September 10, 2010

Free Motion Quilt Along: Wiggles

(The drawing is now closed)
Welcome to the first quilting week of the Free Motion Quilt Along! First off, I am excited to tell you that C&T Publishing is providing a copy of Show Me How to Machine Quilt, by Kathy Sandbach, to one lucky blog reader. How perfect, thank you C&T! To be entered for the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post. There must be an email address for me to contact so please include that if your profile does not allow people to access your email address.


I hope you are excited about quilting some wiggles! I decided to split up the quilting designs and quilt along instructions so the designs can serve as an easy reference for anyone, without a bunch of quilt along information confusing matters. So if you haven't already, please read the post on wiggle designs.

Now, we are going to be quilting wiggles in two of the skinny strips on the quilt. How about the middle two?  Just roll your quilt up to one of the strips, and slide the roll under the arm of your sewing machine.



You get to choose whatever designs appeal to you. Choose according to your interest and skill level! Now, before you rush (wiggle?) off, I do think you should open up your quilt journal and sketch any of those wiggle designs that you liked. Then you will have them to inspire you for future projects. And take some time to think about other wiggle designs. Sketch those as well. Then choose four to six designs you would like to try. Not all of them will be appropriate for a one inch wide strip, so take that into account.

I must tell you that I am a ponderer. I can get stuck mulling over the silliest details. If you are also a ponderer, know that the designs you choose are not important. Practicing quilting is important. So if you find yourself getting stuck on deciding what to quilt, just quilt the designs I quilted, OK?  Before starting, try a few wiggles on your practice pad to get in your groove (and to double check that the tension pixies haven't visited).

Here we go. I first did a basic serpentine wiggle for 1/3 of the strip.


Then I increased the frequency of the wave. This might be UVA. Got your sunscreen?


Then I decreased the frequency. Maybe a bit too much. It was looking like a pretty sickly wiggle so I just threw in a tiny leaf here and there. Force of habit.


On to the second strip. I tried the ribbon candy design. Took a little bit to get the feel for it but I really like this one!


Then I did the basic serpentine down to the bottom of the strip. At the bottom I turned around and did the mirror/DNA wiggle, until I reached the 1/3 point. The challenge with this design is to NOT stare at the needle. If you stare at the needle you will make all your turns too late and it will not be symmetrical (although, if you were really aiming to draw DNA you will have totally nailed it). You need to look ahead of the needle, where you're going (like driving!). If you are at the outermost part of the curve you should have your eyes on the point you want to intersect the first wiggle. If you are at the intersection you should be looking ahead to where you want the outermost part of the next bump to land. This is a general principle of free motion quilting so take this solemn vow: I will not stare at my needle.


Finally, I tried the ribbon effect. I like the way this looks - it is hard to mess this one up!


A few words about working with your quilt for the first time. Try and keep it from hanging off the edge of your table. Pile it on the table or in your lap so you're not battling the weight of the quilt while you move the quilt sandwich. Stop every now and then and make sure it's not starting to bind around the corner of your machine or table.

Also, I quilted my lines with the one inch strip oriented vertically in the machine but if you want to quilt from side to side, go ahead. Just roll up your quilt from the right side, slip it under the machine arm and start quilting on the left edge. As you work your way to the right you will be slowly unrolling the quilt as you go. This is just a matter of preference. Up and down or side to side, no one will be able to tell once your quilt is off the machine.

And finally, for some of you this quilt along is the right pace and for some it is painfully slow (I can tell, even though you are being very polite). So, hey, you don't have to wait for me! I would love nothing more than for you to have the confidence to disregard everything I say and just quilt what you want to quilt. That is what will really make you a better quilter: practice. So if you want to quilt more than what I tell you, or try designs before we get to them in the quilt along, you absolutely should. Don't wait around for me to bore you to tears.

So, go ahead, have fun; no stress, it's just quilting! Don't forget about the Flickr group for sharing successes or struggles. 

107 comments:

Rachel Lynn said...

I've got to get myself a quilting foot so I can get started! That must have been my trouble all along. *Duh moment*

luntville said...

If I'm second, does that mean I have a better chance of winnin? Thanks for the offer of the prize, but mostly thank you for this quilt along. I am so please to be included.

luntville@aznex.net

BaileyGirl5 said...

I'm so excited about this series! My confidence level for free motion is eeking up and I'm going to be ready to try it again soon. Thanks for sharing yourself and your hard-earned knowledge. You rock!!

Weatherbee ;) said...

I think I like the candy ribbon wiggles the best. Of course, they also look the most challenging...at least for me. I'm still trying to get my tension correct. I actually had to INCREASE my tension, I was surprised, but it's giving me a better looking stitch on the underside, before it was a MESS! :)

~Teresa
and thanks for the giveaway! Awesome!

KatieQ said...

I love the idea of a book that explains different aspects of FMQ, but I would really like it if a live person could come to my house and give me tips on what I am doing wrong. I'll keep dreaming and working on my stitches.

Terry said...

I can't wait to try these out this weekend! And thanks for the chance to win the book! I've borrowed it from the library and it's wonderful! It sure would be great to have my own copy! :0)

Anita in Florida said...

I think you are doing great with this FM quilt along...You have so thoroughly gone over ALOT of the IMPORTANT things that I tend to overlook. I haven't begun yet with this quilt along but already have learned quite a bit!! Thanks!

Graciela said...

Hi Crhist!!!! thanks for this indications, voy a intentar durante el fin de semana lo que nos proponés,gracias por el regalo es magnifico!!!!mi mail es
gracielarte@gmail.com

Gra said...

I would love to have a copy of the book!! Thanks!

Marie said...

Thank you for holding the giveaway. I really like the explanations and way you show what you are doing. It make it look like it will be alright to make mistakes as we learn. In two other hands-on classes, there was no room for mistakes.

Jeane said...

I am really enjoying the Quilt Along, thanks for doing this. I would love to win this book.

Rhanda said...

Thanks for this quilt along!!! Love it! And I would love the book, too!
rhanda70 at yahoo dot com

Jenn said...

Is it crazy to still feel totally overwhelmed? You make it look so easy! Thanks for doing this...I definitely needed it! :)

Stormy Days said...

Your wiggles post gave me the answer for how do I quilt the quilt I'll be piecing this weekend. It's perfect. Too fast, too slow, just keep going, you're making us think, always a good thing.

Hillbilly Handiworks said...

Maybe that's why I am not so good at free motion. I stare at that needle way too much!! I've been drawing lots of wiggles.

The Vegetarian Hunter said...

This quilt along is the best thing since sliced bread. And it is working! I used your tips and was able to complete a fabulous little quilt! I was having a horrible time with loose threads on the bottom, but no loner - I watch for those tension fairies and know just what to do! Thank you for making this possible! I have not attempted to do anything big yet, but I know by the end of this, I will have the confidence and skill to do so.
Thank you as well for your sence of humor, I find myself chuckling as I read and that is great!
-Carolyn

free indeed said...

Had an error on my last comment, will try again.

I'm enjoying following along. I want to improve my freemotion quilting skills by taking part. tHanks for showing us!

freeindeed at myfairpoint dot net

Quiet Quilter said...

Slow is great with me. I am sandwiching more practice pieces so that I can really try out "driving" my machine.

And thanks for the giveaway.

Nancy said...

Thank you for this lesson!

Pamela said...

Thank you so much for these instructions! I'm hoping I can get this conquered.

Linda said...

Just finished my wiggles! fun fun fun

Stray Stitches said...

The slower the better. It will take lots of practice before I feel comfortable with fmq. I've always stitched 1/4" away from the seam, following the block design so this is something way new. I would love a chance to win the book you are offering!

Donna~~ said...

Enjoy your blog! Until I get a new sewing machine, it's only a learning experience--but still doesn't hurt in the meantime. Would love a book showing me what I've learned later too.

Jo Anne said...

Thank you for sharing your experience and expertise. I have been free-motion quilting for a few years, but am still very interested in following your quilt-along.

Betteem said...

Thank you for showing us free motion. The examples and video give me more confidence!

Jill said...

Yay! This looks so fun! Can't wait to try it out! Thanks to C&T (and you!) for the giveaway!!

Debbie said...

Very good info in this post...love all your details. I rarely do wriggles, but intend to try a few on my next project.

FML Crochet said...

Thank you for this quiltalong! It is NOT too slow. I really dislike when a quiltalong is so fast that I feel overwhelmed and cannot catch up.

Tiffany said...

You sparked my interest! I would love to get my hands on a copy of that book!
I can't wait to see how my quilt looks once it is all quilted!!

Meerkat said...

Thanks for all the great ideas! I am waiting for my new machine (arrives Wednesday) and can't wait to try your ideas!

Sherry Hogan said...

I'm so excited to practice this. Thanks C&T and you Christina for the giveaway.

I'm wiggling off now

Sherry

Linda said...

Oh great of C&T to give the book away. Oh this looks like fun! I'll start tomorrow as I'm tired from work. Lots of good looking wiggles on the flicker group!

BubzRugz said...

Prizes as well as lessons? How lucky are we - now I must get a wriggle on and go practice my free motion....
Hugz

KnittyAJ said...

Love the idea of a QAL and happy to participate!!! "Seams" (LOL) like fun. Just getting back into quilting. Question, is it to late? What are the dimensions of the practice quilt?

Charlene S said...

Those look like something I can do. Off to try! Please enter me in the drawing. cwhippc@aol.com

Linda said...

I am really enjoying the Quilt Along, thanks for doing this. I would love to win this book. I have told alot of my friends about this and they want to play too...thanks for doing this.

Annie of Blue Gables said...

How fun. Ever since you introduced us to Kathy, I have been wanting this book! Thank you
~a

Margie said...

Will be trying this out over the weekend. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks

Dolly said...

Your speed is our speed........and slow is good for me right now, as I'm piecing on the machine that I want to quilt with. I don't like changing it back and forth, tension, stitch length, feed dogs.......so I'm hoping to sneak in a little quilting now and then but mainly I'll be piecing for right now.

That's the beauty of this quiltalong.....I can join in when it's convenient for me and get caught up at any point !

Don't feel so pressured......you're doing US a service, remember !

biking
(underscore)
dot (at)
yahoo (dot) com

cntryways said...

Would love to win the book! I need all the help I can get, and then some!

Rosemary
cntryways@att.net

Kathryn said...

I just found your blog and I'm excited by the free-motion stitching! I'm new to it and this is great!

Eileen said...

I've been machine quilting for several years, but I welcome any help I can get! I use the walking foot alot, and when I free motion it's usually a meander, so I hope you will inspire me to do more designs. And I would love to have Kathy's book, I remember seeing her on Simply Quilts. I will be checking out your archives, and look forward to your coming posts.

Pam said...

I'm loving your posts ...very informative and inspiring. I've wanted to do FMQ for years but was too scared, thank you for getting me playing and practicing!!

Clair said...

Thank you for doing this series and the giveaway! I'm a new learner so this is a big help to me!

clara.cann@gmail.com

Jenni said...

I am working on my free motion skills. I need all the help I can get!
jdsamuel@yahoo.com

Di2Quilt said...

Thanks for this quilt along and the giveaway! Your instructions are easy to follow and the photos help to clarify any questions that we might have!

dianayini@yahoo.com.tw

Eileen said...

the quilt along is just wonderful and thanks so much for doing this!! i'm anxious to get good very quickly so i won't be so intimidated to finish my grandbaby's quilt. it's been pinned for a week--just trying to get brave!!

Joyful Quilter said...

I've been free motion quilting for a while but I'm really enjoying your tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

copehome said...

I'm so excited to learn how to wiggle!!

mabblab said...

I had just decided to get out of the straight-line rut and begin free-motion quilting when I heard about your quilt-along.... hooray!

You've inspired me to already do some research and study and I've begun free-motioning a twin quilt for my daughter. (Ummm... maybe I should have started with something a bit smaller....? Hah!)

Thanks for all of your great ideas.
-mab
mab(at)onepost(dot)net

Janet said...

I'm like you - I can get caught up in details and constantly have to tell myself to just do it.

Cal said...

The free quilting foot had arrived, but I have been on vacation, and cannot wait to return so I can finally have a go at this!

Elsa said...

I've been practicing for days on the wiggles ~ and various other kinds of shapes ~ so frustrating, but getting better. Just doing it on scraps of fabric instead of a finished quilt. Thanks so much for your tutorial, tho I do wish we could do this in person! Quilt on!

Heather said...

I am still so new to free motion quilting, but I have just been jumping in!! And I love it! Please count me in the giveaway!
h_freund@hotmail.com

Leah said...

Thanks for those photos. I finally got my quilt basted and ready to go! Now I think I'm ready to sew. Hopefully this weekend.

Béa said...

Thanks for this FM quilt along and for the chance to win this book !XOXO

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

Thanks for the instructions - I hope to get started sewing this weekend.:) And thanks for the chance to win the book.

Luisa said...

estoy disfrutando como nunca con las lecciones del acolchado, pues no sabia muy bien muchas gracias por hacerme participe de tu saber
luisagaitero@gmail.com

Deb said...

First time here on your blog...came over by way of Alamode. I'd love to be entered for the book giveaway. Thanks, I've enjoyed looking around.

Suzanne said...

I never thought of keeping a journal of the quilting designs I like. Duh! That makes great sense! Thank you!

Gene Black said...

I didn't make the top you suggested. I had a Tumbler top that I had made that was begging to be quilted. So, I am using it.
I added my pictures to the Flickr pool - but my thread is hiding too well on this! ha ha.

Karey said...

Yay! I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new darning foot so I can jump in with you! Great giveaway!

a.niza said...

fun! Just love the way you handle the QAL

Kay Lynne said...

I' excited to get it started this weekend. I like the giveaway and if I win, please give it to a beginner. This is just a fun practice project for me and I have several books on machine quilting.

pinsandneedles said...

I didn't realize that I stare at the needle way too much. It really does make a difference (and makes sense) to look ahead. Thanks for the tip!

Trish said...

I posted on the other thread you had on wiggling. Well, I'll post here too! I've got to get that quilt sandwich made and get the threads cleaned out of the machine so I can get started and catch up with you all.
Would love to win the book - more visuals!
Hugs,
Trish
newlapp@pa.net

MoeWest said...

Thanks for doing this quilt along. The instructions are much appreciated.

Debbie said...

This looks like a fun way to learn free motion quilting. I am getting started late but I am looking forward to trying this.

Lynne said...

Thank you so much for donating your time and your talent to teach/share this!

Lynne
jcsgirl.lam@gmail.com

stitchsister said...

Sweet! Thanks for offering this giveaway!

Thank you also for showing the rest of us how to do it right.

-Linda
stitchsister@gmail.com

shadybrooks said...

Thank you to both you and C&T for this wonderful giveaway!! I think that the Ribbon Candy Wiggles are going to be perfect on the sashing of a Christmas Quilt I am working on - Thank you for the idea/tutorial/quilt-along!!

tunnicliffe said...

I just found your blog for the first time tonight. The last 2 quilts I machine quilted were using my walking foot and straight line quilting. I'm rather excited to give wiggles a go, I have a baby quilt pin-basted and just waiting. Thanks for the chance to win a book and this quilt-along. Karen

Cheryll said...

After reading your story, I sent away for two of Kathy's books...so thank you for sharing. I was so sad to hear about the loss of her knowledge to the quilting world.

Sand and Sunshine said...

Not certain which ones I'll try but I'm looking forward to them!

Micmacker said...

Wow - this is EXACTLY what I need. Seriously, no detail is too small. Thanks for this terrific series.

Fat Chick Design said...

I got my machingers gloves! whoop! I am going to start next week
:)

Mari said...

I'm having so much fun with this technique and I'd really love to take part in the contest.
mis.patch@gmail.com

pojeda said...

I have only used my walking foot for quilting, so I am excited about this series! Hopefully, this will give me the courage to learn free-motion quilting! And, thank you for the giveaway!

pojeda@embarqmail.com

Eileen said...

what are we supposed to do with all those thread ends? if you posted about it, i've managed to miss it and i've just quilted my littlest girlie girl's (granddaughter) quilt and it's brimming with threads i'm leery about clipping!! thanks for giving me the nerve to try this on olivia's quilt--i'm not super happy with my results but i'm ok and happy i've tried it out and actually done a quilt.

ArtGirl said...

cool! i love the little leaf you put in the 'sickly' wiggle. and i LOVE your blog header photo. so simple yet so pretty. cool (felt?) letters.

im still learning fms with my bernina 440qe - it has the optical lens that senses the motion of the fabric which really makes fms pretty easy. i like your suggestion here of sketching/journaling ideas before hand, and then PRACTICING.

Lisa M. said...

I am already learning a lot from the quilt-a-long...thank you so much for your step by steps.
Great book giveaway...I'd love to win..thanks for the chance.

Lana said...

I just stumbled on your site...and it's just what I needed. I have been practicing my free-motion quilting, but struggle. I hope I can do as well as everyone else out there does! I love making the tops, but I have 4 now that I am scared to quilt.... LOL!

handmadehappiness said...

i love the speed of this as it's my first attempt so need practice!! thanx so much for hosting x

Mary said...

I would love to own this book. Thanks for the opportunity.
Mary

P. said...

Okay, I've read this post twice now...here goes! I'm off to do some wiggles!

Linda said...

I'm so glad you are doing this, just the push I needed! I'm a midwife too, and I haven't actually started because September is my busy month! BUt I'm reading along and hope to start soon.

Thanks
Linda

ljs742 at yahoo dot com

Verónica Donoso said...

I am very happy with your quilt along and want to be in the drawer of a Book from a good quilter .

Linda said...

Thank you, thank you for going so slow. I really need the slower pace.
Please also enter me in your give-a-way.

Dorothy said...

I tried a long wave(wiggle) with my regular machine foot, I am not sure I am ready to get out my stipple foot....Thanks for the instructions.

Cat said...

Thanks for the great instructions for the Wiggles - I can hardly wait to get started. And to have a chance to win a great book too - can't get better than this.

Cassy said...

That is soo COOL! Thank you so much. I love to piece but hate to quilt. Maybe this will change my mind. :-)

CMSanchez0908@yahoo.com

rosemaryschild said...

I've done some wiggles once! spierssusan52@gmail.com

Rice said...

I just discovered this quilt along via FB. Great idea to have it. I am going to play along when I can. Thank you for having it. :) BTW wouldn't mind winning the book either. rice.pamela@yahoo.com

java diva said...

This is so cool! I didn't know you're not to stare at the needle, I will remember that! I like the ribbon look a lot!

upstateLisa said...

always trying to improve my fmq!!!

Gray said...

I really appreciate how you are taking everything step by step- I have made a few quilts but I realise now how, with help, I can improve my current and future quilts. Thankyou!!

Quiltdoodles said...

Thanks for this opportunity. Fun to think of wiggles.

ruthquilter said...

I loved reading about FMQ in your blog! I have been a hand quilter, but would love your book. I'm sure it would help me to learn FMQ, a skill I have decided it is time to learn! Thanks for the giveaway.
ruthquilter@neo.rr.com

Janet said...

This is the first time that I have been to your blog. I reaaly enjoy your information. I know I will be back frequently. Thank you.

Becky said...

Great job. I'll try it first time no one is home to watch.
Becky bcardwell@readytek.net

Blodgett said...

I can't wait to see this book! This really looks like fun!

Sewbig said...

Thanks for the quiltalong and the giveaway!

Donna said...

Just found your site from the Cyberquilters Forum on Yahoo. Looking forward to reading/studying this free motion tutorial... I need all the help I can get!

Mama Pea said...

I am so far behind. The basting always hangs me up!

June Dodge said...

This is going to be such a fun project - thank you for organizing it for us!

carol said...

Just your free motion quilting tutorial blog. I am so in need of this as I so want to learn how to do this and not ruin my piecing. The book could only help. I still feel overwhelmed.

susies1955 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.