Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday: FMQ Scale

I had lots and lots of fun this week because I got to do lots of FMQ! Who would have thought that years of doodling would have a purpose??!! Leah Day's homework this week was stitching different scales of stippling. This was a great exercise and harder than I thought it would be. I think this is going to a valuable skill to have in my bag o'stitches (sew to speak)!
Attempted 4 different scales (the last two kind of blend together)
Small scale



Extra large
 Things I learned this week: 1. I like quilting with Isacord thread better than Aurifil. With the cotton Aurifil, the thread broke constantly, even after lowering my tension. 2. Sitting at the right height while quilting, keeps you from getting a backache/sore neck and shoulders. 3. Having tools that help you, such as gloves and a supreme slider, make FMQ easier so you can focus on other aspects of your quilting 4. I really love FMQ (already knew that, but it was reconfirmed this week).

The only question I have for Leah this week is: When quilting with a good quality cotton such as Aurifil, is there a way to keep it from breaking? I always have to lower my tension considerable to FMQ. 4.0 is the default (I piece at this tension), to about 1.2 to FMQ with Isacord. The thread was new. Any suggestions, other than stick with Isacord?

First block quilted
Last block quilted
On to my WIP this week. I worked quite a bit on my Storybook quilt. I got all 20 blocks, sashed, sandwiched and quilted. Now I just need to square them up and join them together.

I also got the first four blocks for Quokka Quilts QAYGFMQQAL completed. 

So, my stats this week are:
In-process: (5)
Hip to be Square FMQ sampler (20 out of 30 blocks quilted)
Purple heart wall hanging ( needs borders, backing, quilting and binding)
Expanding Possibilities quilt (needs backing, quilting and binding)
Storybook quilt # 1 -  All blocks are quilted
Storybook quilt # 2 - All embroidery is done
Quokka Quilts QAYGFMQQAL quilt (First 4 blocks are quilted).

New projects in the cue to start: (4)
FLMQG solids challenge crib quilt (Not started)
New Wave quilt (not started)
Friend's baby quilt - fabric picked out!

Finished (0)

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and The Free Motion Quilting Project for Quilt A Long Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Color Me Quilty!



  1. Your free motion quilting looks great. One of these days I'll hop on board and give it a try as well...

  2. That is weird about the thread. I've FMQd with the Aurifil (in fact, that's what's being done right now with the current project) - and have no trouble with it. Maybe a different needle? I know I was not using a large enough needle when I first started FMQ. Maybe batting affects things? I get a ton of thread breakage when I quilt with poly batting, but hardly any at all with the Hobbs 80/20 cott/poly or the Tuscany wool. Weird stuff, I know!

  3. Your fmq is looking great. I still haven't got started but hopefully I will get to soon.

  4. Pat, great job with the FMQ. I love your storybook quilt!

  5. Pat , I am Alex from Aurifil …of course unhappy you got issues using my threads and I hope in future you could get better feedbacks ... usually I never obscure dissatisfaction comments , so I just wish let you know I shared your post on my Facebook wall . Alex

  6. Strange you had so much breakage with Aurifil. I didn't. Maybe it is the needle. Aurifill a rather thin thread (I don't know if you say it like that in English). My quilt teacher in the Netherlands advised me to use a topstitch needle (80/12) or a microtex needle. For me it seems to work.
    Your stippling looks great, however! And I agree: FMQ is so much fun!

  7. Love, love your storybook quilt, Pat! Your FMQ is coming along so nicely. Not sure about the thread breakage...I just started using Aurifil over the summer and haven't had any least not due to the thread! Hope you can find a solution...maybe its quilting speed?

  8. Your practice piece looks really good, this technique with the scale gradually changing as you move from one side to another would add a very cool effect to a quilt. Not sure if this helps, but I noticed that my thread breaks a lot less now that I leave my feed dogs up for FMQ, and use a needle with a really big eye instead of a universal one.

  9. WOW! I am so impressed with your work AND the amount of work you did this I've not tried Aurifil yet - but know I am very pleased with the Isacord.

  10. I use Aurifil on my domestic machine and long arm. You have to loosen the base of the spool a little by giving it a twist. Also, was the spool unwinding horizontally or vertically?

    1. Could you make a short tutorial for this? I know what you are saying sounds simple, but I am thinking two things- which direction to twist and by how much?

  11. I see that someone suggested trying a topstitch needle - this has helped me a lot when having problems with thread.
    Your stippling is great - and I'm very impressed with your productivity!

  12. Ohh your FMQ looks fantastic- good work on that! I FMQ using serger thread- so much cheaper and I never have a problem with breakage- just have to use a thread stand to use it on a regular sewing machine

  13. Gosh, you got so much done this week. I also loved being challenged to try different scales. There are some coasters that now might get some fmq treatment, couldn't do that with medium scale. Your stitching is looking so good.

  14. Your quilting looks very good. You did a lot this week.

  15. Hi Pat - Are you using the Aurifil in a spool stand or on the machine spool? Maybe try putting it into a spool stand so the thread will feed up and off the top and into the machine. This helps the thread feed more evenly and smoothly into the machine.

    That said - there's a reason I use Isacord! I'd keep playing with the Aurifil, but if one thing works, why break it?

  16. Hi! I saw that Alex Veronelli posted this on his Google+ page and I had to come see. Very beautiful work. Too bad the Aurifil didn't work for you! ;-(