Saturday, 31 October 2009

Kristrun is sewing at my place and a little "How-to-do" free motion quilting

Kristrun in action :-)

She had made two pillow frontsides for her mother. The fabrics are bought in Iceland. Kristrun is born in Iceland but she lives in Norway and is a co-worker of mine.

Not bad for a beginner...

Here are some tips for free motion quilting:
  • Start with paper and pencil. Draw the line you want to sew. You practise until you get the motion into your hand! This I do only to get the curves into my head and hand :-)
  • Remember to fill your bobbin.
  • Don't worry about stitch length or width -- it doesn't matter! You create the stitch length with how fast or slow you move the fabric under the needle, so don't push and pull the fabric. Just steer it.
  • If your machine has a speed control, use mid-speed if your stitches aren't coming out even.
  • The faster the speed, the smoother and easier it is to stitch. Remember trying driving manouvers in your car and finding it easier and smoother to make a lane change going fast on the highway than it was going slow in the parking lot? Same thing applies here.
  • Breathe. I can't emphasize that enough! My free-motion went from scribbles to stars when I began to relax while I sewed. Breathe! And keep your shoulders loose or your work will reflect your tension. Look ahead; don't look down where the needle is but look where you are going to sew.
  • Use good quality thread so it doesn't keep breaking. Don't try to learn on metallics, but if you insist, at least use a metallics needle.
  • In this method you are allowed to cross your previous stitch lines, so don't worry about changes in direction or getting stuck in a corner. Play!
  • Never, ever, turn your fabric while you are stitching. You make direction changes and shapes by dancing your fabric under the needle, not by swinging your fabric around.
  • Use variegated thread for a spectacular look on a wall hanging quilt.
  • Work with the design already on the fabric to practice. Sew around the leaves and vine stems on the printed material you already have. Practice on pre-printed fabric to learn to follow curves and lines.
  • Stop with the needle in the down position so momentum doesn't shoot you across the fabric when you stop.
  • Don't beat yourself the first couple of years you try this. You can always re-stitch heavily over an area you are unhappy with.
  • Breathe! Have fun!
  • Good luck with your free motion quilting :-)

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