Machine Quilting

I am getting ready to go to Madison WI to the fabulous and wonderful quilt show – Quilt EXPO held every year at the  Alliant Energy Center Exhibitions Hall. September 10-12. If you are in the area don’t miss this great opportunity to see fantastic quilts, traditional and art and experience the ambiance of FABRIC!

I will be teaching Free Motion Machine Quilting there again this year.

This is a very popular class and it is always fun to teach especially since I get to teach on BERNINA’s. That makes it easier and more fun for the students because they don’t have to drag in their sewing machines!

While working on this new pattern it occurred to me to share a few of my favorite tips for machine quilting.

FA-freemotion1One of the things that I learned early on was to use a single needle throat plate. All our machines these days come with a wide needle throat plate so that we can use our zig zag option on the machine. But I have found that when I am piecing and especially when I am quilting I like to have a single needle throat plate in my machine. It helps to keep the thread from getting stuck in the feed dog area and makes for a smoother process. If you don’t have one for your machine you should think about ordering one.

When piecing it really helps keep that thread from dipping down when you start a new seam.

I also love this little metal foot for free motion quilting. I have used a lot of different type of feet to free motion quilt with, but this is by far my favorite. It allows me to see around it the best and gives me just the right amount of tension on my quilt sandwich.

One of the first things I do when I am machine quilting is to pull the bobbin thread to the top of the quilt sandwich and then hold the two threads, top and bottom, with my left hand as I begin to sew. This keeps the bobbin thread from getting all tangled on the back and forming an unseamly (ha) knot.FA-freemotion2

Just doing simple things can make for a more pleasurable experience.  But of course the most important thing to do is to keep practicing!

Try them out and tell me what you think.




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