WIP Wednesday – Free Motion Quilting Frenzy

I’ve been quilting like crazy, trying to finish up quite a few projects on a deadline. The sad thing is that I won’t be able to share them for awhile, but the good news is that I can share little work-in-progress snippets here and there. (The pictures are all from my instagram feed so they are not the highest quality – but you get the idea!)

20140809_fmq_4I can get lost in pebbles! They are fun to stitch but very time consuming! I usually put on a good audio book and keep stitching until I can’t stand it or until my shoulders ache – then I take a break and do something else!

I’ve been having a blast playing around with different weights and colors of Aurifil threads as I quilt my myriad of projects. My go-to thread is the standard 50 weight cotton which blends wonderfully with any fabrics.

20140809_fmq_3I’m also experimenting with quilting spirals – in a slightly heavier thread – I love it!

However, I have been getting a little more daring. I usually try to match my thread colors to my fabrics but have been playing with variegated thread colors and heavier weights, too. I’m really liking the 40 weight Aurifil cotton which is just a tad heavier than the 50 weight (the smaller the number – the heavier the thread).

20140809_fmq_1Who doesn’t love a good stipple? Technically, the larger scale is called “meandering.”

I even tried some of the heavier 28 weight which adds a nice definition to the quilting. I love the Aurifil cottons because they go through my machine with ease and they don’t break! I usually use a size 80 needle with the size 50 thread and then switch to a heaver size 90 needle when dealing with the thicker threads. So far, so good.

20140809_fmq_2Loops are a great go-to design anytime. They always look good on any pattern!

I usually stick with the regular 50 weight thread in the bobbin in a similar color so that I can pack a lot of thread onto one bobbin for more non-stop quilting.

20140809_fmq_5Swirls always take my breath away. They don’t have to be perfect, either, to look good!

How about you? What are you working on this week?

20140809_fmq_threadNearly empty spools of thread make me happy!

22 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday – Free Motion Quilting Frenzy

  1. Linda H. says:

    This is such a good post! It’s nice for newer quilters to pick up more tips for FMQing. Learning about thread weights and needle sizes is invaluable information. You do beautiful work, especially on the big spiral. I understand that The Stencil Company makes a large template for it, though I don’t know how often I might put it to use. Keep up your beautiful, award-winning work!

  2. kathyinmn says:

    Love your show and tell! I’m working on a double wedding right quilt using the QIAD method. But I finished the Jacquie Gering class you recommended on the APQ podcast-totally worth it and am eyeing up which of my upcoming projects I could try spirals on. I did my last quilt with wavy lines (the M*QC mystery quilt) and am in complete love with how that came out. So thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Kel says:

    I just finished a baby quilt. I used a rayon thread. It gave a nice sheen.
    My next project is a basket weave pattern quilt. How would you recommend quilting it?

    • Christa says:

      How fun! if you can show me a picture of the pattern I’d be glad to give you some recommendations! A first quick thought it that I love allover textures like straight or wavy lines 🙂

  4. Lori Smanski says:

    Yup totally agree with Christine Sherman. These are so pretty. I love the variegated thread. I am still working on my sons wedding quilt. Whew, a lot of work on this. I will persevere.

  5. Debi Jimenez (Bielawski) says:

    I am just about finished with the quilting on a baby quilt. I bravely tried a “new” stitching technique …at least new too me. It features two components: 1. for the main motif use a bright bold color 2. Use two threads one needle. Yes…you read that right
    For the project I am working on I did not have the exactly the color I wanted but by threading the machine with a 50wt cotton and an embroidery thread for machine embroidery I got a perfect color. The stitching looks textured . Love experimenting with new ideas. and I would not have the courage to do it without your inspiration . Keep it up.
    Thanks Christa.

  6. Maia Butler says:

    Thank you Christa. I have had the idea of spirals circling round in my head ( pun intended) for a while but kept getting pulled up on how to start the spiral. Had not tried looking it up yet and now I do not have to as I have your wonderful example to look at and be inspired by. Now there must be something that I am working on that needs spirals for the quilting…… Maia

    • Christa says:

      Thanks Mary! I use a Bernina 710 with the wider throat space (harp space). I don’t use a stitch regulator. It was an optional add-on but I didn’t purchase it.

  7. Kristy says:

    Very cool! LOVE the swirls. I have only been sewing for about 2 years and since I have transitioned more into quilting I have learned that quilters sure are serious about thread! haha…and everyone has a different opinion! So, to solve that dilemma, I am trying out every brand of thread I can get my hands on 🙂 Thanks for the info. I have a cone of Aurifil just waiting for me to try.

    • Christa says:

      I think that is very smart of you! I did the same thing – tried out every brand of thread I could think of until I settled on something I liked. Good luck and happy experimenting!

  8. ipatchandquilt says:

    Oh Christa, your pebbles are so nice and round. Mine always look like real pebbles… Oval and a bit kidney shaped. I wish I couldd o big round pebbles too.
    I did not know you could FMQ with 28 weight Aurifil. I will have to try that!!!

  9. quiltinghappy says:

    Hi christa, I love the big spiral, looks fab. Did you draw the line first?
    I do love the variegated threads, I usually use superior threads rainbows collection as they have a really lovely sheen to them. I look forward to hearing what all these projects are about! Love Suzy

  10. CathyS says:

    I had to laugh at the nearly empty spools. I’ve only been quilting for about a year and a half. For some reason when I finally emptied my very first spool of Aurifil 50 wt it made me so happy. Weird, huh? I think this is something only another quilter would understand.

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