The exigencies of Christmas gifting forced me into my first experience of free motion quilting, affectionately known as FMQ in the quilt blogosphere. I have long feared FMQ, but had to FMQ the pastel crazy quilt (about 36" x 36") from "A Post with No Words" to meet the USPS deadline for Xmas packages (the recipient was my sweet 7-year-old niece). In other words, I used my home sewing machine to stitch together the three layers (front, back, batting), rather than sending it off to a long-arm quilter who has a special machine for the job.
I did not get to take a picture, but vowed to FMQ the next quilt I made. That would be my quilt for B. Today I stitched up the backing, a true scrap-terpiece, taped it to my table, laid the batting on top, the pieced top on top of that, and "basted" the three layers together with safety pins:
The quilt incorporates many of the fabrics that B. picked out for her own patchwork creation (indefinitely stalled), and others I thought she would like:
There are doggies because she loves them, foxes because she sings "What does the fox say?", chicks because she's a country girl and loves to coo over baby things, tropical stamps and a world map because you've gotta believe she's going places, and skull and crossbones because she fancies herself "Goth".
B. may or may not be Goth but her quilt is pure Frank--Frankenstein, that is. As scrap-tastic as the backing is, the cotton batting is even more so. I sewed together strips and scraps from previous projects, zig-zag stitching the edges together. In haste. Without squaring off the edges. The result was unacceptably puckery:
The only thing to do was to perform pucker reduction surgery in several places:
And stitch the batting together, Frankenstein style (to the side is the largest pucker I removed):
I can't wait to FMQ "Quilt Frankenstein." I'm excited to do it, and I must say, not the least bit afraid.