Doodle Dragons Done 28

I become a serious machine hypochondriac when I do FMQing. Even though invariably it’s PEBSMAC (similar to PEBKAC – Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair, but instead the problem is between the Sewing Machine and Chair.)


Me: Oh no, the thread is stuck, I can’t move to a new area of the project! What’s wrong with my machine??
Me: Oh. I just forgot to lift the presser foot.

Me: Oh gosh! There’s something wrong with the bobbin! I can’t pull the bobbin thread up to start a new section!
Me: Oh. I forgot to cut the bottom thread when I finished that last section.


Me: Oh man, the machine sounds different than it usually does… Oh gosh, my machine must be breaking!
Me: Oh. I forgot to put down the presser foot. (That thread pile is what results from this particular mistake.)

On my Pfaff, there is a special foot placement for FMQ and it’s really hard for me to tell (obviously) when the foot is up or in that position just by looking. I can’t say I ever felt comfortable while doing the doodle stitching, but at least I feel a bit more in command of it. I definitely want to try more of it, though! If I could figure out what I’m doing that makes the thread to break from time to time (and then stop doing it), I would feel a lot more comfortable with it.


I still need to put a border on the block, and then I start the scary “maybe I should have planned this a little better” process of building a quilt around these blocks. I know there will be flying geese because I like them and I’ve never made one. (I know! I have no idea why not.) But other than that, I’m kinda at a loss. I will obviously have to go surf for inspiration!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, and come visit on Monday! We will be joining the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day week. You’ll have a chance to win some fat quarters from the True Colors lines!


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28 thoughts on “Doodle Dragons Done

    • anne Post author

      I’m not sure if I agree with you about the hard part being over. lol At least with the dragons I had a vision in my head of what I wanted. For the rest of the quilt it’s just a big ol’ question mark! πŸ˜‰

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Kathleen! I am hoping for some inspiration of how to turn these into a quilt, and hoping it strikes soon! πŸ˜€ Probably I need to get them on the design wall and stare for a while. πŸ™‚

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Pat, and you know I agree with you! πŸ˜€ I have the vaguest notion of what I want to do with these. Part of the challenge is that a 9 year old has a very different aesthetic than a 38 year old! πŸ™‚ It’s an interesting balancing act.

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Paula! It’s definitely my favorite. πŸ™‚ It helps that I had two dragons to practice on before I got to this one! Hopefully I’ll start getting some inspiration on what to do with the rest of the quilt soon! I’m running out of time. πŸ™‚

  • stacey day

    Looking great! The thread breaking sucks though. Try loosening the tension slightly, using a larger needle and slow down a touch (if you try to cheetah FMQ like I do!) also, putting a slightly thinner thread in the bobbin helps too. I have had major thread breakage issues, and this seems to help =)

    • anne Post author

      It never broke when I was just stitching on the linen, just when I was going through the fused bits, so maybe the fusible webbing had some effect on it? The tension could have been part of the issue, and ummm yah, I was definitely going pretty fast. These are all great tricks to try, thank you so much!

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Christine! Fingers crossed that I don’t make an ugly mess of them with my total lack of design for the rest of the quilt. πŸ˜€

  • Karen @ capitolaquilter

    You are going to spark a new craze that goes viral I just know it. And you’ve certainly coined a new phrase PEBSMAC – mostly because it’s fun to say! How many blocks did you end up with? I think that Taffy would be an awesome setting for these if there are 4.

    • anne Post author

      Hahah I think it’d be super fun to see more people doing thread sketching! It’s a super fun FMQ method. πŸ™‚ PEBSMAC is what I do to my forehead when I realize I forgot to put the foot up or down. πŸ˜‰

      I ended up with three blocks, and each is a unique size and shape. Because I hate myself. Or I like a design challenge. One of those two. πŸ˜€

    • anne Post author

      Ooooh, those are so cute, and I love the kite at the end!! That’s something I hadn’t considered! Thank you for the idea. πŸ˜€ I’m having this design dilemma right now where what I want and what I think my 9-year-old niece will want in a quilt are very different. πŸ™‚

    • anne Post author

      Thanks Leanne! I enjoy it enough that I will definitely try more of it. πŸ™‚ Working with different materials might work better as well. πŸ™‚

    • anne Post author

      Thank you! I have been staring at it, but nothing has come to me. I think I might need to just start making at this point. πŸ™‚

  • Adrianne

    Anne, this is amazing! Ugh, such a cute little sleepy dragon. Personally I would try to not overthink what a 9 year old wants in a quilt. What I would look for in a quilt (and I think you would too) is balance – colour, movement, pattern and negative space. A child might not be able to articulate that, but I think your niece will want a quilt that looks good and if it looks good to you it will probably look good to her too. Also, she won’t be 9 forever! I can’t wait to see more of this quilt, and how you meet the design challenge of fitting your different dragon blocks together πŸ™‚

    • anne Post author

      Oh man, this is just what I needed to hear, thank you! I’ve had the blocks on the wall for the weekend (dealing with Christmas stuff) and nothing has been coming to me. You’re right, I’m way overthinking it! πŸ™‚ I’ll stop trying to figure out what she might want, and focus on what I think will make it look good. πŸ™‚ Also, I need a bigger design wall.

  • paula

    Ooooohhhh … I have PEBSMAC too!! Generally mine is “why is the bobbin not winding?” oh “because I did not push the lever over” … seriously, that E4 or whatever message it is gets me every time!!

    Lovely dragon!

  • snips

    This is just the most adorable quilt block in the history of quilting! Your stitching is fantastic, love the clouds! and the butterfly! and the dragon, of course the dragon! It looks like a watercolor illustration in a children’s book. You’ve done a wonderful job Anne, and i can’t wait to see more of this quilt!

    • anne Post author

      Oh man, thank you so much, snips! (btw, it feels weird to call you that. Just so you know. πŸ™‚
      I am really excited to do more of this. It’s a fun combination of drawing and quilting that I hadn’t expected to enjoy. It’s still a little stressful, but I’m guessing with more practice it will become even more enjoyable!