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On Free Motion Machine Quilting…

2013 June 21

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I started my youngest daughter’s quilt a while ago… and then I finished the quilt top… and then I stopped. Mostly because I was not sure how to do the quilting. And, of course I was getting a bit ahead of myself as usual, because I hadn’t finished the backing yet! Thankfully I have a friend who has been doing some free motion machine quilting for her baby quilts. She suggested watching this video tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company. Thankfully (again) the tutorial is really good. I was able to feel confident enough to finally try my hand at a real project!

I had been eyeing the Herringbone Hot Pad tutorial ever since it popped into my email box from Sew Can She, so I figured this was a good project to start with. Unfortunately for me I suppose, the stipple pattern I quilted into this lovely straight line modern looking hot pad just doesn’t make sense. I would have loved to quilt the straight lines like Melanie does in her tutorial, but I needed a project, and I do still like how mine turned out.

For all of you who are seasoned quilters, I apologize for posting my beginner work! This is by no means a quilting blog – if it was you might see a post every 2 or 3 months, and it would likely take years to finish a quilt, I might not have any readers left by then! I admire everyone who can make quilts so quickly and I wish that were the case with mine as well. I will have to be patient for now I think. What tips and tricks do you use when you quilt?

I started out on a few (large!) test quilt sandwiches and then pieced my herringbone pattern and quilted it. The tutorial is great and has lots of photos. The self binding option is really nice for this size of project and I used this method on the Plays-Mats tutorial I posted a while back. I got to cut into my blue Oh Deer fabric and use some pieces that I have left from the year that I subscribed to the Pink Chalk Solids Club. I wish I had chosen an uneven number of colours though, my herringbone pattern looks a bit more like angled stripes.

I am super excited that the stipple pattern looks so great! I watched the half hour video and practiced for about an hour before I started, and it really does make a difference if you take a deep breath and slow down and try to “draw” your stipple with the needle. I did try to draw the pattern on and then stitch over my lines, but that was more nerve wracking than doing it freehand.  I think that the truth about why it looks alright (for a beginner!) though, is that the pattern is super forgiving when it is seen all together. You don’t tend to focus on the bad spots. See if you can find the (at least) seven places I made a “corner” where it should have been a curve, and the one place I stopped and had to start again at the edge because I got stuck. See, bet you didn’t notice them all the first time round!

Have you tried free motion quilting on your home machine? What are your experiences? If you do it all the time, what tips can you (please!) share with the rest of us?

 By the way, if you want to access the tutorial it is also pinned to my Sewing Tips and Tricks Pinterest board, just in case you want to follow!

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. mom permalink
    June 21, 2013

    That is really nice. I haven’t really tried quilting that way. Looks cool. Not sure it would work on my machine for a big quilt. Too hard to move it around and keep it all flat? Maybe for a baby quilt, tho’.

    • June 21, 2013

      True – I think that’s about all that would fit under the machine without being too bulky.

  2. June 21, 2013

    That looks amazing. I love the colours you picked too.
    Dorienne Fairbanks recently posted… Hemming a grad dressMy Profile

    • June 21, 2013

      Thanks Dorienne – might be the only quilting we see here for a while – I hope not though. I’ve got to get someone to push me to get the quilt done, I’ve got a whole ‘nother one to finish for my oldest! :)

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