In 2012, I sewed a patchwork quilt top for Layton’s third birthday. Like so many quilting projects, it was never completed. I thought it would be my first FMQ project, as it was small and I could easily handle the bulk in the machine.
To make the quilt top, I cut large and small blocks from both batik and matching plain fabric. I used white as the border fabric and yellow for the backing and binding.
In preparation of my first FMQ project, I first watched loads of videos on FMQ. So many that I could practice the movement with closed eyes. If I could get it in my head how to work my hands, then it would be a somewhat natural movement. It seemed to work. Leah Day has hundreds of videos to watch. I practiced the movement over and over in my head after watching each video and came to the conclusion that my favourite FMQ stitch was stippling or scrolling. It would be the easiest to hide mistakes. I discovered that my hands cramped a lot. I could try wearing gloves, which were recommended. I also went through a lot of thread, so the larger the spool the better and it is best to have a lot of preloaded bobbins on hand.
I use Guterman 100% cotton 50 weight thread. I start the FMQ project with a new needle (12/80). At the first stitch, I pull up the bobbin thread to the top so that all loose threads are on the top rather than the bottom. I work the quilt in quarters and I never once had to break a thread to start over. My only broken threads were from starting a new bobbin, being careful to pull up that thread to the top. Once the quilting is complete, I take each pair of threads and tie in a knot. I then thread the two through a needle and embed the threads inside the quilt in one sewing motion. For the binding, I trimmed the backing a little larger than the top and batting, folded the backing forward over the top to form the binding, squared off the corners and sewed along the folded edge with a decorative stitch all the way around. I added three decorative hearts to the quilt and decided it is my new signature: “Three Hearts Quilts.”