Thursday, May 31, 2012

May's FMQ Challenge

Last month I mentioned that my old machine had gone kaplooey.  It really wasn't worth getting fixed.  Well, this month I have a shiny, new Janome 6600.  It works like a charm!  I'll have to sit down when I have a bit more time and tell you how powerful it is.

I really need to get going on these challenges sooner!  I'm squeaking in just under the wire... again.  This month's Free Motion Quilting Challenge teacher was Leah Day.  I was thrilled when I heard she'd be one of the teachers because I had already visited her site and knew what a wonderful teacher she was.  

Leah showed us how to do some stippling on a "foundation" line. Then she changed it up slightly by using straight lines instead of squiggly ones.  She called these "railroad tracks."

You start by making a widely spaced, free-form line...
My foundation line

Then you go back and "squiggle over it.  Here's my stippling piece.  It looks pretty good from the front!

stippling on a foundation line

Unfortunately, I forgot to check the tension.  The machine wasn't making any funny noises to alert me, but I ended up with "eyelashes" on the back.

eyelashes :-(

Eyelashes are where the bobbin thread pulls the top thread too much and the top thread ends up showing on the back.  In a worst case scenario, you get what looks like eyelashes when you go around a curve.

I adjusted my tension before I started on the railroad tracks.

railroad tracks
I like regular stippling better than stippling on a foundation line, but thought that the railroad tracks were intriguing.  Someone on the forums suggested sewing a parallel line to the foundation line so it would look more like tracks.  I'll have to try that.  I bet it looks neat.

The tension was better on this piece.

 I still need to play around with my machine to get the right combination of needle, thread and tension.  I suspect this needle may have gotten dull and "pushed" some of the batting through.  But I was pleasantly surprised to not see very many tiny little blobs of thread where I kept sewing but didn't move the fabric sandwich quickly enough when I changed directions.

The pieces that my fellow FMQ Challengers have done have been downright amazing.  And the encouragement given to beginners is wonderful.  What a great group of people!

Until next month,
Happy Quilting!

Kathy R.