Free-motion quilting

I have been so afraid to try free-motion quilting.  After all that work piecing, who wants to mess it up with ugly quilting?  I took a quilting class last fall and they spent an exhaustive (though absolutely necessary) amount of time on piecing and absolutely NO TIME on quilting.  None.  I could have signed up for an extra class to finish but just haven’t had time.  So, consequently, I’ve just not been able to do this.  Well, Saturday my boys were skiing and I had the whole day to myself (I know, lucky me).  I worked on this quilt top:

and it’s done.  Yea!  It’s not exactly what I wanted, but it does look pretty and will make a nice gift.

Then, I worked on this:

I hope someday I look back on this and shudder because it’s so sloppy (actually, I look at it now and shudder because it’s so sloppy), but you know what?  I did it.  I have some issues with tension on the back and absolutely no sense of direction on the thing AND I totally ran out of thread.  I had no idea that free-motion quilting uses so much thread!  I had heard that I should load up a couple of bobbins, and I did, but I didn’t think I’d run out of thread on the spool.  It wasn’t my choice either to use white because it’s so unforgiving on this color of fabric, but it was the only good-quality  white thread I had and I didn’t want to use my expensive piecing thread.  Anyway, it’s not done, so I have much more room to practice.  Ultimately, I’m going to make this into place mats, or I’ll just throw it away, but it’s a good practice piece.

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4 Comments

Filed under Learning Curve, Quilting

4 responses to “Free-motion quilting

  1. I think for your initial attempt, the quilting looks pretty good. I buy my quilting thread on cones, cos, WOW, it does use bunches of thread. Consider making your practice pieces for your local animal shelters. The animals won’t care about looks, you get the practice you need, and the animals get a comfy quilt on which to sleep. These are good resources for free motion quilting:

    http://www.patsythompsondesigns.com/index.php/free-downloads-actual

    http://www.meliscellaneous.com/misc/fibermania/Free_Motion_Machine_Quilting_Designs.pdf

    http://www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/

    Keep Quilting!

  2. Oooohhh…you are a brave woman to try free-motion out! 🙂 I’m still ‘stitch in the ditch’ quilting. Although I sorta tried it out on a small wall hanging with stars and swirly lines.

    • I tried stitch in the ditch on my first quilt, the one I made in my first class, and I’m not too pleased with the results. I don’t think I’ll do it again. I like straight lines across the quilt (like Ashley of filminthefridge.com) until I’m ready to free motion on a real quilt.

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