Tag Archives: FMQ

Not inspired by it? Rip it.

One of the things that a lot of new Long Arm Quilters hear / learn is:  Don’t rip it!  Or “Leave it over night and look at it again in the morning.  If it still offends you, then rip it.”

I’m going to be a little controversial here.

I have to say there have been a few projects on my frame in the last little bit that have not inspired me.   I can’t really say why.  Maybe it’s just the stress in my every day life seeping in or maybe it’s just a lack of practice lately.    Sometimes I’ll quilt something that makes me think I forgot I was quilting for a few minutes.

You know what I do then? Continue reading Not inspired by it? Rip it.

A Million Miles – traveling to speak and teach!

Note: Amended date!  I goofed ladies and gentlemen, April 16th is the date, not March!

Update: 2014-04-09 – It looks like the Evening class is tentatively full (may be able to open 1 more spot) and there is one left open for the morning class.  If you wanted to get in, now’s your chance!  We’ve been chatting about the possibility of me doing the class again in the future in William’s Lake, but there’s no firm timeline for it.

OK, so it’s not quite a million miles but I bet it feels like it by the time I get home.

I’m going to be teaching people just like you how to service and restore their vintage machines in BC next month! 🙂

Beauties like this:


The Cariboo Piecemakers quilt guild has asked me to speak to the group about vintage sewing machines at their Tuesday meeting.   The following day I will be doing a marathon training session.

The class is in William’s Lake, B.C. Canada (approximately 3 hours out of Kamloops) the Wednesday before Easter (March  APRIL 16th) at the Pioneer Complex, and we have just added a second session and there’s currently a little room left.   The tentative times for the classes are 10am to 3pm with a break for lunch and 5pm to 9pm.  If you’re interested in attending, leave me a comment below or contact me here.

Here’s what I’m planning to cover: Continue reading A Million Miles – traveling to speak and teach!

Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Ergonomics Part 1: (This post ended up far longer than I’d intended (yeah, shocking, I know!), so I will split it into 2, and offer you part 2 tomorrow.)

Lately, I’ve noticed that I hunch a lot when I sew.  This is on the longarm or at the domestic machines.   The result of this is that I “hurt” and I can’t sew for long periods of time.  So I thought I’d talk today a little about ergonomics, both at the stand up and sit down types of machines and your cutting table. Continue reading Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Dance the Night away – Panto Fun

Note: I’ve noticed lately that the photos in the posts look blurry and low quality.  This is not true if you click on them to look at them.  Until I figure out what it is that’s doing this, please click on the images to see them the way I intended for them to look for you.

I attended a pantograph class at Sparrow earlier this month and learned a few things.  The most important was speed.  The easiest (and most counter intuitive) way to get a better result – less boxy corners, smoother lines –  is mash the gas pedal.

In the past few weeks, I’ve also learned that – within reason, this is also true with a lot of quilting and sewing in general.  For instance, I sew a much straighter line by going faster and watching the guide tape I’ve put on the bed in front of my machine than I do to watch the needle and try to keep it straight against the 1/4″ guide.  My bindings may have a chance, one day in the distant future, of being presentable! Continue reading Dance the Night away – Panto Fun

Bad Seamstress Blues – Patchless darning is the same as free motion

The day I went to post bail for Lucey, it happened – riiiiiippppp.  Oh No!  My favorite jeans!  I’ve long since passed the age (and lost the figure) where I feel like I can get away with wearing ripped jeans, but patched jeans, especially form fitting ones are so uncomfortable.   I’ve used every sort of patch I can think of and they all leave a bump where they are and seem to chafe a little.  The best one to date though was a scrap of batik fabric.

The longer I quilt, the less I seem to be willing to “sew” – and that definitely includes darning – but not having an unlimited clothing budget means I don’t get to just throw out what has fallen apart at the seams or self destructed somewhere other than a seam.

Today, I want to talk about how to make darning a little less “horrible” for us quilters.

Ready?  Pretend you’re Continue reading Bad Seamstress Blues – Patchless darning is the same as free motion

Beautiful Broken – Quiet down your FMQ

Since I brought the B-Line frame and the Juki home some months ago, I’ve managed several projects on it.  I enjoyed every single one of them, but there was one thing I couldn’t enjoy and neither did Ryan – the noise.

Note:  This post can still apply to you if you don’t quilt on a frame.  For instance, my Singer 301A is incredibly loud when doing FMQ as well.

Doing feathers and straight lines with the Juki made such a racket, that I couldn’t quilt at night once Ryan went to bed.  It sounded like a jackhammer.   Ryan’s even told me that he can hear the machine outside when I use it!

Yesterday, it was time to service the Juki again, and while I had it off the frame, I took the hopping foot off to clean the fuzz out of it, and I ended up running the machine without the foot.  What a lovely sounding machine….

Wait,.. what?  How could I love the sound off the frame, but hate it on the frame?

Continue reading Beautiful Broken – Quiet down your FMQ

Followup to the Universal adjustable sewing desk

I had a couple of questions asked in PMs the other day on the Quilting board about the Universal Desk I built a couple of weeks ago, and am posting them here with permission.

when you have your machine in it… does your machine ‘vibrate’ backwards? I see you have a gap at the back/right side of it and am wondering if you have something you insert in there or if you just leave that spot open. (to the right of your wheel)

Second Floor – Hardware, Children’s wear, Ladies’ lingerie… A Universal Desk

Lately I’ve been experimenting with Free Motion Quilting (FMQ).

Yes, I see that surprised look on your faces!  I do, in fact, sew sometimes!  When I’m not buried elbow deep in the innards of a sewing machine, sometimes I even use them.  🙂

My latest “thing” is FMQ.  It’s really fun, but if your sewing surface isn’t set up correctly, it can be a real pain in the neck, shoulders, wrists, arms, back, and head.   With a lot of damage already in my back and wrists from computer work, (and dirtbikes, and old car wrecks, and skiing,… well you get the picture.)  I had to think this one through pretty carefully.

I wanted a new desk, but had to do it on a budget.  I’m willing to contribute some sweat equity, so I figured I’d give it a go at building something.

Continue reading Second Floor – Hardware, Children’s wear, Ladies’ lingerie… A Universal Desk