Wednesday update

Okay, back to what I actually have been doing, instead of what it would appear if you were just scrolling through my blog…..


I’ve never pieced battings before. Lord knows I have enough leftovers, about 24″ wide, not big enough for even a baby quilt, too big to waste on coasters and hot pads.  For this little project, I didn’t think a pieced batting would matter. If it was going into an heirloom quilt, I wouldn’t be doing this.

I won’t show you what this little project is, just yet, but I wanted to try my hand at free motion machine quilting, again. So here I am, not even practicing, but testing my tension. No matter how tight I set it, I can *not* get the eyelashing to stop. I even slowed my speed way down. Is there something I am missing? What am I doing wrong? I quilted one twin size quilt, in a stippling style, with what I thought, at the time, was beginners luck. Now I’m sure it was…

So, while waiting for you all to give me lots of suggestions to fix my problem, I’ll move on to another project…. But I am serious. I need help!

I am machine quilting this puppy in straight lines, outlining the shapes, using my walking foot.  I am still feeling really torn about not hand quilting it, but Peter keeps telling me it is still a hand-made quilt, machine quilting it doesn’t lessen the care and creativity that went into creating it. He compares hand verses machine quilting to when woodworking and using primitive, hand tools verses electric tools.

When you look at it that way……..

And as with anytime you do a lot of sewing, it ends with cleaning your machine.

And after a good cleaning, your machine will no longer thunk, making you think it needs to visit the machine doctor. That makes me happy! Do you regularly clean your machine or wait until it thunks and the bobbin won’t lay flat because of the lint balls?

Then on to the next project…

I love making messes…. I wouldn’t feel at home if I wasn’t standing amongst a mess.

As a reminder, like you need it, Thursday is the last day to vote for your favorites over at the BQF. Exercise your right to choose your favorites!! And thanks for all the support, I really appreciate it!

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11 Responses to Wednesday update

  1. Teje says:

    Your quilts are so beautiful and I enjoy to see machine quilting because my machine can’t do that at all. That’s one reason I quilt by hand even I also enjoy it very much. So, sorry but can’t help you. x Teje

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  2. Jane says:

    Did you change your needle? Often that does the trick. And completely remove and rethread your bobbin and thread.
    Hopefully the FMQ fairies work for you!!

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  3. marcella says:

    You’ve got some great looking projects. I find I have better luck with avoiding eyelashes if I do two things – not focus on a slower speed, but an even speed. It’s easy to go quicker when making a curve and then slow down. That speed change will make eyelashes every time. I also have better luck when I use a straight stitch throat plate – having the smaller hole for the needle seems to make a difference too. Oh, and your husband is right – it’s still made by your hands whether you use a machine to do it or not.

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  4. citricsugar says:

    Okay, having had numerous problems with FMQ and having moderate success as of late, I’d love to help but have no idea what you mean by eyelashing. Does it look like your bottom tension is too tight and the thread pulls even with the top tension ratcheted up to 11? I have had that problem continually and have come up with a few strategies that don’t involve thread breakage, which has also been a problem. You’re right about the speed contributing though. I find that the faster I move the quilt, the more likely I am to get an ugly back. I keep the machine speed high but try to keep my hands moving the quilt slightly slower than I normally would and as evenly as possible (I tend to swoop around on curves which, I’ve learned, is bad). I’ve also set my stitch length to 1 instead of 0, which helps for some reason. And since I find for regular sewing, I usually need to keep my top tension at 6 or higher, that I’m going to (gasp) adjust the tension screw on the bobbin holder… I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Also, try practice sandwiches and changing one element at a time: thread, needle, tension, batting, etc… See what that does. I have not by any means mastered FMQ but I’m always willing to comiserate. 🙂

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  5. Kim M. says:

    I am a Longarm quilter, but I would think the solutions would be similar. It sounds to me like your bobbin tension could be too tight. Are you getting a good stitch with your machine normally? Clean all the lint out that you can, and check the bobbin case for lint too. Rethread and try a new needle. What thread/needle combination are you using?

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  6. I have a habit of every time I change the bobbin blowing the dust out. I need to learn how to oil the machine and such. They haven’t set up the class yet at the sewing machine shop to show me how to do things with my machine.
    I have pieced batting…..totally wrong of course. I’ve made lots of quilts but just feel like I will never be more than a beginner.

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  7. George says:

    I voted for your beautiful quilt! I have bobbly back problems too and it seems to me to be a toughie, but a common one! Recently we had a talk by a very experienced quilter and she said it was mainly a top-tension and blunt needle problem, but she does also clean her bobbin case thoroughly and often, actually lifting the spring slightly with a pin and blowing hard to clear all lint. I personally find a needle change always helps!

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  8. Pat says:

    When I first began learning FMQ I also experienced those eyelashes when doing curves. Turns out that I was moving my hands faster during the curve than when quilting in a straight line and that was causing the problem. If you can keep a good even (not necessarily fast) speed going on the machine and learn to move your hands at an even speed the problem should begin to sort itself out. Good luck!

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