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Aug 2, 2010

Learning Free Motion Quilting is Frustrating....

Aug 2, 2010
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So it's probably my own fault that I've put myself under the gun to get this quilt done by T's 4th birthday (in 4 days! yikes.).... but I am supposed to make major headway in completing this quilt this week.  I also decided this was the perfect time to learn free motion quilting.  Deadline + new skill = STRESS!!!!

Here's the scenario:

I was not able to sew very long before THIS happened.  Repeatedly.  The needle thread jumbled a bit and the strands frayed.  I could hear it happening before I could see it.  I tried re-threading everything again and again.

Problem #2:  What I like to call "Bobbin Spit-up"

I was attempting to hold the bobbin thread when I started up sewing to avoid it getting tangled below, but it didn't seem to be working either.

Time to walk away.  I came up to write my first draft of this post.  An angry post.  A frustrated post.  Why did I decide to do this in the midst of Birthday Week?

Time to regroup.  Ate a some cake.  That helped a little.

Hours later it dawns on me to change the needle.  Why I didn't try it before I'll never know.  I also referenced my "Quilting Bible" and read that I should hold both threads when starting up free motion to remedy the "spit-up" situation.

Ok, happy sewing now.  I'll show you the rest when it's finished (hopefully, on time)..
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  1. Ha! Your post made me remember my first forays into FMQing and the exact same problems happened.

    Try pulling up your threads and hang on to them as you start sewing. Changing your needle will also probably help.

    You also don't HAVE to go through that top thread guide that your arrow was pointing at. Sometimes I find I shred less thread if I skip that one and go straight to the loop before the needle.

    It depends on the thread though. Maybe try a polyester thread? There are many reasons this could be happening, but keep playing with it and you're sure to get the hang of it by the end.

    Just remember, the bigger you make your shapes - the faster the quilt will get done!

    Good luck,

    Leah Day

  2. Ah yes bobbin spit up!! Its the worst! I to had similar issues with other projects, and it is amazing what a brand-spanking-new needle can do! Love this blog- I'm slowly venturing into the quilting world and I love that you post about more "modern" looking quilts!

  3. Try a topstitch needle - the eye is twice as big - it let's the thread move round as you move the fabric every-which-way under your needle. Use at least a 90/14 for free motion stitching.Superior Threads do a titanium coated version that stays sharp for much longer. Sometimes we forget that sewing is really all about needles and thread!


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