So I’ve been wanting to try free-motion quilting (FMQ) for some time now. I just never have been brave enough. I knew I would mess it up and ruin my fabric. But when I got my new Bernina, I decided it was time to tackle this new technique!
I watched many, many videos by Angela Walters and by the Missouri Star Quilt Company. They made it look so very easy! Yeah, right! They’ve been doing this for years! And the quilting juice that helps Angela?! Yup! that would be a new design on my quilt LOL! So after alot of putting it off and talking myself out of doing that one more thing before starting, I bit the bobbin and prepared my quilt sandwich!
I had just the right size of yellow flannel for the backing. Just enough batting to fit the ducky panel, so I guess it was meant to be! Here you see my sandwich. I used Dritz Basting Spray. First time I used the basting spray. I usually use big safety pins. Why not get all the way out of my comfort zone, right?
So here I have the quilt in place and ready to go! Well, almost ready… It took me about an hour to actually sit down and begin. My anxiety level skyrocketed! I had my regulator foot on, white thread threaded, a full bobbin… Just had to work up that last bit of courage…
After alot of pep talk from me to me, I began! OMG!!! How cool does that look! I was so excited that I had to send my mom a pic! LOL Someone needed to know what I was doing! It’s not that hard after all!
I kept moving around and around. I did learn pretty quick that you just have to relax and steer the quilt, not force it. Nina, (what I named my Bernina), yelled at my a handful of times because I was trying to go too fast. After a few conversations with her, we got on the same page and began working together.
Another thing I learned is that when those more experienced quilters tell you not to use the basic thread, you know, the ones you pick up at Walmart quick, they are not just partial to those better brands. I kept getting lint in my needle and my thread kept breaking. I have since gotten myself some really fun colors of REAL quilters thread! I’m a REAL quilter now!!!
By the time I got near the end, I was feeling really comfortable with this pattern. It’s really easy to do and there is no wrong way to go. Perfect for beginners.
I also love how the back of the quilt looks! It has it’s own design and could really be used with that side up, I suppose.
So there it is! FMQ all over this panel! It gives it motion and depth… I just love how it turned out! Feeling so confident and so excited, I was going to try some vines and leaves in the teal border but decided against it. Less is more.
I ended up doing a straight stitch on both sides of the peachy border. I was figuring out how to finish it off and realized that I had to cut that out yellow border off so that I could used the backing to self-bind it.
Here is the completely finished quilt! I think it turned out really great! I can’t wait to do another!
Here is the back. I think this really shows the FMQ the best and the pattern really pops!
I hope you enjoyed my FMQ adventure! If you were like me and do not think you can do it, or your anxiety talks you out of it, I say just do it! You will be so excited and proud of yourself!
Just a few tips to remember:
- Take your time! You are not racing against the clock. You are on your own time.
- Don’t be afraid to stop and reposition your hands. Really. Stop and reposition. It’s ok and will only help keep you moving along comfortably.
- Try the stipple pattern, or something very basic the first time. Don’t do feathers, flowers, swirls or leaves. Do something simple so you can get comfortable with this new technique.
- As far as basting, I think my next one I am going back to my pins. I wonder if the basting spray tacked up my needle and made my thread break more then it would have…
- Use quilting thread.
- And just HAVE FUN!!!
Please share any pics of your first try! I would love to see what others are doing and how you FMQ!
Thanks for hanging out with me!
Have a blessed day!