Honestly, I had never even put my FMQ foot on my machine, let alone used it. So first I took an online class. Then I watched the video for this months tutorial. I realized that before I tried that design, I needed to practice getting used to my machine.
I sandwiched a couple of fat quarters together, put on the FMQ foot, dropped my feed dogs, adjusted my stitch length, lowered my presser foot, laid my hands on the fabric, took a deep breath and stepped on the pedal.
Lesson # 1: This is not NASCAR. I don’t need to drive my machine like a race car driver.
Lesson #2: When panicking, don’t let go of the fabric as you step off the pedal. The fabric will jump. Just let your foot off the pedal, KEEP YOUR HANDS ON THE FABRIC!!
This is what my practice piece looked like after an hour.
I don’t think it’s too bad for my first time ever. You can see some straight lines at the top that I did first as I was trying to just get used to the process of moving the fabric. Man, that’s a different sensation when you’re used to the machine moving it for you. After that I just started playing around trying to get a consistent stitch length. Here’s a pic of one of the later sections.
I still need to work on stitch length. There’s some long stitches, some short ones, but again, not too shabby for a first practice session.
Lesson #3: Slow down the feet, speed up the hands. (may not be right for everyone, but I’ve got a lead foot and at this point, my hands can’t keep up!)
On to the nitty gritty, I know you’re wondering, okay but what does the back look like. Of course, you’d ask that.
Not too bad, but there’s a couple of problem areas. Really, I think they’re all the same issue. My guess is that it’s either my machine’s tension or it’s the way I’m pulling and pushing the fabric. Here’s a close up.
I’m seeing this in multiple places. I really don’t think it’s my tension because the straight lines I did are fine and don’t have this problem. My guess is that it’s how I’m moving my hands. Can anyone confirm this? Tips?
I’m going to take a break now, but either this afternoon or tomorrow I’m going to do another piece just like this one and hopefully see some improvement. Once I feel more comfortable with this design that I’m calling “childhood scribbles,” then I’ll start working on January’s design. I think I’ll be happier with my progress if I take the time to get my stitch length more consistent before I move on.