Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Reluctant Semi Free Motion Quilter

Ahhh, the best laid plans. I received a lovely border stencil for Christmas. Thought it would be just the perfect thing for doing the final border on the baby quilt. Just one problem. No matter what I tried, the markings I used just didn't show up on the blue polka dotted cloth. I tried a white quilt marking pencil, and the marks disappeared into the white polka dots. I tried regular pencil and still a no go. I considered my pink quilt marking pencil, but I had a bad experience once where the pink didn't completely wash out.

So I adopted an idea from my mom. I drew the stencil on to paper and attached it to the quilt, machine quilting the lines on the paper.

Still, the method wasn't perfect. Somehow my mom has the patience and ability to do this by straight-stitching. Me? I couldn't see well enough to follow the lines using the regular stitching foot so I switched to the smallest free motion quilting foot I had.

Now, I could see very well, but I discovered that when using the free motion quilting foot on my beloved Juki, whether I dropped the feed dogs or not, I was in fact free motion quilting. The free motion foot doesn't fit tight enough to be used for regular stitching. Big deep breath. I took the plunge and started to follow the lines.

I'm not sure if this qualifies as full free motion quilting since I am in fact following a pattern as opposed to visualizing and going where that vision leads. However, it is proving to be a very good learning tool. I don't have to think about where I'm going; I just have to concentrate on moving the quilt properly. And it's working! I'm getting better.

Actually, I'd planned to practice on something inconsequential before diving in to free motion quilting, but it came down to giving it a shot or giving up on putting that beautiful corded quilting pattern on the baby quilt. I decided to give it a shot, knowing I could always rip it out. I'm glad I did.

Now to remove the paper pattern.


  1. Very pretty. I can't wait to see a picture of the whole thing when it is completed.

  2. Hey, whatever works! It looks really good!

  3. *Gorgeous* blue quilt. And I love the pic of Charley in the guitar case. He's doing a free
    rodent check, you know. ;-)
    Sherry in OK (who doesn't know how to leave a comment except "anonymously".


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