Decide what to be and go be it.

Merrily we quilt along…

It’s Wednesday and time to show Leah and all my quilt along buddies how I fared this week.  If I learned nothing else this week, I learned that tracing the design with my finger helped.  I traced and traced and then when I sat down at the machine I took a good, long look at where I was going.  It helped for the most part.  If I keep looking at where I’m going and not where I am I seem to do fine.  Stop that and I need a compass.  Got lost a time or two and had to do more traveling than I wanted to do.  I also learned that if I nearly bit a hole in my tongue or bottom lip when I was stitching, I could concentrate better.  Although I know I can do better with more practice, I was not unhappy with the result.  Check it out below.

Here is where I think I need some help.  I had quite a few “pokies” on the back.  I was using the needle recommended for the thread I was using.  I adjusted my tension and that didn’t seem to make any difference.  I could also hear the needle flagging…popping.  I’m not sure what the answer is.  Any ideas?  Here’s a picture of the back.

If you click on this photo, it will enlarge and you can see where the top thread is poking through.  The stitches on the top of the quilt  look pretty darn good but the back…not so much.  I have not been able to wrap my mind around leaving the feed dogs up.  I guess my question to Leah would be — would leaving the feed dogs up help with the “pokies”?

I’ve looked over the video for the micro-stippling and all I can say is it’s going to be a tongue-biting adventure!  Stay tuned!

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24 thoughts on “Merrily we quilt along…

  1. I think you did great. I love it on that yellow fabric. You’ll be surprised at how many pokies disappear once you’ve washed your quilt – that is if you’re going to wash the quilt. On my machine, I leave the feed dogs up but I have to set it to darning length = 0 to get it give me stitches on both sides. Think about having the same color thread on both sides. I use Wonderfil Invisil – it is 100 wt and boy at times you can’t see the darn stuff once it stitched. Thanks for sharing!

    • Can you tell me why it’s a good idea to leave the feed dogs up? My brain says it defeats the purpose. My brain has a mind of it’s own! The same color thread would help hide the “pokies” but sometimes I want one color on the top and the thread on the back to match the batting. I guess that’s why I struggle to get more balanced stitches.

  2. I chew my lip when I am machine quilting as well. I’ve tried to stop doing it but to no avail. I am sure it helps the final product.

  3. Wow! I feel so far behind!! Worked at the pharmacy yesterday and am not quite finished transferring all the pattern to the quilt top. Hope to finish today. Did watch Leah’s latest video but will do the straight stitching first. The small quilt I’m using is 40″ square (including the simple border) and has room for 8 of the center hearts & boxes from the quilting pattern. I used parts of the pattern to, then, fill the half and quarter square edge triangles. When I finish this I am expecting to be fairly proficient and/or totally crazy!!! LOL! Yours looks awesome! Each machine is so different, when it comes to FMQ. Definitely has ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ in the needle/thread/tension dept! Hugs, Doreen

    • I’m anxious to see how you incorporated the design multiple times. Can you say over achiever? 🙂 Just kidding! I’ll bet it will be pretty because it’s a very pretty design to begin with. I’m whispering this but I want to move on from stippling. My quilting ADD is kicking in. 🙂

  4. The tradition looking pattern done on machine looks good. When I got a long arm I really had to learn about tension. To help me I sure a pictorial guide for balancing tread tension which I found on the Superior Thread Website. http://www.superiorthreads.com/education/ask-dr-bob/balancing-top-and-bottom-tension

  5. basildonkitchens on said:

    All I can say is WOW – I am terrified of FMQ. The few times I tried it, I hated the results. I am looking for a new sewing machine, so maybe when I get one I will try again. You have inspired me, though – to try again! Good Job!

  6. crazymountainquilter on said:

    I have yet to do anything other then stipple a quilt. You could either say I am the stipple queen or the fmq loser. I think I need to quilt a handful of donation utility quilts and have a “drink” before I start to help loosen myself up. After all if a drink can make me good looking and funny it could probably really improve my quilting as well. Your quilt looked great and once it is washed it will really pop.

    • I like the stipple queen. So much more positive! Not sure about the drink first. I might be quilting all over the place. But then again, who cares at that point!! 🙂

  7. Your quilting looks fabulous! This is so much fun!

  8. Wow! Was that your first try at FMQ? The result is fantastic.

  9. I’ve had the same problem, my problem was solved with the threadtension of my top thread on a 4 (it usually is on the 2,5 mark). It took me a while to figure it out. Just keep trying you’ll get there any time soon….

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love your FMQ practice, it looks great! Improving my FMQ is my goal for this year 🙂

  11. FMQ seems to be the goal of a lot of us this year! That’s good…we’ll all improve d encourage each other!

  12. Nice job! I’m struggling with machine quilting as well….

  13. I did leave the feed dogs up and covered with a supreme slider and it did make a huge difference for me. Also, I second Leah’s opinion about using the same thread in top & bobbin (or at least the same color of not the same weight). The “pokies” will magically disappear!! Nice work 🙂

    • I u dear stand why you would use the same thread Ian the top and bottom. But sometimes it just doesn’t work to achieve the look you want. But when I raised the feed dogs, I had fewer (lots fewer) pokies. I can live with some pokies. Heck! I live with worse at home!, ;-). The lesson learned here is listen to the teacher. You would think I would have learned that by now!!

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