Tag Archives: free motion quilting

“Step by step” my first mini quilt

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“Step by step” my first mini quilt

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This colourful mini quilt top was on my pile of UFOs (unfinished objects) for a very long time.
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And now it’s done! I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Add a border? Just square it up and make it into a mini? Use it in a bit of improv slashing? I turned to instagram for help and inspiration, and was encouraged to make it into a mini quilt that will hang above my machine in my sewing corner.

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I decided to FMQ swirls, pebbles and a burst of straight lines, and I really like it.

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I did a bit of binding whilst the kids had their swimming lesson and also added a hanging sleeve on the back. I used a vintage star fabric from Tula Pink as backing. I love this fabric and saw it first on the back of a display quilt in Libertys of London. The assistant there couldn’t tell me what it was so I made it my mission to find out! Instagram helped, I ordered some online… and when I found that John Lewis were selling this half price I then got some MORE! That’s how much I love it! You can see it in the first montage photo where it shows the sleeve.

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These self threading needle are a huge help when you need to bury lots of threads.

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It’s now in the wash for some extra crinkle!

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And here it is, out of the wash!

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Celebrating a long awaited finish!

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My big pink quilt is finished and I just love it!

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I had it basted for over a year (not kidding) and the backing was really bugging me, it was too much for the quilt. So I took off the flowery backing that you can see in this post, instead I made my first pieced backing in greys and a row of the same prints as the quilt top.

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After this year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat i felt brave enough to tackle FMQ on this huge beauty too. Thanks Trudi for the instruction in that class – it made a huge difference to me. Of course, I used Aurifil 50wt thread too after seeing how it behaved in that class. I didn’t have one thread breakage!

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Now i’m new at this FMQ, so this quilt is full of rookie mistakes and flaws. I probably shouldn’t have used red on the back. It would have been much better to have have a dark grey matching thread – my flaws wouldn’t have been so visible! But I was a bit nervous of using different threads in the top and bottom. I shouldn’t have been. Next time I will take more care whilst considering the colour of the bobbin thread.

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There’s build up of thread, overshooting my line etc etc…. but do you know what… I STILL love this, and it has pride of place on our bed.

Is it weird to have a “favourite bit” of the quilt – do others have this too? Well mine is the very small pebble bit at the corners of the light blue sashing. Did I say I’m new at FMQ… I kept my dodgy pebbling to a minimum!!

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So there she is – she’s big, she’s bold, she’s not perfect but she’s flippin’ marvellous! I’m so proud of her.

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Pattern and most of the fabrics are Kaffe Fassett.

Maybe I SHOULD be a thread snob

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Maybe I SHOULD be a thread snob

During the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London I took some classes with the amazing Trudi Wood. I love her work and her class was a bit like opening a door on the mysteries of free motion quilting. I have dabbled with FMQ in the past, experimented and stumbled in the dark… but after her classes (in FMQ and FMQ design) I am completely confident in going for it! My FMQ is full of mistakes / flaws or “design features” as she might put it, but I feel that it gets easier everytime I sit down and try.

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The photo above was done with my proper machine, but during the class I was using (well…wrestling) with my 25 year Jones machine. She wasn’t happy, she was presenting me with huge eyelashes all over my practice sandwich.

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I changed needle.
I changed tension.
I adjusted the bobbin tension with a screwdriver.
I rethreaded.
I swore.
I gave up and took a coffee break!
During coffee I was moaning about my frustrations to Cara who suggested that maybe I should change thread completely.
So I went back and rethreaded with Aurifil 50. Now I originally didn’t want to
use my precious Aurifil for these practice sandwiches but look at the difference it made!

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It was as if a little fairy had come down to make it all better! Who knew that a change of thread could make that much of a difference?