Does this scenario sound like something that you may have been in a bit
of a quandary at some time in your quilting journey?
You’ve created your quilt top in your favoured technique, appliqué, piecing,
thread painting, fabric painting or any other quilting technique that you’ve used within your beautiful quilt.
You’ve traced or transferred your quilting design onto your quilt top, often
tracing it from all sorts of different angles, not tracing it in the same direction for each tracing. You now look at all those designs happily traced onto your quilt top, and you wonder just how you’ll quilt each of the designs, what direction will you sew, where will you start within the design, will you need to back track over your stitching?... That’s not a preferred choice unless you have no other way of quilting the design.
You proceed happily onward layering your quilt, with your personal
favoured batting or wadding depending on what you personally call it, and your preferred choice of quilt backing fabric.
You’re feeling totally thrilled with it all so far and are very excited about
starting your quilting, because you’re really excited about seeing the quilt in all its finished glory.
You’ve been listening to me for some time now and understand that the
quilting is like the icing on the cake, this is where your quilt comes alive, it forms its own true identity, it becomes warm and cosy, something to snuggle under, or show off by hanging on your wall or maybe showing itself to hundreds of viewers hanging within a show, or your lovingly giving it to someone special, etc.
You then look at your quilting design and suddenly think to yourself that
you’re not too sure just where to start with quilting the design, what direction will I stitch the design and so forth.
I’ve come across this type of query many times while teaching classes and
I have an easy, simple and brilliant answer for you here, just the same as I advise those within my classes to do.
Take two pieces of scrap fabric and a scrap of your batting. On one piece
of the fabric trace one or two of your quilting design that you’re using onto this fabric, then layer this as a quilt sandwich, but don’t pin it as the pins will get in your way, use a basting spray like a 505. We’re looking for ease and flow of stitching here, so that’s why you don’t want to be hindered by pins in your way
for this simple process.
Next take the thread out of your machine both top and bobbin, then really
look at your design. Start by tracing your finger over it until find the best place to start quilting it, and the direction that you’re going to be stitching it.
Next place that fabric sample under your unthreaded sewing machine and
start stitching this design. If it doesn’t feel like you’re sewing it in the rightful direction or way that gives you the ease and flow of stitching then try
re-looking at it again and try a different way, maybe a different direction or starting point. This of course will depend on the quilting design and the complexity of it.
Once you have the starting place and direction of stitching all sorted out,
then just keep stitching the quilting design over and over until you’ve become proficient at stitching your amazing quilting design. Once you feel comfortable with quilting the design, then add your threads back into your machine and try it again with actual thread. This is now also a fantastic time to replace your needle with a new one ready to start your quilting process, as a blunt needle will cause you more issues than most people ever realise, even though it’s possibly the cheapest part of all your quilting & sewing needs.
The reasoning behind taking your threads out are several... one is that
you totally let go of the need to be sewing correctly on the lines of your quilting design, so you start sewing free’er within yourself, another is that you can easily just keep sewing the design over and over without stopping or a build up of thread and the last is.... why waste all that thread when to be totally honest with you, for the above exercise having thread in your machine is really going to hamper or hinder you.
It’s better to spend 30 mins or so now off your quilt, becoming familiar
and proficient with your quilting design of your choice, than it is to start stitching
directly onto your quilt, then making mistakes, having to undo it, start again and maybe repeat that scenario several times before you’ve achieved the flow of the design. You’ll also have many stitching lines showing, your fabric can become a little stressed as well from all those needle holes.
So I’m hoping that today’s tip here helps you grow within your personal
quilting and creative journey. We’ll meet here again same time, same place next week for more tips to help you grow within your personal creative journey.
Remember to leave a comment as all comments help others learn and
grow within themselves as well, and I also love replying to these comments.
Have the most beautiful, creative and inspiring day