Free motion quilting 1

In some ways the creation of a patchwork quilt top is the easy part as we follow instructions to cut and piece each block.

I admit I’m a little frightened of the quilting part.

There are easy ways to quilt your quilt, if that’s an acceptable description! You can simply join with a single stitch through the layers and tie off, repeating at regular intervals, or another common method is to ‘stitch in the ditch’ where you simply quilt following the outline of various pieces until you feel the layers are sufficiently secure. But the real talent is in free motion quilting, where the creator stitches (often very fancy) patterns across the whole quilt, involving lots of curves and lots of skill.

A few months ago I bought a selection of feet for my sewing machine as I had a great desire to learn the art of free motion quilting/embroidery. I even got as far as attempting a simple squiggle pattern with some small measure of success. However, the prospect of unleashing on a lovingly made quilt and messing it up is something I’ve been putting off… until now.

First I created some fabric sandwiches from old pillowcases.

Then I secured the correct foot to my sewing machine, set the stitch length to the smallest setting and inserted the darning plate (which covers the feed dogs) – my machine doesn’t have the option of lowering the feed dogs

And then I began… trying to keep an even pressure on the foot pedal was difficult and I struggled to move the fabric at the right pace for the machine (or struggled to keep the machine to the right speed for my movement); either way this meant that my stitches were very small. But after an hour or so I think I found some proficiency at free motion writing if nothing else!

Tomorrow, I hope to take the brave next step and attempt some free motion quilting on my patchwork cusion cover.

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Hi, I'm Karen, creator of which is home to my poetry, art and general ramblings. I am the author two collections of poetry, 'Kaleidoscopic Beauty' & 'I am the Stars in the Sky', and the children's book 'All That Glitters' (not yet published). I also enjoy running.

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