The good, the bad and the fugly

I had a comment over on my BAQS Sewing machine review about the great quality of my stitches on one of my recent quilts.

Now I know the magic of cinema (namely my scrutiny of the photos I'd taken) make it seem like the stitches are flawless but nothing could be further from the truth.

So to encourage you to give the freemotion a go, much like when I revealed my profile pic was very much a product of photoshop, today I'm going to show you some of the pics that were left on the cutting room floor!

Click on any image below to see the bigger version!

And for an extra special treat, the following are my very first freemotion messes when I was using my brother nv400, I was just starting out my freemotion journey! The tension is all over the place and every second one had eyelashes on the back .. but you have to start SOMEWHERE!

The message of the day is "no excuses"
If you want to give it a go - do it.
If you want to get better at doing it,  do it more

Perfect stitches 100% of the time is a myth! a goal, or an aim maybe, but certainly not a reality!

Seriously, "they" go on and on about this, but free motion is one of those practice practice practice things.. especially on the domestic machines, its all about you getting you know your machine better, and you cant do that if you're not using it! go .. go now! sew some freemotion messes and post me a link in the comments below to your masterpieces! Embrace the snags, learn from the loops, and if it really starts to get messy and get on your nerves.. stop,, make a cup of tea, take a break or try again tomorrow.

"no excuses" what are you still doing here?!? 


  1. Practice, practice, practice. There's no way to get around it. Practice.
    Knowing your machine is good, knowing how to fix things is better. The eyelashing is a speed thing. As you're going around curves (usually when this happens) your hands and the machine speed are at two different rates. This happens.

    An exercise I have my students do is to listen to their machine and find a good medium speed. With the machine completely unthreaded press the foot pedal from slow to full tilt. do this slowly and listen for a good medium speed. Once you find your medium speed just listen to it for a few moments. This is the speed you want to aim for when you're quilting.

    Pokies (the technical term for the bobbin thread popping up to the front or the top thread showing on the back) is a tension issue. Most tension issues can be handled by adjusting the top tension. If the top thread is showing on the back raise the top tension a bit. If the bottom thread is showing on the top lower the top tension a bit.

    These tips should help with some of the things you've shared here.

    Happy quilting!

    1. Thats awesome advice Teri, thanks for sharing that, I've been hearing a lot of people with tension issues, you are so right that its a matter of understanding and listening to your own machine. And dont be afraid to jiggle that top tension to get rid of those "pokies" (I'm gonna have to remember that one!)

  2. Great post! I also recommend, when changing tensions ... dropping/increasing by more than you need, then adjust in small incriments to get the tension right. The tension discs perform better when doing it this way, rather than just slowly dropping or increasing your tension. I learn something new every day in this quilting gig!

    1. Totally agree, when I'm jumping between seams and fmq, its not a little twist of the tension knob, hehe.. Adjust it like you mean it! :)

  3. Oh are so right....I have to do more of this...I just bought a long arm and need to get to it more

    1. Thats awesome Marjorie, I can't wait to see what you get up to on your long arm adventures! I always love seeing your posts pop up on my blog reader :)


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