machine quilting · quilts

September FMQ Challenge

I finally got to my September free-motion quilting challenge.  So far, I have gotten every month done on time, but I need to do more practice to really get better.  This month’s challenge was by Paula Reid.  It involved using a stencil for a motif design.  All I can say is that at this point, I would have done a much better job hand quilting it.  I just got a new sewing machine (yay!) so this was the first free-motion quilting I tried.  I probably should have warmed up with stippling first, but no, I just jumped into the motif.


I guess if I used matching thread, it wouldn’t look too bad.  My stitching in the stippling is pretty consistent.  I was playing around with having long pieces in the stippling.  I would call this “seaweed” stippling, as opposed to “puzzle piece” stippling.

Overall, my tension and stitch length is not too bad, but I definitely need practice on tracing a line.  I tried really slowing down to trace it, but then I had trouble getting the smooth curves.  I think I will tend to be a free-style machine quilter and stick to hand if I want a detailed motif.  I think I’d give myself about a 7/10.  I have improved a lot this year, but still need lots of practice.

Thanks to sewcalgal for organizing this challenge and all the wonderful teachers for participating.



3 thoughts on “September FMQ Challenge

  1. I think you are doing well. It is so hard to get comfortable backtracking over stitching. I will let you know that there is a way to machine quilt a feathered wreath that only requires backtracking every-other bump on the end of the feathers. Can’t exactly describe it here, but you may want to look for an on-line tutorial, or check in machine quilting books. It really helps to not have to backtrack over everything! Keep at it. I used to think I could never follow a stencil, but I actually quite like using them now and I have been at this for only a year. : )


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