Tuesday, May 3, 2011

FMQ Challenge Day 12 Mary Ann/ND

Oh, my!  The third batting choice with the same threads (YLI clear nylon on top, Mettler 50w cotton silk-finish in bobbin, same tension set to 2) did NOT turn out as well as the first two.  The tension was not right for this type of batting and I have a mess on the 'back'.  This is an interesting batt choice...Mountain Mist Eco-Friendly Batting Blend of 50% cotton and 50% PLA Fiber (made from corn).  It can be quilted up to 4" apart, comes in 90" and 108" (do not prewash this batting).

Have you ever used this before?

It's really different - Personally, I would chose something else before this.

Here are my results from Day 12:

The good news:  I've done this pattern so often now (third time), I was done really quickly today.
It would be a very good idea to plan your quilting, then practice sketching and making practice squares for three days before actually quilting your quilt.

This is sure a wonky looking back - the tension set at 2 is not correct for this batting.  
You can hardly even tell this has been quilted!


Last night and today, I spent time 'researching' about FMQ and short-arm quilting.

I found the article from "The Quilter" in the Dec. 2010/Jan. 2011 issue pgs. 98-100 from Wenda Coburn interesting.  The title is "Short-Arm Quilting:  What Do You Need?"

The machine requirements list 9" harp space minimum, one straight stitch, ability to lower the feed dogs, a stitch regular and quilting frame and has pictures of the following recommended machines to be your dedicated quilting machine:

Pfaff hobby 1200 GrandQuilter
Janome 1600 Professional
Juki TL-98Q
Viking Mega Quilter
Baby Lock Quilter's Choice Professional
short-arm machine quilting educator from Syracuse, New York

Has anyone taken her classes?  Do you short-arm or are you considering it?
I have purchased a Baby Lock Quilter's Designer Series Quest Plus and a Grace frame with stitch regulator.
(Just waiting on the frame installation.)

Can you recommend good websites/blogs for short-armers?


I also read this post about free motion quilting from Diane Guadynski:

and noted that
"It is easier to pull the fabric and work smoothly away from yourself than to push and plow. In a marked straight line it doesn't matter, but in many freehand designs it is SO much easier to build them by starting at the bottom of the design and building UP, or away from yourself. Give it a try!

In the first photo, rather than turning the quilt (I try not to ever turn the quilt) I will quilt one of the lines in this double line design towards me, then the second one away from me. It isn't hard at all if you have a foot that lets you see behind it....and I do.

Explore your machines and see what they have that makes quilting better and easier. And also work with what is best for you. You are the final say in anything you do."

I personally have been starting in the middle and working my way out from left top to right top and then bottom left and bottom right.  I will have to give Diane's recommendation a try!

Do you design up or away from yourself?


Jen said...

I do both! I don't want to have to turn the quilt either, so whichever way I end up, I just quilt from there. It is easier to start at the bottom, but I think it's important to practice every which way.

Mary Ann & Mother said...

Practicing all directions is an excellent suggestion - thank you, Jen!

What Comes Next? said...

that is a great design that you are using to practice and compare, and the top side is looking really good! One thing I have found over the time I've been FMQ - I won't ever use the silk finish thread in the bobbin. I find I have much better luck using a much thinner bobbin thread. This might be the cause of some of your issues due to the light weight nylon on top and the realtively heavy silk finish on the bottom.
Like Diane (and I had just read her article this morning myself!) I prefer to work away from myself whenever possible, although am getting much more comfortable going in all directions.