Free Motion Quilting

Free Motion Quilting - FMQ -

I’m so excited about this!

When it’s done, I’ll be donating this to the Boston Terrier and Pug Rescue of Southern Manitoba. They are the rescue that I first contacted when I learned about Hope, our foster – without second thought, they agreed to take her into the rescue and they have been so amazing in their compassion and care for her well-being. I believe they plan to use this mini-quilt at an upcoming fundraising event.

The inspiration for this design comes from this book. I bought it because of the basset (now there’s a big surprise!!). This will definitely be what I’ll be working on for my next quilt/appliqué project.

Free Motion Quilting - FMQ -

This was the first time I’ve ever done Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) and also the first time I’ve ever tried appliqué techniques.

At the start I thought I may have started down a path I may not ever see the end of. There are ALOT of small, itty-bitty pieces in these projects. But I googled different techniques, and the instructions in the book are also very helpful, and I was able to persevere!

What I like about appliqué is that I can work on it where ever I like, I’m not bound to places where I can set up my sewing machine.

It took me several days of work to finish the pug design but I wouldn’t say it was onerous. In fact, it was kind of addictive!

Here is the finished design before it was quilted.


I decided to back it with a super colourful fabric that I had on hand. I’m still trying to figure out what to bind it with.IMG_1330


And because I haven’t done a ton of quilting yet, I don’t have a supply of safety pins, so I basted this quilt together. It was a technique I saw my step-mom do. It definitely did the trick!


And of course the quilting was done with Aurifil! These were the two colours I was initially going to use. But I ended up changing my mind and picking a turquoise/blue that matched the top of the quilt more closely for a monochromatic effect. I really liked the way the yellow/orange variegated worked on the back of the quilt!IMG_1338

The second first in this project was the free motion quilting!

I’ve never done that before. Of course, I did some more googling to make sure I was good to go before I started. My Janome M1250Q has the free motion darning foot that is needed for this technique. I dropped the feed dogs, made sure I was set on a straight stitch and that the stitch length was set to zero. I also turned the speed way down on my machine as I have a heavy foot and tend to put the pedal to the medal no matter how slow I need to go.

After some practice, I set out to free motion quilt my project.

It wasn’t super smooth at first, but it got better as I went along. I also learned to appreciate the fact that I can tell my machine to stop stitching with the needle down… so that my project can’t move till I’m ready to get started again (learned that tip the hard way!).

And for the pattern I used a stencil I picked up at my local quilt shop. And I used an erasable pen to trace the design onto the quilt top. LOVE these erasable pens. Once I’m done, I just heat gently with an iron and my marks disappear. Voila!

I was holding my breath till I was done, but I’m really happy with the final result. Yes – I do see all the mistakes. And I used my seam ripper relentlessly! But I’m still really excited about it!

Now to finish off the binding and paint in the eyes!

Free Motion Quilting - FMQ -

Are you a free motion quilter? Have you tried appliqué? Any tips to pass along?

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