Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Free Motion Hand-Quilting

What's a quilter to do?

I love the black and white checked fabric in the first border. It adds a bit of feisty-ness to the quilt. However, I quickly discovered that I was not going to enjoy quilting it. The lines don't run true enough to use them as a guide for any major straight-line pattern, and I couldn't see any way to mark the fabric. Whether I used white or black, part of the markings would always to fade into the fabric.

My apologies for the poor photo quality

Aha! Free-motion hand-quilting. If I can do free motion quilting on a sewing machine, why couldn't I do it by hand? And so, the checked border is filled with free motion flowers and vines.

Click on the photos to make them larger

Alas, I've discovered that as much as I like hand-quilting blocks, I'm not at all fond of hand-quilting borders.  They go on FOREVER.  With a block, I get that sense of satisfaction of having another one done.  Borders take so long that by the time I've finished a side, the thrill is definitely gone.

I've got two more borders to do on this quilt after I finish the checked border, and I'm seriously considering doing them on the machine.  How bad is that?  Would that be considered mixed media?


  1. I can't wait to see the final product, however you decided to do it.

    I dread sewing by hand. It makes me extremly tense and cranky. My husband has forbid that I do hand sewing around the family. He doesn't like it when I transform into Mrs. Hyde.

  2. It's your quilt mix it up if you want to :) The borders do go on forever. With the quilt on have on the frame now that is what is taking the longest and slows me down. Of course it would help if I would get busy and work on it but I'm trying to get done with dear jane this month instead.

  3. At least you can say that you explored new possibilities...and maybe you can use the knowledge on other areas as well.
    I can't see any problem with mixed media. The quilt will have a story of its own.

  4. I love that border!! But I can see where it would be a bear to quilt. It would probably make me feel like I'd been drinking. I think if you want to do some by machine, that is just fine! It's your quilt.

  5. It's your quilt and your rules, so go ahead and mix it up if you're so inclined. I think hand quilting the checked part would make me go cross-eyed! I do like how it looks as a border though.

  6. Yep...I dont hand quilt because I am lazy.

    Mixed media is the way to go. Love that expression! Go for it Michelle...

  7. Your free-motion hand quilting is really lovely!

    As for mixed media, well, I'm sort of fussy about things like that and I would say that even though the borders are tedious, keep at it. Just think of the HUGE reward waiting at the end -- a whole quilt that you hand quilted. Just my 2 cents. Go with your heart. And the limit of your patience (lol).

    xo -El

  8. I have seen people mix hand and machine. Go for it.

  9. Don't feel bad about combining hand & machine quilting.Doing the border by machine is perfectly acceptable!


Your comments brighten my day. :-)