Thursday, August 20, 2009

Not-So-Free Motion

The top of the French fabric quilt is done. As for the quilting, that remains to be seen. I just discovered Diane Gaudynski's blog, and that reminded me how much I like her encouraging, down-to-earth, extremely helpful book and all her suggestions for free motion quilting. So, inspired by that, I pull out another uncompleted guild thing, this one a Round Robin. My thought was: practice on the RR, and by then I'll be good enough to try the other one. This would be a first. I only free motion small things, or service quilts with an all over pattern.

So how's it going?

I did improve on the continuous curves. The last set isn't terrible, or rather less terrible.

Well actually, it is pretty terrible.

I was doing fine with the light, relaxed grip too, until I moved to the center of the quilt, and found that the big lever on the Janome that attaches the Accufeed foot catches on the quilt when you bunch it up to create the little "nest" to quilt on. Even worse, it catches on the safety pins.

GRRR. Bad design, Janome engineers! But I'm pushing on. I'm using very fine thread, so quilting stitches don't show on print fabric of the top, and wouldn't show on the back if hadn't used muslin; this piece will lie on a table, so it's perfect for practice anyway. I'm actually doing better at relaxing and following marks. But I'm not going to put the long arm quilters out of business, for sure! The jury is out on how that French throw will be quilted.


Joyce said...

Every time I finish a large piece I am more thankful for my frame. I never did master free hand quilting on my regular Pfaff. Yours is looking much better than mine ever did.

Libby Fife said...

I think it looks pretty good. I tend to use a busy back with a color that matches the top and bottom thread. My stitching tends not to show that way:)

Beena said...

Keep at it! Just a tiny bit of practice here and there, really adds up...then you'll be whizzing along! Diane is a wonderful inspiration!

Debra said...

I have almost convinced myself to give up on traditional patterns and designs so I don't have to learn to do traditionally styled machine quilting. The freeform - make it up as you go style seems to suit my level of expertise better! (Well, that's my story. . . )

I like your French Jacobean piece!

Candace said...

I really like that French fabric, Kay - can't wait to see it quilted! you're giving me inspiration to try more than just stippling and quilting in the ditch on my machine, too!

Anonymous said...

Your work is pretty good, do you have some more in different shades?


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Liz said...

The sample you showed looks pretty good to me! I met a quilter the other day who has done hundreds of quilts (literally!) by free-motion stitching on her regular machine. The ones she showed were gorgeous. So - if she can do it why not you and I? Well, I'm not sure I have enough patience - but you! You are on your way!

Barbara C said...

Congratulations on your red quilt's prize. It's truly a beauty.

Good luck with the quilting. Small practice pieces (with busy backing fabric) do help one to get comfortable. And once it's finished, all the little flaws are practically invisible.