Capturing Happiness

Friday, August 23, 2013

My first FMQ attempt

A month ago I started a beginners class for piecing a quilt at Calico Cats. I had so much fun and  met some fun ladies that were just as interested in quilting as I was. I have really had a hard time finding people in my circle of current friends. So being around people who had the same goal and interests as me was comforting and exciting. In the class we completed everything from piecing to sandwiching the quilt. As for the quilting  and binding, we were given some guidance and practice but it is up to us to finish it at home.

I started off with simple straight lines using my walking foot and a grey varigate thread. But once that was completed I just knew I had to try FMQ. I have been admiring (stalking) Leah Day's The Free Motion Quilt Project  for a while now. And she says practice is the key. Soooo, since this is my daughter's quilt I figured this would be the best time to practice, practice, practice. After all, I am hoping to be able to look back at this quilt and see how much I have progress as a quilter.

 First, I attempted the claw, but I would get side tracked and ended up making all kinds of waves and shapes.
 So I decided to set my goals
 1.  not to cross stitches (which I have)
2.  stay in the block (which I haven't)

It's all learning and so much fun! 

Now I am not sure what you would call this design but it was fun. My goal here was to learn control and to get 7 to 9 lines per triangle.

When starting to learn to FMQ I really think it helps to set small goals. Your first goal should be
how to control your hand motion speed and your foot pedal. I told my husband it was like driving a stick shift. It's all in the timing.

Once you get that down, then you will find yourself going wild in every direction. That's when you need to make small rules/goals. Trust me it's fun to go wild and crazy at first but like anything it gets out of control quick! 

Tonight I will be heading back up to Calico Cats for a Finish Up Friday! I am hoping to get help sandwiching Devin's quilt and maybe finish the quilting. I was always so scared to ask for help but now I am finding that is the only way I am going to learn. 

Have a great Weekend! A. 


  1. I've been quilting for almost 4 years and I am *still* learning how to control my pedal vs quilt movement speeds! FMQ is always a work in progress for me--always more to learn! You're doing a fantastic job on your first quilt!

    1. Thank you, I think that is the best part of FMQ "there is always more to learn!"

  2. you are so wise to set bit size goals I leaped in with both feet when I started and quilted a 60 by 60 quilt and didn't know that I could drop the feed dogs or what the darning foot was for so my first quilt was not fmq but stitch and lift foot and turn. Keep practicing and good luck

    1. I think if it wasn't for YouTube videos I would have done the same thing. "Lift foot and turn" I normally become addicted to watching tutorials way before I am actually ever try anything.

  3. Well Done for your first attempt ! I can tell you it is a lot better than mine :-)

    FMQ is definitely all about practice, continuously learning and trying something new.

  4. Welcome to the world of quilting. I would have never known you were a newbie. You did a wonderful job.

  5. What a great start! You sound like an instant fan - it isn't until you start FMQ that you can really tell how much fun it is.

  6. Amazing for the first attempt! Bite sized goals are great, but watch out - goals can take over - give yourself permission to not be perfect all the time. Some of my best efforts came from 'oops' moments. You're doing great!

  7. I think you are doing great. Just stick with it. There is a lot of support online. You have found a great place with Leah. She is one of the best teachers around!