Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Steps in Quilting: Quilting

This segment of your quilting adventure involves many choices. Hand quilting vs machine quilting. Long arm vs. domestic home machine. Quilting it yourself vs. hiring someone else to quilt it. I've used or done all of the above and the choice often comes down to time and/or money.

Once these choices are made then you need to choose the quilting pattern(s) to enhance your pieced or appliqued design. The traditional rule of thumb says use curvy designs when you have linear piecing, use linear designs when you have curves. But of course rules are meant to be broken so don't be a slave to fashion. Experiment!

I've read about lots of tricks using a clear substance and markers to simulate various quilting designs. Use whatever works for you, but my favorite method when I'm going to quilt it myself is to make a quick block or segment of the piece and actually quilt it using the thread(s) I've chosen. Yeah, I know that's more work, but maybe you have an extra block that didn't quite work out or some leftover fabric... There's no other way to really see how it's going to look AND to see how your skills interpret those designs.

Is quilting my favorite part of the process? Heck no! But do I quilt my own work? Yes, when it is not too big (lap size and under, jackets are perfect!). We've all heard about the woman who can quilt a king size quilt on her home machine, but it ain't me. My shoulders just can't take that kind of pushing and shoving. As a person who calls herself a quilter I'd feel really lame if I couldn't quilt. Plus I'd go broke hiring someone else all the time!



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