Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Machine Quilting and New Patterns

Do you all machine quilt your own stuff? Hand quilt? Longarm?

When I first started quilting, I hand quilted my quilts. And between working (my "day" job has always been in nursing), raising three fairly active kids, housework.... you know the drill, it took forever! And of course, my short attention span didn't help either!

Pinwheels and Posies hand quilted by me!

I loved the look of hand quilting, the feel of it as you ran your hand across the quilt. And at first, ages ago when I started seeing more machine quilting, I didn't like it. Too much color- I remember a quilt with bright blue thread across the beautiful white fabric!

These days,  I love machine quilting. It is beautiful when done right, and quicker than hand quilting. I always hate to make a decision based on speed, but sometimes it is a factor. So, years ago, I found a few people who did great machine quilting and they have quilted many of my quilts.

Look at this Mosaic Medley quilt done by Connie White of Golden Bells Quilting. Beautiful.

Mosaic Medley machine quilted by Connie White of Golden Bells Quilting

And this one is one of my favorites. I designed this quilt and taught it at a quilting retreat sponsored by Quadrille Quilting. It is called Seaside Retreat.

Part of Seaside Retreat machine quilted by Connie White

I love how she quilted waves in the blocks that represent the waves,

and pebbles in the area that represents the beach,

and rays in the sun,

and clouds in the sky.

And I just am in love with the quilting on our two new patterns done by Laura McCarrick of Always Keep Quilting.

Huey Louie quilted by Laura McCarrick of Always Keep Quilting

And Daisy Mae. I know I already posted these, but they deserve a second look!

Now, while I will still have some quilts quilted by these amazing artists, I do want to quilt more of my own stuff. And I have done some machine quilting. Mostly straight line sort of things. Mostly on our small projects like the banners and runners.

This table runner, Pinpoint, came out pretty well I think. I even tried a little stippling.

But I want to be able to do more. And machine tension seems to be a struggle for me. The quilts look good on the front; just don't turn them over. So, I have decided I need to do two things.

First- Practice. Practice . Practice.
And the other is to take some more classes. Classes give you feedback, ideas and the motivation to keep practicing!

I just took one from Heather Thomas at Golden Fiber Arts Studio. Fun place! And she was great! One of the things she suggested is to try to find 21 days where you can quilt every day. It takes time to develop muscle memory and doing this will help.

So that is my new plan. I am going to do a square a day. So will look great and some will not, but I will do them.  I am off to use my coupons at Joann's and get some muslin and batting and make some squares. And tomorrow, I quilt!

Wish me luck!

happy quilting,

p.s. Our new patterns Daisy Mae and Huey Louie will be out in another week or two! SO exciting!!!!

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