Friday, February 22, 2013

FMQ Friday - What Doesn't Work

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!  

This week I finished the feathers in the center of my Christmas Table Topper.  They are far from perfect - especially the first few - but I'm waiting until it's further along before I rip. 

What can't wait to be ripped?  The triangle.

This is the part of this quilt that I've truly agonized over, since it is going to show and it needs to be...well, if not perfect, then really good.

What I did is not good.  It's not good at all. 

The real problem here is the design choice.  This Celtic knot design is the kind of thing that really has be spot on to work.  Unfortunately, every little wobble shows up.  Also, I'm not sure if a variegated thread is the best choice for this design.  I'll be ripping this out and trying to come up with a more forgiving design to use in this space.

Suggestions welcome appreciated!


  1. Hey, I feel your pain! I agree about the variegated thread. I keep seeing it used on light threads, and while sometimes it works, other times it seems more distracting and takes from the design.

    I do love the Celtic knot though! Maybe you just needed to work out your wobbles on the first one? Gooodluck with whatever you decide!

  2. PS. the feathers are spot on from the pic! beautiful!

  3. I like your work! The feathers are great. I'd leave them as they are. I'd replace the variegated thread with white thread for the Celtic knot. Most people don't even notice the little imperfections. Good Job!

  4. Your Celtic work doesnt look as bad as you think. I hate ripping out quilting so I feel your pain. Great job on the feathers!

  5. If you left the Celtic knot, but filled around it with a dense micro stippling, you can hide most of those little wobbles and wiggles. A general tip for quilting a marked motif like this is to pick either the inner or outer side of the marked line to focus on. No matter how fine the line is, it's always a bit on the wide side, so focus on the outer edge next time and reposition your hands every time you completely another line of the design. Does that make sense?

    1. That makes perfect sense! Thank you so much for commenting and offering your advice in addition to all the other help you give.

  6. For me, long straight lines or long smooth curves are the most challenging in FMQ. I notice on top of this, you are echoing them! Kudos on doing a good job on a very challenging design!

    Travel stitching over lines can smooth them out or hide mistakes. I've contemplated pulling out the walking foot for certain long lines of quilting, but I am determined to not use it again. (I think mine is not right anyway--it makes a loud clunking noise ever few stitches tough it works.)

    If you are still looking for something entirely different, maybe try lines of Leah's new flying geese pattern up either side of the triangle shape, meeting in the middle? Maybe fill about half of the triangle that way, then pebble under it....that's only one of a million possibilities : )

    1. Thanks for your feedback. I love the flock of geese design, so I will try to figure out a way to incorporate it into this quilt.


Thanks for joining the conversation!

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