Monday, December 24, 2007

An attempt at machine quilting

Never never assume that anything is easy or looks easy until you try it out yourself!

Before I tried machine quilting, I always thought that it couldn't possibly be that difficult, especially when Kelvin from Sakura made it look ever so effortless. Well, for one, he has had loads of practice, and two, he's got a sewing machine that is in the same class as a Mercedez Benz, as June puts it, and all I have is just a Perodua Kembara! LOL!

Yup, I tried my hands at machine quilting last Saturday at Quilt Gallery. I bought this pattern at QG that has flower motifs on it meant for hand or machine quilting. QG has got several different motifs, priced at RM 100.00 a kit, containing the motif printed (with washable ink) on white or pink plain cotton, a piece of batting and a backing piece cut 2 size. I did the basting at home as instructed by Gill, so that I will be set and ready for the machine quilting come last Saturday.

I thought machine quilting would be easy and I could get it done sooner. Surinder showed me a finished piece done by Lauren, Gill's daughter, done by hand, and it was really nice, but, I thought it was going to take me longer to do, so, I opted for the machine quilting. Now I wonder if I had made the right decision. LOL! *grin*

I might just try out hand quilting when I am done with this piece should I have the mood to later. *grin* I think quilting by hand is a matter of getting your stitches to be even and of the same size. Probably doing by hand gives you better control of your stitches compared to machine quilting.

With machine quilting, you need to control the pressure on your foot pedal while, at the same time, you also need to control how you move your piece to give you that even tension. If you pull too fast, you get stitches that are too far apart, too slow, and your stitches are too close together, despite setting your tension already. You are also trying to move the piece in curves to follow the motifs, so it is all a matter of hand, eye and foot coordination. That is what is most difficult. I slept at 2.00am last night because I was determined to finish the machine quilting part, and ended with a backache. I did a lot of unpicking and re-sewing it to prevent the puckering, but when it gets past 1.00 am, your eyes, hand movement and foot coordination is simply out as is to be expected at such a late hour! LOL!

This coming Saturday, Gill will be showing me how to use the darning foot to do free motion quilting. I tried to do it on my own, but simply have not got the know how technique to get it right. My tensions are haywire. LOL! Wish me luck!

What will I be doing with it when done? It could be turned into a cushion cover, but the size is a little too big for my cushions - 16" x 16" motif to motif. By the time I add the edges, it might get bigger.

My cushions are 15" x 15", unless I don't mind a loose fit for my cushion, but I would need two pieces to make up a set. I don't think I want tp do another one! LOL! My wrist hurts from all the turning and controlling of the piece, just to get this one piece done! LOL! To do another one? *shaking my head*

I am also not too happy with my overall tension of the piece, this being a practice piece, with quite a number of puckering here and there. It is a lovely motif though, and it would be a waste to have it stashed into a closet.

Maybe machine quilting, with the exception of the stitch in the ditch and channel stitching, which I have done numerous times, and my tension is not too bad *wink*, is simply not for me. I salute and admire those who can machine quilt a whole king size quilt. I had loads of trouble manouvering my small 16" x 16" piece! LOL!

Kelvin from Sakura did it with such ease, but of course, when you have had loads of practice, and doing it on a BERNINA, that has an even tension guide control that no matter how hard you press on the foot pedal, your tension will still be the same and even, so all you need is to concentrate on moving your piece. Even if you pull your piece too fast or too slow, your tension will also remain even.

Am I hinting that I will be buying the BERNINA soon? Nope, not just yet! *wink*

1 comment:

Pabasa said...

I think I have to learn from you how to design the machine quilt cos I have been doing a lot of quilting by machine, to welcome my new born cucu's. Of course I never have any proper training but I managed to make a few beutiful ones. The last one was for Miki, I think.Ma