More FMQ, More Fans

I’VE FINISHED THE CLOUDS!!!Japan_Fans_1003_2

I decided to experiment with the tension some more, dropping it from 4.6 to 4.2 and then to 3.8.  Based on how the last few blocks look at that tension, I’d say 3.8 is a winner.  There seemed to be no adverse effects on the back, either; I hate it when my thread grows tension legs!

You can see (just about) that I’ve started doing some quilting on the red bits of the window frame.  It’s essentially a squared off, slanted zig-zag between the two seam lines.  I’m doing these free-motion and finding that straight lines and FMQ is an uneasy combination!  They’re quite wibbly.Japan_Fans_1003_3

I started off completely free-hand, no marking at all, which worked but was slow because I had to juggle FMQ and figuring out if I was going in approximately the right direction.  Then I remembered (and found!) my new water-erase fabric pen and decided to do some guidelines because I’m better at following a line.  And then discovered that, even with a pen, I can’t draw a straight line!  Not sure if that makes me feel better or worse about the not-straight FMQ lines.  It has made the FMQ go a bit quicker, though, and I’ve found an angle to work at that I can manage fairly well in all necessary directions; initially I was rotating the quilt around the needle at every corner and it was doing horrible things to both quilt and needle.Japan_Fans_1003_1

Despite the wobbles, I’m not going to start using a ruler or a walking foot for this – better if it’s ALL kind of wobbly and organic-looking rather than a mix of wobbly and machine-precise.  I’m pretending it’s wood grain!

Mum can’t see why I would want to do this free-motion rather than with a walking foot.  I tried and failed to explain the need for practice to achieve better control over the movement of the fabric and needle and thus better results in future.  I admit, this doesn’t look as amazing as I’d like it to look, but I’m not going to get any better if I don’t do more of it.

At this point, almost all the red on one curtain is done, my plan is to finish that off and then do the same on the black frames.  Then put the back and the hanging loops on, do some minimal in-the-ditch quilting around the frames to hold the whole lot together and it’ll be DONE!  In time for Mother’s Day on Sunday!  I can’t wait!

Linking up with Free Motion Mavericks, Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

14 thoughts on “More FMQ, More Fans”

    1. Thanks for the comment! 🙂 FMQ is arguably my worst/least good skill, so I’m anxious to improve.

    1. Thank you for commenting! 🙂 Luckily I’m quite stubborn and refuse to be beaten by a silly machine! :p

  1. You say that straight lines and FMQ is an uneasy combination? I couldn’t agree more. Which is why I use my walking foot for making straight lines. For that, I agree with your mother. 😉 I enlarged your picture and find that your lines are not so bad as your text might suggest. Don’t we make is worse when it’s our own work?

    1. Thanks for commenting! Heh, yep, but if I ever found I needed to do a straight line in the middle of some other FMQ work and I hadn’t practiced then I’d be stuffed! :p Also, for this I would either have to start and stop a lot for each block (blah) or spin the whole quilt around the needle each time I changed direction (which I did try initially anyway and it really pulled at the fabric). I weighed it all up and decided to try the FMQ route. The lines could be a lot worse, and you’re right that I’m my own worst critic – I see all the bits I did wrong!

  2. I think it looks great! Practice is key and the more you do, the better you will get. We always see way more of the imperfections in our own work than others do! Your lines are not that wobbly and once the quilt is washed, you will be hard pressed to find what you thought were wobbly lines 🙂

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I did a lot more today (yay Quilt Club day!) and by the end they were definitely looking better. And then I started on the black bits and it was worse again because black fabric + black thread + artificial light = ARGH! But it should be done soon and I am proud of it overall. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your comment! I am so looking forward to seeing it all finished and hanging up. 🙂

  3. Great progress since last week, and congratulations on winning the Battle of the Tension.

    Tell your Mum I’m no fan of walking feet either and I’m totally on your side when it comes to straight lines. Some of us just don’t do straight, it’s not in our DNA. Free motion quilting is all about taking wobbly to the next level.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv

    1. Thanks Muv, and thanks for the link-up! 🙂 Lol, that explanation works for me! It’s all my DNA’s fault, as usual. :p If I can achieve “wobbly” as well as you, I’ll be very pleased! 😉 But I’m proud to report that all the FMQ is now finished! One half of the curtain is completely done, and I’m just about to sneak off and polish off the in-the-ditch quilting on the other half and then something I’ve been working on for over a year will be finished! 😀

  4. Straight lines are rough without a ruler – but many teachers advise that if they are a little wonky, then they are organic and ok! Sometimes I use a ruler and sometimes I just guess-timate. Either way, they are never that straight since I get bored following lines!

    1. Thanks for commenting! I think some of my lines are very organic, lol! 🙂 Next time I might try a ruler (if there is a next time!). Cumulative wonkyness does seem to work, somehow.

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