Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 5 - 21 Days to Free Motion Quilting Success!

By now, you must be thinking "Let's just stipple already!!". I'd like you to start today with a fresh quilt sandwich (8" square is fine). As you can see from the grainy photos, I'd like you to get a feel for making lumpy stipply (is that a word?) shapes. So, instead of trying to make the familiar puzzle shape pieces, let's start with smooth round "hills" randomly placed around each other. So:

  • Look at the photo top left and start with making hills in the middle of your sandwich.

  • Without rotating your sandwich, follow around your "hills", with more "hills"(top right)

  • Continue around and around your sandwich with these "hills" until it is completely filled (bottom right then bottom left).

Your sample may look like a frilly flower. Again, don't worry too much right now about spacing between hills but instead, try for smooth, consistent motion. Also take a look at what you've done to determine if you need to slow down or speed up your hands (see Day 4).

Tip: I hold my hands about 6" apart and they act as a frame to my work. I complete the work "inside" my hands, stop (needle down), reposition, and start again.

Here is a list of my all-time favorite Machine Quilting Books (they may be at your library):

  • Machine Quilting: A Primer of Techniques by Sue Nickels (pub by American Quilters Society)

  • Guide to Machine Quilting by Diane Gaudynski (pub by American Quilters Society)

  • Easy Machine Quilting edited by Jane Townswick (pub by Rodale Press)

Enjoy the process!! Keep Quilting!



Cristin said...

Thanks for all these tips! I've practiced on about 10 quilt sandwiches so far and I'm not quite happy with my stippling yet. This little exercise should do me good. ONE problem is that my machine (a new Janome Magnolia 7330) has a pretty small space to put my hands so I'm in the process of purchasing an extension table for my machine, which will be 18x24". I think that will make a world of difference. Keep up the 21 days!

Kris Poor said...

Cristin - great job! You'll love the extension table for free motion! -Kris