Thursday, 19 January 2012

trying to keep up!

I am remiss. I did not sew yesterday. Oh yes, I was full of good intentions, but somehow, it just never happened. So, today, I come home from work, and see others have been doing really lovely things following Laura, with her QAYGFMQQAL and suddenly, I am double guilty. I have got to get on with it.
So I prepared some squares, and pretended to sew the pattern. And then drew the pattern, and then I sort of cheated. I have a disappearing pen, I hope. So I drew the pattern on one of my squares. and then FMQ over the top. Well, I am just not that accurate, but the pattern at least seemed to flow a bit better. Though the stitching is nothing like on the lines. But a pattern emerges. I think you can see how I have some half way reasonable spirals coming along, and then I lose the plot. it is fortunate these are small squares and not one huge quilt...

I had a slight issue with the tension, as the bobbin thread was peeping through the fabric. I adjusted it, and thought it was ok, but now it is a bit patchy. In some places the bobbin thread is showing on the top, in others the top thread shows on the underside.

However, I was enthused enough to have a second go, without the drawing cheat this time.
You may be able to see at the bottom left, it looks like the thread changes colour. Yes, the thread does change colour. The top thread chose to run out, because I was not paying attention, and failed to register that it was so low. I do not have more of that colour, so had to use the next nearest.

I am really not a prizewinner, am I?

And there is another suggested pattern. In for a penny, in for a pound, I may as well try the flower.
Nothing venture and all that. And I didn't feel I made too bad a fist of it.

So far, I have learnt that a really sharp needle- I have used a quilting needle in the machine tonight- makes a lot more difference than I would expect. I think the quilting needle is finer than the usual standard needles, and it does behave better than normal ones. It also has a handy little green band on the shank, so I know which family it belongs to.
I suspect better thread would also make a difference. I may be going shopping next week with the lovely Lucy, with a bit of luck, and might treat myself to some special thread. And I also need some specific colour fabrics, so I think an outing would make sense. DV.

So back to the practising. I wish I could do more, with cheaper bits and bobs, but it doesn't have the same effect, and you just do not enjoy it as much unless you like what you are working with. So I shall continue to use nice fabric which cheers me up as I sew.
I wonder which poor soul is going to win me as pouch-maker for the swap, I think they deserve commiseration... But I shall try my best anyway. The list has closed. Everybody has filled in their details,and made their mosaic, and our three swap mammas have noses to their grindstones, and are deep in spreadsheets. The rest of us are champing at the bit desperate to get going on researching our victims!

Can you tell I am getting excited? It will be my first swap in such an organised manner, and I am scared and feeling tingly at the same time.


Janine said...

I love your flower fmq. I finally cut the fabric today but I'm nervous about starting. I'll be really happy if I can do half as well as yours :)

Pat said...

You are doing great! Keep going, every time you FMQ you do better and it becomes more fun! You go girl!!! :)

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Tension issues can be tricky, keep playing around it will get easier and I think new thread sounds like an excellent plan! I'm up for shopping :) We'll sort it out for Wednesday :)
The flower looks great!

JoZart said...

I do love the freedom of your patterns on the squares. They look so good and you are correct that better thread would make a difference. I worked as a rep for Janome sewing machines some years ago and stitch quality complaints could always be sorted by advising the correct needle for the fabric, correct tension and a good thread. So you've got that all boxed off. Oh and a clean machine but I am sure your's will be lint free!
Best Wishes

Kelly said...

Keep going, you will soon be flying around a quilt :). I swear by aurifil thread and a microtex needle for my fmq.

Nicky said...

Great stuff - at least you have started your FMQ - I signed up but have done nothing!

It will only get better ...and you have made a good start!

Ray and Jeanne said...

You are doing s good job! I like your, spirals. - Jeanne

M-R said...

It's looking good! You've got nice spacing in your spirals and your flower looks great. Just keep practising and your hand motion will smooth out. Tension is a pain in the arse to figure out. A couple of ideas for you if you haven't tried them already. Are you using the same thread in both top and bottom? That helps. Also, don't play with your tension while your foot is down -- I learned that the hard way. Good luck!

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