Monday, March 7, 2011

Free motion machine quilting, Oh my. I asked Diane to send me some pictures

so I could tell you about her classes. Diane will be teaching free motion machine quilting I, II and III.   Oh my goodness.  I had no idea what you could do on the machine,  these are all machine quilted by Diane.  I don't even know where to begin so I will post pictures and let them speak for themselves.

Oh my, I guess I can't not exclaim about these quilts.  Diane said "The Eagle which is a Ricky Tims Rhapsody quilt, was the last big quilt I quilted on my sewing machine and finished it this past January. It is 50" square."

All of the quilts were quilted on my sewing machine EXCEPT for the Phoenix...the round quilt. I tried out a new extra stiff batting, hoping it would hold the circular shape and quilted him on the mid-arm. It was too stiff and I couldn't get him wadded up small enough to push him through my sewing machine.

Diane said, "I began quilting in 2002 after I retired, but learned to sew from my aunt when I was 10 years old and made most of my clothes during my time in high school. When I took my first quilting class, I hadn’t sat down at the sewing machine in over 25 years…it felt so good to be sewing again. I had worked as a computer specialist in the technical support field, along with teaching computer classes and writing technical documentation for over 16 years. Needless to say, after retirement, I didn't want anything to do with a computer. I wanted to create something with my hands. After learning the basics of piecing a quilt, I soon found myself working on the more difficult patterns. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge but soon realized that many of the patterns I was working on scared others, so I started teaching these patterns, making the instructions easier to understand. One of these patterns was the paper-pieced Twisted Log Cabin, which I taught two years at the Quilt Walk Festival.

After finishing many beautiful quilt tops, I became stuck, not knowing how to finish them with a nice machine quilted design. I wanted something that looked better than stitching in the ditch or straight lines, but I didn't know how to accomplish it on my little sewing machine. Besides, trying to quilt those big quilts was like a wrestling match and the quilt won every time. I ended up taking them to a professional quilter and most of the time I got back the results I wanted, but then there were times when they didn't turn out exactly as I envisioned.

I’ve always been fascinated by the feather design and had been trying to draw them with absolutely no success. I bought a couple of templates and traced the designs onto the quilt top, but that took too much time. I had read several books on free motion quilting so I began to teach myself. I must admit, it was a little scary at first to drop the feed dogs and start pushing the quilt around under the needle trying to come up with a design that didn’t look like a mess of threads.

Then one day I was browsing around in our local quilt shop and noticed some DVDs by Patsy Thompson on free motion quilting. They showed you how how to create fast and free quilting designs, free motion vines and leaves and beautiful feathers, all on your own domestic sewing machine. Wow, just what I was looking for, so I purchased a couple of the DVDs and the next phase in my quilting hobby began.

Thanks to the internet, I have watched many other professional quilters free motion quilt and have incorporated their techniques along with mine. Now, when I look for quilt patterns, I’m looking at the open spaces to see how much quilting I can squeeze in. I want to be able to share what I’ve learned in free motion quilting so everyone can feel more confident and get the satisfaction of completing their own quilt from start to finish.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Those quilts are amazing! I would love to get my hands on those DVD's. I'm intimidated with free-motion quilting on my sewing machine, yet do not have the money to have it professionally done. Thanks for sharing!