Monday, May 2, 2011
The process - part 5 Improv quilt - quilting
I decided to do line quilting on this quilt instead of an all over design. I am free motion quilting the lines. I am using Essentials thread in cream for the Kona snow fabric on the front and in the bobbin. I do pull my thread ends to the back, tie a knot about 1/2" to 1" from the quilt, thread a very large eye needle and bury the threads between the quilt's layers. Pretty basis stuff. My quilt lines are about 3/8" apart and I do not sweat it that they are not perfectly straight. I like the variation - I think it gets the piece a more organic and hand made feel.
I don't know how I ever sewed before without the extra stick on light I bought. It is a Bendable Bright Light and it has made a world of difference in being able to see. I got mine on ebay for about $30 - $35.
I also use a pair of gloves that help me move the quilt. I get these at Miller's Dry Goods in Charm, Ohio. They are really some kind of gardening/work glove, but they work great for free motion quilting. I buy lots of them when I work in Charm - like next Friday and Saturday for their anniversary sale 30% off fabric, notions,and patterns!) because I end up using them for work around the house.
The last item that is essential for me to free motion quilt are my MagEyes. It is a magnifier that slides on to you head and makes it so much easier to see.
My sewing machine fits down in my cabinet so I have a nice flat surface.
I also have a table behind my cabinet and a table beside my cabinet which help when I quilt big quilts. Having my quilting area in a corner also keep the quilt from falling off the back or the side of the tables. I know it is hard to see this since the tables blend into the paneling.
My best advice for free motion quilting is practice. You have to get you hands going at the right speed in conjunction with the speed of the needle to get consistent sized stitches. Perfection is not what you need to attain, it is just getting those stitches in a size range that it looks good - not too tiny and not real big.