22 January 2016

Free Motion Friday {#2}

I've been practicing! I can't complain about being bad about FMQ if I don't even practice. The Craftsy instructor even mentions that usually people only practice for 1 minute (literally), and then say they're never getting any better! I've been practicing this week, and trying new motifs.

Free Motion Practice {2}
Last week's assignments. 

I'm working at getting that hand and foot speed to coordinate. Also, to get my loops smooth. I'm feeling much more successful at this! For my first FMQ motif I'm planing on doing those figure 8s. I hope my backing fabric comes today!

Free Motion Practice {2}

I practiced more spirals. The round ones are getting rounder, and I'm getting better at keeping the swirls even on both types. I want to perfect spirals, because they're so fun! And I want to do spiral clusters. I'm currently not very good at those. As with the stipple I always back myself into a corner. 

Free Motion Practice {2}
Some of my early spirals. 

More spirals. They are luuuuumpy! Sometimes I'm not very good at stopping when I move my hands...

Free Motion Practice {2}
Close-up early spirals.

I can see how uncomfortable I was in the wobbles and the stitch length. I get very spurty when I'm not sure where to bring the fabric! 

Free Motion Practice {2}
Sampler! Wobbly sampler... :)

I didn't make the suggested blocks for practicing different FMQ motifs. I'm just using scrap batting and less than favorite fabrics/scraps. This might be slowing down my skill-building because I have long narrow fabrics with very little places to put my hand, rather than a nice 4" edging. The scraps above were the edging of the first machine-sewn quilt I finished. I decided that not only should I practice the different patterns, but also practice blending them together. This is my angular sampler. I think the bobbin ended on the right square spiral. It is fun seeing how I can make patterns interact. Can't wait till I get better at this!

One thing I've noticed: I'm much better in certain directions. Yesterday I was practicing arches and s-curves, and I can't do them from side to side, I can only do them vertically (if that makes sense). It's easy with these scraps, but I've got a feeling I'm going to have to learn how to deal with doing different shapes in different orientations - otherwise what was the point of learning how to 'free motion' quilt?!?!?! Are different patterns easier/harder depending on the direction for you novices/experts out there?

Linked up with Afton's Lessons Learned Linky!


  1. WOW! Liz, those figure 8s look awesome!! They are smooth and your stitch length is fantastic!! Yes, I definitely have an easier time going in certain directions. I also know that I have a much easier time doing curvy motifs than I do with pointy/square type motifs.

    Do you talk to yourself when you quilt? No, not about what you are going to do after you finish ;) I tend to talk to myself about the shape I am making and at the same time giving myself reminders about where I'm going to be going... Like for spirals "round round round, leave room to come out round round leave room" or something like that. :) I also stop when I come to the point in the spiral that I am going to go back out. Gives me a chance to breath and to look at where I am going next.

    So fun to see your progress!!

  2. I think you are making great progress, and I definitely don't make the requested blocks and just use up "unloved" scraps and batting scraps, too. Might as well be thrifty, right? I definitely had to work to get more comfortable doing some designs in different directions. And just when I got kind of comfortable on my domestic, I bought a long arm and still am learning to let go of fear of moving in certain directions there, too!

  3. I'd love if you shared this at my new linky party: http://quiltingmod.blogspot.com/search/label/Lessons%20Learned%20Linky

  4. Awesome! You are making great progress.

  5. Really nice work and progress.

  6. Looks good! Practice does make perfect :)


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