Building a Rock Solid Routine for FMQ–Know the Motif

Design Contrast

Good Morning, Quilters and Quilt-Lovers!

Welcome back to our ongoing series:  Build a Rock Solid Routine for Free Motion Quilting

So far in this series:

Time to stitch?

There’s just one more thing to do:  DOODLE!

Red Flower Stencil, Free Motion Quilting

IMPROVE YOUR FLUENCY WITH DOODLING

Does your free motion quilting lack fluency?

Are there areas where the stitches are too long?  too short?  or lack overall smoothness?

Every time you pause to think about where to travel while free motion quilting-even for a nano-second–your stitching will lack smoothness.

These “stutter stitches”  occur when your hands are still moving, but your brain is stalled

The best way to avoid stutter stitches?

Practice the motif on paper–DOODLE!

Fabulous Flower Tablerunner, Free Motion Quilting

HOW TO DOODLE

  • Pick a motif you love.
  • Follow the photos and draw each step-by-step.
  • Repeat several times (10x or 100x) until you don’t need to refer to the photos.
  • Continue doodling the motif until you “own it”.
  • Doodle the motif much larger and much smaller.  (See “Free Motion Quilting: Playing with Scale”.)
  • Finally, choose the size for YOUR quilt and doodle it for several minutes.
  • This whole process should take less than 20 minutes.
Free Motion Quilting

Spiral Flower

STITCH THE DOODLE

As soon as possible, test drive the motif on a quilt sandwich.

Stitch it several times.  If everything looks great–add it to your next quilt.

If not, doodle it again tomorrow and try stitching it again.

NOTE:  I have no scientific evidence, but I have noticed that sleep–sub-conscience work–helps develop muscle memory.

When I’m struggling with a motif and walk away it often “comes to me” the next day without effort.

It seems that two-30 minute sessions with a nap or night’s rest in between is more beneficial than one-60 minute session.

Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon?

TODAY

Doodle AND Stitch! 

May your stitches be happy,

Lori

PS…All tutorials, information and images are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to share, re-blog, pin with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Motion Quilting -Quick Tips

Free Motion Quilting - TipsGood morning, Quilters!

Today–A Free Motion Quilting Quick Tip:  Escapes

Adding this little skill to your “bag of tricks” can dramatically improve the look of your free motion quilting!

Whenever stitching a “shape-within-a-shape”  motif–for example,  a leaf with stems in the center, or a flower with a stamen…

Leave a small opening in the bottom of the shape.  It will still “read” as a closed shape…

Free Motion Quilting - TipsLeaving this small gap allows the INNER stitching line to exit without a stitching over any previous line of stitching.

Free Motion Quilting - TipsThe “closed leaf” below looks messy with “overstitching”…

Free Motion Quilting - Tips

 

Free Motion Quilting - TipsFor other examples of leaving an “escape”  take a look at The Basic Leaf,  The Closed Umbrella, The Open Umbrella, and many of the other motifs found on The Free Motion Quilt Motif Page.

Using an ESCAPE to avoid “stitchovers” will give YOUR quilts an instantly improved appearance!

Give it a try!

Happy Stitches,

Lori

PS…All tutorials, information and images are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, share, tweet with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@hotmail.com.  Thanks!