Wibble wobble…

No, that’s not my thighs we’re talking about… it’s FMQ again…. After masses of practice on Friday doing my free motion quilting thing (and feeling quite pleased that I was doing so well!), I decided it was time to have a bit of a trial run on a real piece of patchwork. I found some of the test leaves I made for the Brit mini-quilt swap and had a play. Sad to relate, it all went a bit wibbly:

wibble wobble

Nothing seemed to go right – I couldn’t get the speed level to stay constant (I kept speeding up), and I suddenly failed to remember that when you are FMQ-ing, you don’t have to keep stopping and turning the fabric (come on Ali, the clue’s in the name!). Clearly the pressure of using real fabric was just too much for me… and in the end I totally lost patience with it, and finished it off willy-nilly (can you see all the bunching and the nasty binding??). I stuck a layer of Insul-Bright heat-resistant stuff in between the wadding and the backing fabric, and at least we have a fit-for-my-kitchen-only table mat.

don't look too closely

But onward and upwards…. I cheered myself up and de-stressed this afternoon taking pics of a new ditzy-sweet bundle for my Liberty shop… I know, it’s super-big-headed to say this, but good grief I think this looks cute. I got something right today:

six ditzies bundle


29 thoughts on “Wibble wobble…

  1. It’s gorgeous Ali – I have been reading up on quilting and it sounds complicated and the very tgerm “free-motion” in relation to a sewing maching is terrifying.

  2. You’ll get there Ali, you’re a very skilled and talented sewer AND a great photographer, the bundle looks perfect.

    1. Hi Liz – thanks! The leaf idea is from a book called Whip Up Mini Quilts. It’s really simple to do – you just stitch some narrow strips together (between 1 and 11/2 inches by 10″), then use a half leaf template placed at an angle on the block and cut out half leaf shapes (remember to flip the template over). It’s a bit more complicated than this in the book (she cuts two half leaves at the same time to reduce wastage), but that’s a bit more tricky to describe and you need the template! But the way I’ve described it will work pretty well too, and you can always use the offcuts for something else. 🙂

  3. It’s the same as getting to Carnegie Hall – practice, practice!! If you can set your machine to stop needle down, stop – a lot! At first it gives you a sense of security when you feel like it’s all running away. I expect you already know the adage ‘stitch fast, move slow’ – but sometimes I move dead slow and stitch moderately. FMQ takes physical energy and huge concentration at first and I find doing small pieces almost harder than larger pieces as you need the weight of fabric to help stop lurching moves. But it does come good, and with your skills and flair you cannot fail to become an imaginative and efficient FMQ-er!

    1. Lol George at Carnegie Hall! I think ‘move dead slow and stitch moderately’ might be the way forward for me for a while! Thanks for your kind words – you’re always so encouraging. xx

  4. Try not to be too disappointed. If it had gone swimmingly you would have become over-confident. As it is you have learned some valuable lessons about FMQ. As you say, onwards and upwards.

    1. Dina that’s very sensible. And you are right it would have been really bad if I had got over-confident and I’d started on a great big quilt. That would have meant a LOT of unpicking!!

  5. I couldn’t do it and think this looks great! You can always keep it to compare with for when it you get it perfectly right which I am sure won’t take long! Love your fabric bundles and the pincushion is darling! 😀 xx 😀 xx

  6. You are too hard a critic Ali, I think it’s great for your first attempt. You know yourself practice makes perfect so I’m looking forward to seeing some more FMQ, I’ve still not even mastered the basics.

  7. Looks ok to me… & we all need practice pieces…. Do you have a speed button on your machine? I find it helps if you can set it to half speed & put your foot right down on the pedal so you dont have to worry about a constant speed…. One less thing to worry about while you watch the needle…

    1. Thanks Katy – yes I’m sure that straight lines are the trickiest thing – and I guess I could just stitch them in the ordinary way, but I do like the relaxed look of FMQd straight lines, so will keep practising!

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