Wednesday, May 5, 2010

1st Quilt Ever -- Quilting, Pt 1: PRACTICE

Show of hands, who's scared?

Don't be! Let's practice!

If you have a scrap of batting, pin baste it between two pieces of fabric to create a little practice piece. Or, bust out an old dish towel or bath towel to practice on. You just need something with a little thickness to it to do a practice run!

You always start free-motion quilting the same way: Start with two or three stitches in place (this is the quilting version of backstitching), then start your design.

Here are a couple super short videos of stitches you can practice.

For this one you can start with a shape you've drawn directly onto your fabric using a disappearing ink marker. If you are using a design that has corners, pause slightly at each angle to ensure a sharp point.

This meandering stitch is the quilting method I use most. There is no need to mark anything. The only guidelines are:
A) Try and keep your stitching lines a consistent distance apart. My distance was approximately 1 1/2" in this example.
B) Try not to cross your own stitching lines.
Other than that, you can go to town with this design!

If you are too nervous to freehand a design, or your fabrics are too dark or scrappy to draw your design on, you can create a paper template and simply sew around it.

In this little video my paper template popped over the top of my free-motion foot. All you have to do is stop sewing, lift the foot, and stick the paper back underneath it. I also accidentally sewed over the edge of my paper. No big deal! Just tear the paper away!


~ Remember that YOU are controlling the stitch length! Practice coordinating your foot pedal speed with your hand speed to get a consistent stitch length.

~ Practice the design you want to do on your actual quilt.

You can do this!! Try it out and see how it feels!
I have LOTS more to share -- stay tuned!


Emily said...

I'm excited and nervous at the same time for this step! I'm actually planning to go to the Bernina dealer tomorrow and finally get a darning presser foot for my machine. I've also read about a freehand embroidery presser foot. Bernina users out there--any preference what kind of presser foot you use for free motion quilting?

Ms Muffin said...

Well, NOW I'm scared ... ;-)

Catherine said...

I'm scared and was just going to straight line quilt but the free-motion looks so nice. I'm thinking, I've gone this far in making my quilt, might as well learn it all! Now to find a darning foot for my machine...

Megan said...

Do you see my hand waving in the air--I will probably not be able to get to this until next week--that gives me plenty of time to panic!!
No--I'm not procrastinating! Really!

Lynette @ My Craft Discovery said...

Ok this part gets me really excited! I should probably get my squares together so I can do this part, but I'm waiting for my foot adapter thingy to get in my mailbox so I can use the snap on feet that came with my machine. (It was a lovely thrift store $10 find with lots of odds and ends...someday I will get a nicer machine.)

Jen said...

These videos are incredibly helpful- it's so much easier to watch someone quilt than it is to read about it and try and figure it out.

Avery heard your daughter saying "mama" on that last video and she came right over to the computer and started talking back to her! It was the cutest thing :)

Susan said...

My first machine quilting I straight stitched the edges and than did free motion stars in the middle of my squares using a template. I was chicken. It took me a long time. I wish I had just gone for it-I love how fast and easy the free-motion wandering is!

I use the darning foot on my Bernina and it works great. But I don't know anything about the other!

rhinsey said...

Megan - Mine is waving too!!! Care - what foot attachment do you use?!

Ben and Amanda said...

Is there a reason why you don't want to cross over your own stitching lines?

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

Thank you so much for posting these videos--I've searched all over for videos of free motion sewing. Although, I would like to see a video of this with a full sized quilt. I've only worked up to sewing straight lines (using tape as a marker), and have trouble enough handling my quilt that I have no idea how I'd manage free motion.

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