(No, the ladies of Twin Fibers haven’t yet posted all of the Mod Times Quilt-Along instructions. I decided to forge ahead anyway. And no, I haven’t yet finished the quilt for my own quilt-along. The logic escapes me, too.) But, you guys! I free-motion quilted this one! For real!
I’ve always had this irrational fear of FMQ. I can’t really explain it. I tried free-motion one time when I first started quilting, and the results were freakishly bad. But here’s the thing: I spent maybe five minutes on the attempt. Based on that five minutes—at a time when I could barely sew a straight seam, much less do something more complicated—I convinced myself that I just couldn’t do FMQ, and I never tried it again.
I know. Whatever happened to try, try, try again? Whatever happened to practice makes perfect? My mother will be horrified when she reads this post.
At any rate, here I was, piecing this Mod Times top. I wanted to give it as a baby gift that is way overdue, so in the interest of a quick finish, I pushed ahead of the quilt-along (hopefully that’s okay with the Twin Fibers girls). I really love how the top turned out, considering this was my first experience with set-in seams. But it is a bit wonky in places—those set-in seams aren’t always quite straight, and I thought straight-line quilting would draw attention to that. Diagonal lines might have been okay, but I guess I was too lazy to mark the top.
So, I don’t know what finally made me do it, but I pulled out some scrap fabric and gave FMQ another try. First attempt in three years. And you know what? I have no idea what I was so afraid of all this time. After a little more practice, I was stippling this quilt! It might sound ridiculous, but this was one of the most exciting, triumphant moments of my sewing career so far. I have finally overcome my FMQ phobia! Yes, my stitch length is wildly inconsistent, and I know my stippling could be smoother and curvier. So, it could be better. But it could also be a whole lot worse!
I feel like such a doofus for not trying FMQ again until now. The last time I tried it, I’d never done a block more complex than a four-patch. I didn’t even know how to miter corners on binding. So something tells me that three years of general quilting experience was a huge factor in my relative success this time around.
Lesson learned: Try things again. Who’da thought? Okay, my mom. And probably my 4-year-old too. : )
Quilt stats: Size – 41″ x 37″. Fabric: Aviary 2 by Joel Dewberry and Kona White. Back: Henna Garden with some Aviary 2 pieced in. Quilting: FMQ stippling by me (whoop whoop). Design by Twin Fibers—thank you, ladies, for a fabulous design and wonderful quilt-along! (Wonderful enough that I just had to jump ahead!)