Monday, 25 May 2015

Machine Quilting Practice

I happened across this pin the other day:
It was one of those moments when you see something - especially something that would look fairly ridiculous to the uninitiated - and think "bugger me, that's a good idea". I had recently attempted to enter the world of freehand machine quilting and the results had not been stunning. It's all very well to practice doodling but the motion with your hands when you're machine quilting are those shown in the pin - it's not like you're holding the needle at all. That pin leads to this website which offers one of these gadgets for $39 which is not a bad price but I thought I could possibly do one with plumbing supplies. PVC pipe and two elbows, I thought, having just looked up what those things that aren't really called "pipe bends" are called. Not knowing where to get plumbing supplies from in person I set off for Scrap - confident they would be able to do me right.

It is a strange sensation, to be wandering around a warehouse of scrap, looking for something that either is or could be used as "bends". In the end I found these.
Making a gadget to practice machine quilting with
I *think* the fatal looking things are something to do with firing ceramics - holding the item up off the kiln shelf while it bakes. Those little spikes were certainly sharp. The tube is cardboard. A glue gun later and...
a gadget to practice machine quilting with
I added extra glue to the little spikes to make them less tetanus-y. Plus some more to the two feet of the ceramic things to give them some grip on the table top. I then taped a biro to the middle and ta da!
Practicing machine quilting
As you can see from the paper, there has been no instant improvement, although actually I have gained confidence and I have improved in my latest batch of squares.
Machine quilting
Yeah, you can really see the quilting in that photo. You'll just have to take my word for it.

The quilt itself  is for the Hands2Help initiative and the deadline for the drive is rapidly approaching. I'm using the method covered in the Craftsy course I've taken where you make the units and them join them later with strips. It means you can go in for some heavy quilting without needing a Long Arm machine.


Mary Pat Callihan said...

Brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing it and the link. I love SCRAP. You might do a post on it since it is pretty unusual and not many people have any idea about it.
I really enjoy your posts. :)

Kathy said...

Resourceful indeed. I got a chuckle over how you solved for tetanus :)
Now I'm wondering where the Chambord comes into play . . . :o)

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