Monday, October 12, 2015

Three Tips for Free-Motion Quilting Success

I am teaching myself to free-motion quilt. This weekend I was playing with interlaced triangles as my motif atop hand-dyed, Paintstick embellished fabric.

I am working on a Husquavarna MegaQuilter. This machine goes forward and backward only, but it can go REALLY fast. I found this machine on eBay (yes I bought it sight-unseen) and watched the how-to video several times before I felt comfortable turning it on. (The back story on that is this is my newest machine---even though it was discontinued several years ago---so I was a bit shy about running it. It didn't help that the thread kept balling up on the back (operator error) and had to stop and untangle and rethread.

Now I am reasonably adept at threading and stitching and detangling. And there are 3 things I have learned that I want share with you.

3 Tips for Free-Motion Quilting Success

1. Secure the top and back to the batting. I use cotton/polyester batting and 505 Spray & Fix. I spray the fabric outside whenever possible and never use it in a closed space. If you don't want to use adhesive spray you could hand baste or pin layers with safety pins.

2.  Practice your motif on a scrap 'sandwich' first. This step can save you a lot of headache and prevent the rip-it, rip-it motion.

3. Wear quilting gloves. I never thought these little darlings would be SO helpful, but indeed they are. They increase the friction between you and your fabric sandwich and permit easy movement of the fabric around the needle. They are lightweight and inexpensive and worth every penny.

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