Wednesday 17 February 2016

Ooooops! Disaster strikes

The week started ok, I made another 10 blocks for my city lights quilt so halfway there, I can live with that. 

But it was always on my mind, the 100 Day Challenge, and there was no getting away from it, the quilting.  You see I’m fine at the piecing bit, a bit self critical as many of us are, I like my seams to match and my points to, well, point!  Appliqué is ok, my needle turn is acceptable and I can manage hand, and recently, machine appliqué, curves I'm rusty on though and need practice.  BUT, I strenuously avoid the quilting bit.  

So, what do I usually do?  Well I have a half done hand quilted whole cloth cot quilt, well, quarter done anyway.  Yes it is a UFO and I have had it a while - well ok, 5 years but I will get it finished, one day.  I can do machine quilting with my walking foot (although I don’t always hit the ditch) and, since I took Jacquie Gering’s Craftsy classes I have so improved, AND, I can do a spiral too.  Free motion quilting?  What do you think of this…………..

No It’s not my work, at least I made the top but the FMQ has always been done by Aileen Bunker in Eyemouth, until now.

The second item on my 100 day challenge is quilting a laptop, Sugar and Spice, so it was time to practice

First attempt………ouch!  

Second attempt………getting better? 

Third attempt………….this was easier. 

In case you are wondering yes I have purchased a FMQ Craftsy class, two in fact AND I watched them both, no I won’t say who the instructors are in case I embarrass them.  Time to ‘just do it’, who cares if its not perfect, it's just for me.  

Did the first block, hmmmmm, did I explain I’m working with the ‘blind man and galloping horse’ theory?

Second block, third block, getting tired now but just one more……….

That was when disaster struck.  You see I have a lovely friend, Wendy, who kindly leant me her supreme slider, I wasn’t so keen at first but that was until I realised the pink side went down and that made a difference.  There I was happily quilting away when it started slowing down, I tried to encourage it then it stopped.  It’s easier to show you.

Did I tell you I have a lovely friend?  Wendy won’t hear of me replacing it, she’s had it a while and doesn’t use it now.  Don't think I'll be investing in one though.

Needless to say I had to take out the quilting on the last block and three days later I haven’t yet plucked up the courage to get back to it.  I will though, I have given myself three weeks to finish it.  Show you?  No way, at least not yet.

Special thanks to Jen, Quilter in the Closet, Karin, The Quilt Yarn, and Lorna, Sew Fresh Quilts for their help and encouragement with the linky up thing, I think I’ve done it all properly this time.

Smiling, and laughing my little cotton socks off,



  1. I'm with you, the quilting part of quilting is not not exactly my favorite part. In fact I'm in the midst of a big debate with myself to actually quilt my most monumental quilt ever(well, in terms of peicing/design anyway) or to give it away to a longarmer. FMQ quilting scares the heck out of me on a larger quilt... so I get where you are coming from. Good luck with your practice... it looks like you've improved each time!

    Greetings from Germany!

  2. Hats off to you for trying and trying again. It does get better every time. I do not FMQ and therefore I admire your patience. And your blocks - pieced/appliqued are very neatly done!!! You should be proud of your work. And Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog.

  3. I love the piecing, the quilting part is not something I've had time to learn. So I shamelessly let someone else do my quilting. It's the only safe thing to do. Looks like you are getting the hang of it. Good luck finishing up your project.

  4. You're getting good at it. You'll see, it will improved faster than you think. About the Supreme Slider, I always tape mine on the table so it doesn't move.

  5. I like straight line quilting, and just quilting around motifs the best.
    I free motion quilt on little things only.
    I can't imagine, getting all great and wonderful and then suddenly in the end, making a big mess.
    Thanks for the heads up on those slider things.
    I think I will pass on one

  6. You just have to get back on that horse and ride! Your fmq is getting much better, there's obvious improvement in each of your blocks, so you have the skills! I had a similar problem with the slider in the beginning (although my rip isn't as severe) and for small pieces I just drop my stitch length and skip the slider. For bed sized quilts the slider does make it easier to manipulate the bulk. Great work so far - keep going!

  7. Ooooh Kate the quilt is stunning. I teach fmq classes and whatever you do don't get rid of that supreme slider, continue to use it and as it wears out more and more you can just cut new needle plate holes in different sections to get the most use possible from it, they're too expensive and great to use to waste them. Have you tried fmqing with your feed dogs up - this keeps the tension engaged on the machine and works well with the supreme slider too, it's something else to try to see if fmq works better for you this way. I've so many tips I could share but my final one is often the golden key for my students. Turn your sewing machine around 90 or 180 degrees so you're sitting looking either at the side of the needle and presser foot or at the back of them. Try fmqing now and you might find you're much better at it. It's all about muscle memory and your body knows exactly how to push fabric forward through the machine when you sit at the front of it and your brain and muscles struggle to stop doing this and to move the fabric in circles and from side to side, etc. When you turn the machine and sew at it from a different angle your brain and muscles relax and are happy to take on a new technique. Oh and I know I said that was my last tip but here's another - play music, try different types of music, whatever floats your boat, something boppy and happy or soft and floaty - whatever, you'll find you quilt much more easily in time to the music. Can't wait to see what you do next - Chris :D

  8. Kate,
    Don't fret about the slider. Use clingfilm. It works, honest.
    Love, Muv


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