Friday, October 14, 2011

Free Motion Friday Week 2: Drop Art

Are you getting more comfortable free motion quilting?  This was the second week of our practice-a-long and I have to say, I learned a few things.  Progress!  I am not saying I have a talent for this craziness, but at least I am learning and moving forward. 

To remind you, we were trying to stitch something like this Drop Art pattern from the Free Motion Quilting Project.



I learned a few things this week:

First, a few beers might help.  That's all I am saying.


Second, I did find gloves and they are indeed helpful.  I did not get proper FMQ gloves, or even the inexpensive gardening gloves many of you suggested, but instead used my leather motorcycle gloves and they worked pretty well.  Since there's a hint of hope here, I may splash out and get some gardening gloves this week.

Third, a larger piece of fabric to stitch on was helpful.  I had more control.


I still can't see what is behind my needle.  Is anyone else having this issue?  So, my first time trying this pattern, I did the top row of drops, then tried to keep the top row behind the needle and stitch in the bottom row.  I couldn't see where I was going, so the bottom looks funny.  Anyway, here's the top:


And the back



I tried it again and stitched the top row, then flipped the sandwich 180 degrees and quilted the bottom row so each row was in front and I could see it properly.  I was more comfortable this way.  The top of try two:


And the bottom:

What I am noticing is that my stitches are not well defined.  I don't have "birds nests" or tension issues (I think, at least), but they look flat instead of the neat, pert, individual stitches I am used to with my normal foot/feed dogs/stitch length.  Does anyone else notice this?  Why does it look so flat?   Or maybe my top tension is too loose...but then you'd see the bottom thread popping up, right?  I'm lost.


And now for this week's challenge....Slate Tile.  This is also a beginner's pattern from the Free Motion Quilting Project, but a little different.  I am having an awful time trying to get curves (waves, drops... whatever), so why not go for something more angular?  Here we go:



And of course, the instructional video:



I am open to suggestions for week 4's pattern, so just visit the FMQ project then come back here and leave a pattern name in the comments.  We'll stitch what ever you would like to stitch! 

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.


32 comments:

Katy Cameron said...

Oh, I think you're getting there. Gloves you say? Hmm, will have to look into that. The only problem I have is that I have ickle hands, and the fingers on a lot of gloves are usually too long *sigh*

Diary of a Flutter.Kat said...

Ok so it's the first time I've had time to make comment but I've been following along with this series and I think it's MARVELLOUS what you are doing! I'd love to play along!
Unfortunately I think if I add anything else to my to-do list at the moment I think I might self combust.
Is the foot that you are using circular or is it a horse shoe shape? Mine was circular which I found hopeless, so I cut it out (it was clear plastic) and I have much better success with it now. I generally find the bigger the piece of fabric I'm working on the easier too, because the edges are always the hardest.
Maybe your stitches are on the small side? Do you think that could be why they look flat? Might need to slow down your needle and speed up your hands for bigger stitches? It's a bit hard to tell from that photo though...
I think you should hopefully find this weeks a lot easier. Loops always give me a hard time too...

Nicky said...

Looking better Cindy - it does look like you've got that pattern, but a bit more practice will definitely help! I think loops are going to be hard to get even - not sure these are beginner patterns - not in my book anyway. Maybe I'm a pre-beginner??

Collette said...

I like your curves but they are hard aren't they! I wonder if Nicky you are right about not being beginner ones?

Pat said...

Thank you sew much for organizing Free Motion Friday. How FUN!!! I would also recommend a Supreme Slider (I think there are other brands too), it makes a HUGE difference. I wouldn't quilt without it.

Quilter in the Gap said...

I am thinking the reason you are not seeing any stitches is because your stitches are too slow. Try working on the connection between the speed of your needles and your hands moving. If you slow down the needle you might see more defined stitches. I would try this on a separate piece with simple straight lines. Let me know how this works.

Cindy said...

You know, I really need to find time to do this with you. My free motion quilting leaves a lot to be desired and I too have trouble seeing where I'm going with my free motion foot. I think I might try what Kat did (cut out the front part of my foot) to see if that helps. Thanks for sharing all of this, Cindy! I think we are all learning from you! xoxo

susan said...

I think you are doing brilliantly and love that you are open and honest enough to show your progress and discuss and problems.

Toni said...

I'm a week late to the party, but I just linked up. Love this idea! I can use all the encouragement and accountability I can get when it comes to my pathetic FMQ skills! I have no tips to offer you, but I'm anxious to hear what others have to say! I think yours looks not that bad, really!

Strawberry Patch said...

I think you're right about the beers, they'll definatly help with the curves. Flowing shapes can be so hartd to to when your tense and trying too hard, relaxing and letting them flow is the best way!

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

I'm going to try beer next week ;)
I think the not seeing behind the needle thing was really tough for this one, I keep peering behind round the side!! I loved this pattern though, oh I'm having so much fun!!

LynCC said...

Hehee - did you get some beer. I just LOVE the mental image of you using your motocycle gloves. SO much hipper than garden gloves! :D

Sarah said...

Ah crap its friday already? what have I done this week that I forgot about this? D'oh! Sorry Cindy. Feel free to give me a boot up the ass mid next week... lol. And beer helps huh? hmmm...

Trudi said...

I played a little catchup and had great fun playing along. I'll do a blog post and come back to do the linky :) You did great!

Flying Blind... said...

Oh I feel so clueless about all this!! You will 'see' what I mean!!

Next weeks! Oh my lordy!! I think I need to try a meandering path, as I can't see me ever getting the hang of anything more complicated!

Archie the wonder dog said...

You did great this week - wonder if your stitches will become more defined with practise? Keep at it - you're doing well!

Katie said...

I see improvements from last week. Leah just makes it look so easy! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone improve with this weekly practice.

Janine said...

I had one type of thread that went loopy regardless of tension... I think there are lots of variables and the more we practice, the more we'll get to understand what's happening.

Stephanie Nagano said...

I think that I'm having the same problem you are. My stitches seem really short too. (In fact, they look just like yours) Hmm what are we doing wrong??

GAH! I'm scared of next weeks.. lol

Melinda said...

Okay, I forgot what day you did this so I had to do mine at the last minute again! I suggest Heart Confetti for week 4. I did roses on a recent quilt and I found that bigger swoopier (is that a word?) movements seemed easier.

Toni said...

If only for the name, I think we should try "stomach lining"!

beecee said...

I am so glad I found Free Motion Fridays in time to catch up with everyone. Whew, but Slate Tile was tough. Or did I get ahead of myself? I am so psyched and would love to try 152 Trailing Spirals in week 4.

Allison said...

I vote for Sashiko shell and Rainforest Leaf :)

Lynn said...

Your drops look great Cindy, next weeks should be a laugh!

Stephanie Nagano said...

Let's do Superstar next! http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2011/10/day-330-superstar.html The design was just posted today! Looks fun. :D

Nicky said...

How about Bamboo forest - it looks quite an easy one!?


You have quite a few suggestions to choose from !??

Mommarock said...

I finally today decided to jump into giving free motion quilting a try again. Last time was an epic disaster. The bobbin thread was a huge wad on the back side of what i thought was looking pretty okay on the front. I watched a U-Tube video (or 4) on how to do it, and it said maybe I would have to loosen my thread tension.. no I had to turn my tension up to 7 to get things looking right.. Wut?? Who cares it is looking better!! Now to get my hands working with my brain better.

Laura said...

I told you about the beer - and the gloves ! Got gloves yet?!

Sarah said...

Your drops are looking like drops :-) I know what you mean about the stitches but don't know the solution. I did mine , but didn't get to post so I'll include it in next weeks - looking forward to trying that one. I went and had a look a the beginner (ha! in whose world!) patterns. Love the Bright Star one and the Cityscape :-)

Nicky said...

This is getting quite a crowd now Cindy! wahoo! what fun!? I think doing it every day will be the most help ...but not everyone has time for that!

Lynne said...

You are inspiring me with your "real" posts - I can see that it's not as easy as some people make it look! Thanks Cindy!

Rebecca Lynne said...

Hmmm, I am so bad at playing with tension which is basically why my serger sits in a corner. You really have to wonk around with tension with a serger. I love that you made two of these, you are so motivated Cindy! Do let us know if you fudge the tension for the next project - I wonder if it will make a difference?

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