Thursday, January 21, 2010

Machine quilting

My friend Irene just wrote to me and said how much she was enjoying my blog.  Then I remembered I hadn't posted today.  Thank you woke me up.  Hmm, maybe I shouldn't be thanking her.  Yes, I do, I really do thank her.
Machine quilting..............on your machine............Take classes!  Our guild offered two classes last year from someone we know that is fantastic at machine quilting.  The classes filled instantly.  Once you take that class it is a matter of practice, practice and more practice.  I have some tips that may help you out.  I have been practicing and believe it or not I am getting better at it.

1.  I sandwiched a bunch of muslin squares together and I keep them at my sewing machine.  Before I start to machine quilt, I take them out and practice on them.  It gives me my rhythm and better to do errors on scrap than the quilt.
2.  Just like in driving a car.................slow down around the curves!  Best piece of advise I've been given.

If you can set the speed on your machine, set it down from what it is normally set at.  This will help you to maintain a slower rate.  Like going from 50 to 30 .......... think of it as a speed trap!
See what happens when you rush your get spider legs.  That's my name for them.

Slow down and you get this.  Oh, this is so much nicer to look at
When you do points (these were suppose to be cat's ears), stop, do an extra stitch and then move on.  It doesn't matter where the point may be, on the inside or the outside, take that extra time and those stitches won't be curved instead of pointed.
This is the cat.  Pathetic isn't it.  It was free motioned after I drew it on the fabric.  This is the reverse side.  There are no spider legs and the points are points.
3.  Put on a CD and have it playing in the background.  There is a beat to the music and it helps maintain your rhythm.  I play my Rod Stewart one.  Love that man.

I haven't attempted any large quilts yet.  Once they are over lap size they go to the LA.  I'm still learning this method.  It takes time.  I looked machine quilting up on the net and here is a good site to read
The only other tip I can give you is to take a good look at your quilt before you pin baste.  I try my darndest to put the pins where I know I won't be quilting.  If I'm stitching in the ditch, I don't put a pin right where I'm going to be sewing.  I move it over.  Take a look at your walking foot and see how wide it is.  If you can keep your pins on each side its a bonus.  You can remove the pins after you have the quilt top together.

What kind of thread?  Tomorrow.....................

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