Today’s Topic: FMQ-What is the Best Stitch Length
Welcome to Lesson 7 of our 2021 Quilt-a-Long, Even Better Machine Quilting
This FREE multi-week tutorial is based on my books available in my Etsy shop: LoriKennedyShop
Sign up for emails of the class HERE.
Join the private Quilting with LKQ Facebook Group HERE
Find the 2021 QAL links HERE
Find the 2020 (25 Week) QAL links HERE
Good Morning, Quilters!
I’d like to start by thanking you for your patience with my erratic blogging schedule. As you know, I have a large family and they always come first. For the last five weeks, I have been staying with my daughter, her husband and my two grandsons as my daughter recovers from a difficult orthopedic surgery. It’s been a challenging time, but one filled with many graces. Each night I fall into bed with the happy memories of a full day. While I vow to wake up early to write a blog post, frequently I’m called away for more important tasks like toasting a bagel or reading Pout, Pout Fish (my new favorite book) to my grandsons.
Claire is improving each day and I will be back in my sewing room in mid May. Until then, I hope to wake early and start writing…
The Best Stitch Length for Free Motion Quilting
In my book, the name of this chapter is The Perfect Stitch Length. If I could, I would change it to the Best stitch length, because I don’t think Perfect and FMQ ever go together.
The only standard for judging stitch length is that they are even.
Even stitches may vary throughout the quilt, however. For example, a small circle will necessarily have smaller stitches than a long wavy line. In order to achieve the circle, small stitches are necessary, but the small stitches wouldn’t look nice on a long wavy line.
Develop Your Eye
I don’t mean to be confusing. I am trying to emphasize that the best stitch length is variable and subjective.
YOU need to look at your quilt and decide what looks best. One of the keys to free motion quilting is inspecting your work regularly to develop your eye for good stitch length and tension.
Stitch Length Varies
YOU get to choose the proper stitch length–of course you do…but even for competition quilts. There is not a standard for stitch length in judging.
Style of Quilt
The style of quilt may influence the length of the stitch. For example, very long stitches may emphasize the style in a homespun or art quilt, but would look out of place in a traditional quilt.
Intricate motifs like circles or tight fills require a smaller stitch to achieve the proper shape. Large circles or long wavy lines look great with a slightly larger stitch length.
You will likely prefer a slightly longer stitch when using a high loft batting.
Thread weight influences stitch length. Very small stitches can be achieved with a fine weight thread which would look messy with a heavy weight thread. Conversely, when stitching long stitches, try a heavy weight thread.
Goal is Even Stitches
Our goal is to create even stitches within the parameters noted above. Generally, our goal is to learn to control the quilt to create fairly even stitches throughout the quilt.
Tomorrow: Quilt Exercises for Controlling Stitch Length
What about YOU?
Do YOU inspect your quilting for stitch length?
Are YOUR quilt stitches even but varied?
Do YOU fall asleep at night tired but content?
Have YOU ever needed crutches?
We’d LOVE to hear!
Your Juggling Quilter, Blogger, Grandma, Mother
PPS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of LoriKennedyQuilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thanks!You might also enjoy my motif books: Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 and More Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3