Sunday, April 26, 2015

Stitching Up The Quilt, Hand or Machine

So my subject this day is about Stitch Density. You say "what?" You know, density as in how closely do you hand/machine quilt your work? When I was primarily a hand quilter I felt my density was inconsistent.  I would mark carefully and suffer each stitch to attempt uniformity and consistency. Some times the results were pretty good, sometimes not so much.
an early, inconsistent hand quilting effort
the finished quilt, curves and straight lines

Then I started doing more and more machine quilting, free motion and line quilting on a domestic machine. It was better but I struggled with consistency with a domestic machine. I am absolutely amazed at those quilters who churn out these masterpieces on their home machines. I am in awe.
a more controlled hand quilt stitch but this one was all straight lines

Then I moved up to the long arm and find that I can finally be a little more measured in my work because that throat space leaves me more room to manipulate the quilt and reduce the unwanted stress and strain on the stitches when the weight of the quilt is pulling against the needle.
The last jelly roll quilt, last Fall. By the time I did this one I was grooving on all the curves! Love, love, love doing the curves with some great music in the background. 
Much more consistent.

By the time I finished this last one I knew it was time to move on. The next quilting pattern, who knows but I have this one down. I am searching for patterns beyond stipple, loops and swirls. I will let you know. 

A nicely quilted piece from the TRQ show. Nice, even and consistent density of stitch.

Some Observations and lack Thereof:
  • Just because you have a sewing machine and a place mat with fringed edges and you know how to attach it to a jacket doesn't mean you should. Not a good look, really, not good. 
  • I was in a restaurant the other day at 12 noon, very crowded, lots of activity. In the booth behind me there was lots of laughing and loud conversation. When those customers left a man in the booth beside mine asked the waitress who that man was (in the booth behind me) because he looked so familiar. It was Billy Gardell, of Mike and Molly television fame and the new ABC's Monopoly Millionaires Club. I walked right past him, smiled because he did and sat down anxiously waiting for my salad. See, even in the face of celebrity I am becoming more and more focused.
  • I used a lovely variegated thread on the last quilt, The Batik Happiness, no skips or bird nests with the machine. Now, that, is a good thing.  
  • I might have found a new passion, I know, another one. Coloring. Did you know there is a huge movement among adults to color to relieve stress? Please do not laugh, just read this little article.
  • On that note I am thinking I might climb the attic steps and retrieve a few dolls. Not really!

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