Thursday 30 August 2012

Free Motion Quilting (On the Lining to Be Safe!)

Tuesday was my last kid-free sewing day for the summer. I thought I better get down to business and get that fusible fleece on the front and back, lining and pockets for my mother's giant swimming bag. Other than cutting the fleece, everything went pretty smoothly (I hate cutting large, bulky amounts of fabric).

I decided that for the quilting of the outside of the bag, I would use my walking foot and just echo the squares (no need for extra pattern here!). Here is what the back looks like:

The lining of the bag is a navy solid, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get some free motion quilting practice. I knew I was going to use a navy thread, and since it is the lining and colour-on-colour my errors would not stand out too much.

Here is the completed first panel of lining:
This picture makes the colour seem much lighter than it is- it is actually a very dark navy. I tried a meandering technique and found that though I wasn't too bad at pace and keeping my stitch length pretty uniform, my actual patterning needs some work. For a better shot, here is the back:
All the pointy parts are where I lost my "flow" and I have certainly discovered that when you have flow the FMQ goes great, and when you don't you get weird patterns. I don't think it is all that bad, but I will definitely hold off quilting an actual quilt where the stitches are supposed to show.

Also, as with my other FMQ experiences, here is what I encountered when my movements were too jerky:
I know that is totally my fault, and I really need to work on it.

The second half of the lining went much better; I had my flow going and was warmed up from the first panel. Part way through, however, I had this problem:
Blast! Out of thread! I was using some navy thread I have had since I started sewing and wanted to use it up, but not before I was finished quilting! I went through my supplies (no way was I making a trip to the store for this) and found a slightly darker navy:
Ran out of 278, switched to 280
I honestly can't tell the difference and it is on the lining so I am not too worried about it. And it means using up more thread so I can stick to 100% cotton thread (I'm loving Mettler but finding it leaves lots of fluff in my machine).

Now both the lining and front/back are fused and quilted. I'm making progress!

Lynn (aka Buttons)


  1. Good work! Where you have the loopy stitches - that could be a tension error - did you have the tension turned way up? Keep practicing.

  2. I second Anita's Good Work! If you haven't already found it, Leah Day has a great series of easy to watch videos ( to help learn & practise FMQ. Love her style! Great ideas for small examples to help you along. PPP!! (Practise, practise, practise)