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Free motion quilting

Old 02-18-2009, 07:06 PM
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I have a question for the free motion quilters out there. When you do free motion quilting, like stippling for example, do you just do the whole quilt top or do you do a block at a time? Like, fill one block with stippling, then move to the next block? Or just go over the whole quilt at once? I'm just getting into machine quilting but so far all I have done is straight line quilting. I've been practicing and I think I'm ready to try my hand at stippling on a small quilt. Any tips to make it easier?
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Old 02-18-2009, 07:12 PM
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Have you done any practicing with stippling? I would take one section at a time and end at a place that will lead you into the next section. Hope that helps a little.
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:09 PM
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If I am doing a small quilt I start close to a corner, and tend to start in a diagonal direction. This is so when you look at it you can not tell the line I followed.

If I am doing a big quilt I start as close to the center as I can (tackle the hardest part first and now you know it can not get any worse than that). I follow a kind of random motion, making sure that I fill all areas as I go to prevent bunching. I try not to concentrate filling one block before moving to the next, because it doesnt look "free" to me.

My opinion only, and I hope it wasn't clear as mud.

The best thing you can do is to practice as much as you can. One thing I found useful was to practice in a whole cloth, preferably of a solid color, so you can see clearly what you did. When I started doing it on quilts I did it mainly on printed, especially flowers, because when I made a mistake it wouldn't show.

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Old 02-18-2009, 09:58 PM
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I am getting better at free motion quilting....every time I do it I am more pleased with the results!
I practiced...first I literally did the motions on paper with a pencil to get use to making those puzzle piece shapes. I then practiced on table runner size muslin squares with batting between.
Now I can do a runner or a lap size quilt and feel half comfortable doing it. I haven't conquered a large quilt yet.
I was taught to picture your quilt in quarters....start near the center and work in one quarter at a time, from the center out to the edges. It seems to work for me. On a small item I just do the whole thing. It takes practice, practice, practice! Remember to breathe....I tend to hold my breath. LOL
I sew on Babylock machines and I have a foot control and a start/stop button (sew without using the foot control). When I free motion I use the start stop button as I then don't have to worry about speed, it's controlled for me and I can just worry about moving the fabric with my hands. That's the trick of all tricks for me....not worrying about my speed (foot) and my hands.
I also like to do "loops" as you can crossover them....I picture making the capital letter L in cursive writing...just an image for my brain!
Big quilts I still pay a long arm quilter to do....maybe someday...sigh.... I do stitch in the ditch on them.
Good luck, keep at it, it is fun.

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Old 02-19-2009, 06:13 AM
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I use a grace frame and start at the left hand top corner. I do a 6/7 inch stipple and then on the next row (right to left) I make sure I go up into the row above and fill in so you can't tell where the rows are. It fills it in nicely. The one thing you don't want is to be able to see definate rows of stipple. I think when you do stipple on a quilt on a machine that isn't on a frame you are suppose to start in the middle. Never could get the hang of that, too jerky.
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:35 PM
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I start in the middle and work my way out one section at a time.
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