6/24/12

Free Motion Quilting Challenge for June


Do you ever put off doing things because you're not sure you'll be capable of doing it?  That's what I've done each and every month of 2012 where the Free-Motion Quilting Challenge is concerned.  And each month, it has worked just fine.  That is not to say that I am good at free motion quilting, because I have lots and lots of room for improvement.  It's a good challenge just to force me to practice, however, and that keeps me moving forward.

Actually, I kind of enjoyed the freedom this particular challenge afforded.  I just quilted a wiggly line all over my practice piece and then filled it in however I felt like it.


After doing about one third of it, I ran out of bobbin thread, and so I had to stop.  When I turned the piece over, the tension was all wrong on the back, despite looking fine on the top.  This hasn't happened before, and so I was surprised to see the mess on the back.  I fiddled with the tension on the machine a little, and then realized that it was the bobbin tension that needed adjusting.

I learned that when you holding the end of the thread with one hand and allow the bobbin to fall into your other hand, it should fall when you give it a little flick of your wrist.  Mine stayed taught, and so I was forced to loosen the screw on the bobbin casing.  I did this with great trepidation because it isn't something I'm accustomed to doing.  I was fearful that I was going to mess something up beyond all repair.  Amazingly, when the screw was loosened enough that the bobbin fell with just a flick of the wrist (and, conversely, wasn't so loose that the bobbin simply fell to the floor on its own), my tension problems cleared up.  Success!!  Cool!  It saved the day after my distinguished panel of tart taste testers flaked out on me.  Grrrrrrrrrrr.  (I'll forgive them eventually.)

So my June FMQ challenge worked as a great warm-up for doing the free motion quilting on my Wonky Schoolhouse, which is currently loaded under the needle of my sewing machine.  I got started on that yesterday, and I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out.  I'm hoping to finish that today . . . and I'm hoping that someone will come up and taste my tarts today.  Someone will be tasting them one way or another.  I'm just not sure who it will be yet.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Diane Wild said...

Wasn't this month's challenge freeing? Like you, when I first read it I didn't think I was going to be able to accomplish it successfully. But, I was pretty pleased with my efforts. And, you should be, too. Your piece came out beautiful. Wish I could be one of your taste testers.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I put off mine too - in fact, just did it last night. I think it is the feathers that makes me hesitate. I would come and enjoy tea and tarts if I was closer.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Super Job! I haven't started my yet.

SewCalGal said...

Looks really good to me. Sorry you had bobbin issues, but what a great opportunity to learn from it. And, this practice piece will really help you apply this technique, even portions of it, to so many other quilts. Enjoy!

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

I think you did a great job....I do the same though...hold off as long as i dare...I just linked mine up a day or two ago... I have never touched the tension screw; scares me to death....lol

Junebug613 said...

I just tried FMQ for the first time on a small quilt for my niece. I will need a lot more practice before I have any confidence in my abilities.

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

May I copy that paragraph about the bobbin tensin and pin it above my machine? I have not known how to consider the bobbin tension prior to tonight. Perhaps it's bedtime !~!~

Thanks, Barb, I have learned a considerable amount from you and your friendship is precious. I came across the Four Oaks card you sent me last year. I shed a few tears and mounted it on the wall. I love the four tress. We were four kids in the family growing up. Two down; let that be enough for now...

Dana Gaffney said...

I always put them off until the last minute, but I was just thinking about it this morning, for some reason I think it's only about the middle of June.

Kelsey said...

THANK YOU for explaining bobbin tension. I've been pondering how to know it is right for months!

Quilting Babcia said...

Wonder why we all have such a fear of adjusting bobbin tensions? I did too, but using older vintage machines made it a necessity! Now taking apart the upper tension and cleaning and putting it back together, that's another story! Your challenge piece is lovely!