Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Gem of a Treasure!

I have been quilting for 16+ years.  I love quilting!  I love the process of piecing and have even enjoyed a few projects that involved some hand applique.  But I always struggled when it came to the quilting part.

You know, the part that actually makes the quilt a "Quilt".  Being intimidated in the beginning, I started with just tying the quilts.  A primitive, yet functional way to finish the quilt. I would consider this type much more of a "Blanket" than a quilt, but that is just me.  There was still just as much love poured into those quilts as quilts that have fancy feathers all over them.

I then tried some "Quilt-As-You-Go" quilts which worked well, but I still desired the look of the quilting.

Then I moved on to some "all over" quilting.  Usually just a grid of squares on point or diamond lattice type thing.  I could do this on my 1985 domestic Kenmore fairly easily. 

However, getting straight lines to stay straight on a queen-sized quilt as you are squeezing all three layers of the quilt through the throat area of the machine was a challenge.  So, I would occasionally do wavy lines on purpose instead of straight lines.

Four years ago I got a Babylock machine with a larger throat area and the quilting was so much easier and smoother!  What a difference the 2-3 inches of extra space made!  That was when I ventured into some free-motion quilting.

Somewhere along the line I had "inherited" a collection of quilting books from someone's library.  I had skimmed through some of them, noting certain patterns that I would want to revisit.  But the other day I came across a book that addressed and filled in the blanks for the "Quilt as desired" suggestion that comes with most quilt patterns.

It is a treasure trove of information!  By far the best book that I have ever come across. 

It is by Harriet Hargrave and entitled "Heirloom Machine Quilting - A comprehensive Guide to Hand-Quilted Effects Using your Sewing Machine".

I have no idea why I ever passed over this book!  I have referred to it several times while quilting the individual blocks in my current project.  

I feel rejuvenated and excited to be practicing some new things and learning what works and what doesn't.  Someday I hope to be able to do a perfect feathered circle or fancier borders.  

But for now I am happy to be a work in progress and improving my loops and swirls and adding some longer straight line free-motion to add dimension to the blocks.

So, if you have struggled with the "Quilt As Desired" suggestion go get yourself this book!  

I need to go work on some loopy borders!  Happy Quilting!

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