It has been a while friends – Life happened as usual!
The Quilting Process series has fallen way into the background for a long time so before we continue, let me catch you up on what we’ve covered so far. If you are just joining, the series is all about the major processes involved in making a Quilt from start to finish.
- An Overview
- Before you start
- Starting the process
- The fun bit
- Choosing quality fabrics
- Choosing colors for your quilt
- Color theory
- All about cutting
- Piecing your Quilt top
- Basting your Quilt
Now that you’ve got basting out of the way…Phew, you can now move on to something a little less daunting. The most daunting part of this process (for me) is choosing a quilting design and getting started. Once that is done the rest is just a breeze…well maybe not always! Especially if you are taking on quilting a big quilt on your domestic sewing machine.
There are decisions to be made at this point such as: Do you want to Quilt in the ditch, straight line or free motion quilt the project? Do you have the necessary tools (thread, sewing needles, fabric markers, quilting foots, seam ripper…)? What weight and color of thread to use?…. and so on. Once you answer all the necessary questions then you are well on your way to beginning the process.
I remember when I started quilting, I was so terrified of the quilting stage. Resulting in a backlog of quilt tops to be quilted because I was so worried of destroying my hard work with rubbish stitches. I read all I could, signed up for quilting classes on Craftsy (never really completed any just yet) got Angela Walters book on machine quilting and practiced as often as possible but I just wasn’t confident enough. Believing that the lines had to be perfectly straight or my spirals well formed otherwise I was doing it all wrong and ended up ripping so many stitches in frustration.
After making lots of sampler blocks, I was determined to make a baby Quilt for my God daughter’s birth. This was to be my first big project and I was so excited about taking on a disappearing 9 patch that I had the top ready like forever. However, I couldn’t decide how or where to begin the quilting. In fact, didn’t get round to quilting it until the day she was born and I had to quilt in the ditch just so I could deliver it by the time they got home from the hospital!
Well…that was before I decided to get my acts together after reading this expression “It’ll Never Be Seen on a Galloping Horse” or “If it can’t be seen on a galloping horse…”. I found this expression very liberating because it is the truth. In the grand scheme of things, each and every one of your lines might not be straight or your spirals well formed but guess what…good enough is very acceptable. Besides when it all comes together, a few wonky lines won’t be such a big deal. Unless you are entering your quilt into a show, then perfection is a prerequisite I presume?. There are certainly times when you will rip out stitches or be dissatisfied with your design choice but that’s OK as long as you keep at it.
That became my motivation to just get on with it. Most of the things I made at the time were more or less for practice anyway since they were going to end up in my house so “no pressure”. After a while, I learnt more about machine tension, thread weight and why I was having thread breakage every other inch. Since then, my strategy for the quilting process has been:
- Decide what style of quilting design to quilt( Straight line or Free motion to help me figure out what foot to attach to my machine)
- Look around for inspiration if I don’t have any in mind
- Test your design on a sample quilt sandwich (I have a couple handy for practice and to test my tension before working on my quilt)
- Stop, access and restrategize (if need be) and continue
I discovered that once I attach a foot and begin, it just gets easier, sometimes I don’t even have a design idea but I set up every thing and let my quilt top do the leading!
Of course after the long story, I have a couple of useful links to share with you 🙂
Tips on Quilting a Large Quilt on Domestic Sewing Machines
Tips on Free Motion Quilting
Tips on Straight Line Quilting
If you need quilting inspiration, besides Instagram and Pinterest, my absolute favorite places to visit include https://leahday.com/pages/quilting-design-gallery and http://www.getasquiltingstudio.com/ (she has loads of free ebooks on quilting to offer). You could sign up for free designs too:
Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your being here! I hope you will find a couple of useful tips to help your quilting. The series will be rounding up with a post on binding. I would love to read about your quilting tips and experience. Have a great week ahead.
P.S: You might have to copy and paste some of those links as for some reasons, they just won’t paste as clickable links.