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.
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.
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!