Feb 18 14

Finally…Some free Motion Quilting!

This month may well go down as one of the most oppressive, never-ending, non-fun months of my life!  Part of it is winter…tons and tons of snow that never melts framed by grey skies and the other part is just tons and tons of paperwork/computer work that never seems to end.  Finally, the last week has seen some light of day and I have gotten some quilting done!  It never ceases to amaze me how important some creative work is for my soul.
Anyway, here is a quilt where I’ve been playing with some ruler work on a home domestic sewing machine.  I forgot to take a picture after I’d created the “skeleton” for my FMQ, but the skeleton (aka the pair of arches) is quickly made using a curved ruler:
My favorite line of rulers are the Fine Line Continuous Curve Rulers and I used the 6 1/2 inch and the 10 inch ruler for these arches.  Here’s what these rulers look like:
…and you can find the 6 1/2 inch ruler here and the 10 inch ruler here.  Once I’d created the inner and outer arches, I filled the bottom with McTavishing with an emphasis on swirls and I like how that came out.  Next up, I added a feather to fill the upper section.  I used a slightly different color of thread but it’s pretty subtle:
I am deliberately trying to not completely fill a channel when I add an internal feather structure because the look seems “cleaner.”   I like the way it came out, but wanted to crank it up a bit, so I went back in with Robison Anton 24 karat gold rayon thread and hyperquilted the feather.  You can see that it adds something in this photo where only half of the feather has been hyperquilted:
but I like this photo better:
…and here is the whole feather hyperquilted:
I repeated this between each block but there’s a lot of other space on this quilt that needs to be filled and I haven’t figured out what to do in those spots yet, so this quilt is being put on the back burner.  I have a few other quilts that have just been languishing and I’m feeling a need to totally finish a project… ANY project at this point, so I’m bouncing back and forth between a few of them.  I had started quilting this next quilt a few months ago  and then never got back to it.  If you look at the center and the edges, you’ll see some feather quilting that was done using a stencil:
Here’s a close up of what the center feather shape looks like after it’s been hyperquilted and echo-outlined a couple of times:
My goal for today was to create some type of structure between each pair of feathers that could “marry” the center feather section to all the outer feather structures that have already been quilted.  Here’s a closeup of the space that needs to be filled with some type of a “bridge:”
You can see that my ruler work this time came out not so great!  I thought about ripping it out but then was too lazy to do it.  Next up, I filled these skeletons with another feather structure:
I don’t notice the imperfections of the framework as much now that the feather is inside it…not sure what to make of that.  Just to give you an idea of what I mean when I say I’m creating these structures to use as a bridge, here’s a shot where two of the four bridges have been stitched and you’ll get a sense of how they connect the center to the outside structures.  You’ll see these if you look along the horizontal axis of the center of the quilt:
 I went back in and echo-outlined them a couple times w/turquoise rayon thread, just as I had on the other feather structures.  After that, I hyperquilted them with gold rayon thread, also like I’d done with the earlier feather structures.  Here’s what it looked like at that point:
Don’t they look like they are all meant to go together now?  Now to finish up the ruler work and feathers along the vertical axis!  If you haven’t tried playing with rulers yet, you really should.  This opens up a whole new world of FMQ possibilities.


  1. Karen Says:

    Beautiful work Patsy… I hope you have a chance to read this blog post… Thank your for continuing to inspire, teach and guide when it comes to FM feathers..


  2. SewCalGal Says:

    Drooling. Absolutely gorgeous free-motion quilting, quilts, machine embroidery, colors. I’m in love.


  3. Sally Bramald Says:

    What a pleasure to see you doing what I love you doing most. That quilting is superb!

  4. Suzan Says:

    Love the arches and fill patterns! This really has been one heck of a winter. I have so many ideas and a total lack of ambition. I think I just need a couple of days of moderate temperatures and melting snow!

  5. Virginia Says:

    I’ve purchased both the 10″ curved and the smaller straight ruler. Did you use the 6″ curved ruler for the inner arches? So far I’ve used the straight ruler more than the curved ruler. I think for me the curve needs to be curved more.

  6. Susan Says:

    The quilt and quilting are gorgeous! Now repeat after me “I am not a computerized quilting machine”…magically all the little bobbles we see as we quilt disappear when the quilting is completed 🙂