Friday, July 4, 2014

FMQ Another Try!

Sorry but the giveaway here has closed. You can still try at Shay's blog.
Shay from Quilting in My Pyjamas  (in Australia) and I (in CA of the U.S.A.) are retrying Free Motion Quilting, together today, that far away. Have you tried FMQ yet?  I have an old 1960s home sewing machine that doesn't drop the feed dogs,  doesn't have needle up or down choices and probably a world of other apps that the newer machines have... but I love it. It works. It's one of the machines I learned to sew on, oh so long ago!

So I'm showing you my practice piece. I sandwiched a rainbow block from about 4 years ago. I thought, if it turned out well I'd make all the blocks for that quilt in this method called Quilt As You Go. (Melody Johnson has a tutorial for you.) It was quite new in the 80s, I think. It would be a great way to start out in Free Motion Quilting, too, because you only quilt one block, or a smaller portion of your quilt, at one time.

I pin basted from the center out, and tried to leave as much space for maneuvering as possible.

Here's the luscious orange I'm using for the back of this block. If I use the contrasting colors on the back of each block, I'll have another rainbow on the back, and not need a big piece of fabric.

(Who's old hand is that?) I pulled up the bottom thread. I figured I didn't want to start with small stitches. (I really don't like the look of that starting method.) If the FMQ turned out lovely I could always fasten the ends later. If it looked ugly - ripping would be easier.

Set the machine for 10 stitches to the inch.

At the last second, I remembered to put on the FMQ/darning foot, and raised the throat plate so the feed dogs wouldn't be engaged. That's how you do it with an old machine, I guess.

You know I was procrastinating when I got out the sewing machine owners manual to see if there was something I'd missed. (Went to the kitchen for water, bathroom and talked to the hubby for a few... anything, anything to put it off... are you like that?)

Finally I did start, in the center. At first I was really slow, and moving the piece instead of allowing a flow of movement... Then the thread broke, still wondering why. (Figured the fates thought I should get my post done.)  I don't like what resulted, but you know what? It was fun! I will try it again - and again. (That's how I got to be as good as I am at paper piecing, and so I'm determined to get good at FMQ.)
I can see that smaller stitches would be good, and more and more practice... maybe a plan of action ahead of time. (Here I thought just a meander would be the way to start.)
Do you have any advice for me?  a tip?  Leave another comment here for a chance at the giveaway in yesterday's post.  Shay and I will be grateful for any thoughts.

The giveaway is still in effect today. See the previous post to see requirements to win 14 fabulous batik fat quarters.
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So here in the U.S.A. it is Independence Day! Hurray!
 Our neighborhood has a parade through the streets from the grammar school to a central circle where ice cream and popsicles are given out. It's such a sweet tradition started by our neighbor who ran a day care at the time. Here are some pictures.

 This one was a particularly good waver.

This is my hubby's favorite part - the dogs.  (I think he was one in a former life.)

So that's it for my portion of the QAL... Check out Shay's FMQ over at Quilting in My Pyjamas
She will be showing her FMQ results, and taking comments for a giveaway there, too.

(You have at least 4 ways to win... please take full advantage of us.)
Thanks for your tips and comments. The giveaway has now closed -
Happy 4th of July to everyone, and Happy Independence Day to us in the U.S.A.!