Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sweet Stars Sew Along - Machine and Free Motion Quilting Tips and a GIVEAWAY!



Today is my turn as the Guest Blogger on the Sweet Stars Sewalong and I will be sharing all my tips and tricks for successful Machine and Free Motion Quilting.  



This Sweet Stars Quilt was designed by the lovely Peta from She Quilts A Lot.  You can grab a copy of the pattern from Peta's store here and Fat Quarter shop have kits to make this quilt for yourself.

A lot of people find this part of the Quilting process a little daunting - mostly it comes down to practice - the more you practice the better your machine quilting will become.  I am sharing some of the things I think that will help the most and they ways I prefer to do things, to set yourself up to enjoy and be successful at machine quilting.

NEEDLES

* Make sure to change your machine needle at least every 8 sewing hours or 
   at the start of a new quilt.
* I recommend using Universal size 80 needles
* If using thicker style threads such as Aurifl 12wt - use a Topstitch needle.


THREADS

* I love to use a variety of different threads when machine quilting - you can      
   create lots of interest and detail in your quilt by using different colours, 
   weights and specialty style threads such as Metallic and Variegated 
   threads.
* My favourites are Aurifil threads - in 50wt, 12wt and Brillo (metallic). Always     
   use a good quality thread so that you don't have trouble with snapping,    
   shedding or breaking.
* I like to use the same thread usually top and bottom.  If you make them
   different colours then you need to test your tension on a scrap piece of 
   fabric first so that the thread colours do not blend through to the alternate 
   side.


MARKING TOOLS

* My favourite tools to mark up a design on a quilt are Masking Tape, Clover    
   Herra Marker or this Sewline Air-erasable Fabric Pen.  Make sure that if you   
   use any pens or fabric markers - you read the instructions carefully for how to 
   remove the pen/marks from you quilt before you iron or wash your quilt.  


SANDWICHING YOUR QUILT

* With a Quilt always have your wadding and backing at least 4in larger around  
   all sides of your quilt.  I allow 2in larger for Mini Quilts or Cushions.
* I like to use natural Cotton Batting - there is a large choice of different types 
   of fibre content for Battings - each will yield a different result when quilted.
* I prefer to Pin-baste my quilts - as shown in the picture.  Pin about a "fistful" 
   apart.  Make sure to remove pins from the area you are machine quilting as  
   you go.
* When using white background fabrics I prefer to use a "Bleached White"  
   Cotton Batting so that the white stays nice and bright.  Natural Batting can 
   leave white fabrics looking "discoloured".


FREE MOTION QUILTING

* Free Motion quilting requires attaching the Free Motion Foot to your machine 
   and dropping down the feed dogs (the serrated teethe under the stitch plate).  
   When you are stitching with these - you are in complete control of your 
   machine and its sewing - this takes practice but the more you do the better 
   you will become. 
* It is important not to create "drag" on your quilt when machine quilting.  Roll  
   the quilt so that the bulk is on the outside of the machine rather than in the 
   quilting bed (neck).
* Get comfortable - make sure you position yourself so that you are at the right 
   height and can sit well at the chair so that you are not "hunched" over your  
   machine.
* Start in 1/4 of the quilt and work your way around in a circular motion, 
   unrolling the quilt as you go if you are working on a Free Motion design.  
   When Machine Quilting lines, sew all the horizontals and then all of the  
   verticals.  Take your quilt out of the machine and re-roll when needed to help 
   reduce the bulk of the quilt in the quilting bed and to make sure you don't 
   have "drag" on your quilt.

QUILTING PATTERNS

* There are lot of different patterns you can make when Machine/Free Motion 
   Quilting
* Machine Quilting - you can make Cross Hatching, Double Cross Hatching or   
   Curved Cross-Hatching Tram-lines just to name a few I use regularly.
* Free Motion Patterns I love to use are Stippling, Loops, Geometric Patterns,   
   and designs which incorporate all of these. 
* I recommend going to your local Quilting store and taking lessons on Free   
   Motion and Machine Quilting.  This will really help to increase your confidence 
   and you can work through with them if you are having any issues with your 
   machine and having someone right there can really help.  It is also a great 
   way of practicing. 



               



SWEET STARS MINI QUILT/CUSHION

* From the pattern I made several of the blocks and then joined them to make a    
   Mini Quilt.  I used my favourite design which is Loops. This is my "go to" Free 
   Motion design as I can sew it quickly and looks great when the design   
   incorporates several blocks and lines within the patterns are less obvious.




EDIT _ GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED GIVEAWAY - If you would like to win a Fat 8th Bundle of Sweet Orchard by Sedef of Down Grapevine Lane for Riley Blake Fabrics then you can leave a comment below.  There is one bundle up for grabs - open internationally and a random name will be drawn on Friday 30th September.  (make sure to leave a contact email)


Happy Sewing
Jemima x x

57 comments:

  1. Thanks for those tips Jemima, I find doing my machine & free motion quilting very daunting so hoping when I can sit & quilt my mini quilt I have ready to go it won't be so daunting now. Loving everything you're working in lately. ��

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    1. forgot to leave my email - possumperth@westnet.com.au

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  2. Great tips, thank you. I have a quilt that is ready to quilt but I keep putting it off. I might try one of the designs you have listed above. I think a 'learn to free motion quilt' lesson is going to be on my Christmas list this year! I love the variety of threads you use. Xx

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  3. Thank you for your Quilting tips. I know that it is very impotant to practice, practice, practice. Now I have a motivation to give it a try. The collection "Sweet Orchard" is wonderful. LG Birgit

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  4. Didn't realize I should change my needle as often as you recommend. Thanks for sharing your expertise.

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  5. Thanks for all the great tips, and the fabric is beautiful.

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  6. Thanks for the advise. I see a partner in FMQ I would love to try. You work is so pretty and fresh! Thank you for the chance to win such bewutidul fabrics.

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  7. Thank you for all of your tips! I need to change my needles!!

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  8. Thanks for great tips, I always forget about changing needles! I really should start practicing the free motion quilting so I can actually finish some minis. Great giveaway too!

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  9. Thank you for all of your tips! I need to change my needles!!

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  10. Some great tips that I look forward to trying - thanks

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  11. Great tips! Love the mini quilt!

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  12. Love your quilt!!! Thanks for the quilting tips too....I've always just used my walking foot and now I'm starting to use my FMQ foot!

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  13. Loops are my faves too...I like to throw in simple shapes likes hearts and flowers to jazz it up sometimes! Thanks for sharing your tips and for the giveaway!

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  15. Loops are my faves too...I like to throw in simple shapes likes hearts and flowers to jazz it up sometimes! Thanks for sharing your tips and for the giveaway!

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  16. My sweet 7-year-old would love these fabrics for her sewing projects and I'm thankful for the helpful tips.

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  17. I'm new to quilting, so thank you for your advice here! I'll have to look at more on this blog!

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  18. Great tips and lovely fabric! Thank you for sharing!
    satterfieldfamily@sbcglobal.net

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  19. Thanks for the tips! I think I'm going to give it a try as I really like this look.
    sherrybaby09@gmail.com

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  20. Beautiful. Thanks for the advice!

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  21. Thank you for all the great advice. Love the pattern.

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  22. Thanks for all of the wonderful tips. I am notorious for not changing my needle often enough.

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  23. Thanks for the useful tips and design ideas. I love making quilt tops but lack confidence when it comes to quilting them. Will try again after reading this. Fingers crossed for the giveaway too, such sweet fabrics!

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  24. Jemima, It's nice to meet you. Henceforth I'll change my needle upon your recommendations. All in all some great tips and I'm still learning FMQ, love the wavy line/quadrants. Thankyou.

    bluestarof2(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  25. Wonderful tips, thanks!

    Sara.wood.126@gmail.com

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  27. Your project turned out lovely. Thank you for showing your tools and tips. janie.mccombs@yahoo.com

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  28. wonderful tips. I've really enjoyed this sew along and all of the excellent advice given. Thanks for the giveaway as well. kaylyn.moore@hotmail.com

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    1. Congratulations Kaylyn - you are the winner of this Giveaway. I am sending you an email now.

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  29. Thankyou Gemima ... love your tips and your giveaway... gorjuss fabrics xxx
    vickitucek @ gmail.com

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  30. Thanks for the machine/FMQ tips! I need to practice the FMQ more as I seem to have trouble with drag even with minis. Beautiful quilt!
    Kara.Neely@yahoo.com

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  32. Beautiful fabrics! I'm just learning how to FMQ!

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  33. Beautiful fabrics! I'm just learning how to FMQ!

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  34. I still find FMQ a struggle--even after all these years! I'd love to win the FQ bundle!

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  35. Beautiful blocks! Thank you for sharing your quilting guidance. -- soparkaveataoldotcom

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  36. Thank you for sharing your quilting tips, I feel a bit more confident now in trying free motion quilting and would love to win the fat quarter bundle. My machines in the shop now, and I've been hand quilting in the meantime, but can't wait to get back to learning more about machine quilting.

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  37. Thank you for sharing your quilting tips, I feel a bit more confident now in trying free motion quilting and would love to win the fat quarter bundle. My machines in the shop now, and I've been hand quilting in the meantime, but can't wait to get back to learning more about machine quilting.

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  38. Love the fabric, your sample quilt! I especially am enjoying white backgrounds! This is a great giveaway!!

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  39. I've only done one FMQ project and it was for my toddler! The quilt turned out ok I guess for my first time. At least my three year old didn't complain! Thanks for the chance!! sardog336@yhoo.com

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  40. I'm just learning FMQ and it's still so new to me but I'm not giving up I do appreciate all the advice you give and hope to win the fat 8ths.

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  41. Your project is so beautiful and thanks for all of the great quilting tips too!

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  42. Thank you for the tips on machine quilting. It is true that I get panic stricken when thinking of quilting.

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  43. Thank you for all the great tips and the chance at the giveaway

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  44. Thanks for the great tips and giveaway!
    Mhchong@aol.com

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  45. Thanks for this great blog post! I've been kind of intimidated with FMQ - anxious to give it a try now! Thank you!
    Dori
    redfeedsack@gmail.com

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  46. I am very much a beginner with quilting and FMQ. I suffered a huge case of "paralysis through overanalysis" on my first quilt. I was so afraid of not doing it "right" I didn't do anything. I finally realized it's mine, and if I screw it up horribly, it will still be finished. I love that quilt, and it has hundreds of errors. I also skydive. It is not nearly as forgiving as quilting. Thanks for the chance to win. momoftana at yahoo dot com

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  47. The Post seems to be good i really gather lot of information from the post thanks for sharing this awesome post..coser remalladoras

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