Friday, April 29, 2011

quilting Kiss the Frog

It is time to start quilting the "Kiss the Frog" quilt. I really love the colors on this quilt!

So the question I faced was how to quilt it......again that moment of fear that I might ruin the top that I love so much.  I thought that maybe straight line quilting would look better??

This may sound backwards....but I have never tried straight line quilting, just my beginner efforts at free motion! So I went to my local quilt shop..Periwinkle ...and had a browse around (snooping at the quilting) of some of the display quilts.  Of course...I didn't walk out empty handed, but more on that another day : )

What I did find, though, is that I  liked the softer look of the free motion quilting better that straight line stitching. I know there is no "right" answer, and it is mostly personal preference, but that was my preference. So looking at they pattern in the darker grey fabric I used for the sashing and border I saw loopy swirl designs.....

So I tried to echo that in my quilting pattern. I used the same pattern on the last quilt - the Jelly Roll quilt- and really liked how it turned out, so have started to work. I had originally planned to try to centre the loops over each block.....but that only lasted about one block! So then I just wandered around!!

It is actually going faster this time, guess I am getting a bit more confident.
Just a few tips for anybody else who is just starting FMQ........

  • fill up several bobbin with thread before you start.
  • I DID NOT drop my feed dogs! I have read about this and tried it, and it works! Set the stitch length to zero, and sew. 
  • set the speed on the machine to half speed ( if you can). I have gradually increased the speed as I have gotten more comfortable, but you don't have to go fast.
  • Gloves are a MUST!! I didn't like using gloves when I first started, but now think that they are essential and make it SOOOOOO much easier. I have tried several kinds ( although never tried actual quilting gloves LOL), and my favorite are the non-sterile surgical gloves. They come in a box, are cheap, and I can still feel the fabric under my fingertips.
  • Stop and check the back now and again as you go. I did have to adjust my upper tension a bit higher, but just keep an eye on how it is looking.
  • I use pins to baste, and thought that they would get in the way, but I find that I am stopping so frequently to readjust the position of the quilt and my hands, that it really isn't a problem just to take them out as you get close to them.
  • Have fun! I am actually loving doing the FMQ part!


  1. I had to read it twice..."I DID NOT drop my feed dogs". Really! I'll have to try that. My (old) machine has no set speed control So I guess this may give greater control.
    Thanks for the hint about the surgical gloves too.

  2. I just love that grey fabric! I enjoy how you share your growing experience with FMQ'ing. My old machine doesn't drop the dogs and my new one I do - It works for both so 'why fix what ain't broke'. It's what you are comfortable with. Looking forward to seeing the finish.

  3. Thank you Flo for the tip of NOT dropping your feed dogs and setting the stitch length at 0. I have never heard that beforeand will try that. On my old 830 Bernina I can slow the speed down, not on my newer one. Glad I kept that 35 year old machine.


Please leave a comment or just say hello....It's nice to know I am not talking to myself!