Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Friday, 22 April 2011

Machine Quilting - Practising II

Ok, I will downgrade my assessment of free machine quilting from CLEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to VERY, VERY DIFFICULT.

The knack (which I do not pretent to have grasped) is being able to freely and consistantly move the quilt on the flatbed with your hands whilst maintaining a constant speed with the needle.

Bilbo has given me a couple of excellent pointers over the phone earlier today, and the sites that Joanna recommends are very useful indeed - thank you, girls.

Don't think for a moment that I am giving up with this, but the way forward for the Spring Garden Trellis quilt (which is all sandwiched together and stuck with spray-baste) is to follow my template with the normal 'foot' arrangement.

I should be able to follow the curves without too much difficulty (I hope!) - and I really don't want to have come this far just to cock up at the final hurdle.

I'll leave more ambitious free quilting for when I have (a) a proper free action foot which does not look to be expensive on Amazon and (b) more experience with needle control.


  1. Poor Hazel, hug, hug, stroke, stroke {giggle}. Glad our chats helped today, I enjoyed them.

    Sorry to have missed a whole section of the development of this quilt and not commented on your progress but as you know, I think you are doing absolutely brilliantly.

    After dispensing advice and wisdom for the best part of an hour today, I'm going to let you into a little secret . . . I am complete and total rubbish at this free motion quilting lark. Can't do it, at all. Have tried, many times. End result was some quilts I am still (15 years later) deeply unhappy with (although Ollie found them quite comfy) together with major headaches, arm aches, sore back and crippled shoulders. If you've ever wondered why I took the plunge and invested in a longarm machine. there's your answer: life is too short to hand-quilt all the tops I want to make and I can't do them on a domestic machine.

    Are you sure a nice quilting system won't fit in your attic room? They don't have to be as big as mine. Sue puts hers up in the conservatory and then takes it down again when she's done.

    And now, running away, ducking from low flying objects skillfully aimed by an incensed Hazel ....

  2. It does take a bit of practice, I usually recommend people free machine a small Linus quilt before tackling one of their own, it's better than doing small samples and a child in distress is not going to be critical of your stitching. Oh, and save your gorgeous King Tut for the special quilt :o).

  3. It's a beautiful quilt and you will finish it beautifully. Doing an outline quilting will be lovely, and when the binding is on it will surprize you how great it looks. When I did a qal with Amy of Amy's Creative Side, she quilted her quilt with straight stitching. Although I'm not partial to that, I use it on borders and it looks really nice.

  4. Thank you for your kind comments, girls - even Bilbo, who I have nearly forgiven for giggling and making damnfool unhelpful comments about quilting systems. ;-)

    I am taking a deep breath for practise mk III this evening...

  5. Tish, you'd hate it if I were anything less than honest ...


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