Friday, November 8, 2013

FMQ Baby Blocks quilt

It seems like it's taking me forever to get this baby quilt finished.  Progress has been made this past week and I'm happy with my design choices.

This is also my first attempt at free-hand quilting text.  I wanted the blocks to look like the real thing, so I angled the letters and used a pencil to draw the lines on the quilt.  Some of my stitching got a little too dense, but I'm not going to pick them out and do it all over.

I believe this is the first quilt I've quilted without using my walking foot.....not even once!  My goal was to do all the quilting using only my embroidery foot.  That means that my sewing speed has been greatly reduced.  I've found that it is possible to stitch a straight line but the trick is to go slowly.  Most of the time I use the foot as a guide to achieve a 1/4-inch echo.  There were some areas that my lines got a little wonky so I occasionally used a pencil to mark where I needed to go.

For the most part I used white Coats & Clark 100% cotton 50wt thread, top and bobbin.  But when it came time to stitch inside the tumblers, I switched to Gutermann's Invisible thread so my misses wouldn't be as noticeable.  I still used the white cotton in the bobbin.

This was the first time I've used Quilter's 80/20 low loft (up to 3/16 inch) batting.  The package states the recommended quilting distance to be 2" - 4" so I felt I could get away with just outline stitching inside the larger blocks.

For me, looking at the stitching on the back side is almost as pleasing as the front.  Periodically I flip the project over and inspect how things look back there just to make sure I didn't miss any areas or outlines.


Next up is deciding on a border stitching design.  I put together a test sandwich so I can audition ideas.  Here's what I've come up with so far.  Oops...the pic is upside down!  Sorry 'bout that.

Anyway, this is one idea I had.  I'm looking for designs that allow me to travel down the border with little or no re-positioning of the entire quilt.  I had enough of that when I was doing the interior of the quilt.  Also I want to restrict some of the motion because my machine (always blame it on the machine) tends to make bad stitches when I move in a circular motion toward the left and upward.  I guess if it were a map, then my problems happen when I move into the northwest quadrant.  It's probably me, but I've tried slowing down and adjusting tensions with the same results.  I figure it's just best to find a design that works with me instead of against me.

Well, that's all for now.  Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to visit The Free Motion Quilting Project blog for links to other quilting project blog posts.

Happy Quilting,


  1. Your quilting really brings life into that quilt. Very nice

  2. Very nice, can't wait to see in person

  3. It looks great! As far as your northwest quadrant issue, it can be a machine issue (or at least that's what I tell myself), my machine has difficulty if I stitch directly 'north'. Might also be due to needle deflection, have you tried a bigger needle to see if that helps? Anyway, it's all part of knowing our own machines and how we work with them. Very smart to choose what works for you!

  4. Thank you for showing the back. That really helps to see the quilting, which is wonderful, by the way. That side to side looping border idea looks good. Would love to see what you decide to do.

  5. Hello Diane,

    The combination of straight line quilting with free motion is really effective - lovely work!



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