares are big (14 inches), so I thought I should do another stitch in the block.  As the blocks are a bit wonky (or at least assymetrical), I didn't think simply putting an "X" thru the middle of each would look so good, so I got adventurous and decided to just jump in with some freemotion design inside the block.

Now, before I reveal my work, I have to admit it was probably not a great idea to have my first freemotion adventure on a big quilt like this one.  Some people start out with some placemats or oven mitts, or even a lapquilt- why did I jump into the deep end?  Because it just seemed right.

My strategy was to get a little practice on a few scraps, then, since I am using brown thread to quilt, start with the darker blocks first- that way, the crappiest FMQ might be less noticable :)

What I have found most difficult with my machine (Singer 301a with original table) is managing/supporting the bulk of the quilt as I work.  The fold-out table top helps, but it seems I need three hands to keep the extra fabric supported while at the same time trying to keep a consistent "flow", allowing me to have a somewhat regular stitch length and round loops in my pattern.  I have seen some people use silicone spray on their tables to keep the fabric sliding smoothly on the table, but my suspicion is that it's not the equiptment- it's me.  Hopefully after a few more blocks I will get into a rhythm!

Oh, and my mother-in-law arrives tomorrow, so I guess it's time to concoct a lie to cover up the surprise- like this quilt is for my mom.  Yeah, that's the ticket!


  1. Your fmq looks great and I love the colors in the quilt. I just fmq my first quilt and I'm exhausted from the workout. I posted a few pics on Monday but the finished quilt won't be up until next week. Good luck. It looks great.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. I keep telling myself that in the grand scheme, the less-than-perfect loops will likely only be noticed by me. I also keep telling myself to breathe, relax, and enjoy the process! Our hobbies are supposed to relax us, right?

  3. it looks great! i give you kudos for quilting such a big piece on your first go at FMQ.

  4. Well, I was just about to email you Kelly...I have 9 blocks done, but the last two have been a bit of a mess. I have expanded in my latest blog post. Let me know if you can solve my mystery... Hope you are well, and thanks for the comments.