Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My First Free Motion Quilting

Remember the big star quilt in my last post. That quilt is for DD#2. She wanted some fancier quilting on it, which is really beyond my skill level, but hey, you've got to start somewhere, right? This floral is what she picked for the backing fabric, and I like the simple shape of the flowers. I'm quilting from the back of the quilt, following the lines (as best I can as a beginner) of the large flowers, and doing loop de loops where the small flowers are.

Here is how it's coming out. I'm using a variegated thread from Thread Art called Ocean Teals. I know I don't have enough thread left to do this whole quilt, so I ordered more last night. Yes, I could have used a different thread, and I have threads that would have looked OK, of which I had enough. The thing is, this thread looked the best, so I really wanted to use it. The thread is performing very well, and any funkiness in the quilting is my fault. Since this is my first attempt ever at free motion quilting on a quilt, I am just learning how to control the size of my stitches and such. Some places look OK, some places my stitches are way too close together. Very rarely they are too long. Sometimes I am way off on following the flower outline, but the beauty of quilting from the back, is that from the front you can't tell much unless the flower is very misshapen. This is a good quilt to try this technique on, since it doesn't have a lot of a seams to worry about. I am using Warm and Natural batting, and I don't have any puckers on the front or back so far.

In case anyone is interested, the Thread Art site is just, and I have lots of their thread. They are pretty reasonable, and when they put their thread sets on sale their prices are VERY good. The variegated cotton thread feels the same weight as Aurifil 50 wt, but their other cotton threads are heavier. I have some of their polyester threads too, and I like them as well. I like trying out the different thread brands, and seeing what works best for me. This place doesn't seem to be very well known, so I thought I'd mention it. I have no affiliation at all.

I can't quilt for too long at a time, or my neck and shoulders really let me know. I'm trying to relax, but I have some medical issues going on that makes that difficult. I have been taking lots of breaks, and working on some of my other projects as well. Here is the top to the ugly quilt. I just finished assembling it. This one will be borderless, so the next step for this one is to piece the back. I went a little crazy with the top, and now I don't have enough ugly fabric to back this quilt, so I have to piece something together. I will use all of the ugly fabric I wanted to get rid of originally. Yeah! If the quilting on the star quilt goes OK, I think I'll try a stencil and see if I can follow the chalk marks on this quilt. Eventually I want to be able to free-hand designs, with no marking, but for right now, marking feels a little safer. When my stitches are more even, I'll try some meandering/stippling, after I watch the Pajama Quilter and my Patsy Thompson DVDs a few more times.

I got the Celtic Mystery back from the LAQ, and she did a great job on it! It is stunning! I was particular on the thread color for that quilt, but not the quilting design. I picked one but told her to feel free to change it if she thought something else would be better. She did choose something different and quilted feathers all over it. It is beautiful, and I'm glad I told her she could change it. I think LAQ's see so many quilts, they often have a feel for what would look best on each quilt. She listed all of the designs she offers, but I simply did not have time to go through them all. I'll try to get DH to help me take a picture of the finished quilt tomorrow.


Stephanie Newman said...

Great job Melodie! Not bad at all!! I love quilting flowers so much, so many shapes that are beautiful but nearly always a doddle to quilt once you get the hang of it. Well done!

Lisa said...

I think you are doing a great job Melodie! I want to try free motion quilting so bad but I'm scared! LOL! I've gotten lots of books from the library and have been reading away. I suppose I should just sit down and try, right?! I sure wish I had some of the DVDs you mentioned! Anyhow, you are doing a great job and I love seeing the progress!!