This is part II to a discussion I’m having on the the Journey of Quilting. So sit a spell and join in…now for the conclusion…
We left off last time on “Piecing” …. Ok, so we’ve discussed cutting our fabric and next comes the piecing…or just in case you’re not familiar with that term, it’s the sewing of the blocks, squares, etc., together. Aww to me just the hum of the sewing machine I find can be so relaxing. With a bit of soft music going in the background and the hum of the machine, I’m lost for hours on end in my work. Guess that’s why I love to piece.
Wherever you sew, be it in a spare bedroom, at the dinning room table, etc., make sure your machine is at the appropriate height on a table or cabinet, so you aren’t straining you arms or back in any way. Also you’ll want a comfortable chair or your “tush” can get quite sore. You can also purchase a memory foam pillow/cushion that I found makes your chair all plush and comfy. Be sure your sewing machine has a 1/4” foot as this will ensure your seams are all 1/4” as you sew. Don’t forget the lighting…most important element I believe for sewing. Proper lighting takes the guessing game out of coordinating colors, plus reduces eye strain. I have ceiling lights and several different portable LED lights all over my sewing area. While I do have one large window, I find I need more light these days, so if you’re like me, add those lights!
Finally, the “quilting” process….to me this is the step that breathes life into the quilt! Maybe you’re one who prefers to hand quilt…kudos to you. I’ve seen many beautiful hand quilted quilts; the stitching on these quilts will simply take your breath away. I’ve always admired anyone who could make those beautiful stitches. I too started out hand quilting, then I tried free motion quilting (FMQ) and was instantly hooked. FMQ came easy for me, as when I was younger, I loved to doodle. However, it does take practice, practice, and more practice to get those stitches like you want them. FMQ can be done on a domestic machine or one of the new mid-arm machines. Just remember, when you FMQ on one of these machines, the fabric is moved under the machine needle, instead of moving the machine over the fabric. Again, there are many different types of domestic machines that have a wider harp, and if you’re wanting to use one to quilt with, you’ll love the wider harp. Finally there’s the long-arm machines; this is where the machine and quilt are on a frame and the machine quilts as it moves over the fabric. There are many good long-arm quilters and a good long-arm quilter is worth their weight in gold. So while their prices may vary, the quality of quilting may too. Be sure and check with friends or your local quilt shop for a reliable long-arm quilter. Again, if you’re wanting to quilt your own quilts, most quilting machine companies sell both long-arm and mid-arm machines, so take you time, try as many as possible before you make that decision to buy.
Well, our journey is complete; we started out looking for fabric and have come full circle to quilting the pieced top. There’s something to be said for the gratification we personally receive from making a product from start to finish. It always gives me a warm feeling when I give a quilt away; the recipient’s face says it all…happiness!
Yep, it’s a journey from start to finish and I must say…what a trip! Thanks for coming along…if you have a moment, leave me your thoughts as I’d love to hear from you.
Till next time, ….keep your eye on the needle and your foot on the pedal. Happy Quilting!