Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Gift for a Friend, and, My 1st FMQ

A dear friend of mine is having a rough time right now, so I whipped up this cheery pot holder/hot pad for her as a little surprise.
a gift for a friend -- the back

a gift for a friend -- the front

Then I decided to do some Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) in the black triangles, to give a little more color. Remind me next time to do a practice piece before trying the real deal, 'kay??

I started by tracing a flower stencil I have, then tried following the lines and quilting a sweet little flower down in one corner. ahem. Key word, tried.

It came out rather....un-flowerish. So I tried to rip out and start over. Again, key word, tried.  The stitches were so tiny and overlapping that I couldn't get sorted how to rip out. On to plan B -- do a nice, gentle, loopy meander over it as cover. That would work!

Well, it would. If I knew how to do a nice, gentle, loopy meander.  I really should have practiced first.

close up of the, ummm, "nice, gentle, looping meander"

It did cover the un-flowerish flower. And it did add some color to the hot pad. And my dear friend will love it just because I made it for her, and it's my first ever "no lines" FMQ, which is only fitting as she also owns the first ever quilt block I made. But I definitely need more practice.

My biggest challenge is that my machine has no speed regulator, and I am having a great deal of trouble getting the pressure on the foot pedal just right to go slow enough I can steer, yet moving the fabric just fast enough that I'm not putting three or four stitches right on top of one another. How people manage this is beyond me; if anyone has tips, I'm all ears.

Do you Free Motion Quilt? How do yours turn out? And, can I just stick with straight lines from now on???? Pretty please???

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