Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Why Machine Quilting Is So Hard

I had a revelation yesterday when I was working on that quilt about why it is so difficult to machine quilt. First of all you have the mechanical issues - you have to have a machine that has the right capabilities and is fit for that type of sewing. You have thread to consider, and the accompanying issues - what in the world am I going to quilt on this. After that you have to either mark your design on your quilt or be able to free-motion with no markings (my preferred method). At this point you get into the actual quilting.

As an example I was quilting spirals. Up around and over, up around and over is what my brain tells my fingers and arms. Shoulders down! That comes up every so often when I feel my neck getting tight, about the time I have my shoulders up around my ears. Breath! Ok, I need to relax more, Up, around, and over! Watch out, you're getting close to that pin, better stop and take it out! Up, around, and over! Sit up straight! Wonder if the bobbin is about to run out? Shoulders Down! Up, around, and over. Up, around, and over. Another Pin! Breath! Not so fast, you're stitches are getting too small, oops, slow down your hands, stitches are too big. Shoulders Down! Up, around and over - uh - oh, time to change the bobbin. Do you see what I mean - there is too much to think about all at the same time!

That's why I like to spend some serious time quilting and do several quilts all together, by the time I get to the end is when I've really got it all down and can just quilt! Anyway, I did get the quit finished yesterday and it came out quite well, except for a couple of tucks on the back. I'll check and see if my client wants them taken out or not. They are not that noticable, but it is an imperfection. I also bound the quit, using my machine to finish it on the top. This is the way I have been doing all of my machine quilted quilts. I figure that they have machine quilting on the top, why not finish the binding by machine also? The judge at the fair always gives me good comments on my binding technique, but I'm not sure it would be as accepted at a larger show. I must say, I like the way it looks, and it is so fast to finish - I can bind a queen sized quilt in a little over an hour and a half this way. Try doing that by hand!

The next quilt on the list for quilting is one I made from a block swap. I'm looking at thread today, and trying to get some idea of how I want to quilt it. Hopefully will have some time to start it this afternoon after work. I'm also working on finishing up a sample for a new pattern. This one is a basket pattern, and I hope to pick out some fabrics for a fall version of the quilt today. I fell behind in my pattern a month plan and need to get going again!

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