Recently, I put the pedal to the metal to finish quilting a few projects that I have blogged about HERE and HERE. I was able to finally conquer the problem I was having with my Free Motion Quilting.
I thought I had tried everything, but to no avail. The stitches on the back were just not being "locked" in properly, no matter how much or little I played with the tension, the needles, or the way I sat! For some reason, I had been ignoring my thread. It was good quality thread so I had presumed that was not the issue. But guess what? I found out, by trial and error and making dozens of quilt sandwiches, that my particular sewing machine does not like to do FMQ with thread on a cone! I changed to using smaller spools of thread and my issue has been resolved. I still have lots of practicing to do, am far from perfect, but at least I know how to make my machine behave.
With the IWK charity quilt, I used inspiration from several quilters to plan my FMQ. For the centres, I found a Craftsy class tutorial called The Secrets of Free-Motion Quilting by Christina Cameli. I purchased it when it was on sale-Craftsy always has great sales! I watched several of the lessons and really liked what she calls Basic Echoing Designs. I played around a bit and used a tear drop shape which I echoed to fill in the centres.
I am also an avid follower of Natalia Bonner of Piece 'n Quilt. Her work is amazing! I purchased her first book awhile back, Beginner's Guide to Free Motion Quilting, and have used it as a resource ever since. I used her Ovals loop pattern in the borders of each block. As you can see, it's far from perfect, but I am happy with it!
I also finished quilting my little whales baby quilt. I wanted to keep the idea of waves for the quilting so used a serpentine stitch on the quilt.
It's a great day for quilting!