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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

sewing - Autumn quilt WIP

I have really had the quilting bug these past few months.....I'm not sure why, maybe it's because I'm nesting or something & the idea of cozy quilts laying around is really appealing to me right now.   I finished two baby quilts last month along with the top of another baby quilt and I've almost finished a quilt to put on my dinner table in celebration of Autumn.   I found this beautiful Christmas quilt at the Moda Bake Shop (which has amazing FREE sewing/quilting ideas all of the time!  I LOVE this site!)   It is a Christmas quilt in the example, but I really wanted an Autumn-themed quilt for my dinner table, so I used the Awesome charm pack by Sandy Gervais for Moda.

I've been quilting up a storm on this one, because I want to have it done in time to have on our table throughout October and November.  Plus, my husband is waiting to use my sewing machine to work on my daughter's Halloween costume.  He's much better at making adjustments and additions to patterns than I am, so he gets to sew up her costume! ;-)

Here's the embarrassing part.  I tried doing free-motion quilting for the first time.  Let's just say that I started with WAY too big of a project to learn this technique!  And, I should have been smart enough to read my instruction manual before starting on this new venture.   

So, I went out and bought a darning foot, made up a quick quilt sandwich and started sewing.  It looked great on the top side and I was pretty excited at how easy it was to actually meander around and sew.  Here's what the top looked like....

It looks pretty good, huh?  Well.......then I tuned it over and saw this:

EEK! lol  What in the world is going on?  My thread has eyelashes!

Well, after a lot of heartache tweaking all of the buttons on my machine (which is only a few because I have an old Viking!), Googling, and hair pulling.........I got out my sewing machine manual.  Wow.  I should have done that first!  Turns out I was turning a knob that I thought was the upper thread tension and it actually adjusted the height of the feed dogs.  I NEVER knew I had that option! lol  Plus, I forgot to put the stitch length to zero.  So, after I used the correct knob for the feed dogs and set my stitch length to zero, things started working pretty well.  I am still having some minor issues with tension.  If you look closely at the back of my quilt, you can see my upper thread pulled through a bit and there are a few places where I have very, small eyelash action going on.  But, I prevailed and did free-motion quilting in all of the blocks of the quilt.  I decided to not attempt to do it on the entire quilt....I'm not ready for that! lol  So, I stitched 1/4" around the outside of each block and I think it looks pretty good!

There are lots of great video tutorials out there on free-motion quilting and this helped me out a lot, because I am a very visual learner.   I also found this great blog called "Sew Inspired" that was extremely helpful, because she uses a regular, ole' sewing machine like I have, has lots of pictures and great advice.

Here it is so far.....all quilted and waiting for the binding (which I hope to work on tonight):

and here is a close-up of  my attempt at free-motion quilting:

Hopefully this quilt will be finished in the next day or so!  Then it's on to my next project.......finishing this one up which will be a gift for a dear friend!

Take care and God Bless,


  1. Hi, Di! Two tips for FMQ (free motion quilting) - set your machine tension (top thread) up high - on my Singer, I set it as high as it will go. This will help with the eyelashes. And if you use the same color on the top and bottom, it will be less obvious if you have eyelashes! I usually use a light to medium neutral colored thread, because you'll never find one that matches all your blocks unless you're into monochrome coloring. If you FMQ your whole quilt, start at the top center and do a strip from top to bottom, about 4-6 inches wide. Then go back and do the next strip to the right being sure to slide some of your FMQ into the previous strip - this will make it look like you did the whole quilt on a long-arm quilter! You did great on your first try - so keep up the good work!

  2. it looks good! thanks for linking to me!


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