Free Motion queen-sized quilt practice on a standard domestic machine

Peggy Aare Free Motion Queen Practice

Front and Back showing Free Motion Quilting in a typical patchwork quilt. Click photo for a closer view.

I’m practicing  InboxJaunt  free motion quilting on a queen sized project.  I took some orphan blocks that no one wanted because the calicoes were “unfashionable” and constructed a top using lengthwise strips.  I Started with only a couple middle strips and their batting, later adding more strips and batting to one side of the center section.

The left side of the photo above is the “front” and is the side I’m sewing on. The right side is the (mostly plain) backside.  I’ve lined up the photos so the elements on the front side of the quilt continue to the photo of the backside.  I’ve marked dark lines on the photo of the backside to emphasize the elements on the front that are guiding my quilting. The fabric strips on the back  are not intended to match the strip widths on the front.   I’m sending the quilt through the machine, not with the strips running right to left as shown in the pictures, but from top to bottom, FM-quilting a 4″ to 6″ wide swath at a time.

At the stage I’m at it’s just as well that the calicoes hide the quilting.  This is, after all, PRACTICE.

I started on a dark calico strip and used Lori’s leaf chain

On more of those strips later I used her oak leaf chain

For the pink-&-dark-green squares I used one of several flowers — the rose, or the square flower , or the easy flower.

For the muslin triangles I used the Maypop leaf, sewing a pair in each triangle, and starting and stopping for each…  because it’s just PRACTICE. Nothing I’m doing is show-ribbon quality but that’s not the point.. and for me will never be.  But learning is the point, and what I’ve learned is:

  • Dark calicos are hard to sew on if you are using a similarly colored dark thread.
  • Sewing backwards is difficult… but can be done if you are willing to have some “organic” looking outcomes.
  • I’ve had better luck (no wrinkles) with spray basting opposed to pinning.
  • I like doing this… and I like using a variety of patterns, switching back and forth with the ideas Lori posts on theinboxjaunt.com .

So, back to the sewing room:  the next step for me is to piece in another 30″ width of batting to what is already there and spray baste the back and top to it…  and see if I can mostly duplicate the quilting patterns I did on one side of the center strip while running the quilt through the machine in the opposite direction from how it was done the first time around.  Wish me luck!

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