Monday, February 22, 2016

2016 Free Motion Quilt Along - Part IV Let's Get Quilting!

Greetings fellow quilters!

Welcome to Part IV of the
2016 Redbird Quilt Co.
Free Motion Quilt Along
using the whimsical 
Lewe's Balloons Growth Chart
by Susy Bleasby
for World of Susybee

It's time to Free Motion Quilt!! 

If you're just joining us be sure to checkout the previously published
Free Motion Quilt Along Posts:

Introduction => here
Sponsors =>  here
Supplies =>  here
Part I Pieced Borders =>  here
Part II Pin Basting ==>  here
How to Quilt That ==>  here
Part III Tools, Machine Setup & Practice ==> here

Also, do checkout our fantastic Sponsors and the awesome Giveaway products they've provided!
See that post ==> here

This week you're invited to watch 4 YouTube videos that cover
  • Straight line stitching with Aurifil 12Wt thread to stabilize the quilt top
  • FMQ Motif practice & quilting simple swirls, pebbles and echoes
Note: when watching the videos be sure to view on a device that allows you to see the embedded annotations.  There is a lot of useful information included via annotation.

Here is the Part IV video series:

Quilting Motif Practice:

It's very important to practice any and all quilting motifs before you begin to quilt them.  I love practicing with pencil and paper, a whiteboard, or with a dry erase pen on a mirror!   You can practice with clear plastic sheets, Press 'n Seal, or plexi-glass positioned over your quilt top!  Do whatever it takes to draw-out and practice your quilt motif, building muscle memory each time you practice. When you finally sit with needle and thread the motion will be simplified if you practice ahead!

In this video (click image below) I share (on a whiteboard) the swirl, loop, pebble and echo motifs that we'll use for some areas on our Lewe's Balloons Growth chart.   

Stabilize the Quilt: Top Stitch w/ Walking Foot

We've discussed using straight line stitching to stabilize the quilt top before you begin to FMQ.   I LOVE to use Aurifil 12Wt thread and a walking foot for this step.

This video is specific to Stabilizing the Quilt top using a Walking or Even Feed Foot.

FMQ Motif Quilting - Lewe and Swirls

Woohoo!  Now let's get quilting Lewe with Swirls and Loops... we'll do some outline quilting too!
This is an image of the Janome Convertible Free Motion Quilting Foot Set.  The foot holder has an adjustable spring used to raise or lower the quilting foot on the fabric.

Ideally your quilt foot should rest just above the quilt sandwich.  A foot that is too high may cause your machine to skip stitches.   A foot riding too low may push the quilt top and risk the creation of puckers when quilting.
The video below introduces you to swirls and loops on Lewe!
Here is still image once Lewe is quilted:
I love the texture and the Aurifil 50Wt color #2600 is perfect for Lewe.

FMQ Motif Quilting - Pebbles and Echoes

How about that bee!  Adding pebbles and echoes gives dimension and implies movement.   We also outline and echo the cloud for beautiful texture.

Watch this video for more information (click image below).
Here is a still image of the bee pebbles and echo quilting
Here is a still image of the cloud outline and echo quilting

 Congratulations on another FMQ lesson under your belt!  If you like, apply your new motifs to the other clouds, bee and ewe on the panel -- I'll share still images of those next week!

Thanks for stopping by and for joining us for the 2016 FMQ along!

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Thanks again for stopping by...


  1. That looks soooo cute! If I have finished my baby quilt for a collegue, I will start with it - because now, I will have a reason for use in about 6 months. :D Ok, I bought such a panell two years ago, because I love the line!
    Greetings, Rike

    1. Rike -- WOOHOO! How exciting is that... Congratulations on the reason to need this growth chart. We can't wait to learn more. xo - Karen

    2. Hi Karen,
      time went by! *gg* Our little boy is already 8 weeks old and now, I started to quilt my panel. Just wondering about the background. If you like, you can have a look at my blog. Just posted today my first steps.
      Greetings, Rike

  2. This is so beautiful and soooo inspiring.
    I hope to sit down and go over all of your tutorials and get learning this. I want to so bad,
    I am just so busy right now taking care of my twin 92 year olds :-D

    1. Rosemary B -- Hello! Thanks so much for joining in and for leaving a comment. We're ok with you moving at whatever pace works for you. And best of luck with that family of yours.

  3. Hi Karen. Your tutorials are fabulous and so well done. I have just one question at this stage - the top-stitching in black: is that feed dogs up or down? I presume up (it's not FMQ) but I don't think you have covered that after the tutorial on feed dogs up/down for FMQ. I'm just catching up with these now; had my 7700 in for service and I was without it for three weeks....grrr....

    1. Hi Gemini -- Great question.... When working with the walking foot having the feed dogs up is required. The feed dogs work together with the foot to send the fabric evenly through the stitching path. Of course, when I FMQ I also leave the feed dogs up and cover them so they are not scratching my Slider. You can see that setup here: I'm very excited you're quilting along with us!!

  4. Can you post pictures of your other Lewe and clouds? Thanks.

    1. Hi j k -- see Part V blog post for images of the other clouds and tips on quilting the inside of them. I haven't quilted the other Lewe yet (the one at the top). I was waiting to finish the balloons before I do that. Would love to see where you are at so far... Sew exciting!

  5. Ok, cancel that request. I'm a ding dong and thought you said to do it after part IV. So I did the other clouds (except the cloud behind the balloons) and the other Lewe already. I am watching part V now.

  6. And I posted pictures on your fb