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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Translation post for May FMQ Challenge Videos

This post is for those participating in the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge and need to utilize Google Translation, or another web based translation tool, to have a text narative in their own language, while watching the videos for the May challenge.

I want to thank everyone that volunteered to help with this transcription, as well as those that volunteered to help research use of Dragon Speak with youtube videos.  I did learn that the power of Dragon Speak is training the dragon software to recognize a specific voice, thus more work is required to "scrub" the transcription in Dragon Speak.  Also, Malini shared that she learned YouTube has a Beta release allow that allows video creators to automatically created closed caption videos that can then be translated to different langages.  Hopefully, if in the future there is a video to be released by another FMQ Expert, for this challenge, we'll either be able to use Dragon Speak or the YouTube Closed Caption release will have the bugs worked out.  In the meantime, I appreciate Malini and Lotti for helping to manually transcribe the videos for the May tutorial.

VIDEO #1 transcription
Thank you to Malini, aka Hema (My Quilting Journey)  for providing the following transcript of this video:
Leah Day Tutorial Part1:
Hi my name is Leah Day and welcome to this special tutorial for SewCal Gal's 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge.
I'm so excited to be helping you learn some cool stuff about free motion quilting. We’re going to cover some tools and supplies as well some good ideas about practicing when you're not working on real quilt or real project. You don't want lot of pressure and stress of getting perfect stitches every time. We're also going to learn two really fun foundational designs.  Not only do they produce really awesome texture, they are also very easy to stitch. So we're going to have a great time today and I really hope that you enjoy this tutorial.
So let’s get started first with the tools and materials I use every day for free motion quilting. And I really think that this will help you get started with this craft. Of course keep in mind that every single teacher in this Free Motion Quilting Challenge is going to have a different set of opinions, a different set of tools and a different set of materials that she advises you to use. And that's okay, its good to try a variety of things. But understand and accept that everyone has a different experience with this. Something that works for one quilter is not going to work for everyone. Otherwise, we would only have 5 tools and that will be it. There lot more than that, there are lot of choices and variety. Hoops work for some people and they don't work for others. Gloves work for some people and other quilters hate it. So, you know it’s good to keep that in mind and just simply try a variety. Get together with some quilters in your area and each of you invest in one or more tools for Free Motion Quilting. Then, get together in a Quilt Bee or simple workshop weekend and have some time experimenting and having fun with those tools. And see what works well for you and what doesn't. You'll be surprised to find that one tool that works well for one quilter, doesn't work for everyone else. Simply because there machines are different, your experience is different, the way you stitch is different. So, keep that in mind as you hear all these various instruction each month.

As far as the tools I use on daily basis I really like:

·         Machingers Quilting Gloves - these are simple quilting gloves with latex rubberized tips that help you grip the surface of the quilt and move it around. You can grip and increase the grip of your quilt and you can increase your ability to control and manipulate those stitches. So you can get the quilt where you wanted at any time.That is super important, because if you're not using something like that, the quilt is just going to be sliding underneath your finger tips and you won't have any control over it.

·         Supreme Slider - Another tool that I really love is my Supreme Slider. This is a teflon sheet that goes on the machine bed and just lays over by the machine bed and kind of grips it. The surface is very slick and slippery and all it does is simply reduce the friction between the machine and the back of your quilt, making your quilt easier and smoother to move. This is going to mean less strain on your body, less difficulty moving it around. So its going to be easier to deal with that bulk whenever your quilting. Even bigger quilts on your little machine.

·         Little Ginie Magic Bobbin Washers - The last tool that I use on all the machines all the time no matter what I'm doing. I use a Little Genie Magic bobbin washers. And basically what this is a teflon donut- teflon washers that goes inside your bobbin case. Put your bobbin on top and wind it just like normal. Then you kind of forget about it. All it does is fill in that extra space in the bobbin case and allow the bobbin to spin and glide smoothly and evenly. I put them in and just forget about it. I use them for piecing, appliqué, quilting, everything. And it’s important to know that you can use it for both top and side loading bobbins. You can use it in pretty much any machine and they do have noticeable effect in reducing thread breaks, any kind of spin issues you're having with your bobbin. Improve your tension just a little bit and makes your machine just a little bit more reliable. And makes the stitches a little prettier. And that's really nice, because when your thread is breaking really often, its very annoying and very hard to stick with it and get through that. Its hard simply because you're so frustrated. Why is my thread continuing to break so often? And the bobbin washer will help to reduce that a little bit.

Of course, I can't stop talking about threads without opening that whole can of worms. I probably could use a better word.

Thread is like a contiguous issue. Lot of quilters feel like it’s all cotton all the time.

My personal opinion is that cotton thread is great for something, but I don't necessarily think that it’s the best for free motion quilting. Because its too weak and too thick to do the job.

So for free motion quilting I'm using polyester thread, this is Isacord Polyester Embroidery thread.And I love this thread because its high quality, very durable, it’s used in industrial uses, its used in top-stitching medical scrubs. So, it can take heat, its color fast, it’s also very thin. And you can travel stitch, you can move over your lines of stitching multiple times and not break. This is very very durable and its also very affordable. You can get a big spool like this, 1000 meters thread for about 6 bucks. And that's a great deal. You'll find very quickly with free motion quilting, run through a lot of thread a lot faster than you would ever run through with piecing or appliqué. Keep that in mind if you're going to use a thread that fits in your budget. There are lot of beautiful threads that are rayon and silk and the simple fact is that they're coming in 100m or 300m spools. And they're extremely expensive. You know you're going to run through that spool in about 2 hours.

So you want to use something that has a much bigger amount for a lot lower price, but that will still produce beautiful stitches. One very very important note, always match the thread in both top and the bobbin of your machine. This is the mistake a lot of beginners make. When you get started with free motion quilt you want to reduce all the variables that cause issues with your stitches. And one best way to reduce all of those questions in the equations is to use the exact same thread, the exact same thread color, same type, same everything in both top and bobbin of your machine. So I'm going to use white Isacord thread in the top and white Isacord thread in the bobbin. I'm not going to mismatch. You know lot of people would use one color in the bobbin and one color on the up top. And lot of that is I want to match the color that matches by backing. The best thing you can do is simply pick a very busy back that includes lot of those colors from the top of your quilt. And accept that you're going to have some contrast on the back but at the same time it means that you're going to produce much prettier stitches.

No matter what how perfect you can get your machine tension, you're always going to have some little dots where the stitches aren't quite perfect.

That can drive you crazy, it really can. It’s so frustrating that it could drive you crazy. And I found over the last 7 years of quilting that the best thing to do is simply use the same color thread in the top and the bobbin and pick a backing that works out right. And be mindful about your backing. When you're quilting you're going to find that you don't have to worry about those minor tension issues, the little dots, those little things that are annoying are going to be hidden in the thread.

And that is a super super important note. And I hope you'll play with that and try that out a little bit.

As far as needles real quick I use schmetz 80/12 needles. That's what works for me, lot of people have different opinions about that. But I really like the 80/12.

As far as the batting goes, I really prefer the polyester batting. I like the Quilters dream Select polyester batting. The Select thickness is kind of the middle thickness I really like it. It produces perfect finish every time.       It doesn't shrink. You known its really down to the materials you use for quilting is the finished quilt that you're wanting to make. And you want to look at it that way. If you're using cotton or poly-cotton blend you're more than likely to get little bit of shrink to it. Its going to shrink the quilt down, shrink the quilt down a little bit and that's going to give one effect and look to your finished quilt.

If you do a lot of free motion quilting with lot of texture, that texture is going to change if the quilt shrinks.

Compare that to polyester batting, there is no shrink. It’s going to finish flat. If you wash it its going to continue to be flat.

The effect that you stitched, the fillers or whatever you used in the quilt they're going to look that way after you have washed and used. So you really have to go after the kind of looks that you're looking for your quilts. Experiment, play with it. And the biggest things that I found is don’t let widespread opinion get in the way of trying new things. You know we are in opinionated hobby and I said that before already. But don't let those opinions really get in the way of how you quilt and what you use for quilting. Because what you'll find is that it can often be very limiting to what you use. And it could be very frustration if you're stuck in the all cotton all the time kind of mentality. You might be doing frustrated by the cotton thread you're using and its ability to quilt beautifully and did not break all the time.

And you might be thinking well this is not at going to work on my machine. You might think that free motion quilting is not for me. When the truth of it is, yes it is for you and yes it will work for your machine. You just need to change the thread. So, I hope that makes sense.                     

Let’s just get started actually getting to our Free Motion Quilting challenge. This is a little bit of tip for practicing whenever you're simply in between projects and if you really want to dedicate yourself for free motion quilting and get really good at it really quickly and develop your skills. The best thing you can do is to grab a set of fabric. These are just Bella solids Layer cake, it’s just in black. And I took this and layered them up and I'm using some poly fill in the middle of it. Use any felt that you got laying around. And I marked 8inchX8inch square in the middle of it. That is all layered up and I keep a stack of 20 of these next to my sewing machine ready to go.

Come into your sewing room turn on the machine every day, sit down and stitch something in free motion quilting. Do one square every single day and I promise you by the time you even do 20 squares, you will have seen enormous change in your free motion quilting ability. You really will!

One important thing, when you mark that square, go ahead and stitch the straight line in FMQ. That will help you to practice stitching on the line. All that you do you won't need your walking foot, it’s actually much easier and faster to stitch in FMQ. Once you have got all these done. Make up another set and at the end when you're all done combine all of them to make a little quilt. It could be a great baby quilt. Or if you're embarrassed about your stitches make a charity quilt. That's a great place to put your quilts and your practice into of course benefiting someone else. That's a really really great thing to do.

I really think that's a great idea for coming in and sitting down and getting some stitch time. Often it turns out that we spend a lot of time piecing, appliqué in a project that the time between FMQ could be several weeks or months. So, it’s very hard to build a continuous skill with FMQ. So, this idea with the layer cake is really good one where you can sit down every day and setup your machine for free motion quilting, stitch real quick and then go back to whatever main project your working on.

And I hope that will help you to be able to really focus on FMQ and but still able to get all those little things done. And see some improvement as you stitch every day.  So, today we're going to work on two really fun designs that I'm going to share them with you. They're called foundational designs. Basically what this means, foundational designs are kind of the name I have given to the family of designs that starts with a foundational line. It’s just that it could be any line in the world, a straight line, a zigzag line, wiggly line. In this situation, it’s a wiggly foundational line of stippling of a nice curvy line. And the first design we're going to do is double stippling. The second design where we going to stitch a zigzag line straight line to create rail road tracks. I hope you enjoy these two videos and learn loads foundational designs and have fun stitching this on your challenge quilt.

Check out part2 of this tutorial to learn about the foundational designs. And if you’re interest in any of tools and materials used in this video, check them out at www.daystyledesigns.com .

VIDEO #2 - transcription
Thank you to Lotti D. for providing the following transcript of this video:

SewCalGal’s 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge

May 2012 – Foundation Designs with Leah Day

Part 2

Today we’re going to work on two really fun designs. I’m super excited to share them with you, they’re called foundational designs.

Foundational is the name that I have given to the family of designs that start with foundational lines. It can be any line with the world, straight line, zig-zag line, wriggly line, whatever. In this case we are using the foundational line of “STIPPLING”, therefore a nice curvy wriggle line.

The first design we’re going to do, we are going to double, therefore we are creating a double stippling design.

The second design we’re going to stitch is a kind of zig-zaggy and straight line to create “RAILROAD TRACKS”.

So I hope you’ll enjoy the two videos and learn loads about foundational lines and have fun stitching this on your challenge quilts.

Min. 0:55

To get started you are going to drop your needle down into the quilt and tug on the thread to bring the bobbin thread up to the surface. You simply tuck these under your foot out of your way so that you can get started and it won’t mess up your stitches. You definitely don’t want to leave your bobbin thread on the bottom of the quilt simply because it’s very easy to stitch through it and make a really big mess on the back of your quilt.

Definitely stitch the straight lines of your square in free motion, because this will allow you to practice stitching on a line and stitching straight lines. Stitching this in free motion will also save you a lot of time because if you were doing this with your walking foot, you would have to break thread right here rather than just continuing on with your design.

Min. 1:40             “DOUBLE STIPPLING”

Now it’s time to start the first part of our foundational design and that is stitching our foundation.

Start with a very wiggly design: you are just going to wiggle around moving in all directions and you want to keep the lines of quilting very far apart – at least 1 ½ to 2 inches, I estimate this by using about 2 finger-widths so that the lines are about the width of 2 fingers apart. This is a good visible guide for that distance. You want to keep it this open because you will be using this foundational line as a base and you will stitch back over it and fill more of the quilt after you finish this first part. Therefore definitely keep things more open than you probably think is necessary.

Of course if you want to stitch on a smaller scale for a tighter design, you can of course go tighter with this, keeping the lines only about ½ inch apart. But for a bed quilt, you would really want to aim for 2 – 3 inches between the lines you are quilting for your foundation.

Don’t worry or obsess too much about getting the foundational line perfect. If you make some mistakes, don’t worry about it, it’s really not going to show up very much in the finished design.

Min. 3:00

It’s now time for the second part. We are just going to double this stippling by stitching almost the exact same design on top, stitching back and forth. We are stitching this kind of wiggly shape perpendicular to the foundational line. It’s a very, very simple addition, you want to kind of wiggle into all the nooks and crannies that have been left open by the foundational line. As you can see, I’m wiggling into the middle of the space in between the foundational lines and wiggling right up to the edge of the edge of the quilt sandwich, so that in this corner I’m really going to wiggle around and try to fill that entire corner as I come down. You are going to end up with an area that is very narrow on one side and very wide on the opposite side and in that case you will need to do a couple of wiggles on the wide side and a very tiny wiggle on the narrow side. You can see that I am doing two wiggles here and then I reconnect with that foundational line, cross over it and wiggle my way out of that area.

Min. 4.00

Occasionally you just have to make it up as you go and as long as keep your lines very curvy and smooth it’s not going to be noticeable if you have to do a lot of extra wiggling in any particular area. Simply keep everything soft and curvy. You don’t want to suddenly start making jagged lines or sharp points in a line that is smooth and fluid. One thing that you should definitely pay attention to as you quilt the second part of this design is the scale that you are stitching on. Of course we refer to this in the beginning as you were laying the foundation. You know, keeping the lines at least 2 – 3 inches apart if you were working on a bed quilt.

Now on this second half of this design, you want to keep the lines quilted about ½ inch apart as you are filling in, doubling the design. This way, generally everything on the surface of the quilt will be ½ inch apart- that’s going to be a perfect scale, perfect density for a bed quilt, everything will remain very soft, nice and comfortable to snuggle under.


If you went with a denser version of the design, then your foundation would be stitched on a half inch and your stippling, the second half of your design would be stitched from anywhere from an eight to a sixteenth of an inch apart – you know – very, very dense. You will have very solid quilting and that’s what you want when you are going for texture more than anything else – when you want to add more drama to a quilt. But for a bed quilt you want to keep everything nice and open and consistent – you don’t want to have large areas of very tight stitching and other areas of very loose and open stitching.  You just aim for a consistent distance of the lines, that is, you aim to keep these wiggles roughly the same size and that really comes with practice. The more you stitch it, the more consistent your lines will get and the more consistent your stitches will also get. A lot of quilters ask me what stitch length they should try for with free motion quilting. And there’s really no set correct length for free motion quilting. You are creating the free motion quilting stitches by the ratio of the movement of your hand and the speed that your machine is running and that is going to be different for everyone. It’s also going to change as you develop as a quilter. So that is really something that will be different for everyone. The best thing to aim for is consistency. Aim for your stitches to be roughly the same size. A single giant stich in a sea of tiny stitches is going to be very noticeable whereas stitches that are generally the same size are going to look a lot better.

Min. 7:10

Now you can see we’re finishing off with this block and almost finished with the second part of it and this is “DOUBLE STIPPLING”. It’s basically the most simplistic version of stippling. U-shape stippling and then simlply running right over that stippling perpendicular with the foundational line to create more stippling and the funny thing about it is that this is a wonderful way to practice stitching those soft, smooth curving shapes and the really great thing is, that once you set your foundation you really don’t have to do a lot of thinking and worrying about where you are placing the design – you are just focusing on wiggling back & forth right over that starting line.

So here is what it looks like when you finish double stippling.

Min. 8:00      “RAILROAD TRACKS”

Now let’s try another variation of this exact same design. This time we’re going to stitch railroad tracks and I’m using my finger as a guide. I’m going to try and keep all of my quilting lines about a finger width apart and all I’m doing is simply stitching a straight line and stitching some right angles and then coming right across the foundational line. More straight lines, sharp angles and just back and forth. You notice already that this looks a lot like a set of railroad tracks.

I’m stretching the straight lines all the way to the edges of my quilting space so that everything is roughly evenly filled. It’s a lot harder to fill consistently with straight lines and they don’t fill as smoothly as curvy wiggly lines can. You can’t wiggle into all those nooks and crannies when you’re stitching straight lines. But it still creates a very interesting texture for your quilts and the really important thing to keep in mind with this is, that you’re not going to be perfect. The best thing to do is to let it be a little bit more organic, let it be a little bit more open and boxy and blocky, and that will really be what makes the design more interesting because that’s what railroad tracks do, they’re not perfect. They kind wiggle and bend in weird ways around the ground they are running along, so that’s what they need to do on our quilts as well.

Min. 9:44

I would say that one way that would make this a little bit easier is to stitch a much more open version of stippling whenever you are setting your foundation. Notice how much wider and more open the foundation line is that I’m running across and that’s a very good tip to follow, because whenever you get things too dense, when your start your foundation and it’s very tight and close together, it’s going to be a little tricky to stitch with straight lines and sharp angles. Simply because you will have to wiggle into a lot of odd areas and sometimes it’s just not possible. Notice that right here I have a very narrow space and I simply have to come up with some very interesting angels to get in there correctly. I did find, when I stitched out one version of this to play with and practice before shooting this video, that wherever you have a very narrow area within the foundational line, it helps to try and wiggle in at least two angles so that it comes across to make a boxy shape rather than coming to one single point, which comes across as a triangle shape. It just did not end up looking so nice. But of course that’s my personal opinion and this is definitely something that you can take & make your own. It would be a different looking stitch if you stitched this with a really zig-zaggy, jagged line that would look more like lightning bolts. Lightning bolts would look entirely different over this foundational line and in this situation I was going for the effect of railroad tracks, needing to make a railroad inspired quilt for my son. So that’s what I was going for and what I wanted to maintain throughout the design.

And here’s what it will look like when you finish “Railroad Tracks”.

Min. 11:43

Now I quickly want to show you how to deal with your loose threads when you’re done quilting. I have 4 threads here and I will tug on one of them to bring the bobbin thread up to the surface of the quilt so that they are all on the same side. Just pull on the threads to find which is connected to that bobbin thread and bring it up.

I then use a self-threading needle (a cheater needle) and running that through the center layer of the quilt, I’m going to pop those threads through the eye of that needle, give a little tug so that they are nice and loose and it should pull right through the center layer of the quilt very easily. All you then have to do is clip them off, and the threads will be perfectly hidden in the middle layer of the quilt, they will be nicely secured and no one will be able to tell where you started or stopped.

So that’s it for this tutorial. I really hope that you will give some of these foundational designs a try. It doesn’t take very much time to make up a set of practice squares like this. And what should we do James?

“Practice every day”

Give yourself 15 – 20 minutes to stitch a single 8-inch square of fabric and fill it with a different design. It doesn’t matter whether your stitching is perfect and it doesn’t matter if it takes 10 minutes or 30, just give yourself that chance to practice and experiment with free motion quilting.

 Of course a big THANK YOU needs to go out to SewCalGal for putting together this 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge. I have been having so much fun following along with all of the teachers that have shared and then sharing this tutorial was also an awesome experience. SO, A SUPER THANK YOU FOR SewCalGal!

So James, what are we going to do?

“Let’s go Quilt”  

Find more information about the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge at:

Discover the 365 designs from the FreeMotionProject, plus the Free Motion Quilt Along at:

The original post for the 2012 FMQ Challenge - May Tutorial can be found by clicking here.


Barb said...

This is just awesome...thanks so much for this wonderful information. I will have to come back and glean it some more later.

Jacquelin said...

Gracias, gracias, gracias a tí, a D. Lotti y a Hema Malini. He visto muchos videos de Leah pero es la primera vez que además puedo saber exactamente todo lo que explica. Sencillamente maravilloso. Buen fin de semana.

Bente-I like to QuiltBlog said...

Thank you Leah, as uasually perfect tutorials, and please say hello to James from me, he is a cute boy :-)
Let's go quilt!
Liebe Grüsse
I like to QuiltBlog