Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just a little free motion quilting

  I managed to get a little chunk of time ---a couple of hours---to begin quilting on the graduation quilt----I really have to come up with a name for it.   I debated on just using straight lines because it is so big, but I love doing free motion and especially quilting swirls.  Three guesses on what I ended up doing.....and the first 2 don't even count.

  You can see it is not densely quilted.  It is just a meandering type swirl that flows from one  block to the next.  Just curl one way and then the other way.  Swirl to the right and then back around on it self.  Throw in a little one and then a bigger curl.  Or get in a corner?  Just do a "hop" to a new area with a arc and  take off in a new direction. 

 A few practical tips on this type of pattern:    I don't mark my quilting lines.....I am just too impatient for that.  I have put in hours of practice and finally figured out how to make this pattern work for me.  I don't begin  stitching exactly in the center of the quilt, more to one side near the center.   ( Most people will eye the exact center first, so if my stitch is off they won't see that first!)   Notice that the swirl comes back to near where  it began.  So if my open area to stitch is to the right, the swirl should curl to the left and then come back to the right---near to where I began.  And so the opposite is true, if the open area is to the left, begin the swirl to the right and come back.  If I need to change directions, create a point and  move in the direction you want to go.  Create a figure eight with the large swirls.   I tend to stitch the swirls to the right because I am right-handed, I think.  I have to remind myself to change directions sometimes.  I filled 9 bobbins before I began because I hate to stop to fill bobbins in the middle of a project.  And as usual I am using Isacord thread and hiding the tails as I go.

Note the straight line through this portion.  It is the wash away basting thread that I did as a basting stitch before I began the overall quilting.  You can see I just stitched over it....hoping it washes away as promised. 

   Quilting gloves, music, and a steady movement and away I go.   I love seeing the quilt develop as I stitch.  For me, the act of quilting brings the quilt to life by introducing movement with the stitching.  When I am at the machine, it frees my mind and  lets my spirit roam free.  Worries and pain are banished.  A day or an hour stitching, is a great day.   Happy stitching.


Deborah in Atlanta said...

You could call your quilt "Mortarboard and Gown" or "Sheepskin" or something similar that's related to graduation.

Mary said...

Very pretty quilting. Thanks for sharing how you developed the design.

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