Hello Friends! Welcome to my 46th Thread Talk installment. It’s been absolutely fun to share with you all that I have learned in my machine quilting journey.
Some of you had written and asked me to share my thoughts on “evenness” in quilting. I shall attempt…
#1 Evenness, or rather the visual perception of evenness in quilting density, plays an important role in allover quilting. Evenness in allover quilting gives the viewer a sense of continuity, and uniformity.
#2 The quilting density has to do with the spacing between individual quilting motifs. The spacing can be tight or loose, but as long as the overall scheme in spacing is even, one gets the visual sense of a well-quilted quilt.
You can see that the spacing between motifs tends toward “loose” in the following image:
And this one tends toward tight in the spacing:
#3 I think the difficulty in achieving even allover quilting (quilted on a domestic machine) comes in when domestic machine quilters have to contend with the very limited visibility afforded by the small quilting area under the small throat area of the machine.
Here are a few thoughts that might help you achieve happy evenness result:
a. Start with training yourself to quilt even echoes free-hand! I have written specifically about echoes here.
I encourage beginners to start with mastering the technique of echoing. To me, quilting echoes is the starting point for free-motion quilting — and it is a major point of emphasis in my online machine quilting class “Learn to Machine Quilt.”
Quilting echoes free-hand trains the quilter to master moving her quilt sandwich, as well as to use the eye to gauge distances. If you haven’t tried this before, try quilting echoes roughly 1/4″ apart as a practice to get you used to gauging distance solely visually. Now, you will notice that the spacing between your echoes is not always going to be exactly 1/4″, but close enough when you find that your echoing effect is starting to look good.
Being able to gauge the spacing between motifs when quilting will help you quilt your motifs evenly.
b. You might doodle on paper the quilting motif roughly the same size as you would quilt on the quilt. That gives you an idea how many repetitions of the motif you will be able to quilt in the quilting area afforded you by your machine once you get the quilt sandwich under the machine throat area.
c. Make sure you know your motif well before you actually stitch/quilt it on the quilt. There is nothing more frustrating than not knowing where to go next during the actual quilting process. If that still happens when you know the motif on paper better than your own name, that’s not the end of the world — just stop and take a deep breath and do a bit of surveying as to where you would go to fill up the immediate quilting area.
d. I generally have to spread my quilt out on the floor from time to time on to see if I miss any area that still needs to be quilted. I see this as a fact of life when one quilts with a domestic machine. I have made mention of this point in this Thread Talk post.
Thanks for stopping by! I plan to share a recent magazine quilt before the weekend ends. My latest featured projects are slowly making their way back to me! Have a great day!