Sunday, March 29, 2009

a new skill for me!

I have to share how tickled I am with my latest acquisition - a darning foot for my sewing machine. An outrageously priced bit of accessory (not that bad, but we keep me on a limited allowance, otherwise the spare bath would be full of books and fabric) that allows me the joy of free-motion quilting.

I have currently only attempted stipple effect (as opposed to patterns and such) and am more than pleased with my success. I only feel bad because if I had known how easy this was, my niece might not have gotten a tied quilt for Christmas!

This is what I made first:

It is really, totally over quilted, since the very dense needled cotton batting will hold it's own with quilting as much as ten inches apart (and I think the farthest I stippled was 1")

My next effort was this:

It is difficult to see the stitching on the face, but it is a much more reasonably spaced, looser stipple. It shows up much better on the back:

So far I have finished three pending blankets with this technique and am at the moment taking a break from a fourth. As soon as they are washed (I have never looked forward to doing the laundry as much as I am today!) I will photograph the finished items and probably put them in my Etsy shop.

Oh, and in my search for advice I found this video from Crazy Mom Quilts - just as helpful were the comments (as I could not get any sound to come up on the video) particularly the one that spoke to the extreme counterintuitiveness of free motion quilting: you slam your foot down on the pedal and make the needle sing, while moving your hands at whatever steady pace you can achieve. Very weird.

Obviously, several of these little darlings will be appearing at my spring Craft Fair in Crofton, MD.


Karen said...

So cool to have a new trick! Will you post your shortbread recipe here, Tara? Those cookies didn't make it to Saturday night! They barely made it the car ride home. So good to meet you in person!

tarabu said...


Bette's Bags said...

Can't wait to see them in person at the Crofton Show. Too bad there's no one that I know who has a baby coming. Use you use the same technique for place mats or glass coasters?

tarabu said...

When I'm making coasters and mats, I use a regular foot so that my lines stay evenly spaced.

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