Friday, May 6, 2011

Under the needle

I've been sewing with my Janome sitting atop the Gidget 2 table. Works for piecing. But when machine basting the sandwich, I discovered how much more bulk and weight I had to carry. Never mind the extra bulk and weight already around the middle.

It was time to really make use of the table I got last year. Fiddled with the platform height adjustment for an hour. Not because it was difficult. Because this older woman doesn't get up from the floor so easily. Because this finicky woman was re-engineering the height adjustment mechanism. After adding a second table in back for more support, I was set up.

I've mapped out quilting lines with pencil and paper. I've tested tension with small samples. I got into the groove of fmq. I was ready to start. This will be a lap quilt, so no heavy quilting. A couple of hours, right?

The first block: uneven stitches and uneven tension. > !@#$%^&*()_+! < Unstitched the rest of the first hour.

Off with the fmq foot! On with the walking foot! Oooh! Aaah! Sooo much better! Less fighting. Less tension. Another hour. I've quilted 5 of the 15 blocks. Called it a night, laid my gloves down and let the quilt be.


  1. All the experts I have heard agree that it takes at least 100 hours to become proficient at free motion quilting. There is no way around it, dear. Start with some junk quilts that it won't matter whether the tension and stitch length are perfect. And let her rip! (just a joke)

  2. You took your firs step in this journey. Awasome! I am still polishing my shoes and thinking about starting it. :- )
    I also heard from lots of people that you need a minimum of 100 hours to learn how to do free machine quilting. One down, 99 to go! Keep positive.

  3. You may want to use a busy print for the quilt back. I did that for years, to hide my uneven stitching and tension issues, just so that I could get the hours to learn FMQ. (Still tend to put prints on the backs of quilts for the same reason.)