Helping you create a home by hand.

Forest Friends Quilt Finished

My Forest Friends quilt was my May and then my June “A Lovely Year of Finishes Goal” and there were times in the last week that I wondered if it would end up being my July goal as well.

Before starting to do the free motion quilting on it, I tested the tension and stitch setting on a practice sandwich.   There followed several very frustrating hours trying to figure out why the machine would sew perfectly for a while and then start skipping stitches.

I re-threaded the top thread and reinserted the bobbin.  I changed the needle twice.  I would switch back to my regular presser foot or walking foot and my usual settings and it would sew fine but the moment I dropped the feed dogs and put the darning foot on, it would skip stitches.

I adjusted the tension both up and down.  I tried using a different thread.   Finally after taking a long break, I tried one more thing.  I dialed the upper thread tension down as low as it would go… something I’d never had to do with previous free motion quilting projects.  That worked!

But the troubles didn’t end there.  I think because I so wanted this quilt to turn out well, I wasn’t able to really relax and let the free motion quilting flow the way I did on my other practice projects that I didn’t care as much about.

There was a lot of unpicking that took place and that not only slowed me down but made it even harder to relax and get into the flow and ease of motion.

It wasn’t until late Saturday evening that the last section of free motion quilted leaves was finished.  Sunday morning, I buried all the threads and then it was time for the binding.  By that time, I was determined to finish it, if I had to stay up all Sunday night to do it.  2 am Monday morning I completed hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt.

And here it is:

Forest Friends quilt finished

Quilt stats:

Finished size: 40″ X 46″

Pattern: One Big Cabin by Row House Creations

Fabric for the quilt came in a kit I purchased when we stopped at Heritage Designs at the Amana Colonies in Iowa during our trip to Grand Island, Nebraska in the spring of 2014.

To quilt the half log cabin blocks and the bottom border, I used the same beautiful Sulky Blendable (#4106) that I used on my Flying Zebra Quilt and my Love Struck Purse.

For the free motion quilting I used another Sulky Blendable… #4001.

That pretty rainbow fabric I used for the binding is Noah’s Ark by Jim Shore for Red Rooster Fabrics.

And now for some close-ups…

The Squirrel:

The appliqued squirrel on my Forest Friends Quilt

The Owl:

The appliqued owl on my Forest Friends quilt.

The Raccoon:

The appliqued raccoon on my Forest Friends Quilt.

A close-up of the free motion quilting:

Close up of the fmqing and the binding of the Forest Friends quilt

More free motion quilted leaves:

More free motiong quilted leaves

I love this backing fabric.  I’m so glad I have some leftover to use in another project.

The beautiful leaf backing fabric that I used for my Forest Friends quilt.

I can check this project off my 2015 Finish Along Q2 list as well.

Forest Friends is now draped over the reading chair in our master bedroom, ready to snuggle up with on cooler days.

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  • Doris
    February 8, 2016 2:58 pm

    I just saw this on Cindy’s Name Game post–I created those little critters! Thank you so much for linking to our pattern site, this is such a cute version of the quilt!

  • Maartje Quilt
    July 4, 2015 1:29 am

    What a darling quilt. I know the frustrating quilting feelings, a machine has to do what it is supposed to do, but not always does, grrr! But your quit is a beauty with lovely quilting. Congrats.

  • Katie V.
    July 3, 2015 4:06 pm

    Super cute, love the backing. Those animals are adorable!

  • Rebecca Grace
    July 3, 2015 3:08 pm

    Hi, Sue. Your quilt is ADORABLE! Congratulations! I think the quilting looks great, too. What kind of machine do you use for your FMQ? One more tip for skipped stitches that helps on my Bernina machine is to increase the presser foot pressure, especially if I’m using the BSR foot, and to move the needle just one click to the right (that might not be a good suggestion on other brand machines, but I got the recommendation from an online Bernina forum).

  • Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl)
    July 3, 2015 2:42 pm

    Congratulations on solving the tension problems – that can be so tricky sometimes. And relaxing and getting into the FMQing groove varies a lot for me as well. I think it is a lovely finish and I really love your binding choice.

  • Renee
    July 1, 2015 10:47 pm

    The tension on my machine is not working properly, so I could really feel your frustration. This quilt turned out absolutely darling, though!

  • Gina
    July 1, 2015 3:15 pm

    This is adorable. I love the raccoon

  • Maria
    July 1, 2015 10:19 am

    Love your Forest Friends Quilt especially the backing…..

  • Susan
    June 30, 2015 9:50 pm

    Wow, applause, applause! That’s gorgeous, every single picture.

  • Rebecca
    June 30, 2015 8:57 pm

    Fabulous quilting! I hand quilt partly because I’m a perfectionist and I can’t bring myself to go through the ugly ducking stage of machine quilting. You seem to have got to amazing in such a short time.

  • Christine B.
    June 30, 2015 7:37 pm

    Hello Sue! This is such a pretty quilt and the free motion quilting adds so much to it, it was worth all the trouble! 🙂 x

  • Mary Anne
    June 30, 2015 6:10 pm

    Yay for you!! A finish is such a great feeling (even if it does happen at 2 am!!). Your quilt is such fun and will make you happy every time you use it.

  • Linda
    June 30, 2015 5:32 pm

    So cute and it is something for you to use! Enjoy!

  • Rachel
    June 30, 2015 4:15 pm

    There you are – perseverance pays off, doesn’t it!

  • Vickie- HorseMark Cards
    June 30, 2015 12:50 pm

    What a beautiful quilt! I love the detail you put into the cute little critters! The fabric you used for the backing is perfect! Job well done!

  • Claire
    June 30, 2015 11:07 am

    Those animals are so adorable, and the bright piecing is just so happy! And the quilting looks good, though painful in process.I so hate those times when problems are sporadic. I once could do my practice piece perfectly, then the tension messed up on the real quilt. Never did figure that one out.

    I’ve heard that some machines like the feed dogs to be left up in order to make good stitches–set the length to 0 or cover with a card; I set stitch length to “neutral’ on my Featherweight.

    I have found that top stitch needles (which some recommend for FMQ) always skip stitches on curves for me. Lots of weird stuff going on with these machines.

  • Doris McCarty
    June 30, 2015 11:55 am

    I love your quilt. It turned out really cute. I think finishing a quilt is like getting to the end of a book. The closer you get to the end the faster you go. Sometimes I stay up later just to finish. Lol! The recipient of this quilt is very lucky, you can tell there is a lot of love put in it.

  • Mary
    June 30, 2015 9:43 am

    Yeah….and it turned out so cute. What a great finish that makes for May/June!!

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