Sunday, March 6, 2016

Free Motion Quilting and More Circle Blocks

I've started quilting the Daisy's Chickenpox quilt, and when the machine is set up for free motion quilting, the production of the 365 circles has slowed down. I still have a few to show you though.

Block 113

A four-patch with quarter circles appliqued raw-edge style. Orange thread is in the machine because of the quilting and it matches here.

Block 114

Another design that starts out with a four patch, but this one goes way beyond that. Most of the border will be hidden in the seam allowance so very little will show.

Block 115

I know I've done circle of triangles before, but it looked really good last time and I enjoy using up these pretty little scrap bits. I was thinking about making a snippets quilt, but I think I have enough WIPs.

Block 116

One of my friends from HubPages, Mark Ewbie, drew a drawing of a woman looking on as a man was reading the directions.  I really liked it, so I cropped it and recreated it in fabric.  There was a quilting challenge to make something with the theme of reading, and since I didn't want to start a new project, I could at least satisfy myself that I did something about reading in my quilt.

Beginning of Row Six

Here's the layout of this week's row. I haven't sewn these together yet.

I have secured the applique on all of the blue and yellow sections of this block, as well as all the 1857 blocks. I am doing them assembly line by color, to avoid continual changing of thread on my machine.  I still have to do the green (once I get some green thread) and the red. There is going to be a lot of starts and stops for the leaves on this block.

Daisies Quilting

Before I show you the quilting on the daisies, I need you to turn into a man on a galloping horse.  While you are at it, you might as well choose to be an unobservant man.  Get on the horse and gallop really fast, as fast as the horse can handle.  Are you ready?

Ahh, isn't it lovely?

All right, I will show you a clearer picture.

I've quilted a couple of the daisies down.  I am facing several issues in doing this.
  • I am planning on giving this quilt to someone, so the stakes are higher.
  • The fusible I used was not a good quality, and even though I did press them (at least twice), the petals still are not secure in some places. It also has been sitting, folded, for a while.  There are a couple of places where the petals bubbled up and got a fold stitched into the quilting.  I'm willing to let those go.
  • I don't have a flat bed on my sewing machine.  I bought a drop-in table, and while it solved the problem for my old machine, my new machine doesn't fit in the table. I have put up stuff (books) to get the bed as flat as possible but I still have some drag.  I'm going to have to research and save up for a bed for this machine.
  • Those inner petals have to be pinned out of the way, and the pins have to be avoided while quilting.
  • Free motion quilting works sometimes for me and sometimes it doesn't.  I did fine on the improv quilt but it was fairly small.  The biggest problems I had on that one was to limit the jerkiness and getting the stitch length from being excessively big or small. I didn't have tension problems on that quilt. 
On this quilt, the tension isn't right.  The top thread is flat while the bobbin thread goes in and out.  I think this is a function of not coordinating the machine and hands correctly, but only practice will help with that.  I am hoping that I will get better as I go along, and then I will take out some of the particularly bad stitches and try again. I think I will switch to a practice piece for a while. I might have to think of some walking foot quilting for the background too.

Question: Is this type of tension problem just an issue because it doesn't look good, or will it come apart with washing and use?  Just trying to figure out how important it is to fix it.

Linked to:
Oh Scrap! 
Moving It Forward 
Freemotion By the River 
Building Blocks Tuesday 
WOW - WIPs on Wednesday


Cathy said...

Free motion quilting works for me only sometimes too. That is why I do a lot of hand quilting. If you can easily pull either the top or bottom thread out for quite a distance I would pull it out and do over. But I have found it it is like that here and there then the stitching kind of tightens up in those spots when I wash and dry the quilt.
I'm no expert and still need lots of practice too. I find I have more problems and shakier hands when I try to quilt larger motifs rather than smaller ones. I'm always fussing about tension. Oh, and I have found if I use a top stitching needle I have better results with the tension too. I said...I'm certainly no expert and still experimenting and learning myself.

The man reading directions is hilarious. I've never seen such a thing in this household!!!!! As always...your Quilty 365 blocks are so unique and charming.

Cynthia Brunz Designs said...

Your blocks are so imaginative! Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

Lynn said...

I agree with Cathy, if you can pull the top thread loose then you should do it over. The up side is that it will be easy to take out. If the top thread is laying flat then it usually means the top tension is too tight. Try loosening the top tension if you try it again.

Plum Cox said...

What wonderful scrap blocks! Love them, particularly the circle of triangles one!
Is the daisy quilt to be used as a quilt or a display piece? If it's going to be used and washed, I'd probably restitch (although I might not pull out the first stitching) checking the tension first as suggested above.

Good luck with your projects!

Quilt Inspiration said...

HI Shasta ! We LOVE your free motion quilting and your very innovative blocks ! Unfortunately, we are not qualified to give any advice about thread tension, but we think your daisy is FABULOUS and the colors are yummy ! We really enjoy reading about your very creative work !
Best wishes, from Marina and Daryl

Lara B. said...

Shasta I love seeing how inventive and creative you get with your circles! They are looking great!
It's something I battle too: my FMQ will look good on a small project, but the drag in a larger quilt creates problems. Your daisies are so pretty, maybe no one will care if the quilting isn't perfect.

Karen said...

Block 116 is a delightful and whimsical looking block.

Kaja said...

As always your 365 blocks are fun to see - I really like your quarter circles and the little triangles - such an effective way to use the tiny scraps. Good luck sorting out your fmq - I don't know anything about this, so can't help I'm afraid, but I do like how your daisy looks, so hope you can get it to your satisfaction.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Oh I love seeing what you are doing but aside from machine quilting something small like a pillow top I just hand quilt so no help with FMQ :(