Wednesday, January 16, 2013

FMQ: Getting Into the Groove

So I "finished" my Groove quilt back in the fall.  But it wasn't really finished.  The binding was machined to the front but not sewn down to the back.  And it was just so... plain.  All solid colors (don't get me wrong, it was fun to play with all solids) but the stitch-in-the-ditch quilting just wasn't doing it for me.

It was like 70 degrees on Sunday - that's the only time a hammock is appropriate in January!

My biggest quilting "resolution" for this year is to work on my FMQ skills!  That's just what the Groove quilt needs - some texture!  Much like many of the other Groove quilts you'll see floating around, I decided to use a different free motion quilting pattern in each color area of the quilt.

Echo paisley in the yellow portions of my Groove quilt

So far the yellow is full of echo paisley (it's almost echo shell, it doesn't quite come back to the origin enough... but whatever, I like it anyway!) and the orange has the start of some pebbles (yeah, I once said I was done with pebbles, but these ones will be bigger and in a smaller area).

Pebble quilting in the orange areas - it looks like a Band Aid in this picture

 The only issue I'm still really having is getting the tension right on the back.  I slowed my hands down so I'm not getting insane loopies on the back, but the tension is still a little wacky.  I've just been cranking the dial up to like 6 and it seems to be helping.  Does anyone else find that that's okay?  I had to do that before and thought it was the crappy thread I had at the time - now I am doing that with Aurifil.

You can see that the tension is a little wonky, especially in the orange-on-cream area

I'll have to master three more patterns to be able to finish this quilt!  I'm thinking swirls, wood grain, and something else.  I don't really want to do anything angular, it seems like curves fit this curvy quilt!  Any suggestions for the final FMQ pattern on this one?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!



  1. Man you are doing great on your FMQ! I love it. And I agree it is so curvy that you need to keep the curved theme. I love figure 8 quilting but it tends not to be as dense as these other patterns you are using. And tension problems - I never get mine fixed - I give up. Can't wait to see how you finish it! Good luck!

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  3. This is really good!!! The groove quilt is perfect for trying different FMQ designs. So cool to see the groove quilts still in the works, thanks for sharing!

  4. Love the quilt and quilting. Tension is a funny thing. If you have played with the top tension, you may want to play with your bobbin tension. Aurifil 50wt is really fine thread. You may need to read the manual, if you don't know how to do it. On my Pfaff, there is a little, itty, bitty screw that your turn using an itty, bitty screwdriver (like you use to fix glasses). Learning how to adjust my bobbin tension really improved my stitching. Good luck with the rest of the quilting, it look fab!

    1. I'm with Pat on the tension issue. I'd suggest using a spool stand if you aren't already. Having the thread feed evenly into the machine can save so much time and headaches.

      As for designs, that pattern seems to scream for spirals. I'd suggest Basic Spiral or Swirling Water right off the top of my head.

      No matter which way you quilt it, that is one super groovy quilt!

  5. Your quilting is wonderful. It transforms the quilt.

  6. Very nice transformation going on there!!