Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Christmas Mug Rugs

I bought a freemotion presser foot for my sewing machine and tried it out over the weekend.  There's a ratty piece of fabric and batting that I use to practice quilting and check the thread tension on my machine.  At this point, it may have more thread than fabric on it.  I tried out the new presser foot with that, then I took the plunge to quilt my Christmas mug rugs. 

Wow.  I quilted one mug rug with stipple, the other was just wavy lines.  Both were a challenge.  The most frustrating problem was with my thread tension.  I tried adjusting the settings for thread and pressure foot, as well as thread length (not that I think that would matter), but my bobbin seemed to be too tight.  In some places the thread pulled straight, even with a high tensioned needle thread.  I will have to solve that first before I start doing any larger projects with freemotion quilting.  Any advice would be welcome!

Having finished these, I am even more awed by the freemotion quilts I've been admiring on the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I know some of them are quilted on a longarm machine, but it's still impressive.  In addition, I'm starting to understand why people use spray basting and grippy gloves.  It was hard to keep hold of the material to move it and I was afraid to hit my pins when the sewing machine was at full throttle.

These were good experiments and I'm sure they'll be fine for lots of use with hot cocoa and holiday cookies.


  1. How frustrating for you! I had issues like that when I first tried freemotion and it turned out to be two separate issues: 1) going too fast around curves (though too slow makes it harder to get a smooth curve) and 2) poor quality batting. I hadn't thought batting would be an issue, but the cheap craft stuff I used in my little doll quilt practice piece apparently caused trouble. I'd switch to a practice quilt sandwich with better batting and all would go well, then switch back to the doll quilt and everything went wrong again. I even took my machine for servicing before even thinking about batting as an issue.
    This may be of no use to you though! I hope you manage to identify and resolve the problem in your case.

  2. How exciting that you got a free motion foot! Keep practicing and adjusting your tension! Thanks for sharing at Linky Tuesday! Freemotion by the River


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