Free Motion Quilting Feather Continuum
Hello Dear Friends and Readers. Today I am hoping to inspire you with this simple FMQ design. For most of last year I have been hand quilting my Grandmothers Flower Garden Like Grandma Used to Make Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt Like Grandma Used to Make In between I have been piecing some new quilt tops too. One in particular which I wanted to get quilted is the Weekend Scrappy Log Cabin Quilt top which I finished quite a few months ago now and….oh how time flies….Weekend Scrappy Half Log Cabin Quilt -Vintage Inspired. This was an excellent way to use up so many scraps!
I put in onto my machine and got started but I think I have been quicker with the hand quilting!!
That being said …not really, lol I just wanted to share a design which I think is good for a scrappy quilt. One of the challenges with scrappy quilts is that often the quilting is lost in the ”scrappiness”, so It may seem a bit pointless to be too bogged down in the quilting design. I wanted to do something relatively quick and easy but with a good amount of quilting but not a stipple design. Nothing against stippling.
My machine choice has been my 1948 electric Singer 201k which I bought some years ago and adapted it for free motion quilting. Free Motion Quilting – Part 1 – The Machine
One of the challenges with FMQ is preventing a mismatch with the tension of the top and bottom fabrics of the quilt which can lead to bubbling of the fabric on top or underneath.
My experience has been that quilting around in small areas is a good way to minimise this problem and another is to have equal amounts of forward and backward motions or side to side which tends to largely ameloriate the problem. I have discussed this in Oak Leaves and Acorn Oak Leaves and Acorns Quilting Free Motion and Egg Flower Quilting . Free Motion Egg Flower Quilting
FMQ Feather Continuum
This design is based on the idea of quilting feathers. Having a long feather can often mean that there is a lot of overlaying of stitching through the centre or quill of the feather, while creating the feather shape Double feathers quilting
Starting from the centre of this very big quilt and slowly working my way out by basically doing a “feather loops ” one and then a second echo and then making the next “feather loop with an echoed loop as close to that one and so on. This keeps the fabric movement to a minimum.
This is especially important for a large quilt as the tension changes will be amplified out in the quilt leading to difficulty in keeping the whole thing flat.
As always I think it is important to understand that it is not perfect. Each set of loops is different in size and I always adapt a “quilt to fit” motto for best results. In other words some loops will be larger and some smaller.
I continued this pattern for the entire quilt which is quite large at 80 ½” x 90 ½”.
and this technique I regard as a success. The quilt is lovely and flat as you can see!
I think it has given the quilt a very nice overal texture which is what I was aiming for. Well the quilting took a bit more than a weekend but piecing the top was a weekend project and I was so happy to use up quite a number of odd scraps as you can see.
If you enjoyed this post about free motion quilting, you may also like some of these ideas.
© Susan Stuklis 2023