Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Hodge-Podge

Well, this week I really jumped around on several different projects. But at least I finished something I started this week, two FMQ potholders. Since I had just finished FMQ a big quilt last week (which was Leah's homework this week), I decided to work on something small that would kill two (or three) birds with one project.
2. Homework/practice for Leah Day's QAL Wednesday
3. New potholders for ME!!!!

Close-up of my second one.
I'm really quite pleased with how these turned out and since I used Insul-Bright batting, I can actually use them.

So my question for Leah this week isn't really about FMQ, it's about using a walking foot. I rarely get puckers or tucks when I FMQ, but I always get them when I use a walking foot. The top fabric always pushes ahead no matter how hard I try to ease it in.  Last week when I was joining QAYG blocks, the bottom strip was always fine, but my top strip always "grew" or pushed ahead by nearly a half inch in the short distance of one block. I am using a Baby Lock Ellegante with the proper Baby Lock walking foot. I have checked and rechecked the manual to see if there are any adjustments I can make to the foot, there aren't any. I always thought that this was something I was doing wrong when I would straight line quilt, because I ALWAYS get tucks. I had my machine serviced/cleaned in November (it has done this before and after service), could the problem be the machine??? I didn't say anything to the repair person, because I thought this was my fault. But recently I've read on other blogs, that this could be a machine problem. What do you think?

On with other projects this week.

I got two blocks completed for my Urban Nine Patch/FLMQG solids quilt.

I also did a class on fusing at my local library with a great group of kids that made up some blocks that I'm now in charge of putting together and quilting.

So, my stats this week are:
In-process: (7)
FLMQG solids challenge crib quilt (2 out of 12 Urban Nine Patch blocks done)
Purple heart wall hanging ( needs borders, backing, quilting and binding)
Expanding Possibilities quilt (needs backing, quilting and binding)
Storybook quilt # 1 -  Started joining block with QAYG method
Storybook quilt # 2 - All embroidery is done
Quokka Quilts QAYGFMQQAL quilt (7 blocks quilted)
Sewing Machine Cover - pieced, basted, started FMQ

New projects in the cue to start: (2)
Geneva Public Library quilt - join and quilt (maybe make a block or two to even it out)
New Wave quilt (not started)

Finished (2)
Two FMQ potholders (for ME)!!!

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

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Color Me Quilty!



  1. I had the same issue with the walking foot on my new Janome. Kind of perplexing since I have never had this issue with my old vintage singer walking foot. I'm thinking it may be that my pressed foot pressure may be either to tight or to loose, but I haven't had time to play with it yet.

  2. I have a Pfaff machine and it has a built-in walking foot that you can engage or disengage, and I've never had any trouble with puckering or having the top and bottom not feed together. Sorry you're having troubles, I know how frustrating it can be when things don't work out like you want them to.

    I love the idea of making pot holders with the feather quilting--how was the Insul-bright to stitch over?

  3. When I was doing the QAYG, I found that however carefully I positioned the 2 fabrics together, they could be an inch out by the time I'd sewn them together. This was using my Janome 4800 with its walking foot. It usually works pretty well, eg for sewing on binding, so I wondered if it was to do with the bulk or the bounciness of the 2 quilted pieces.
    Love your feathers - beautiful.

  4. Wow, your Urban Nine Patches are wonderful! I need to work on sewing curves like that, thanks for sharing!

  5. I absolutly LOVE your potholders xx

  6. I'm with danih03 Pat, I think this is probably a pressure problem. A walking foot is supposed to be the great even-outer of pleats and puckers, so the fact that you're getting them on the top when using this foot means there's probably a pressure problem. What's happening is the foot is squishing your fabric sandwich too hard and causing the top to slide forward. This can only happen for so long before you hit another seam or stitched area and all the extra pushed fabric hits a wall and gets stitched over. Check your manual to see if there's a knob on your machine you can adjust to lessen the presser foot pressure. Try that and see what happens!


  7. I love that urban 9 patch and your FMQ-in glooks great! It sounds to me like the top foot is stretching the fabric too much. Assuming your top layer of fabric isn't too loose when you baste them together, I'd say it's maybe too much pressure, or that possibly the timing may be off... too slow on the bottom, too fast on the top. I'd mention it to the repair person. It may help to kind of use your hands to make sure the fabric is tight when you sew... especially to the left and right. Make sure you try this on a scrap fabric sandwich first... Good luck!

  8. I love those potholders! Nice work, Pat. Great colors on Urban 9 Patch.

    I agree with the presser foot pressure comments above. Please let us know what happens if/when you adjust pressure.

  9. Love the potholder idea!!! Great small project! The feathers are so nice!(Enough of the "!!!!!" lol! -oops) Accountability and sharing sure helps to keep me motivated along with the others, I am sure. Hugs, Doreen

  10. I to have this problem with my Janome 6500, I have tried changing the pressure, but still have the top layer stretching.

  11. You've done a lot this week. Your feathers look great!
    The walking foot problem sounds like a tension issue. Good luck with that!

  12. Don't you hate it when your walking foot acts like a snow plow? It's a good idea to check your presser foot pressure first, but from my experience, it's the walking foot and not the quilter to blame! Not all walking feet are created equal. I started off with a Viking Lily sewing machine and asked for a walking foot to go with it. They sold me whatever they had and I found I was still getting puckers. After about 6 months, I returned to them and told them what was happening. They checked my walking foot and told me that I had been sold a generic foot. So then they sold me the REAL walking foot (much more expensive, of course) and it worked great.

    Now I own a Bernina 440QE sewing machine and it has the best walking foot that I have ever used. I think all Bernina walking feet are the highest quality (and a price tag to go with it - but worth it!)

    I also have a Janome Jem sewing machine that I use for classes (I teach beginning quilting, free motion and other classes). I find that I occasionally get puckers when I use the walking foot with it. It is the correct foot for my machine, but I think it's the quality of the foot itself that is causing the problem.

    I hope this helps. Good luck!

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  14. Hi Pat, your feathers look great. I love the binding stripes too. My favorite print for binding are stripes they look great.

    Your urban nine-patch looks awesome. I would want to try it sometime. Love the colors.