Today’s Topic: Which Direction Should I Quilt?
Welcome to Week Ten of The Better Machine Quilt-a-long based on my book 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
Find all of the previous Lessons HERE.
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Good Morning, Quilters!
Today we are starting Lesson 10 of our 25 week quilt-a-long: Directional Stitching.
To practice directional stitching, we will create the Sunny Day Medallion Quilt using variations of the Four Fun Motifs we learned in Lesson 8.
REMINDER–There’s still time to WIN a subscription to American Quilter Magazine. Read and leave a comment in this post–share YOUR little victory!
Whenever you begin stitching, you may wonder…
Which way should I stitch this? Should I stitch this from right to left or from left to right. Should I stitch from the top towards the bottom or the bottom-up?
This is an opportunity for you to do a little creative problem solving. There is no right or wrong answer, but there are a four things to consider:
Field of View
Because we read and write from left to right, it is natural for most quilters to prefer to quilt from left to right. (As I write this, I wonder if it is different for left handed quilters–if YOU are left handed, please leave a comment whether your natural preference is to quilt from left to right or right to left. Thank you, in advance…)
Choose your natural preference whenever possible. I am right handed and always prefer to quilt from left to right.
Greatest Field of View
Another advantage of quilting from left to right or right to left, is you have the greatest field of view. You can easily see where you have already quilted and where you are going. This helps you to space your motifs as you are quilting.
Stitching from top-down allows you to see where you are heading, though you have a restricted view of where you have already quilted.
The size of your quilt will also influence directional stitching. When you are stitching a small quilt, rotate the quilt so you can take advantage of your natural preference or to create the greatest field of view.
On the other hand, when your quilt is very large, you will have to stitch in the direction that best accommodates the bulk of the quilt. For example, when stitching a queen size quilt, it will be easier to quilt the lower border from top down–so the bulk of the quilt is not squished in the harp space, than it would be to stitch it from left to right.
Some motifs are directional and may feel more natural when stitched from left to right. For example, it is easier to stitch The Sailboats (Page 116 of Free Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3) from left to right than top-down. On the other hand, Silly Spirals are fairly easy to stitch horizontally or vertically.
When you are faced with the dilemma–Which way should I stitch this?—remember, there is no right or wrong answer. In fact, sometimes it feels like all your choices are wrong…Choose a direction and try your best.
Later this week, I’ll offer a few tips that have helped me.
Exciting Week of Quilting
We have a busy week! We will look at ways to make directional sewing easier, set up and stitch The Sunny Day Medallion quilt, doodle and have a winner for the giveaway! Stay tuned!
YOUR Upside Down Quilter,
aka Dizzy Daisy
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