April 26, 2010

I stink at free motion quilting.

I've tried. Multiple times. On this quilt alone I ripped out my stitches several times. I finally had to admit that I am just no good at free motion quilting. :-(

Oh, well. I'm still happy with how this mini quilt came out, straight lines and all. I used an ingenious tutorial from Oh, Fransson to make the tiny squares. The fabrics are a mix of Heather Ross, Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks, and Wonderland by Momo.

Free motion quilters, I salute you! If there's some secret I'm missing please let me know. Otherwise, looks like the good old walking foot's gonna be this girl's best quilting friend.

JUST TO CLARIFY: After several comments about it, let me make it clear that the lines I did here were NOT with my free motion foot. I was attempting to do a meandering stipple line, then eventually gave up and went to the walking foot. I may be bad at free motion quilting, but I do know enough not to try straight lines with it. Thanks!


MaggieB said...

You DON'T stink! Just lighten up on yourself and do it... the more practice the better you will get.

Straight lines are the hardest! You see any little wobble! Try doing something more fun and innovative and I bet you enjoy it more and criticize it less!

Anonymous said...

MaggieB, thanks for the encouragement. Maybe I do just need more practice. But I do think my personality in general likes things more ordered, so perhaps I'm just too critical to free flow a design and be happy with it!

dandelion dreamer said...

Hi there! No worries....if you want to machine straight lines, make sure you use a walking foot and presser foot down and apply masking tape in a straight line immediately beside the needle and follow. No need to free machine quilt if you want straight lines. Make life easy on yourself! Emphasise wobble if you want to free machine and make it look deliberate!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, dandelion dreamer. Just to clarify, the finished results I've shown here are not my free motion quilting attempts. I was trying to do a simple stipple design, but had trouble with tension and spacing and getting those nice free flowing curves. So I gave in and put on the walking foot for some straight lines.

Maybe there's a wobble or two there, but I'm ok with that, at least more ok than I am with the free motion mishaps. (Now I'm feeling like I stink at straight line quilting, too! :-P)

The other idea I had for trying free motion was using different kinds of batting. Maybe what I've been using is not the best. But anyway I know enough not to do straight lines with free motion. Sigh.

American Quilter's Society said...

You do NOT stink! Practice makes perfect, as they say, and you will master free motion quilting. This is so cute! The pattern and colors go brilliantly together. Thank you for sharing your lovely blog; keep up the great work, we look forward to seeing more from you in the future.


MosaicMagpie said...

That's why they call it freemotion. Be free and enjoy yourself.

Sunshine said...

I NEVER do straight lines with free-motion, that's what the walking foot is for :) And that's the only secret I know... free-motion for curves, smaller curves are easier than big ones. Anything straight that doesn't involve tons of turning of a large quilt: walking foot.

Good luck!

Ciara said...

I thought free motion was beyond me too until a girlfriend told me about Leah Day. She is a blogger and has the best tutorials and information.

It is totally worth it to order her how-to video series. The money you spend will save you hours and hours of frustration and seam ripping!

quiltmom said...

We all like different kinds of quilting- trying hand quilting scares the pants right off me( that would be indeed scary LOL)
I have grown to love free motion quilting- but it was not always my thing- If you love to quilt in the ditch - then that is what I would be doing because I believe one quilts for pleasure not pain and frustration.
Should you decide to try free motion again- use some door stops on the back of your machine to tip it forward - or use gloves to help feed the fabric more easily or try a glass of wine and your favorite music and think of your sewing machine as your partner in a dance. Getting the rhythm is one way I found that help me be more successful. Don't forget to drop your feed dogs and use a microtech? needle. Having a new machine needle sometimes help too.
I have a friend that I quilt with that loves to quilt in the ditch- She is like you, she does not enjoy free motion quilting. Her work is beautiful as is yours.
Wishing many happy quilting hours,

Care said...

Hi Wendy!

Just found you through GeekCrafts! :o) I'm loving your little quilts -- so fun! And your Tardishcloths RULE.

Just have to say -- Don't give up on free-motion!! Youcandoit!!!