Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sandwich Practice

One new technique that I am trying is machine quilting.  I have only used my old Singer machine to quilt small projects, up to this point, i.e. table runners, small quilted wall hangings, a baby quilt.  But never a large quilt.  One reason is because the feed dogs do not lower on my machine.  I have to cover them with a home-made plastic plate to do any quilting with free motion design.  So I have mostly stuck to 'in the ditch' or straight line quilting, if I have done the quilting myself and not sent it out to a quilt studio.

I was recently at my friend's house, who has a good free motion quilting machine, and I did some practicing. After I practiced free motion meandering, I was a little disappointed in my work, since it is not easy to do. I had heard that it takes practice, and that is right!  So I wouldn't show you that particular practice piece--it doesn't look very good! I decided to stick to straight line quilting, until I have more practice time finished.

Then, I decided to make a sandwich.  No, not the kind you eat!  A quilt sandwich.  This is a small square of the materials that you are using in your current quilt project, approximate 12 inches by 12 inches, including a piece of the top, a piece of the batting and a piece of the backing.  With this you can practice stitches with free motion, even different threads and thread combinations, and sizes of stitch lengths. 



Since I wanted a look of water, I tried parallel wavy lines . . . .



and . . . overlapping wavy lines.  I tried some different colors of thread, but it doesn't show very well in these photos.



My current quilt project has a scalloped edging, so I cut the sandwich with a scalloped edge and tried two different stitching patterns along the scallops.  I had originally thought that I wanted wavy lines there too, but hubby suggested straight lines going out from the center.  I didn't like his thought very much, until I tried it.

My thought:



His thought:

I think his idea makes the scallop's look like seashells . . . and I like it better! It doesn't look so good here, since there is no edging to define it.  Anyway, I think that this sandwich practice has helped me decide how I want to quilt my large project.  The only thing left to decide is how I am going to quilt the patchwork portion that I haven't shown here.    Decisions, decisions! Oh . . and I decided on a name for the quilt . . .
Stay tuned for the progress on the "Antique Bubble" doily quilt. 

11 comments:

Erika said...

The quilt will be lovely with the scalloped edges. I like your husband's idea too for the quilting design--very pretty!

Nancy said...

It's nice that there was a way to practice and work out your design first. It's always scary doing something for the first time on something you've worked hard and long on. And sometimes it does take an outside eye to solve design problems (my man does it for me all the time!). I do like those overlapping wavy lines though.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

What fun! How great to have a machine to play and practice on!

Pamela Bates of Mercantile Muse said...

love the wavy overlapping lines! very wave like- good for you tackling a new technique

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

I like both stitch patterns. It's fun to learn something new!

Sophia said...

This is pretty good. Far better than what I could ever do. I've tried a few times. :)

Hope you're well.

Splendid Little Stars said...

Oh yeah! The lines do make the scallop look like seashells! cool! I do like both patterns, though. Can't wait to see your finished quilt!

tamdoll said...

I think your quilting looks great. If you practice with free-motion quilting, I'd suggest getting a pair of gloves to wear while you try, with grips on the fingers. I've used kitchen gloves in the past, and even that helps a lot.
Have fun!!!

Judy Nolan said...

I haven't tried free motion work yet...I've been afraid to try. Looks like I will have to give it a shot!

Janet Bocciardi said...

I do like that edge look at the end - it does look like a seashell. It's so smart to practice before jumping into your big piece.

Kathleen said...

Very fun! This has so many different possibilities! Wow!