Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tutorial: Free motion machine quilted feathers

Free motion quilting means you don't mark anywhere on the quilt. You sandwich the layers and then put them under the machine and start quilting. The quilt will tell you where and how to quilt. I like a lot of visual texture, so I like feathers on stripes.

When you load your quilt, give yourself a few extra inche
s at the bottom, because, try as you might, there still might be some stretching through the quilting process. It's better to do this than have to piece batting at the end.

Supplies: favorite
wool batting-I like to open the rolled up batting then let it breath and soften up a bit, so there are no unseen creases in the quilt batting which might cause a bump. Favorite thread: I like a varrigated thread. It adds more visual texture. The big question you have to have to ask yourself, do you want to really see the quilt design or not. Wool batting has a good chair and good lighting before you begin. It will make all the difference in the world in whether you have a pleasant experience or not.

Load up a bunch of bobbins, so you don't have to stop in the middle.

Begin by "drawing' a
swirly line along the fabric. The is the stem or backbone of the feather. Next, start on one side and make loops from the bottom to the top of the loop. Carefully follow the stem with loops and the start at the beginning and do it all over again. Pay close attention to the direction of your feathers and have them all flowing in one direction. Unless you are designing from the middle of the border out to the ends. Last I highly recommend this video. It is one of the best descriptions of machine quilt I've seen. I took his class-which was really a demonstration. This video takes it up close and easy to understand. Get it!


joyce said...

I think I'll try those feathers on the quilt I have on my frame. For the side borders do you do just a bit at a time or turn the quilt on the frame? I have a short arm so I only have about three inches to play with when I get near the end and the roll under the machine is bigger.

Helen in the UK said...

The feather looks wonderful. Learning to machine quilt feathers is one of my 'goals' for next year :)

hamilton/panayotou said...

I'm a real novice here - can you free motion with a simple machine (say a 1954 singer)?


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