Monday, March 22, 2010
Machine Quilting Challenge - Block #9
Here is today's new stitch-out. I call it Furrowed Fields, because that's what it looks like to me. It's a great background filler and wonderful for borders too. The stitch lines can be as close together as 1/8" like mine are or as far away as 1/2". Just strive for consistency.
Before you start stitching, remember to doodle it out first with paper and pencil. Start by drawing interlinking sections on the paper making units that are about 2"- 3" squarish. Then go back in and add lines in each individual section. Make the lines move in different directions in adjoining sections. Double back on the section lines to change direction. This is another great stitch-out to help you get better at making long lines. Look at what great dimension it adds to the fabrics surface too!
Did you know that free style (un-marked, free motion) quilting is very similar to dancing. It's just you (with your quilt in hand) and your machine. You're dance partners. One of the best ways to learn any new stitch-out is by doodling first. Free style machine quilting is just doodling on your quilt.
When you doodle you have a pad of paper and a pencil/pen. When you machine quilt you have your quilt sandwich and the needle of your sewing machine. Which one is the pencil and which one is the paper?
If you said that the quilt is your pencil and the machine is the paper, then you're right! I know it sounds backwards, but when you draw, you move the pencil or the quilt. You move it around on the surface of the paper which stays in one place, just like your machine needle. The needle may be moving up and down to engage stitches, but it's the movement of the quilt under the needle that makes the design.
To become a better free style machine quilter - you need to become a better doodler too and you need to learn to be the LEAD when dancing with your machine. As you doodle any of the stitch-outs, exaggerate the movement of your arm and upper body so that you can feel what it feels like to move the quilt sandwich in the same manner.
Have fun and remember to breathe,