Saturday, August 25, 2012

August Free Motion Quilting Challenge

Here we are again! And I'm not even trying to squeeze something in before the end of the month! I actually took the time and just worked on it :)

For those of you stumbling on this, I'm participating in SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting challenge to learn how to better free motion quilt. I have to say I've had some communication on and off with Ms. SewCalGal and she is just a fantastic lady and I totally encourage you to check out her entire blog.

So, August's challenge! You know this one was neat, an excellent filler, but oh boy took me a long time to wrap my head around it! I took a picture of one doodle page, but it took lots of doodle pages to get the rhythm of the design.

So after I got the hang of this I took it to my machine. I did this one just as I went with no design transferred. I'm quite pleased! My 5 year old pointed out that I missed a spot, but you know, not too shabby. 

So after just doing it freestyle, I thought I would try actually tracing the pattern onto my fabric so I could avoid any gaps. Oh brother, then things went sideways. To begin, I don't like trying to follow a traced pattern on fabric because I spend more time trying to figure out where my pattern is going vs. concentrating on quilting. And then my thread went all crazy. It turns out my bobbin was not wound properly (I don't know how I missed this before). I don't know if you can tell by that picture, but the thread is not tight on the bobbin. The other pictures are of the mess it left. So I left well enough alone to avoid frustration, and am going with my original piece, which, as I said above, I'm happy with.


  1. Your first one looks really good.
    I'm not an expert, but I do lots of swirls and a few hints that help me. There is a rhythm to curves and curls...listen to music ---helps slow you down. Pause just a beat or so to get a good point before you go off in the other direction....the bobbin senses the direction change and can hop on you and twist the thread, so slower is better. Note the area/direction you want to go, then stitch in the opposite direction because the second part of the swirl will bring you back to where you want to go. So if you need to fill in to the left, take the first swirl--make it small--to the right and you will be ready to go left with a larger swirl.

  2. music is good...i used to sing to myself...oh holy night...don't know why but it worked...constant rhythm i suppose

  3. Your original piece is great, I think filler designs would be hard to pre-draw even without the bobbin problems. I too found this a design that I had to really get into a rhythm with and I like the others' ideas of using music to help.