So, I tried free motion quilting today – and I have the shoulder ache to prove it – I don’t think I could have been more tense!! I’m joining in with Julia’s FMQ-along and we are using Angela Walters’ Free Motion Quilting as our guide. I actually rather enjoyed the experience, but I found my shoulders getting more and more hunched and my nose ended up just millimetres from my sewing machine! Here’s the result of my first go:
It’s not that great (look at the wibbles!), but it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.
First up, I have to confess to not following my instructions – we were supposed to be doing swirls first. But I tried practising by drawing swirls and it was a huge disaster, so I thought I would just crack on and do something a little bit more controllable.
As anyone who has been the recipient of my commission project sketches will tell you, I can’t draw, and my spatial skills are not great. What I struggled with the most was knowing where I was on the fabric so that I could make the shapes a consistent size. But at least with the squares I knew which direction to go in, as opposed to my efforts with the swirls where I kept getting stuck too close to other swirls or in corners..
I also found that it was really tricky to move the fabric over the plate of the sewing machine in a smooth way, so I kept getting jerky stitches. Angela Walters recommends a Teflon sheet that sits on the bed of the sewing machine, so I might invest in one of those, although I have also seen spray starch recommended as a solution to this problem. The other issue was that I couldn’t seem to stitch quickly enough – but then I realised that someone (I suspect a twin) had fiddled with the stitch speed setting on my machine… things got smoother after that!
I have this simple Liberty mini (using my Practically Purple mini-bundle fabrics and some Essex yarn-dyed linen) all ready to quilt:
I would love to FMQ it, but I think I need a few week’s (month’s) more practice before I’m prepared to sacrifice these pretty fabrics to my efforts… I’m going to practice some more tomorrow, I can see why people love it so… I just have to try and relax a bit more!