Friday, November 6, 2015

FMQ (Free Motion Quilting) on the 201

I have been stumped.  I did not want to just stipple the next section of Mom's quilt.  I am tired of swirls and feathers.  I toyed with the idea of repeating the pattern from the first border.  Nope.  I could just quilt wavy lines all the way across; B O R I N G.  The creative juices were just not flowing.

It might have something to do with my preoccupation with Canine Hospice.  Slowly and subtly Wilson decreased his food consumption.  First he would fail to finish his full meal.  He would take it if I hand fed him.  Then he refused kibble.  I tried another one, no dice.  So a few weeks ago we took him to the vet.  He was very anemic and we searched for a cause; no obvious bleeding.    After a trial of antibiotics and continued decline, the vet confirmed my fears; Wilson's cancer is taking its toll.    I am devastated and irrational much of the time.    He eats and I am revived.  Then he won't eat and I crater.  No, I don't think he is in pain.  I do think he feels like shit. It breaks my heart to see him so thin and failing.  Poor guy. 

He can still climb the stairs but I have avoided going to the quilting "studio" to work on the long arm.  He is pretty weak and going up and down stairs, which he will do if I let him, is an effort.  Instead I have been playing on the 201 and practicing FMQ on scraps of batting and old sheets.  I figure that if I can get the pattern in my brain with practice on the 201, I can transfer that "memory" to the long arm.  Others do it, I can too.

I started with swirls and wavy lines, just for practice.  It isn't so easy.  I jerk the fabric around.  I am using small pieces, too.  Of course, with time, I improved.

Today I just started fooling around with paisleys and feathers.

I think that it will work out just fine on the long arm.  I will use a blending thread and the mistakes won't be so obvious.  I think I will practice some more on the smaller pieces so that I can get a more fluid motion to the pattern.  On the long arm, the pattern will be larger and more fluid, I am sure.

At the moment, my boy seems content.  He is asleep on the couch.  Today he ate almost two whole chicken breasts and a half a can of dog food.  Oh, and when I reached for the Greenies, he came trotting out to the kitchen, ears perked and eager for the treat.   I am not good at being present in the moment.  I know there will not be a miracle.  I wish that he was healthy.  I hate seeing him weaken.  I know that my job is to keep him comfortable and when the time comes, call the vet.  If he were to die in his sleep, that would be a beautiful blessing.


  1. In 2000 we got an adult cat we named Jorj, thinking we would have him for only a short time since he was FIV positive. He lasted until a month ago so I take comfort that he enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed him. They really are family.
    Wilson has a wonderful face.

    I have been unable to fmq on my 201. I just can not get the hang of it. Looks like I should try again and practice more; your piece looks good.

    Lillian, near Cape Cod

    1. Keep trying. Drop the feed dogs, try smaller pieces and relax. I don't like the button foot controller. My foot gets tired.

  2. The practice looks terrific. Keep going. I bought a half price class from Craftsy from Christina Cameli (she is a nurse midwife!). Her approach, while not long arm per se, has helped me approach designs and adding on, and personalizing.
    I had a cat, Cinders, who was my best cat friend ever. She had diabetes and I had to give her pills 2 times a day. She was a real trooper and companion. It got to the point when she looked at me and her eyes said, Let me go. It broke my heart, but I did. Her pawprint is in a clay heart that hangs in my family room. I have another cat, but Cinders was really a special friend.

    1. You are my inspiration for quilting, you know.

      Cinders, what a great name.

  3. I am thinking of you and Wilson. My soul mate was Sam (a springer spaniel) who left me when he was 15. He was constantly at my side from when he arrived so I can understand. That is over 8 years ago and I still think about him every day. Wilson has such wonderful eyes that are telling a story of love. He is having a wonderful life with you and the care you are giving him. He couldn't ask for more.

  4. Just wandered here from another site, and I love the paisley/swirl design... So sorry to hear about your sweet boy, he has a handsome face and some knowing eyes. Thankful he's in such a loving, thoughtful, compassionate home. Try, if you can, to find the peace in that.