Monday, December 2, 2013

some fmq and family, too

 after having difficulty with fabric pushing and bunching on my first attempt at the straight line quilting for "twirly", i took leah day's advice from her craftsy class and tried to do the straight lines with my fmq foot, to varying degrees of success and disaster.

it felt good while i was doing the fmq, but it wasn't always working as well as i thought. i did manage to keep my stitching pretty darn straight, for the most part. my main problem with it was that occasionally the needle would jump to the left a stitch length or two when i would stop to move my hands. this is horribly noticeable when you look at the lines.

when i stipple, i can move one hand or the other without having to stop very often for adjustments, but with straight lines, you have no choice but to stop to move your hands pretty much every time your hands reach the end of the quilting table. and that's when the needle would mysteriously shift over a bit and ruin the straight line effect. argh! i redid some of it and left other bits. i'm hoping a wash and crinkling will help hide the less-than-perfect lines in this quilt. i suppose i just need more practice and it will start to come more naturally to me.

the good news is that the fabric stopped shifting and bunching like it did under the walking foot. now the lines just don't look so good.

on the other hand, i tried out the wishbone pattern in the dark green sashing strips and it worked beautifully! i thoroughly enjoyed sewing this pattern and will definitely use it again. it was next to impossible to photograph, but it looks good on the quilt.

 all that looping was meditative and relaxing. it's a forgiving and pretty pattern.

 while i was busy quilting away, working out my arms (please tell me this counts as exercise of some sort because my arms are sore!), we had 4 daughters, 3 nieces, and 2 neighbor girls playing in the family room. they decided to create a play for us. of course they made a huge mess, but also a very cute production. i loved that they used as many of my quilts as they could find as part of the set. there were quilts laid out everywhere! they made it look homey, i suppose.

other family happenings this weekend: our snow pea plant produced it's first pods for consumption. the 5 yr old and i have been watering and watching these grow from seed since the end of September. it's the extent of our winter garden this year.

my oldest son sought out the hat loom and began a new hat for himself to keep his head warm in the dropping temperatures. i love that even my boys are handy with fibers when necessary. these are by no means high-quality hats, but they enjoy making them and will wear them around the house on a chilly morning.

d1 even made his own hook to replace the missing one from the kit. he fashioned it out of a paperclip and some beeswax. that's one handy boy.


  1. This might be an obvious thing,but are you using your needle down button when quilting? This would allow you to adjust and then begin quilting again whenever need be.

    What a fun project for your boys! I have made a hat and some scarves on a loom before:)

  2. I have trouble with bunching/puckering too when straight-line quilting (which is about all I ever do). Let me know if you figure it out!!

  3. Oh I love this post....reminds me of when my girls where young and my sister and I would scrapbook while the cousins played:) (4 girls)

  4. I have the same issue with bunching and sometimes do the FMQing approach. Don't worry, my lines are terrible. I bet that play was adorable and please share the hat your son finishes!! Genius hook!

  5. Aagh - I can feel your frustration with the quilting. I had real problems with straight line quilting to start with but when I switched to some aurifil (which I bought at great expense!) it is coming out perfectly. I also increased my stitch length even more which made it look better too.

  6. Hellllllloooooo. I've been missing you and now I'm going to have to read all your posts to catch up. Your quilt looks lovely and those girls look like they're having fun. I used to have problems with SLQ with my old machine, but with Bernie it only goes bad if I am not diligent with my basting (I use spray baste too, which helps keep it super flat) and I make sure that the weight of the quilt is not dragging on the foot. Increasing the foot pressure can also help. That's all boring though - how are you all? :-)


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