This afternoon, a new spool of thread in hand, I sat down to finish the FMQ on my charm square baby quilt. But, luck clearly wasn't on my side, and I just couldn't get things to work for me. The thread kept bunching up on the underside of my quilt sandwich, and no matter how I changed my thread tension, re-threaded my needle, re-inserted my bobbin, and checked the feed dogs, I simply couldn't get things going right. Extra frustrating because I only have a tiny portion left to quilt, and I was hoping to get the quilting done and binding attached today. Instead, I forced myself to push back from my sewing table, shut things down, and vow to have another go when I was feeling fresher. No point ruining the rest of my Sunday over a bit of uncooperative thread! Any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong? I'm sure it's something simple and obvious, but I can't figure it out, and the manual for my machine isn't shedding much light on anything, except to indicate thread tension...

Despite today's frustration, Bee Blessed yesterday was a fantastic afternoon of productivity and sociability! At our last meeting, I handed over (after an embarrassingly long delay) a quilt top I'd been working on for what seemed like forever - the vision in aqua and yellow of my last post. We didn't have the materials for the backing and binding that day, so I started working on a new stripe-y quilt top intended for an older couple, using lots of lovely, warm browns, tans, and creams. This week, I kept going with this stripe-y quilt. In the throes of my productivity - I was determined to finish the 25 squares by the end of our meeting yesterday - I neglected to take any photos, but each square consists of six 2 1/2 inch strips sewn together in a two dark, two medium, two light pattern. The idea is that we'll lay them out in such a way to create a lovely repeated zigzag pattern... can't wait to keep going with it at our next get together!

While I worked away on that, the lovely Ruth prepared a fantastic pieced back for the vision in aqua and yellow quilt. Doesn't it look fantastic?!

xx Tina


  1. THe backing will be fab for your yellow/aqua quilt top. Love the teamwork of Bee Blessed!

    You did the right thing by drawing back from the FMQing and not spoiling the rest of your day, but I sympathise with your frustration. Sadly, I can offer no helpful advice.

  2. It might be that you need a new or different needle. I use a 90/14 topstitch needle to free motion quilt. The other thing I mostly do is leave the feed dogs up and - when I remember, it works without it - I put a super slider (a silicon mat with a hole for the needle) over them. I just set the stitch length to zero and change nothing else. Sometime the thread bunches because I move the quilt too fast around the corners too. Sometimes if it is just not working well, I take all the thread off the machine, clean the machine, take out the bobbin too and then rethread, or change to another bobbin and spool and rethread. Don't give up you will figure out the trick.

  3. Are you remembering to put the presser foot fully down? If you are lowering the feed dogs, you might need to keep your tension at the default setting but reduce the stitch length. I agree with Leanne re: change of needle. It also helps to have the same thread top and bottom too! Good luck! Jxo

  4. Can't be of any help I'm afraid but the pieced back looks great.!!!!!
    Still not got upto my sewing room.:(


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