06 October, 2006

Musings on Machine Quilting

I don't send my quilts out for professional quilting on a long-arm. I prefer to take the process start to finish my myself. Call it a control issue if you'd like, I prefer to think of it as owning the project. I continue to work on honing my skills, particularly the machine quilting. There's been a lot of blogging about progress lately. My progress slows dramatically when it comes to the actual quilting. Maybe because I try too hard. In this example of trapunto quilting I took a class from Paula Reid in June. She's an awesome teacher, by the way. She expertly walked us through the steps and then let us run, all by ourselves. This little block in the photo is 12" square. Instead of an easy and graceful meander around the wreath I chose to stipple so close and tight that this teeny-tiny sample took me days to complete! I love the result; and yet...
Why do I do this to myself? Am I a glutton for punishment?

I'm currently quilting the "Pawprints Forever On My Heart" quilt for my mother-in-law. It's going to look fantastic whenever it gets done. For some insane reason I have chosen to quilt three sizes of milk-bone like shapes in all the sashing, cornerstones and blocks. All little individual closed shapes that require constant thread-tail clipping, burying and trimming! Grrr.
Again-- Why do I do this to myself? Am I a glutton for punishment?
Maybe. I don't know. In the meantime I'll persevere. I'll turn on the music in the studio and I will celebrate small victories; a row completed, a s-t-r-e-t-c-h break and a cup of Lemon Blossom tea! Half the center section done, a walk around the block with my dog!
Hey, I think I'm detecting a pattern here. Small wonder I don't make faster progress!
And yet, I completely adore doing this! The pace may be slow but it calms and centers me;
it will be done when it's done.
The only downside?
I'm already planning, in my mind, the next six quilts... and so it goes...

No worries; it's all good...

Life is Good!


Jim V said...

Someone once said that the game of golf is a incessant, frustrating, even infuriating struggle directed toward the single-minded and narrow goal of hitting the perfect shot. Once you do, you instantly forget all the toil and trouble that led up to it. And then one second later, you think, "I bet I can do better," and the process starts all over again.

Turns out quilting is alot like golf, eh?

Jim V said...

Okay, this might be a dumb question. I see the raised portions of the quilt (the top photo), and I've seen Lisa quilt so I get how that is done. Not that it isn't amazing, but I think I get it.

But there is a texture to the rest of the fabric, almost like a terry cloth towel (sorta, not really). What creates that texture? Or if it's just the nature of the fabric, why gets rid of it on the raised portions of the quilt?

Am I making any sense???

Jim V said...

Oops: "why" should be "what" above.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Jim-- The "raised" portions of which you speak (in the top photo) is actually stuffed work, trapunto. The outline of the stuffed area is stitched through an extra layer of batting, then the excess trimmed away very close to the stitching. This stuffed area is then quilted through all the layers, and surrounding area quilted densely to intentionally cause the stuffed area to stand out. The texture is created by the stitching!

Jim V said...


"The effect you ask about is created by extraordinary and superhuman effort."

Got it.