Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Machine Quilting Feet

The machine quilting of my August UFO is coming along well. I have used 4 different feet on my sewing machine for various types of quilting on this project.

1) Walking foot: this is used for all boring straight line quilting. Mostly I use it at the beginning of quilting a project, and I stop using it when I am bored with straight lines. Usually quilters use it for "stitch-in-the-ditch" but interestingly I haven't done any ditch quilting on this project. I do try to avoid it if possible. Besides being boring, it's too hard to actually get the stitches in the ditch.
Don't look at how filthy my machinger gloves are!

2) Free motion darning foot: this foot is great for stitching wavy lines. This particular version is a really old type of quilting attachment, but I still use it regularly because it mashes the quilting area flat, reducing the likelihood of excess fabric bubbling up in front of the needle. This can be a problem especially as you approach lines that have already been quilted. If you are an avid machine quilter you have probably experienced that many times before. 

3) Convertible free motion open toe foot: this is a Janome attachment but it works perfectly on my Brother sewing machine. In the narrow border I quilted a ribbon candy design that I had seen on one of Angela Walters' videos. This design requires you to be able to see the needle so this is the best quilting foot for this type of design. 

I thought for quite a while about whether the loops should "kiss" each other or overlap. First I practiced on paper and on a quilt sandwich, and decided the kissing version might be easier to stitch. But just in case it didn't go well, I used a light grey thread so it would blend in with the fabric.
It took about an hour and a half to stitch the ribbon design. It ended up mostly looking terrific, so then I was disappointed that I hadn't used a contrasting thread colour so the ribbons could be more visible! I will definitely be using this design more in the future.

4) Convertible free motion 1/4" ruler foot: I decided to quilt feathers in the last border because I haven't quilted them in a long time and they are so much fun.
This photo shows how I quilted all the feathers on the left of the spine around the whole quilt, and then came back to the beginning to quilt the feathers on the right side of the spine. You can't really see the needle well using this foot, but that's okay because when you are quilting feathers, "close is good enough".

That's where things are at today. I just have to finish the feather quilting, and get the binding on before Friday. Barring any disasters between now and then, that is totally doable!

The ribbon and feather designs are quite thread intensive and I finished off the cone of brown thread that was used in the 3 bobbins. This is the jar where I store my empty Aurifil spools, and it's almost full which means I've been doing a lot of sewing! 
That's a good thing!


Sally Langston Warren said...

Thank you for sharing all this information! I quilt on my vintage domestic machines (several very old Singers and a very old Elna) and am always looking for ways to improve and new things to try. I still haven’t tried feathers but you are giving me courage! Really like how your ribbon curl turned out! My newest machingers look just like yours. I don’t know HOW they end up looking dirty when our fabric is clean!! I end up throwing them away when the white rubber stuff starts crumbling off the gloves and gets all over the fabric.

Kate said...

I never knew there were so many machine feet involved in quilting. I've got a lot to learn on that front.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Such beautiful quilting, great use of different feet.

The Cozy Quilter said...

I took a class on walking foot quilting with Jacqui Gering and it opened up a whole new world of quilting possibilities. Your kissing ribbons look fabulous in that border! I have a basket of empty spools which is also getting full. Can’t wait to see your finished quilt!

Deanna W said...

You make machine quilting sound so easy. I think in my mind I can do it, then I sit at the machine and FREEZE!!! I know practice practice practice!!!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Straight line quilting is my only machine quilting option. I can't seem to get the hang of free motion, and I haven't tried my rulers since last summer (2017).

Julierose said...

Gosh you do such beautiful quilting ;))))
...I've only ever used my walking foot--never done free motion as my hands/arm/shoulders won't allow it...BUT ;))) I got a book called "Walking" the other day that shows many different designs possible with a walking am looking forward to trying them out...
hugs Julierose song for the day:"I'm walking, yes indeed and I'm talkin'..."

Louise said...

I like the open toe of the convertible foot, but I often snag it on previous stitching. So I usually stick to the closet toe one. Your ribbons look great! Your comment about being sorry afterwards that you used a blending thread made me chuckle :)

Jenny said...

Thank you for sharing your tips with us, always good to give different ways a try for those of us less confident.

Janet O. said...

You have quite the collection of feet for quilting!
Ribbon candy looks great. That is a design I have never attempted.
So what do you do with the empty spools once the jar is full--inquiring minds want to know. :)

Barb said...

great tips and information. Love the look of the ribbon quilting