Friday, October 7, 2011

Free Motion Friday Week 1: The Wave

How did you do quilting this week, folks?  This was the first week of our practice-a-long and I have to say, I struggled a bit. 
We were trying to stitch something like this wave pattern from the Free Motion Quilting Project.

I learned a few things this week:

First, I was trying to use scraps to practice, but this may not have been the best idea.  They were 4 inches square and I was always too close to the edge or ran out of material to hang onto.  That was nearly a bigger struggle than controlling the machine.  I'll have to go larger this week.



Second, I could really use gloves of some sort to get a better grip.  I was resisting the teflon stuff that Leah Day suggested just because it seems so silly to buy all the gear when I have no idea what I am doing.  Gloves, however, may help.  Part of my issue was the size of the fabric scraps, but even in the center my fingers were not able to direct the sandwich to go where I wanted it to go.  I was too slippery. 

Third, I am better pushing the fabric away from me than pulling it toward me.  This goes back to the grip issue because pushing it away from me I could use my thumb on the edge of the sandwich while pulling toward me I could not get a hold on anything. 

Fourth, my foot is too huge to see around.  It has quite a large "mouth" (like myself, I guess) , so I could not direct my fabric along the already stitched neighboring line.

That sounds like a huge list of excuses.  I did learn a whole lot about tension (read: it went drastically wrong, but I can now fix that) and adjusting the speed of the machine to the speed of my pushing/slipping.  It's a start. 

Want to see what I came up with?  Here you go:


And the back



I like the back more than the front, so I may have to just quilt everything upside down.


And now for this week's challenge....Drop Art.  This is also a beginner's pattern from the Free Motion Quilting Project.



And of course, the instructional video.  It really helped me last week, so I am hoping for the same this week.  Fingers crossed!



How did you do?  Show us what you created and the tricks you learned!

Come join in the linky and see what others were up to this week.  Spread the encouragement and tips, please!  It's the only way we will learn.  If you need a reminder on the spirit of Free Motion Friday, please read the original post again.



31 comments:

Nicky said...

That was crazily complicated for my poor brain! She made it look so easy on the video but I didn't find it so!

And now you want us to do long dangly things - I think I will be laughing a lot doing this one - sorry!

Nicky said...

Think my FMQ image is so awful that your linky is refusing to show it hehe!

Lynn said...

This next week will be hilarious looking at the latest practice video!!!

Collette said...

Hey there, have tried to look at everyone's efforts so far but the linky is temperamental! I enjoyed trying FMQ last night. She does make it look so easy doesn't she???? Still at least we tried and bet we are all better in one months time!

Collette said...

Linky working now and had a look these are great. Your attempts are great Cindy! I think maybe you are right about the size of practice quilt sandwich!
What a fantastic idea this is by the way loving it!xxx

Lynn said...

Cindy your attempt looks great, it is easier on a bigger piece of fabric though.....and with gloves, I used marigolds till my machingers arrived....anyone buying them, get the small, I have quite biggish hand for a girl, the small are plenty big enough for me.

susan said...

I love drop art! Cool pattern. I'd join in but I have the unfair advantage of my stitch regulator and a wee bit more experience but love that you are doing it.

Quilter in the Gap said...

For gloves, let me suggest you purchase a pair of garden gloves (with grippies) to start off. They are generally very inexpensive and will help during the practice phase. If you decide you really enjoy FMQ then you can upgrade. BUT I have found those garden gloves work just find. I have heard great things about Machingers but haven't figured out why I need them yet.

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

My attempts were pretty shocking but I'm looking forward to next week! :) Looks like fun!
All this practice better make me good - hahahahaha!!

Archie the wonder dog said...

Looking good! I use either rubber tipped gardening gloves (£1 from Tesco!) but in the summer they're too warm so I use a couple of squares of that rubber mat stuff that you use to stop things slipping/protect your cups, etc. in the cupboard - it's usually a couple of pounds for a roll in a cheap homeware shop but if you can't find any let me know! Good luck with the dangly things ;o)

Annabella said...

It`s much tougher than it looks but I should be able to get a bit more practice in this week. Great choice for the second week - love those raindrops...they would look good on a Prince Charming quilt. Thanks for hosting Cindy!

Rebecca Lynne said...

Cindy, as you know, this was a freaking riot! And when I saw the sample for next week? Chica, you had to hear me laughing all the way from here!!!

Janine said...

Well! I don't know if I even should be linking up - but I hope I entered the spirit if not the practice :( Still waiting for an fmq foot - but I tried anyway! I shall be back, properly equipped, next week :)

Cindy said...

Look at you!!! I am so impressed, Cindy! I need to be doing this with you because I need a LOT more practice on my free motion quilting. I kind of stink at it. And that's being nice. LOL Great job!

Pieces to Love said...

some people have been known to remove their presser foot when they FMQ. On my machine I still have to put the 'presser foot' down even if I have no foot on it. Just watch your fingers if daring to attempt this.

Flying Blind... said...

Oh dear lord Pieces To Love I don't even remember if I put the foot down, bet I forgot!!

Too funny, at least the next one looks like the tears I will be shedding, my quilting will look nothing like it!

suzan almond said...

I hope to find the time to 'have a go' this week - I've tried several times and in the end gave in and got some gloves - they helped no end in controlling the fabric - now to control the needle !

Trudi said...

Well, I think you've just proved it's all about the practice! One tip rather than the teflon thingy, is to polish your surface with furniture poish to make it slippy and if you starch your bottom fabric before you sandwich it, it slides much better too! Think about the speed of the needle to the movement of your fabric a bit like the balancing of tension for thread, a fine tuning thing :) You've all done brilliantly, I may have to go play just for the fun of it! :)

Katie said...

I just discovered your blog and will joining in on the fun starting next week! I have been meaning to practice on my own but now I can have a support group. :)

Sarah said...

well Cindy, your back looks great, and your stitches all look the same length, so that's a pretty good result to me!! Really hope I can join in next week :-)

mary/sy lake quilts said...

I don't blog but will practice along. I have some experience but i am not an expert. I need to learn some new patterns. For those of you just starting-- gloves really make a big difference. I use those cheap mini driving gloves you can find in walgreens etc-- light weight knit with little rubber dots. They don't restrict your hand movements, and the price is right! I use them when straight line quilting as well-- they really give you a lot more control.

Natalie said...

Next up: The Upside-Down Quilt Along! Nah, but this is fun so far. I suck, but it's nice to have motivation to sit down for even just a few minutes and practice. I love seeing everyone else's attempts!

Georgina said...

I use rubber gloves - cheapo Marigolds and I cut off the fingers I don't need and add ventilation holes in the palms! They are cheap and effective - and you are right - small is much harder than medium, although large is hard on the shoulders!

mammafairy said...

I think I may have sorted the 'no reply ' out- but I am not sure....

Janine said...

I hope no one minds but I've linked up again because I have a proper foot at last so I have some real(using the word loosely!) fmq and I'm caught up now. Thank you Cindy for getting us started on this. Ithought it would be impossible but now I'm thinking it'll just take LOTS of practise and it's so much nicer dong this all together :)

Lynne said...

I didn't even see the video till Thursday and spent Friday and Saturday with my DD and Grandboys. Some sewing was done but I need "me time" to FMQ. Perhaps I will always be a week (or more) behind!

Thanks for the inspiration and the motivation - now I just need to avoid procrastination!

beecee said...

Glad I found this. I wanted to fmq a small quilt today but chickened out and put on the walking foot. Glad I did as otherwise I would have been alternating between ripping out teensy-weensy stitches and big bad ugly toe catchers. I will batt up fabric tomorrow and begin practicing (again).

Nana B said...

I have found Leah's tip the best one when worrying about tension. If you use the suprme slider (which I highly recommend) the do NOT drop the feed dogs. Since reading AND floowing this tip I have not had any tension problems - before I spent most of my quilting time fighting and cussing the tension.

Miranda said...

I didn't know about this until today.. But I just finished up a quilt and was going to try and FMQ it but when I practiced the stitches looked fine on the front but the ones on the back were horrible, every time I'd make a tighter curve or a loop it would pull the stitches and look like a flower..made me sad. I might have to start up this week...

Kathy said...

How can I resist joining in on the 'fun' - my FMQ leaves a lot to be desired! And - FMQ scares me to death - how can something that looks so simple, be so tricky?

Lotti said...

I just read your latest FMQ post and it reminded me that I meant to comment on this one with some tips I learnt when on a course. First of all with the grip, instead of gloves the non slip matting stuff that you buy to go under things works a treat if you use a 3 inchish square in each hand (much better than wearing gloves and having to take them off all the time) secondly if you take your shoes off you get much better speed control. Hope this helps

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