Do the Smooth Glide Test for Free Motion Quilting
Today’s Topic: Do the Smooth Glide Test for Free Motion Quilting
Welcome to Week Nine of The Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
Find all of the previous Lessons HERE.
Sign up for emails of the class HERE.
Good Morning, Quilters!
Today we are going to take off our superhero cloaks and don white laboratory coats to do an experiment!
The key to becoming a better free motion quilter is to find the techniques and supplies that work for you!
Here at LKQ, and in my books, I try to offer a variety of tools and techniques. I recommend things that work for me, but I also offer ideas that I don’t use, but seem reasonable to me. For example, I don’t like quilting gloves, but I don’t try to convince everyone to not use them. Instead, I try to offer options for every tool, technique and supply.
Everyone is different. We all work in different ways and we all use different sewing machines and accessories. Think of my suggestions as a starting point. I’ve tested these techniques and supplies and know they have merit. In additon, read the comment section of each post for more ideas–and post YOUR ideas! YOUR ideas are extremely valued and helpful!
Scientific Approach to Machine Quilting.
This week’s lessons are designed to help you create a smooth stitching line by reducing the forces of gravity and friction. Just being aware of friction and gravity is a good start to solving this quilting problem.
As you quilt, think about: ” In my sewing room, how can I reduce gravity while free motion quilting?”
and “How can I reduce friction while free motion quilting?”
Start with the suggestions from yesterday’s post: How to Create a Smooth Glide For Machine Quilting And read the comment section for more ideas.
Then set up a test like the Smooth Glide Test for Free Motion Quilting:
Example of a Quilt Experiment-Smooth Glide Test
Starching and pressing quilt backing fabric will make the quilt move easier and make the quilted line smoother.
Try it…Using the unfinished Square Flower Table Runner,(Do not starch or press) quilt the right side borders. Stitch Silly Spirals in the one inch section and The Twist in the larger border section. Make a mental note of how easily the quilt moved while you were stitching.
Starch the backing and press.
Quilt the left side borders, again taking note of the relative ease of moving the quilt.
Does starching make quilting easier? Does the quilt move more easily?
Is your quilting line smoother?
If you’re not sure, then it’s probably not worth the time and effort!
Confounding factors–Is it possible the starched side was easier because you practiced on the first side?
Might need another trial!
Test Another Hypothesis
Hypothesis: Using a Supreme Slider (or baking sheet–or other product) will make moving the quilt easier.
Set up a quick quilt sandwich and test your new hypothesis.
YOUR Best Practices
This is how YOU determine the tools, techniques and supplies that work best for YOU!
Have you experimented with quilting tools, techniques and supplies?
What are YOUR favorite methods to fight Gravity and Friction?
Are there any items YOU don’t find useful?
We’d LOVE to hear!
YOUR Incredible Scientist,
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thank you!
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11 responses to “Do the Smooth Glide Test for Free Motion Quilting”
High grade silicone spray on my sewing surface/extension/table. Talk about reducing friction! (Just don’t get overspray on hard floor surface!!!)
Susan, what brand of silicone spray should I consider purchasing?
As a high school science teacher I’m definitely into the Scientific Method. Extra credit for more trials 🙂 Thanks, Lori!!
If you use starch or best press, does it need to be washed out after finishing quilt?
I’m sure it is your choice. Some people do and some don’t.
I prefer to wash it out because I’ve been handling it a lot while quilting, I have animals, and I like when a quilt has that soft “pebbly” feeling.
Just my 2-Cents!
I use the Supreme Slider, Glide spray and Machinger gloves. If I have a large quilt, I have a large surface for my handiquiter but I push a 4′ long rubbermaid table up on one side. On the other I swing my big board around to meet up with my table. I also had my husband attach a couple of long straps to the ceiling with squeeze clamps on the ends to hold the weight of a particularly heavy quilt as I quilt it. Along the edges of my handiquilter table, I attached the round side of large embroidery pvc clamps to the edge to keep from having the drag you get from edges of the table.
My machine is against the wall. I have a banquet table extending out from the left, and I put my folding cutting table next to it to serve as a wall that keeps large quilts from falling off that side. It’s like having a corner. I’ve assembled a 4 foot pegboard unit that has a shelf resting on pipes at the top of it. There are bungie cords with ratchet clamps hanging from the pipes that lift the quilt just to the left of my needle. This takes the drag out of the portion that I’m working on. With the super slider and the suspended bungies, my quilts stay put and glide under my needle. The draw back is that I have to adjust the clamps frequently as I work around the quilt.
I use TURTLE WAX on my machine bed and extension table. I make sure to really rub it in so there isn’t any of it’s color residue. I also place my ironing board, table height, to the left of my table to support the quilt.
thank you Lori for the continued encouragement to become more proficient in FMQ. I use the Supreme slider and wnen I forget I know it very quickly! I also starch with Bet Press.
I decided to make a second placemat, more practical than a table runner for me.
It’s been more than a week since I’ve practiced FMQ since I put my machine in the shop for routine maintenance and then did some piecing.
I’ve never starched the sandwich backing. Did for the second half of this one and it made a huge difference with my set up. In fact, it took some time to adjust to just how nicely it glided across the supreme slider and sew steady table extension. I think I’ll starch quilt backs going forward.