Saturday 6 October 2018

Brushing up on my free motion quilting......

Last time I showed you the latest quilt top that I had finished piecing and mentioned that I was getting ready to quilt it.  I always get nervous about starting the quilting on a nicely pieced quilt top in case I mess things up and ruin it!!

I decided that as it has been quite a while since I quilted a bigger size of quilt and, since I needed to brush up on my free motion quilting, that I would quilt a few sections of a whole cloth practise quilt that I started back in May of 2017.

In May 2017, I attended a fabulous class close to where I was living at the time called FMQ 'Beyond the Basics'.  The class was run by the lovely Hazel and Terry who are the team behind In Stitches.  On the second day of the three day course, we were encouraged to make a largish (1 metre x 1 metre) practise quilt which we basted into a sandwich and then just quilted.  

I don't know if you have ever tried this but, quilting a quite large, completely blank canvass is actually quite daunting.  I had completed a reasonable amount of the quilting while I was actually at the class and which I told you about in this post at the time. However, I then put the quilt to one side and, I have been filling in sections of it here and there over time.

I find this size of practise piece extremely useful as, it gives you the chance to get used to the weight of a larger piece of patchwork which practising on smaller pieces doesn't give you.  It is quite a jump from free motion quilting on a small practise piece of say 14 inches square to a full size baby quilt and this larger practise piece is great for preparing you for the weight and drag that a larger quilt gives.

Each time I have filled in a section I have tried to use different designs, using some of my favourites from online classes that I have taken with Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps and Lori Kennedy of the Inbox Jaunt.  I also have books written by them both which are great for looking through for design inspiration.

I am excited to say that while I was practising this time, I finished filling in the rest of the quilt sandwich and I have now bound it and turned it into a finished piece.  I am just delighted with how it looks and I think I am ready now to start quilting the baby quilt top!!  It is probably just as well as I have three more to make over the coming weeks too!!

I have one more thing to do before I can get started.... I need to give my sewing machine a new needle, a clean up and some oil. 

Thank you for visiting and have a lovely weekend!


  1. That looks so cool. What a great idea to make a big practice panel that is so beautiful, and full of memories of all your machine quilting. Love it.

  2. What a great idea to create the whole cloth quilt for practice and your resulting quilt is just beautiful . You will do a lovely job on the baby quilt for sure , your to skills are great!

  3. Thank you for the tips about using a larger piece for practice. Your finished whole cloth is very pretty and interesting to gaze upon!

  4. THAT is a practice piece?? Nope - I disagree - it's a beautiful piece of whole cloth and you should be proud of it.

  5. Yes, to all of the oil, cleaning etc as I've noticed that lots of my FMQ does add up to lots of fluff. This FMQ on your end looks as though you've become a master at it!!I am following you on IS now too!

    1. Thanks Caroline! The fluff certainly does build up! Look forward to following you on IG too! Christine x

  6. Christine, your practicing has really paid off! Your quilting looks so awesome! Happy stitching!

  7. Beautiful quilting Mummy xxx

  8. We are from the same camp! I have a just smaller than twin size practice quilt that has oodles of negative space. I’ve been filling it in for a few years now for exactly the same purpose. Sometimes I just feel like playing, but mostly I use it for practice before putting the real quilt under the needle. I start with a white board and move up the scale. It’s lots of fun, and in the end, I’ll have an almost beautiful quilt!

  9. A good idea to practice first Christine, you have done your homework and the quilt will be lovely.


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