Friday, January 27, 2012

Doing the Quilt Along #4 with Leah Day

Ok, so I haven't been doing all of the Quilt Alongs from the Free Motion Quilting Project, but I had a few minutes today before work and I decided to do Quilt Along #4 - Quilting on a Line. My machine was already threaded with black thread and I had an extra practice sandwich lying around, so I figured "why not?"  Plus, the black thread on my light fabric is very easy to see. I drew some lines and a pattern with my water soluble marker and gave it a go.



Let me tell you, it was not so easy. Trying to make the needle go somewhere specific (namely following a line or pattern) is much more difficult than random (or semi-random) motions/meandering/stippling. And, I find it much harder to find the balance between the pedal speed and the movement of my hands. The first line I did, I noticed my stitches were really small because my foot was going faster than my hands. I think it was because I was focusing so much on following the line, but my foot still wanted to go the same speed as it does when I am stippling (much faster). When I do stippling I place a book behind the pedal lodged against the wall to do two things: 1. keep the pedal from sliding away from me and 2. give me a comfortable maximum/steady speed. I got so used to that speed (it's perfect for stippling) that I realize I am unable to go other speeds comfortably. I guess this means I need to start practicing lines and patterns more often.

I also noticed that I had trouble seeing where I was going sometimes, depending on which way I was moving the fabric. I really hated going behind the needle where I could not see and also, making the straight lines go sideways. More practice is definitely necessary.


A little more straight line practice and I filled in the rest with some more stippling practice.


The below is a photo of some large scale stippling practice that was encouraged to try in Quilt Along #3:


I was using a sandwich that I had previously practiced on with other colors of thread. I had to stop near the edge on the upper right and you can see I got a knot and it does not look smooth. Black thread on light material is SOOOO noticeable. I prefer a matching thread and a busy pattern, so you do not see the quilting so much.  I ended up finishing my third quilt the other day and I used a large stippling. It turned out well, but I cannot show it yet because it is a gift and I do not want to risk them seeing it yet.


Until next time,

Mike.



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