Saturday, January 25, 2014

Strip Savvy - Quilting the Quilts

One thing I really wanted to do when I started writing the book proposal for Strip Savvy was to quilt the quilts myself on my sewing machine. When I first started quilting I never ever considered quilting my own quilts. I either saved up and sent them off to be long arm quilted by someone else or I folded them up and popped them in the cupboard and then started a new quilt top. I just didn't think it was something people did themselves. Gradually I saw more and more people quilting their own and after researching and reading about walking feet and free motion quilting on the internet I gave it a go.
It was scary at first and my first goes resulted in masses of tangles thread and some truly awful quilting, but as I practiced my quilting improved. Now one of my favourite parts of quilting is seeing the transformation of a quilt top into a quilt. I'm the first to admit I am no expert and I wouldn't look too closely at some of the things I have quilted, but I am not entering shows with them and most quilts I make are for my children or other family or friends and I just want them to be loved and used.
I use a Bernina 440 for all my piecing and quilting. It is a lovely machine to use and it does have the bonus of having a stitch regulator so the stitches are even  as you free motion quilt, but I did learn to quilt on my older Janome that doesn't have this feature. The quilting area for the Bernina is not huge, but I have still managed to quilt all the big quilts I have made with it.
If you still aren't sure about quilting it is worth getting out your walking foot and just doing straight lines or 'kind of straight, kind of wonky lines' like I did for the Scrappy Crosses Quilt.
Once you learn to do basic stippling it is quite easy to add a few variations. You can add in some loops or flowers every now and then. In Night Sky I added stars as I quilted to echo the stars in the pattern.
 I echoed the straight lines in Open Sesame by free motion quilting squares and rectangles.
 Bubbles and Circles are always fun and add great texture especially to smaller quilts like my Color-Block Coins quilt.
I hope I can encourage you to have a go and turn some of your finished quilt tops into finished quilts!


Sarah @ FairyFace Designs said...

Love the little motifs in your FMQ. I really need to step outside my comfort zone with quilting this year.

Stephanie said...

I used to either hand quilt or machine quilt my own quilts. I have even done free motions but I'm now rusty as a bucket! I do still quilt many of my smaller quilts but I haven't done much free motions in ages. I need to make some sandwiches and practice again. I especially love the circles/bubbles in the last photo. Great motifs.

Lisa said...

I reaaaly like your stipple stars!!! Straight lines are my go to - I have challenged myself with loop-de-loops for the quilt top that is ready to go. Fingers crossed!!!

Catherine Roberts said...

I love looking at what you have been creating and will be lining up for your book,I have a heap fo fabric stash and need to get it out and used

Anonymous said...

I am so in love with this quilt. I just got the book in the mail! Could you possibly tell me which fabric this is?

Ronda Statz said...

Can you possibly tell me which fabric this is made from? I just received the book, and am so much in love with this quilt!

Kate said...

Hi Ronda, the top two used lots of different fabrics, the third used mostly Lotta Jansdotter and some other ones mixed in and the bottom one is Mod Century by Moda.