Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Free Motion Quilting experiments

There are a few free-motion-quilting designs I've been wanting to try ... especially this one. 
I'd pinned the idea on Pinterest (see this pin), and read the how-tos here.

ProsperityStuff Puzzle quilting FMQ

As it turns out, it really is that easy. AWESOME. 
I stitched it in variegated thread, for fun.
(Notice my white gloves with grippy fingers? Super. Just got them from Leah Day's web store, along with some other neat tools. Very handy.)

ProsperityStuff Free-Motion Quilting puzzle pieces

I also tried this "spiral chain" design, from Leah Day's collection of awesome designs. The link for her how-to is here.

ProsperityStuff FMQ Spiral Chain

I've been toying with the idea of personalizing quilts with quilted-in letters ... And I also like the idea of quilting little alternating squares, like a checkerboard. But since I've never done either, I thought I'd just give both a try on one of my little blocks. Success, I think!

ProsperityStuff Free-Motion Quilting letters and checkerboard blocks

I'll probably add some or all of these to my stack of free-motion-shirt-quilt-as-you-go blocks (or whatever I called them in that post!)

Oh, and I discovered something nifty. I may (or may not) have mentioned the $25 machine that I bought at the thrift store last year. The one that included a walking foot AND a darning foot? That one. Old, but so nearly new that they hadn't removed most of the film-that-keeps-the-shiny-parts-shiny? So simple it doesn't even have a standard stitch-length dial, but it stitches great and free-motions beautifully? Great little machine.

ProsperityStuff White Sewing Machine

It's got this button thing on top. (What do they call it?) Anyhoo, this button thing regulates something to do with the presser-foot pressure, or something to do with the feed dogs. (Can anyone explain?) All the way up, it's great for free motioning, because there's very little drag/pressure. All the way down, notsomuch. It can even go partway down to customize the pressure.

ProsperityStuff White Sewing Machine pressure button on top

Genius, and it makes all the difference. My Kenmore has a dial (0-3) that regulates the presser-foot pressure. These two are my favorite machines to free-motion quilt on, because of this. 

To me, it seems like this is more of an important issue even than whether the feed dogs are up or down. (Side note: with feed dogs down, I have to really adjust the tension. Anybody else have this issue?)

Anyway, I've been having fun quilting!

Update: I'm linking this post to this week's FMQ Friday at Leah Day's blog, The Free Motion Quilting Project. It's a great place to see what other quilters are working on, and to get inspiration for more great quilting techniques.

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