After what seemed like ages, I’ve FINALLY finished quilting the top of the Hungry Caterpillar quilt. I think I’ve been attempting to do FMQ since one year ago! Really glad I’ve broken out of my comfort zone to try out more FMQ designs, instead of the usual meandering. From what seemed impossible, I’m proud of myself of having come thus far.
I’m now left with the final step of doing binding….yeah! Targeting to get it finished over the next two weeks. Can’t wait to complete this, as I’ve promised Eponine to complete it by her 12th birthday in April. In fact, this is supposed to be for her birthday pressie last April! LOL
It has been a long while since I updated my progress of the Hungry Caterpillar quilt. Yes I’m still on it! Just that I’ve stopped work for quite a while due to other ongoing projects.
I’ve been working hard at it over the past 2 weeks, doing FMQ on the blocks, sashes & borders. I’m at the last lap of sewing the borders now.
It has been an uphill task though, dealing with my machine tension issues once again! This issue has been plaguing me for years, one day I’m on tension 4 & the next day it goes up to 9! I ended up with a 9 currently. It looks way too high but somehow the only setting which doesn’t give me nesting issues at the back of quilt. Oh well…
I’ve been viewing Leah Day’s Craftsy video on FMQ which I’ve subscribed to, to learn new FMQ designs. I love meandering designs but getting sick of it at the same time, so I reckon it’s time to learn something new! If we don’t push or challenge ourselves, then I guess we’ll never progress. It’s not easy though & it gets so demoralising when you see how beautifully & skillfully Leah sews when mine looks like a pile of junk! However, after practicing for the past 2 weeks, I must admit that I’ve improved in my quilting with better control now.
Check out what I’ve done so far. I’ve tried echoing designs, paisley & swirls, among others!
|Finished quilt top of table runner using charm squares
I’ve finished piecing the top of a table runner using all charm squares. Used a pattern from Moda Bake Shop at the following:
This runner is very easy to piece together and I think I completed it in just 5-6 hours (over three nights).
Just finished basting it together using poly batting and here’s how it looks like. I’m using charm squares from Moda’s Nature Chorus by Fig Tree Quilts.
|Quilt top with basting done
I’ve even started a little FMQ using meandering designs. However I’ve decided to stop for now and continue again after getting my quilting gloves and supreme slider as I’m having some difficulty maneuvering it under the needle, which has led to some uneven stitches.
|Can you see the ugly and uneven FMQ stitches?
Having successfully machine quilted a quilt for Edith, I told myself that it’s time to move on and attempt FMQ. These three words struck a fear into me as it meant that I had to leave my comfort zone of using a walking foot, drop my feed dogs and switch to an intimidating darning foot! Not forgetting the insecurities of having to deal with the freedom that the darning foot brings!
I had attended a machine quilting class more than 2 years ago, which taught me the basics of using a walking foot and FMQ. Since then, I was so overcome with fear I didn’t even wanna recognise the existence of the darning foot and hid it in a sewing box so I would not see it! LOL. Even though I did bring it out once or twice to practice, but my stitches were so horrible I quickly hid it in the box again.
Since the completion of Edith’s quilt, I told myself I ought to get out of my hibernation and get some FMQ done! Hence, I’ve been working hard at it since May and practicing on small practice quilts. It was frustrating and discouraging at first, as I simply can’t get rid of eyelashes on the back, loopy threads on the front and getting even stitches. Took me almost one month to trial and error, to troubleshoot my tension problems by playing with the top tension settings, needles, threads, machine speed etc.
Anyway, my perseverance and patience finally paid off after I raised my feed dogs. This was after I wrote to Leah Day for advice on my tension problems. Leah is just so awesome and talented. As young as she is, she created the Free Motion Quilting Project to help fellow quilters who have problems with FMQ. I’ve been religiously following through her online tutorials since May and have learnt so much!
I’m still not very good in FMQ yet, but with practice, I could see my stitches getting more even and my confidence level increasing. It’s just PRACTICE, PRACTICE AND MORE PRACTICE! I’ve even started some FMQ on a table runner I’m working on right now. I hope that with more practice, I could be as good as many quilters out there.