Machine Quilting by a Neophyte

Just before my best office desktop computer blew chunks, I downloaded and printed out a PDF file from Quilting Arts Magazine on how to learn machine quilting for the ordinary sewing machine. (Whew! Sighing with relief that I have a hard copy.)

Thanks to a clue from the president of my quilting guild, the very lucky and kind Diane Kelly, I found “universal” darning foot on Nancy’s Notions. It arrived just after I came back from retreat. I’ve been patiently finishing current projects and waiting until I could spend a bit of time following the step-by-step instructions on machine quilting.

Today was that day. I had some 6” blocks from my Halloween project left, some 6” squares of muslin, and some 6” squares of batting. I made a sandwich for a test, hooked up the darning foot, dropped the feed dogs, and decided that I would just play first to get a feel for how easy it was to move the sandwich.

Oh, my goodness!! I had such fun I didn’t want it to end. So what if it was a silly old random stipple? Wow!! I’m eating dinner in front of the TV and forcing myself to eat slowly. Sure, what I’m making now will be simple little Halloween coasters to add to my growing collection of holiday d├ęcor, but I’m learning!

When I report to Merri, Susan, Tuesday, and (maybe) Jenny, I’ll recommend learning this method after they’ve learned a little piecing. The book, Super Quilter that we’ve got teaches hand quilting since it was published about the time they were born in the early 80’s.

Next lesson via the Quilting Arts directions is to play and learn a few different styles like a crenellated pattern, “ME” (a pattern using M’s and W’s), stars, triangles, leaves, and finally feathers. There are more in the next chapter, but for now this is enough to fire me up and get me going doing machine quilting.

Will I ever use professional longarm quilting? You bet your bippy. I can hardly wait to get comfortable and go down to Bunnell to learn on the big machines. But, in the meantime, I can do a little bit more for myself that’s more artistic.


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