Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Quilting in a Line for the Humane Society

Over the last two weeks, Leah Day at the Free Motion Quilting Project has focused on quilting in straight lines around blocks, following drawn lines, and filling in the space inside them. For these exercises, I needed fabrics with lots of lines to follow and some patterns to outline, so I chose the following flannels for my latest Snuggles Project kitty blanket:

Also, not pictured, is a tiny square of farm animal fabric that
I'd been saving and decided to throw in at the last second.
I cut squares of the striped fabric and pieced them together in opposite directions so that I could practice following lines at every angle. I honestly thought this was going to be a disaster. I can barely follow a straight line with a regular sewing machine foot, how the heck was I going to be able to do it in free motion? But now that I've tried it, I realize how simple it actually is, and how much sense it makes to do it this way. Here's the very first block I quilted. Its lines of stitching are surprisingly straight!

Once I'd stitched around all my squares and over the stripe blocks, I tackled the next step, which was to outline some patterns on my fabric and then fill the space around them with quilting.

You can't see it very well, but I did trace around the hippo and donkey. My stitch length is uneven in these places because I was going very slow, but I did stay on the lines so I consider that a success.

I found it surprisingly difficult to stipple around the donkey once I had outlined him. The amount of room you've got is limited, so you've got to plan out your stitching a little bit ahead of time to avoid getting stuck in a corner. I found that this resulted in a more repetitive pattern that didn't flow very well. I'm sure that will resolve itself as I continue to practice.

There's been a lot of talk about thread colour this week, and I realize that I've been using this beige thread for everything so far. Sure it's boring, but it blends in so nicely to hide mistakes. Now that I've got the basics down and more confidence, I will start experimenting with colour a bit more.

Here is the finished blanket from this exercise:


  1. I think the FMQ looks great! The finished blanket is really cute!

  2. I love it! ... btw, I don't think I will ever lose the mentality to use thread that does not show mistakes!

  3. The blanket is really cute! Your stippling looks really great!

  4. Your lines are really good. Good job on the outlining

  5. That looks good. You did an awesome job with the Quilt Along. Some little kitty will be snugly and comfy with that quilt, too. That is one thing I am loving about this Quilt Along. I am so motivated to get things done.

  6. So beautiful, and such a great cause. I heart hippos! :)