Sew Karen-ly Created...

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Wednesday, 13 January 2010

How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?

We all know that one: practice, practice, practice...Like most everyone else, practising is not one of my favourite things. A quick warm-up and I'm impatient to tackle the real thing...for better or for worse (often the latter!) This afternoon I decided I would practice quilting on the new machine. Certainly I am not new to machine quilting having been working at this for over 20 years. However, each machine is different and it's important to get the feel for how the machine responds. A quilter and her machine become one; a zen thing.
To get started, I chose fabric with a grid print so I didn't have to mark anything. (How lazy is that? :)
I quilted curves first one way then in the opposite direction, much as you would quilt plain patchwork squares. Mind you, these squares were not quite 1/2" so it was a little tricky to keep the arcs smooth.

It looks like this on the back; this is a polyester batt.
Then I moved on to feathers, which I am interested in doing free hand. The straight ones were fine, but this wreath gave me trouble. I did mark the circle with pencil first. This is done using a cotton batt; it has much less loft than the polyester.
I did several more freehand; I think the feathers look best with a line of echo quilting stitched around the outside. Down in the bottom right of this picture is a motif traced from a set of acrylic French Curves purchased last year in an art supply store. There are four different curves in the package, of varying sizes, and they make great quilting designs. It's a bit hard to see this on the ecru, but the big curly feather in the centre is discernible.
I think that's enough practicing. There are lots of tops here which can use quilting and it's more fun to work on the real thing. I'll never make Carnegie Hall...


  1. Good job, Karen & your pictures are so clear. Great close up of the stitches. You'll be a pro at machine quilting in no time. I'm turning green.
    Mary in Montreal

  2. Oh Wow! Love it! I really need to move to Amherst to learn from the pro!

  3. Wow I think you did a great job. I'm too chicken to even try a feather. Keep up the great work and look out Carnegie Hall.

  4. Karen, you are so modest; I have seen your work in shows and its lovely.

  5. Your machine quilting is amazing! You should be very proud.

  6. I think that doing machine quilting is my favorite thing to do. I don't have a fancy stitch regulator but I've learned to love my inconsistencies. (sorta) Nice practice pieces.

  7. Those feathers look great to me. And is there quilting at Carnegie Hall anyway????