Helping you create a home by hand.

August Friday Night Sew In Results

I’m going to start off by saying I am ridiculously pleased with myself.

Last night during FNSI, I was having trouble figuring out how I wanted to quilt the hot pads I had prepped and ready (see previous post.)

I had toyed with the idea of free motion quilting them.   For a while now I’ve been watching videos on youtube to learn how it’s done, but felt I hadn’t learned enough to give it a try.

First I tried sewing ¼” on either side of the blocks but didn’t like how that looked.  So I unpicked those lines of quilting.

Then I tried stitching in the ditch.  I liked how that looked especially when the stitches actually stayed in the ditch.  I don’t know if it was the extra layer of batting or what but I ended up having to unpick those lines of quilting too.

As I sat there at the machine trying to decide how I was going to go about quilting those hot pads, I thought to myself… what did I have to lose by just dropping those feed dogs, installing the darning foot and giving FMQ a whirl.   So that’s what I did.  And I had a blast doing it!

I meandered.  I made loops.  I made points (some intentional and some not so intentional.)

I overheated the foot controller of my 15-91.  Dave made some adjustments to the speed control screw and after a half hour break to let it cool down; I was back to meandering and loop-de-looping.

Now my FMQ certainly isn’t the prettiest.  And there are places where the stitches are bigger than others.  I’m still learning how to control how I move the quilt so that it moves smoothly so I don’t get those unintended points and wobbles.   But I’m definitely on my way to learning how to free motion quilt.

The Jacob’s Ladder hot pad was the first one I FMQed:

Front of Jacob's Ladder hot pad.
Front of Jacob’s Ladder hot pad.
Back of Jacob's Ladder hot pad.
Back of Jacob’s Ladder hot pad.

For the second hot pad, I only FMQed the background fabric.  That made the pinwheel really stand out and created a pretty “butterfly” on the back.

Front of Pinwheel hot pad.
Front of Pinwheel hot pad.
Back of Pinwheel hot pad.
Back of Pinwheel hot pad.

The third hot pad will be quilted today and then I’m going to get the binding on them so that I can start using them.

I’ll say it again, I am ridiculously pleased with how the quilting on these turned out for my first attempt at free motion quilting.

I would be so pleased if you chose to share by clicking on one of the buttons below!


  • Brenda
    August 23, 2011 8:43 am

    Love the hot pads! Good for you. I have not tried this yet myself.

  • dawn
    August 22, 2011 8:32 am

    Great job on your FMQ! Small projects like pot holders are perfect for practicing FMQ.

  • Maria
    August 22, 2011 5:28 am

    Your FMQ looks great!very impressive , I love it! 🙂

  • Jody Herbert
    August 22, 2011 5:20 am

    Love your free motion quilting! Good on you – looks great.

  • Heidi F
    August 21, 2011 9:11 pm

    Your FMQ looks fantastic. And that’s the perfect size to practice on too. Way to go!

  • Kay
    August 21, 2011 8:32 pm

    The quilting is wonderful. You gave my secret away–I use potholders to practice my machine quilting 🙂

  • Robin (rsIslandCrafts)
    August 21, 2011 6:24 pm

    You did a wonderful job! I love to FMQ. It takes practice to get the right speed and look but it is worth it.

  • Sandy Rowe
    August 21, 2011 5:00 pm

    Hi Susan, thanks for stopping by. I love your potholders! I have to admit that I have a longarm quilter in our basement. It generall takes me 1 to 2 hours to quilt a lapsize quilt!

  • Sunny
    August 21, 2011 2:47 pm

    I love it – “just drop those feed dogs” and go. A small project like this is the best/easiest way to practice and build your confidence. Yours looks great!

  • Donna Baker
    August 21, 2011 1:13 pm

    wow your FMQ came out awesome! I love those hot pads…you will be so happy to put them to use I’m sure! thanks for commenting on my niece’s messenger bag!

  • The Modern Day Mom
    August 21, 2011 11:37 am

    I think you did a great job. I have been wanting to try quilting and a hot pad sounds like a great way to practice it.

  • Teresa
    August 21, 2011 2:20 am

    You have all the reason to be pleased with yourself. Your hot pads are lovely and your FMQ is pretty good. I’ve been practicing FMQ for quite a while and still my stitches never come the same size. I think it’s just a matter of time ( a very long time in my case). Thank you for your lovely comment.

  • Erica
    August 21, 2011 12:20 am

    WTG on the FMQ! I really like the pinwheels.

  • corina
    August 20, 2011 11:10 pm

    I’m so happy for you! There’s nothing like the freedom of free motion quilting. Meandering is actually one of the harder designs to do and you did it very well. Love the Jacob’s Ladder hot pad. I’ve been collecting lots of neutrals to make a Jacob’s ladder quilt for myself. Now I’m thinking I should make a hot pad in the meantime!

  • Rhonda
    August 20, 2011 8:21 pm

    What a great job you did with the quilting. I love Jacob’s Ladder blocks and the quilting really made if pop and well as the Pinwheel holder.

  • Teresa
    August 20, 2011 7:09 pm

    You did a fantastic job! Once you FMQ, you’ll never go back. It’s starts to be relaxing, fun, zen, you name it. There are times that I take my glasses off and just move the fabric even with it unfocused. Sometimes those end up smoother 🙂 Welcome to the FMQ club!

  • Cathy
    August 20, 2011 4:52 pm

    Very nice job. I recently started FMQ and have been having a ball. Your quilting is very good. Glad I got to see what you did. Hugs

  • Sandra :)
    August 20, 2011 12:51 pm

    They’re gorgeous! When I’m worried about doing a technique (maybe it’s new to me, or maybe I find it difficult) it’s terribly hard for me to sit down and actually do it – I go all chicken**** and avoid it like the plague! Usually when I *do* get around to doing it I wonder why I waited so long, lol. You did a great job on the FMQ – just remember to warm up each time (on a practice sandwich) and you’ll be fine!

    Nancy and I had fun FNSI’ing as well – and there wasn’t even any booze involved, LOLOL!!

  • Maria
    August 20, 2011 11:20 am

    Making pot holders is a great way to practise your FMQ.
    Great blocks and nice quilting too.

  • Nancy
    August 20, 2011 10:57 am

    Pretty! I really like the look of the FMQ. I think its past time people relaxed about the “proper” way to do this stuff. It used to be about thrift and keeping warm. I think many people have lost sight of that.
    And, believe me, I have no idea how to do FNSI without my seam ripper and unpicking scissors.
    I have discovered my beloved Berni is a whizz at FMQ and I will be doing some of that in the very near future.
    Hope you are having a great weekend!

Comments are closed.