Sunday, January 8, 2012

SewCalGal FMQ January Challenge

I have a lot of quilting goals this year in terms of learning more. Of course I want to make more quilts, but I thinking taking some time to improve on techniques I only have a loose hold on would be a better focus.

I want to learn how to applique better.
I want to learn how to paper piece better - build comfort
and despite having taking a class in machine quilting, I want to learn how to machine quilt better. A lot better.

Although I have done machine quilting, I always default to "stitch in the ditch" because I am afraid I am going to ruin my quilt if I try to free motion quilt it.

So, it's time to get over myself wouldn't you say?

Enter SewCalGal and her free motion quilting challenge. A year of tutorials and challenges to improve technique and comfort.

I finally got around today to making my practice blocks so I could get to practicing! Having done it before meant I was not as scared as someone else might be. Although that doesn't mean I got it down right away!!

1st attempt:

I had the bobbin thread pulling through something awful. I'm also following Leah Day's tips, and tried the quilting with my feed dogs up and stitch length set to zero. Ha, it worked. I did need to play with the top thread tension some - and it ended up at 0 I believe, but my next attempt went much better.

The only time it got out of control was when I let it. I didn't have my machine at super high speeds, and this kind of helped me remain calm. Biggest challenge is changing the direction of the leaves. But I think if I was quilting over an actual pieced quilt I'd have a better feel of where the quilting would need to end.

And here is the back side. I love how this looks, and would definitely consider using this while quilting a quilt. And not be scared!!

I'm comfortable with this tutorial, although I will continue my practicing through the month and not just say "well got that one mastered". Thanks for a great start Sew Cal Gal.


  1. Looks good. Now off to practice mine. Hope I can do as well on my first attempt.

  2. Great! I find you can't be afraid to play with your machine's tension.