I want to take my free motion quilting up a notch. Stippling and straight line quilting are no problem for me, but other designs never look good.
I recently quilted two tops (a stacked coins and a modern butterfly) and both really really sucked. I tried loops on the stacked coins and ripped that all out—two bobbins full of thread. It was painstaking and took several hours. Then I quilted wobbly lines on the modern butterflies and that sucked even worse, so I quilted more ugly wobbly lines going the other direction, which kind of camouflaged the ugliness. What was especially frustrating was that I followed some advice I saw online to practice drawing the design before quilting it. So I spent about 30 minutes practicing drawing the wobbly lines “just so” but they still looked bad when I tried to make them using my machine. So I decided I needed professional help.
I found Leah Day’s website and one night after the kids went to bed, so I watched a bunch of her YouTube videos. What an amazing resource! I made a special trip and got a pair of the Machingers gloves. I wanted to try them on to make sure they fit instead of ordering online. It’s a good thing I did, because I ended up getting an extra small.
My husband worked some carpentry magic yesterday and did this:
He installed a shelf with custom brackets below the table. Now my machine sits perfectly flush with the table to hopefully decrease any drag as I’m trying to move my quilt for free motion quilting. I cannot wait to try out my new set up!
Leah Day suggests using a Teflon sheet called a “Supreme Slider” to decrease friction as you’re moving the quilt. She also recommends bobbin washers to decrease eyelashing on the backside of the quilt, so I’m going to be ordering both of those and I’ll let you know how they work. Right now, the gloves feel a little strange because before I literally was gripping the quilt in my hands to move it. I never noticed how much that affected my back and hands until I finished the modern butterfly quilt. I had a lot of pain in my hands and fingers for the next couple of days, but it didn’t dawn on me that it was due to gripping the quilt until I watched some of Leah Day’s tutorials. Aha! Now it all makes sense!
This is the last quilt I made with my old set up.
My stippling is okay, but I really want to try some new designs, starting with Leah Day’s Bed of Roses. I want to try it on the stacked coins quilt I ripped all the quilting from.
Enjoy your Sunday!