Thursday, August 21, 2014

Where the Rubber Meets the Road (A.K.A. Machine Quilting)

I have a friend who loves this saying, and for the longest time I didn't really get it. So, what does this mean exactly?

It's an idiom--like, "It's raining cats and dogs." It doesn't count to just spin your tires. You have to really drive somewhere. Well, I'm there today with one of my projects. I finished this quilt top a few months ago, and it's one I'm making for me this time. I played with some fabric and color I wouldn't normally use together, and  I like the outcome. Let's say time, money, and emotional sacrifice count now. I don't want to screw it up, and I'm not an experienced machine quilter. Hand-quilting would take me too long, so I've got to hunker down and overcome my fear. Hence the saying, "This is where the rubber meets the road."

I've reviewed the original project from the book (mentioned in my last post), and it's fairly intense quilting shown. I don't want to copy that exactly, but I agree it needs background to make it pop and add texture. I've narrowed down some choices, and will do some practice quilt sandwiches to see what I like best. (Quilt sandwiches are like 12"x12" mock ups so you can practice the design to see if it's what you want.) These are just practice.

I've drawn it on paper, and practiced on my sandwich. I think I like this best.

I'm a new newbie, and have only done quilt tops I consider 'practice quilts'. What I learned most:

  • Even if you aren't marking the whole quilt with a design, section it into areas so while it's under the machine you complete that area before moving on. 
  • If you want to do something special or highlight a certain area, you can mark it first so it's not forgotten.
The top is ready.

The back is pieced, and I used the 505 spray adhesive to stick everything together.

I spent hours here looking for images on free motion quilting.
Google search free motion images

Finally, my first try. Not perfect, but I'm one square down. And from the backside...

I think I feel as happy as the time I did my first back walkover! It's huge, Caroline!

As promised, I finished up the batik Jelly Roll Monday night, and while it's not something I'd enter in the county fair, I 'm very pleased with it. It's bright, colorful, and will make a someone happy to wrap up in this dark winter.

Enough chatter now. I'm off to get this project under way.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

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