Where did the time go???

Not much progress on my FMQ as this weekend just flew by with family activities. I did wave to my sewing machine a couple of times as I scampered out the door. Then when I had the time to sew I was able to enjoyed practicing several motifs that I had learned over on Craftsy. My favorite is SQUARE DOODLE and horrors of horrors you cross lines. I practiced the motifs by drawing out the motifs on paper over and over again. I was trying to practice the ins and outs of the motif. Even with the drawing practice my motifs were variable in placement, size, shape of the squares. They were kind of quirky and I am leaving them. I believe in doing the best that I can and in this time and place in my skill level this is where I am. I will not tear it out… besides I think they have a certain charm.


doodle over and over again
doodle over and over again


Every FMQ instructor I have ever took classes from all mention the importance of doodling a motif over and over again to build muscle memory and to teach the quilter how to get in and out of tight spots. I doodled the motifs over and over again all sizes, all approaches. I really like this little motif and plan to use it again in the future.    When I stitched out the border I did not even attempt to keep the size, shape or placement consistent.  I am finding I have difficulty with the starts and stops and I tend to wiggle whenever I was trying to stitch a straight line.  This is something I have to work on.              .

1- FMQ-close up - SQ doodle



What you do not see in these pictures is the markings. I could not find my marker box the only color marker I found was orange. I tested the marker on several scraps of fabric to make sure it would wash out, no problem. I had used CRAYOLA WASHABLE MARKERS several time to mark my quilt tops in the past but usually the softer colors.  I also use the fine line markers and not the large markers.  When I had finished FMQ this motif I found I could not stand to look at the bright orange markings I had used.  So I gave it a little spritz… nothing.  I spritzed the markings again and they remained.  I then began to worry so I ran water in the wash tub just trying to soak only the area I had marked.      The markings lighten but I could still see them easily.   Panic … I ended up rubbing some laundry soap directly on the markings.  I then drove to JoAnn’s Fabrics in town to get  stain remover.  I did not want to take any chances that I would not get the marking out.   By the time I got home from my run to JoAnn’s the markings were gone.    The kicker is I bought two new boxes of  CRAYOLA WASHABLE FINE MARKERS and then found my box of markers.            …..


THINGS I LEARNED ( after the fact) :

1/ Sharon Schambers suggest starching the quilt top heavily. She uses cheap BIC mechanical pencils to mark the quilt. The markings sit on the starch protecting the fabric; they wash away when she blocks her quilt. I probably should have used more starch before marking the quilt. I also should have continued looking for my box of markers. If I had continued looking for a little longer I would have found my box and not had to use the large orange marker. As I have used this marking technique in the past and knew it worked well…. I SHOULD NOT HAVE PANICKED.

2/  I need to practice more, especially straight lines. I do not have good muscle control.  When I stopped and then restarted, my stitching would jerk and I get a bobble in my stitch line.  I also found had difficulty making nice sharp corners.  That required me stopping then changing directions.  I often got a slight bobble.  Nothing that will not be covered up by the texture of the quilt after blocking and first wash, but I know they are the result of  lack of control and skill, so I will continue with practice.   

Happy Quilting,


I will be making more notations on what I learned but right now too tired to continue.  Look for future edits.                                  ….






6 thoughts on “Where did the time go???

  1. I like how you used the Greek key pattern on the quilt. I also practice my free-motion quilting design on pages and pages of notebook paper before starting my quilting. I get my quilting design idea from the prints in the fabric or the design of the blocks.
    On your Bernina BSR feet, you should have an open foot and also a clear foot in your little box. I switch between the two feet, depending on the project that I am working on.

  2. Nonnie, I think the Greek key looks good—as my daughter-in-law reminds me, :”It’s handcrafted!” You have really been working a lot on the quilting for the panel and you’re inspiring me to finish 3 Craftsy classes, jill

  3. I really liked your square doodle quilting. I was wondering if you had broken your FMQ foot for your machine? I am really enjoying Leah Day’s craftsy class and she shows you how to break your foot because they all have a design flaw. That made such a difference to me personally and maybe it was why you were having some of your issues (the bobble)?

    1. THANKS CINDY, I have a Bernina with the BSR and have several FMQ foot to pick from … this is just the one I had on at the moment and the one I like the best. Breaking the foot might be an expensive goof if I did not like it… Benrina feet are upward of $50. I am going to think on that. I do love Leah’s YOU tube videos and she is in my wish list but I am finishing the 8 classes I have signed up for before I sign up for more classes.

      Right now I am taking CINDY NEEDHAM’s class and I love it, even though I do not make more traditional quilts … her FMQ is divine and I am learning tons.

      I think the bobbles are coming from the quilt being jammed up against the machine on the right side. I changed the direction of the quilting and had less bulk under the harp and found I did a lot better with the FMQ. I think in part it is a matter of finding my flow and what works best … that comes with practice and experience. Also going a little slower and NOT sewing when I am tired. I will revisit this pattern in the future as I really like it.

      Thanks for your comments.


  4. I said exactly the same thing to my husband last night. “Yeesh! This weekend flew by! I didn’t get nearly as much done as I’d wanted!” Although, to be fair, part of the issue was I got stuff done I hadn’t planned to get done, so it was a bit of a trade-off, LOL. Your quilting looks great. I also am a big fan of the square doodle–is it also called a Greek Key or something like that? I’ve doodled it a few times but have problems getting nice sharp corners too. You’re inspiring me to get to work on practicing my FMQ…

    1. LOVE THIS LITTLE PATTERN and plan to revisit it in another area on the quilt. I have been using grid paper to doodle on and I think that might help with consistency and training my brain and hands. I also found sewing the pattern from a different angle with less bulk under the harp of the machine helped.

      Thanks for your comment… I do not believe it has been 3 YEARS podcasting for you … I think I am almost going on two years with lot of breaks… speaking of which I may be starting to podcast again soon. Keep your fingers crossed. …. NONNIE

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