Friday, April 5, 2013

FMQ Friday - Learning Process

Free Motion Quilting Friday

Today is Free Motion Quilting Friday over at Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project.

The rules are simple:
  1. Link up with a post that features something about Free Motion Quilting (FMQ). 
  2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back here, or you can just post the FMQF button in your sidebar. 
  3. Comment on at least a few of the other FMQF links. Share your love of free motion quilting and make this weekly link up a fun way to connect!  
I already posted the picture of this on Sunday, but I wanted to share a few things I learned from this project on FMQ Friday.

First, cheap thread is hardly ever worth it.  This spool was such a pain in the neck, and not just because of the thread quality.  Although it was pretty bad.  I had a lot of this.

Do you see the edges of this spool?  It is practically designed to catch and snag the thread and completely screw up your tension.  One time it even snapped the tip off a needle.  This prevented me from using the spool horizontally.

There is a reason that Aurifil spools look like this.

I finally used a tool that came with my machine, but which I had never before needed.  For some reason, when it was vertical this thread would occasionally jerk or spin and some of the thread would fall down around the spindle and knot up.   This little net kept the thread from doing that.

As I mentioned last Friday, a metallic needle was the only way I could keep this from making a huge mess. I still used FOUR needles on this little tiny project.

After all that, though, I think it may be my favorite free motion piece I've ever done.  I love the colors and textures created solely by the quilting.  It really did turn out almost exactly as I imagined it.

The main thing I've learned is that practice really does make perfect.  By the time I did the practice postcard and then moved on to this, I was no longer intimidated by any of these four designs.

Thanks so much to Leah for the inspiration and encouragement!  


  1. I loved this piece when you posted it before and I still love it again. I've also noticed that spools with corrugated or scalloped edges--whatever you'd call them, are rarely helpful on a machine! And, we all know what an Aurifil Girl I am, LOL. In any case, thanks for sharing your experience. I have Leah Day's Craftsy class in my queue along with a couple other FMQ classes--I really REALLY have to work on that! As you said, practice makes...well, if not perfect, at least a lot more approachable!

  2. Jenny, your quilting looks absolutely gorgeous! I love the variegated thread you used and the designs look fantastic together! Well done!

  3. I like your use of the variegated thread. That spool cap seen in the picture of the spool on your machine--did your machine come with larger ones too? I have a Brother, and it came with three sizes. If you have one that is larger than the end of this spool, you can put the spool sideways. The net might also still help wrangle the thread, too. I've only needed to use the net so far on the poly thread, which has a mind of its own!


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