Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

Wednesday

Free Motion Quilting - Embellished Towels

Ever since I started dabbling in quilting, free motion quilting has been on my list of things to learn.

Over the holidays, I ordered a generic quilting/darning foot to fit my machine.  I figured I should start with a small project, and thought a cute and girly set of hand towels for my daughter's bathroom would be perfect.  (I also used this technique on her tooth fairy pillow as well.)

free motion quilting


I grabbed a set of 4 towels on my last trip to Wal-mart and while I was there, found this cute little fat quarter set of coordinating pink and brown fabrics.




Adding the fabric to the towels was super easy:

Cut a piece of fabric about an inch taller and wider than your towel.

Fold the edges of the 2 long sides and one short side over 1/4 inch and iron them flat.

Pin the fabric in place, lining up the one ironed short side with the side of the towel and fold the other side in/under to line up with the other side of the towel.

Then, sew along the edge of the fabric about 1/8 inch form the edge, all the way around the towel.


If you want to try a little quilting yourself, make sure you are using quilting needles (they are very sharp), otherwise you may have problems with your bobbin thread getting tangled up and not looking pretty. 


Here is a shot of the quilting foot.  The presser foot is all the way in the down position, notice how high up it sits?  This makes it much easier to move the fabric around.  (Make sure you lower the feed dogs too.)


I am not very artistic, so my loops and swirls are pretty sad looking, but when you use a thread that blends better you can't even tell...


It's hard to see in these pictures, but I quilted different patterns on each towel.  (Actually, I left the photo below fairly large.  To see the details better, right click and open the picture in a new window an you can see it up close.  This function only works when you are reading on my blog page- not in a reader or the email version.)

embellished handtowels

I traced the floral design on the floral fabric.



I love the free motion quilting for small projects like this, but I'm not 100% sure I would do it on a full or queen size quilt.  It seems like it might take longer or be more difficult than straight line quilting.

What do you think?  Have you free motion quilted a large quilt on a regular sewing machine?  I would love to hear how it went for you or just get more advice...

If you like this type of project and want to see more, you can follow along using the Google Friend Connect widget, through a reader, or signing up via email.  Just click on one of the icons below:


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I will be linking up to some of the linky parties listed here.






29 comments:

  1. This is the thing I want to learn this year too. I just did my first thing earlier this week (a kindle cover)...starting small, but hoping to do a whole quilt soon.

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  2. How cool! My SIL just did this on a quilt for Christmas, and each time I see it, I'm blown away. I would need a LOT more practice before I could do something like free quilting. Good job! Does your daughter like them?

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  3. These are really great!!! You should sell them on Etsy. Very creative!

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  4. Very nice Jamie! I love the fabric and your quilting came out wonderfully!

    There are many great tools that you can use to FMQ on your domestic machine. I recommend getting a pair of Machingers Gloves. You can get them for under $10 and they help so much when you are quilting larger items on your Domestic. Check out my blog for titles with FMQ and see some things that I've learned to do - and for two very talented ladies who FMQ on their Domestic check out Joanne Thread Heads' blog and Leah Days' blog. These ladies inspired me to quilt on my own machine -- just as you inspire me to make wonderfully beautiful things for my grand daughters! Thank you and best of luck - email if I can help further!
    Karen
    http://karensquiltscrowscardinals.blogspot.com/

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  5. I am so nervous to try quilting, but this looks like a great beginner's project! I might have to invest in a quilting foot for my sewing machine :)

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    1. If others can do it so can you. Remember when making swirls, to leave enough room to come back OUT again. We had an expert come to our club, and she says, "practice on a quilt sandwich (fabric, batt, fabric) for 15 minutes a day to get the hang of it. I think we all have a fat quarter lying around we really don't like much. Or just use muslin. If you use contrasting thread you can really see where you may have goofed. But that's ok, you're only practicing.

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  6. Those are so very pretty and possibly even a novice like me can make some pretty towels! Thank you for sharing this!

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  7. Cute idea! I'm sure your daughter loves them :-)

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  8. sooo cute! i wanna try! I gotta get me a quilting foot AND needles. I didnt know there was a special needle for quilting!

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  9. Have only attempted a couple of very small projects for free motion quilting and I'm always thinking I will keep trying. This is a great idea and they look super cute.

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  10. I love this idea! It is the first piece of inspiration I have seen for my bathroom in a long time!!! Thank you for posting this :)

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  11. They look so pretty. Thanks for the lesson/tutorial. I had never seen all the needles and presser foot that is used. Very neat.

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  12. Wow, good job! Thanks for sharing. I'm a new follower ;)
    Jamie~ Better With Age
    PS: Love your name ;)

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  13. I've always wanted to free quilt, but for some reason feel a little intimated by it. Maybe now not so much1 Your towels are so pretty, and love the fat quarter fabric. Thanks again for showing us how!

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  14. Those are very cute little towels. They would make a great little gift!

    Thanks for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

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  15. Jess here...co-host of "Shine on Fridays" this week! Thanks for linking up!

    I'm a newbie sewer, but this looks so easy! I pinned it for later!! :)

    Don't forget to enter my fabric giveaway! :)

    http://www.pluckys-secondthought.com/fabric-giveaway-sponsored-by-fat-quarter-shop-by-the-sea-fat-quarter-bundle/

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  16. Super cute idea, and so easy with the availability of so many fun & colorful fat quarters.

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  17. These look super! I love free-motion quilting, but the arm on my machine is so short I can't do anything bigger than a crib sized quilt. My son needs new towels in his bathroom, this was just the inspiration I needed :)

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  18. I do most of my quilting on my domestic sewing machine. The trick is practice. Lots and lots of practice. Another thing to remember is "no guts, no glory". Take risks and push yourself. You will be surprised at how quickly your skills will develop!

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  19. This is something I really want to try! Thanks for the tip about the quilting needles. I would have jumped in with the same old needle I always use. I am visiting from Sugar Bee!

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  20. Cute towels!! Popped over from the Sew Can Do party. :)

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  21. Your towels look beautiful! What a great way to try out the free motion quilting!
    I've only made one quilt - I enjoyed it and would like to learn more! It's on my long list of things to do!!!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  22. Saying hi from the UK - found you on Frugal Days Sustainable Ways and am following you now! These towels look GREAT, something I really want to try. If you fancy doing a guest post on Mumtopia, let me know :) http://mumtopia.blogspot.co.uk/

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  23. cute! I have not tried the free motion quilting on my machine... but I know it can do it. Yours turned out SUPER cute! I host a Tuesday link party that I would LOVE for you to come check out. http://www.nap-timecreations.com

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  24. Oh so CUTE and practical!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer... From Dream To Reality last week!!!

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  25. Dear DIY Dreamer: Your quilting is nice. We had a lady come to teach us at our quilt club. She recommends a 10" X 12" quilt sandwich to practice on 15 minutes a day. One tip of hers was to remember that you need space to come out of your swirl or whatever. Don't just go in real tight. I love outline quilting. It's pretty easy; just keep echoing your flower or whatever. When you feel you've gone far enough, do another one; maybe a leaf and made a nice vee or curve to join the two outlines or echoes.

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