Sunday, January 3, 2016

Free Range Quilting and Fashion

What do free range quilting and fashion have in common? Only an excuse for me to dress in Western wear and link up with the gang at for Visible Monday. Admittedly, there isn't such a thing as free range quilting, but if there were I would liken it to plein air painting. Sewing up a storm out there on the prairie ...

Thrifted ensemble
Unlabeled hat
Jeanstar vest
Levis tank top
Bandolino skirt
Ariat boots (retail)

The title was to grab your attention as I venture into free motion quilting. Sewing together the piecework on a quilt is only half of the project, then comes the actual quilting process. Little did I know that there are all kinds of quilting stitches to choose from, free motion means you are in control of the stitch rather than the machine. You are only limited by your imagination and skill level. 

The majority of my quilting knowledge has been gleaned from YouTube tutorials. One online tip was to set up a comfortable work space by creating an "L" shape to the side of the machine. I rearranged my desk to add the foldout table you see to the left so the bulk of the quilt would rest on the desk and side table, rather than my lap.

I was happy to hear from the tutorials that it is possible to free motion quilt with a standard home sewing machine. I've heard mention of long arms and such but I am trying to keep the total investment cost of this hobby at a manageable level. 

It is recommended to practice on smaller pieces before beginning on a full-sized quilt. There are also "grabber" gloves I've also seen in tutorials that move the sandwich along easier. 

Update to post - my first attempt at free motion quilting was an unmitigated disaster. The quilt sandwich does slip around and without those ribbed gloves, I can see how it makes the task more difficult. I did finish preparing the backing, binding and batting for the trailer quilt log cabin style. I bought one of the bagged battings and along with two decent sized pieces the rest were in small sections. Even though I affix the batting to the backing with temporary spray adhesive, I baste all of the batting sections together, one of the behind-the-scenes tasks of preparing a layer for quilting.  

I aspire to this type of detail quilting. These images are examples of hand quilting from the 1963 Woman's Day Book of American Needlework. 

Since we are on the subject of Western, let's end with a Pattern of the Day with children's costumes of cowboys and native Americans. 

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