When I started piecing this quilt, I knew I was up for a challenge. I knew it would be quite big, and I knew the day would come where I had to draw every bit of energy and courage to start quilting it. My biggest concern was knowing I had to get this quilt into that small throat space of my little Bernina, which by the way is only 7½ inches (19cm) from the needle right up to the edge.
So as I was waiting for the backing fabric to arrive I literally prepared myself mentally for the challenge ahead. I knew it had to be possible, I just needed to convince myself to take is easy, take it slow and to not rush it. I had to have a plan, its pointless rushing into it, without knowing what free motion quilting designs I wanted on this quilt.
I knew that I wanted to quilt designs that I was familiar with, had experience quilting and that was not going to drive me up the wall giving the fact that I have very little space to work with. So I went with swirls and pebbles, quilting designs I knew I was comfortable with, knew how to quilt and because I wanted to draw attention to the secondary designs of the blocks themselves. I knew they would work, especially inside the white background. The only thing I'm now a bit unsure of, and second guessing myself, is the swirls I quilted inside the border of each block. Now that I am stepping back, looking at the overall picture, it does not really separate itself from the block, something I was aiming for.
But I am halfway, and to rip out those stitches would be madness. So I am going to carry on and hope that once I am finished it will all come together.
Together with all the swirls and pebbles I've quilted straight lines and some diamond variations I learnt from taking the Dot to Dot Craftsy class. It sets of beautifully in the background and really makes the swirls and pebbles pop.
I am no expert but if ever you have a large quilt to quilt on your home sewing machine, here are a few tips I know is helping me so far;
- Take it slow, try to relax and constantly move and adjust the quilt to have the least amount of fabric inside the throat space of your sewing machine.
- Practice quilting designs going in different directions. Quilting straight lines is NOT always possible stitching it forwards or backwards. Learning to stitch from left to right and right to left is essential.
- Don't overdo it, take a lot of breaks between quilting. You wont tense up and you'll be a lot more focused with a clear mind.
- One point I still have to work on myself; is to not look too closely at uneven stitches, when stepping back admiring your work, you'll see the final picture and NOT silly mistakes.
- Listen to your favorite radio station or music.
- Finally, DO NOT quilt if you are not in the mood to at that moment. Your quilt will get finished...
Oh, I have to just share this with you before you go, my husband is very supportive, always keep track of my progress and he really tries to comment or encourage me, and just yesterday he said: "I like the soap bubbles you added between the swirls"... awe, so sweet!!
Thanks for stopping by!
* My posts delivered to you *