|Photo Courtesy of Martingale, Brent Kane photographer|
I am ashamed to admit that somewhere along the way, my piecing ability took off and I lost the confidence to attempt free motion quilt (fmq). As I documented last month, I stopped daring to try new things and I became scared to ruin my work.
Then recently, Molly contacted me and asked if I would like to be part of the blog-hop celebrating the launch of her new book. Having experienced Molly's enthusiasm and encouragement first hand, I couldn't think of a better person to write a beginners fmq book.
I was thrilled for her and honoured to be asked to take part! How could I say no to the invitation?!
At the same time, I was slightly nervous- what if I let her down and my FMQ was still a badly tensioned mess? That wouldn't be a very good advertisement for her book would it!?
I decided that it was time to get over myself, and start being adventurous with fmq again.
Before starting to sew, I paid particular attention to the chapter where Molly describes how to fix tension problems. My previous FMQ experience has been beset by these kind of problems, so I was determined to learn how to fix any problems. Again, Molly had great advice- don't panic- but work logically through the problem to find the issue. It was this advice that spurred me on to write my mental checklist.
|My First Practise Square after reading Molly's Book|
I took a deep breathe and started to quilt a practise sandwich. Even though I trusted Molly as a teacher, and I had faith in her, I freely admit that I expected the worst of myself. Apart from the fact that I kept on forgetting how to join an 'o' in cursive writing, I was amazed by what I achieved! I didn't need to fiddle with the machine settings at all. The tension was perfect, the loops of my letters were smooth and the stitches were as even as I could dare to expect of myself.
I showed my husband and a look of amazement crossed his face. He cautiously asked "am I allowed to say that I'm amazed?!" Of course he was allowed, because I was blown away myself!
Molly's book is filled with small fun projects that you can use to help you perfect your skills.Tempted as I was to try them all, I decided that I had better use my time efficiently and finish a project that had been on my WIP pile for a wee while. As is often the case, I had a pieced block that was waiting to be quilted. It needed to be turned into a cushion for a friend.
my ballet shoes pattern, so I decided that I would quilt the word "dance" on the back of the cushion. I had a quick practise and discovered that the word "hello" had been a lot easier than "dance", but after a couple of attempts it got easier.
Can you spot where it says "dancing"? I spaced out while I was quilting so a bit of quick problem solving was required!
After those initial lines of dance, I decided to add a few extra words- ballet, jazz, modern etc... In hindsight it was possibly not the best decision, but I'm still learning this quilting lark and can forgive myself a few mistakes along the way.
For the front of the cushion, I did a mixture of designs. Firstly I stitched the ditch around the ballet shoes (I used my walking foot for this). Then I stippled around the feet and added a couple of words in as I went. Finally I wrote "dance, dancer, dancing" around the border. I'm really pleased how well it turned out!
Over the years I have gained quite a bit of fmq know-how which I haven't always managed to implement. What this book did for me was to bring it all together in a logical way. I'm not sure if I can pinpoint any one thing that made the difference, but I have a huge "Thank you" to say to Molly. I finally dare to do fmq and I'm not planning on stopping any time soon.
As a relative novice to FMQ, who is still getting to grips with the technique, my final pieces of advice are these:
Believe in yourself- If I can do it on my middle of the road Toyota sewing machine, you can too.
Be realistic, don't immediately blame your machine or rush to change all the settings on your machine when something goes wrong, it could be as simple as needing a new needle or giving the machine some oil.
Stay logical, believe in yourself (yup I'll say that twice because its important).
Find yourself a quilting friend or two who believe in you- it makes all the difference!
And finally get yourself a copy of Molly's book- its a really excellent resource full of help and encouragement.
|See- I've moved onto pebbling and all sorts of other fancy quilting designs since finishing the ballet shoes cushion.|
If you are struggling with your FMQ, then I have good news for you. I have a copy of Molly's Ebook to giveaway to one lucky winner. To be in the draw leave a comment below. It can be anything, but I'd love to hear about your fmq experiences.
I will leave the draw open until 8:00pm on Sunday 23rd November NZT
Please make sure that you leave some sort of way that I can contact you. I will do everything I can to contact the winner, but if I have not heard from them within 5 days, I will draw a new winner.
If you would like to find out more about Molly's book (or have more opportunities to win), then drop by the other stops on the Blog Hop:
com/ November 11th
Amanda Jean http://crazymomquilts.
blogspot.com November 13th
Amy Friend http://duringquiettime.com November 14th
Angela Walters http://www.
quiltingismytherapy.com November 15th
Juliet van der Heijden The Tartankiwi November 17th
Lori Kennedy http://theinboxjaunt.com November 19th
Cindy Weins http://www.liveacolorfullife.Thermoweb http://thermoweb.com/blog/ November 21st
net November 20th
|Molly's book also inspired the quilting on this cushion- there is no stopping me now!|