Friday, March 11, 2016


Here is my pfaff.  Those who have been part of my blog from the beginning know that I have gone from a Bernina, Janome, pfaff, Janome, and back to a Pfaff.

I started out doing meandering on my Bernina even doing a king size quilt.

I had a Pfaff midarm in San Antonio, and now I have this Bailey Home Quilter.

I have found that I do not like to quilt on my longarm.  I don't mind doing meandering, swirls etc but nothing intricate.  I feel I do not have enough control.  I need a stiffer arm.  I felt the same with my mid arm.  I do like the long arm when I want something done in a hurry.

In fact, I am not much of an intricate quilter.  I have too much nervous energy and want it done and want it done now.  I tend to get bored.....I think I have issues with my mind wandering and my self wandering from project to project.

That being said, I was asked how I did the FMQ on this piece for Wendy's hop next week.


I did this on my pfaff that you see above.  I did not use any gadgets or devices.

It is far from perfect but I am happy with it.

You will see below how I formed the circles.

I took freezer paper, took a small plate and drew around it.

Then I placed the shiny side down and ironed it onto the fabric. 

Next was just taking my foot and sewing next to the circle.  Then I just put my foot next to the sewn circle and went around the inside.

Then I found a smaller circle and did the same thing and an even smaller circle for the center.
After that was done I just filled in the spaces with what ever took my fancy. 

I have to say I had a fun time doing this, and come next Friday you will see that I did this six times.  I even said to myself that I was surprised I stuck with it for so long and if I could do this six times then I could do this on a quilt.  So maybe I am getting more patience?  

Who knows but I do enjoy the process and I do enjoy doing these things on my domestic machine.  Now the pfaff above has a longer neck but like I said, I have done king size quilts with just the regular neck.

So what do you prefer to do?  Use a longarm?  Or do you find the comfort of your domestic machine?

I always thought free motion quilting was just that, you guiding the machine to get a desired effect.  I don't know if you will call it free motion when you have the machine doing all the work, the program ones?  I don't know...any thought?


Karen in Breezy Point said...

I kind of feel the same way about doing intricate quilting on my longarm. I know others can do it, so it must be a skill I haven't developed--lol! I think of free motion as hand guided (but not a panto--I think of that as edge to edge). If it was a digital design, I think it would be computerized quilting? Oh well, how ever it's done, it's good to be finished!

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

I think you did a bang up job on that quilt and I send mine out. Good for you babe...great job!

QuiltShopGal said...

You have certainly had experience on many machines, thus I consider you an expert of pros/cons on various machines. Love what you created and look forward to seeing more in the upcoming blog hop.


Gene Black said...

I say that free motion is hand guided with no rulers or pantograms etc.
But I am going to use the freezer paper idea!! :)
I have never tried a longarm, but I love freemotion on my Janome 6600P domestic machine

West Michigan Quilter said...

Great post. Thanks for telling us how you did this. I know what you mean about control. Do you have any special techniques for maintaining that control on your domestic machine?

Barbara said...

Ingenious use of freezer paper, Barb. As for filling in the spaces with whatever took your fancy, a great result. As for me, I might be able to do the concentric freezer paper circles, but something besides circles for filling in the spaces would have to be my choice (unless I suddenly had new, non-arthritic hands). LOL! All that continual turning amazes me. It's beautiful!

Dana Gaffney said...

I've only ever used a regular machine so I don't know which I would prefer, but I agree free motion is just that and should be fun. When I use stencils I find myself getting bored, just following the same design over and over, I much prefer my imperfect "do it yourself".

Lynn said...

I have found that I prefer to move the quilt rather than the machine. Probably because this is the way I learned and the method I have practiced the most. I would not call computerized designs free-motion. In my opinion, if a person is not hand guiding the quilt or the machine, it isn't free-motion. It would be "computerized." Not that there is anything wrong with either method, but I don't feel that the two techniques are similar enough to be judged in the same way (if they were in a show or judged event).

I love your circular design!

QuiltSue said...

To me, FMQ is hand -driven and computerized is computerized or even robotic (in my case). I love the freezer paper idea, and may well be using that in the near future, so thanks for the idea.

beaquilter said...

really? I think if you got different handles for the long arm so you are closer to the quilt, then you'll like to do intricate stuff on it, I don't have ram horn handles on mine but now I could buy them, but maybe it's because I'm short that I'm closer to the quilt to begin with :) I love my long arm, just not doing straight lines!

Calicojoan said...

LOL! I thought I was reading my biography for a minute. I too have tried many machines. My Pfaff hands down does the best deco stitches ever, but my heart belongs to my little Bernina. Sounds like we are the same quilter too. I need the control of my domestic machine. I just can't do it on the mid arm, but they are great for overall pantos. Can't wait to see your project next week!

Barbara said...

Here's a new question which I hope isn't obvious. Do you use a special foot for FMQ on your basic Pfaff?

KaHolly said...

I sure would like the opportunity to play on a longarm to find out which I like best! XO