Free Motion Mondays, quilting

The String Quilt Project – Free Motion Feather Practice!

While our paint dries between applications I’ve set up my Little Sport to continue working on the quilting of the String Quilt.DSCF4542

This machine is a challenge to do Free Motion Quilting, of course any machine is a challenge to do free motion, you know they all have their little quirks, but silly me decided I was going to learn how to do feathers and what better way to learn than to make them in the sashing of the string quilt?DSCF4534

I guess I didn’t figure I’d have to learn how to make a feather in 4 different directions!  Up, Down, Backwards and Sideways like you see me doing in the photo above.DSCF4536

You see, in free motion quilting on a home sewing machine, you can only work on 1/4 of the quilt at a time and then you have to turn the quilt to work on the next section.  You do this so you don’t have to squish the ENTIRE quilt into the machine head section (the harp section), you just quilt from the middle out in quarter sections.


Since I made my first row of horizontal feathers going in one direction and my vertical row of feathers going in another direction, both being stitched in the same manner, once I turned the quilt…Oh No! I now had to stitch the feather either upside down, in reverse, or sideways!  (They don’t tell you this in the books!).


So far I’m about 2/3rds the way through and think I’ve figured out how to do it but I will tell you, it is not the easiest thing, fun, but a little bit of a challenge.

In the string sections I’m stitching an all over meander pattern, I need a little practice on that pattern too, DSCF4538

and my spirals are a little rusty as well…DSCF4540

If you saw my set-up — card table, Styrofoam and my severely small throated Bernina Little Sport you’d most likely shriek at the impossibility!  But, you know, your scraps are a great resource to  practice.  I’m glad I spent the time to do this quilt, using up scraps, lone spools of thread and getting the free motion practice I needed.  I think all the botched stitches and wonkiness makes it feel real.

More to come!

Happy Stitching!




2 thoughts on “The String Quilt Project – Free Motion Feather Practice!”

    1. I’ve had the Sport for 22 years. My Mom bought if for me used at a bernina dealer as a wedding gift. I had it in last year for an overhaul so now it just purrs! Enjoy FMQ, it is fun!


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