Hello, and welcome to another of my Thread Talk installment! Today, I shall attempt to answer a few questions from the pool of questions you had asked about home machine quilting in this post.
[Americana Florals, featured in The Quilter, January 2011]
Cathy: Do you stitch in the ditch after or before doing your fancy quilting?
My two cents: Definitely before. Stitching the straight lines in your quilt serves to stabilize your quilt sandwich so as to minimize distortion from moving your quilt sandwich in all possible directions underneath that little throat area of your home machine when you free-motion quilt.
(i) To me, it’s important to quilt along the straight lines of the major sections of your quilt, i.e. quilt center, sashing, and border. That way your quilt is well-defined for adding free-motion quilting later.
(ii) Since home machine quilters don’t have the luxury of stretching and securing one’s quilt across a frame, I think it makes it even more important to quilt along the straight lines to stabilize the quilt.
(iii) If you don’t want to see the straight lines in the midst of your free-motion quilted motifs after your quilt is finished, you can always quilt the straight lines with water soluble threads just to anchor the quilt, and wash away the straight lines later.
[Quilting Around the Pieced Block, featured in Quilter’s World February 2011]
Sue Farrell: I would love to know how you decide to do the densely quilted feathers in the quilt above (picture of quilt shown above).
My two cents: I decided to quilt dense feathers in the border of the quilt above because feathers are beautiful to show off (design and texture) on a solid/mottled print. I normally don’t quilt feathers like that unless I know the feathers will be readily noticed (vain, I know!)
Now, in my beginning days when I was just cutting my teething in this feather quilting business, I did quilt on busy print quilt tops with beige backing fabric. I figured the busy print would hide my feathery mess well if I botched things up. Using a beige backing fabric allowed me to inspect my designs on the quilt back.
Kristen N: I would like to start doing free motion quilting but have no ideas where to start!
My two cents: Start with your current quilt project. Start thinking now about how you might want to quilt it. I don’t normally have a practice piece. I just jump right into a “real” project – I feel like that way, under the pressure of not wanting to mess up a “real” quilt, I tend to perform better. Even if it doesn’t turn out, you can always break out your trusted seam ripper. Trust me, I have!
Diana: I would love to have more information about how to decide what designs to use when quilting a quilt.
Check out this link and this link for glimpses of my thought process. This article (part I in a two-part series) in Quilter’s World is a systematic approach to answering the “What to Quilt” question. Part II of the series is going to deal with quilting around applique shapes — due out in the April 2011 issue of Quilter’s World.
That’s all the time I have to answer your questions this time. Let me know if my answers make any sense. If not, keep asking away! Talk to me!
Thanks for stopping by. I think I am going to snooze for just a little bit while my Miss Baby is having a date with the Zzzz-monster. I have had less than 8 hours of sleep combined in the last 48 hours (by the way, that’s my answer to Anna’s question “I want to know where you find the time to get so much done!!!!) I think sleep is overrated anyway… ;)
Have a fantastic day!