Friday, February 17, 2017

Machine Quilting

It is quite possible that I am avoiding quilting the UFO of the month by becoming obsessed with this Valentine's quilt. Am I now the Queen of Procrastination?!?  
Perhaps! I'm okay with that because working on this quilt has been really fun. AND there are several more days to meet my goal this month!
I finally found the perfect heart design for the 4" empty spaces on this quilt and was eager to get going on the quilting. I started with the walking foot and stitching in the ditch around the 9 patch blocks to secure the layers together.


Then I marked the quilting designs for the empty spaces using a frixion pan and a 4" stencil that I found at The Quilt Place. There are a total of 44 hearts to quilt, which is a lot of stopping and starting. I found a way to quilt the tiny hearts with a continuous line which resulted in a total of 32 stops/starts.
I put the free motion quilting foot on my sewing machine, reduced the presser foot tension (so the quilt could be moved more freely under the needle), dropped the feed dogs, put the stitch length on zero, and was ready to go. I carefully stitched on the drawn lines. If you've never done this kind of free motion quilting before, it's a really challenging skill to get the speed and stitch length even, and to keep the needle on the line. It takes a lot of practice.

Most of the time when I am machine quilting, I start by making 3 or 4 stitches in the same place at the beginning and at end, and clip the threads as close as possible to the quilt. That usually keeps the thread ends secure. But it also leaves a little bump of thread, and I didn't want that to be visible in the solid white squares especially with so many stops/starts. So with this quilt, I left the thread tails hanging, and will hand sew the ends in when the quilting is finished. You can see the threads laying all over the place in this photo.




16 comments:

  1. When you go to bury the threads, it's easier to use a certain needle that I can't remember the name of...The kind with the slit in the top of the needle so you can easily pop the thread in. Maybe they're called "self-threading"needles, but somehow that doesn't sound right. Do you know what I mean? Sorry, having an "over50" moment, lol

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  2. What a pretty quilt! I would be obsessed with this one, too!!

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  3. A quilt full of love! You are a bit distractable at times....Squirrel!

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  4. it is really looking nice the heart design goes with it well

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  5. Very pretty and you have done an excellent job. I tried doing free motion on my Husqvarna when I first got it. Then I purchased the HQ16 (in 2005). I just could not get the hang of it - you certainly have!

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  6. Procrastinating is what I have been doing too. But the special silk batting is in and now I have to get busy setting up a hand quilting project.Must get marking up the quilt first and that is what I have been putting off.Wish me luck please!!!!

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  7. Your Valentine quilt is so cute! I'm impressed you can follow the line of the heart so easily with free motion...so far I just do meandering, & even that takes a lot of practice.

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  8. I love your heart quilting! It looks perfect for that quilt!

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  9. Following lines was something I thought I would never be able to do, after my first disastrous attempt. But practice makes ... less of a disaster. : )
    This little quilt is so sweet, and the quilting just makes it more so!

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  10. I think you have company in the 'queen of procrastination' area! Your little heart quilt is adorable.

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  11. Kathy you always have so much going on that you amaze me :)

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  12. Hearts are perfect for the white spaces. I give you credit doing free motion especially with starts and stops. I get it when you speak of the bumps. I will have a similar issue when I machine quilt (walking foot) my dolly dress quilt. Coincidentally, going back and hand sewing the ends is the only solution that came to mind.

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  13. That is the perfect quilting design! Good luck sewing in all those ends - true dedication.

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  14. We are procrastinating together! I just have to attach a binding.

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