Friday, January 16, 2009

String Study and Quilting Questions


Another small scrap quilt exploring line, color and texture.


This String Study Art Quilt measures 8 1/4" x 15 3/4" and is available here.

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I have been receiving questions lately as to whether or not I quilt my pieces on a longarm machine, (A special sewing machine that is attached to a long quilting frame. The quilter controls the machine standing up, holding onto the machines handle bars. The machine glides back and forth across the quilt. It is possible to quilt an entire king size bed quilt in a matter of hours with one of these babies!)


... The answer is No!
I, at this time can neither afford one, (even the poor man's version) nor do I have any room to set one up in my pretty cramped abode. (Just ask my poor neglected beautiful floor loom, sitting alone and unused, folded up in a cramped section of our cold... very, very cold, basement. If there's no room for her, there's no room for a longarm!) I do all of my sewing and quilting on my trusty 12 year old Bernina. A discontinued, (but once top of the line) model #1630, which in my humble opinion was the best model they ever made, and I love her dearly!

I have also been asked what quilting stitch I used on this quilt. Well, on my machine it is simply referred to as "Practical stitch #4". When set to it's standard stitch length of 1/4 and stitch width of 5, it is basically a close zigzag stitch made up of lots of small stitches. (Sorry I don't have a picture of that. I just happened to take these photos last week. As I type this it is night time and I am too tired to try and get a decent shot of what "Practical stitch #4" normally looks like.)


Anyway, for this quilt, the stitch length was switched to a 2 and stitch width kept at a 5. This minor adjustment made a completely new stitch. Now of course your machine is likely different then mine, but I would encourage you to play around with different stitches, and variations on the width and length settings and see what you come up with.

By the way, I used a walking foot when quilting this. Anytime I do any standard machine quilting... (other then free-motion quilting which is when you use a darning foot, set the stitch length to zero, drop your feed dogs and go baby go!) ... where the fabric travels in a straight line under the presser foot and above the feed dogs like in regular sewing, I use a walking foot. They run about $100.00 for a Bernina. (Bernina attachments ain't cheap!) The investment is worth every penny though, as a walking foot enables all 3 layers of the quilt; top, batting and backing, to be fed evenly through the machine. If I were to use a regular presser foot, the layers would feed unevenly, causing a sloppy quilting job, with puckers and folds.

Hope that helps!
Have a great weekend everyone!

25 comments:

jacquie said...

thanks for sharing this victoria...after your last post i started exploring my mom's bernina a bit...there are lots of things that i never even thought to look at. this helps even more! love the new piece too.

Amy @ Park City Girl said...

It's beautiful! I love your quilting :)

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Your work is remarkable. I am however lost on all of the technique talk, I am sewing challenged. But I still stop in regularly to see the pretty pictures! :)

Cicada Studio said...

Fascinating. I had no idea! Pretty little quilt, too.

bettyninja said...

very stunning- I love these colors. Great tips on quilting too

High Desert Diva said...

I think you should be the new spokeswoman for Bernina.

Jackie Russell said...

Thanks for explaining how you quilt your quilts. Until I looking at the size of these quilts I was thinking they were bed size quilts. I agree a walking foot is worth every penny you spend on it.

My Ladies Fine Designs said...

WOw, this is beautiful, great colors!

please sir said...

First of all - I am so jealous you have a floor loom! Second - love that you use a normal sewing machine to achieve such great results!

Kayla coo said...

Hi Victoria,
Wonderful quilt.x

connie said...

Thank you so much for your great write up on quilting questions. It is very helpful. You answered many questions that I felt silly asking about. I have just done hand quilting since I was not able to make it work. The walking foot sounds amazing and I am going to look into that. I have an old 1976 Elna which does not have a drop feed so I am limited. You gave me some good suggestions and I am going to have to give them a try. Thank you so much.

Victoria said...

Connie, You are very welcome. I have heard that for machines whose feed dogs won't drop, they can be covered up. However I have never read how one covers it up, or what one uses to cover up the feed dogs.

I have also heard that on some machines there is enough room to move the fabric around and do free-motion quilting even with the feed dogs up. (Just make sure you are using a darning foot.) Worth a try!

connie said...

Thank you so much. I am so amazed at the information that I have gotten from being involved with a blog. I really appreciate the help. The machine I use was my high school graduation present and I am a bit attached to it so I am going to see what I can do. Thank you so much. I will give the darning foot a try. I love your work it is very inspiring. Thanks

Victoria said...

Good luck, and have fun!
xo

kelly said...

Wow. I love the variations in quilting on this one.

Beautiful work. (As always!)

Hey Harriet said...

Well I cannot say that it helped me at all because I wouldn't even know how to turn the machine on in the first place. I didn't see instructions for that. I enjoyed reading the post anyway and learning about what is involved in the process of your quilting. I liked seeing the shot of your work space also :)

sherry said...

So interesting, I just love learning about the craft techniques of others.

connie said...

I am back. I had an attachment with a sewing machine I bought for my daughter at a yard sale a couple of years ago. I was not sure what it was and just left it with the machine in my daughter's room. After thinking about it I went looking. Sure enough it was a walking foot and it is the coolest thing I have used in a long time. It has opened a new door for me. Thank you so much.

picciolo said...

how interesting to find out more about how you create your wonderful quilts, thanks for sharing
: )

shellysquilts said...

Love what you did on the quilting. It looks great! Thanks for the pictures of your trusty Bernina. I too have a Bernina that I pet every day and have also quilted my brains out on. Happy Quilting!

Victoria said...

Ha!
I pet mine, too!!

XUE said...

Hi Victoria! I love to sew but I hv yet to sew any quilt. I want to do so, one day so I do admire yr work here. I enjoy the glimpse into yr work space. I like the wooden tool box & that pincushion too. I hv never seen a sewing machine which has its stand (is that the proper term?) on the left. Mine is on the right like most I've seen. Mine is also a very simple model compared to yours.

Victoria said...

Thank you XUE! I like your attention to detail!
The wooden tool box belonged to my grandfather, so it is extra special to me. The pin cushion is one that I made from a lovely Junko Onishi print, and it is toped off with a vintage wooded game piece. As for the sewing machine stand, I am guessing you mean the extending attached table... that is removable piece which attaches to the arm of the machine. It provides a nice working surface.

Fer said...

Can't beat a Bernina! I have a 1230 which I've only recently upgraded to from the classic 830. They've both been such wonderful machines, especially for quilting. :o)

Amy C said...

I saw this post when we were away last week and meant to comment - just cant tell you how much I love the color combos - perfection!