Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Free Hand Designs

All of my quilting is done freehand.  The example below is a freehand design though I am using markings and I use the circle tool that you see in the photograph to get me from one heart to the next.  Doing freehand work and making it look good requires a lot of practice, Trace out the design on paper that also has your markings.  As you see where the design intersects with your markings you'll also get familiar with how the design 'feels'.  There are often places in a design where you need the help of a ruler to get your line perfect.  In the design below, I needed a circle ruler to go from the center of one heart to the next.  If I were to freehand that part, chances are the irregularities would be really noticeable.  Sometimes I'll put the first design on a quilt and realize I need a ruler in a particular spot to get my stitching line correct.  Probably the other factor in executing a good freehand design is finding the correct speed to move your machine at.  That will vary from person to person.  I tend to run my machine at a fast enough speed to that my lines look smooth but slow enough that I can maintain good control over the pattern.  I don't have a stitch regulated machine (when I've quilted with them I feel like they impede my ability to get smooth looking lines) so my speed is usually set around 50.  Hopefully this will help some you machine quilters out there who read my blog!

1 comment:

Liz said...

Thanks for the info! I think I need some rulers to help with the curved lines. At this point I have only used straight ones!