Today’s Topic: Ways to Make Directional Quilting Easier
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!
Whenever you sit down to quilt, you may wonder which is the best direction for quilting. As we discussed in Which Direction Should I Quilt the answer depends on four things:
Field of View
When quilting a small quilt, it is easy to orient in the most convenient direction. However, for large quilts, placing the bulk of the quilt outside of the harp space dictates the position of the quilt. There are some things you can do to make directional quilting easier.
Choose the right foot
Stop and look
Use tactile clues
Change the Design
Choose the Right Foot
Choose the foot that gives you the greatest visibility. Open toe feet allow greater visibility than full circle feet. Also, feet that have an offset shank allow you to see the quilt behind the needle better than straight shank feet. In the photo above, notice how the offset shank allows you to see where you are going. (For BERNINA owners, my favorite quilting foot is the #24 Free Motion Embroidery Foot.) Most major brands offer a similar quilting foot.
Stop and Look
I hate to state the obvious, but every time you stop to adjust the quilt, or pause to reposition your hands, take a glance at where you are going. This helps you make automatic adjustments.
Use Tactile Clues
When stitching from down to up, place your left index finger just beyond where you are going. This gives you a kinesthetic awareness of how large to quilt the motif.
If you normally quilt a motif from right to left and will need to stitch in vertically, start by doodling it vertically. You can train yourself through doodling to stitch some motifs in both vertical and horizontal directions.
If you can’t learn to doodle the motifs sideways…for example, I can only doodle and quilt sailboats horizontally…then draw the motifs with chalk on the borders side borders and do follow the line quilting.
Change the Design
It’s also a perfectly reasonable idea to change your design. For example, say your plan was to stitch Sailboats on all four borders of the quilt, but you don’t want to mark the motifs and follow the line. You could quilt the Sailboats in the top and bottom borders and then stitch a non-directional motif–like suns in the vertical borders. No one would be the wiser–unless YOU tell them–and the two motifs are the same theme, so it will make sense from a design perspective. Design YOUR way to easier quilting!
Your homework for the next few days is to doodle The Twist and Silly Spirals horizontally and vertically. Try doodling them from right to left and from left to right. Switch and doodle both motifs from up to down and from down to up. Pretend you are quilting them.
I can see the sparks flying –circuit overload–already!
Happy Doodling and Stitching!
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!
Visit my Etsy shop: LoriKennedyShop for all of my books! They are ALL bestsellers!