Jun 092017
 

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What is free-motion quilting? Many of us who are experienced quilters often ask this question. On the first hand, quilts are the finished products from needle works made by hands or with machine where layer or pudding material between two layers of fabrics. The distinct characteristic of quilts from other sewed articles is that numerous runs of stitches are worked across the sandwich layers. Usually, quilts consists of small pieces of fabrics cut into small sizes or strips sewed together to create a complicated pattern. The quilting stitches followed the seams between the elements of the design.
Quilt-making or simply quilting is a classic art and can be an individual or group activity. The resulting quilts which can take many hours to complete, is often treasured as an article of art. Quilting requires some patience and interest. Patience is required throughout all levels of quilting. It is not ever a rushed job. A quilter fills a sense of accomplishment for every quilt they made. In the present days there are many commercially-produced all-cotton quilts, but although beautiful, these quilts don’t give personal satisfaction to the quilter.
On the other hand, free-motion quilting is an advanced technique that allows the fabric to move freely. It is here in that quilter can express their creativity. Free-motion quilting utilizes sewing machine that has its feed dog dropped and using a darning foot. Darning foot or free-motion foot is a special rounded toe presser foot, which travels above the fabric. The quilter manually feeds the fabric through the machine, and is able to disengage the feed dogs. Feed dogs are the metal teeth that help in directing the fabric. Both machine and bobbin are threaded in the same way as a normal, straight stitch. With a quilt under the presser foot, the quilter presses both hands on the fabric about 2 inches on either side of the presser foot.
In motion quilting, slow and steady hands are the key elements. The quilter moves their hands slowly while the needle is moving rapidly. The winning combination for even stitches in free-motion quilting is slow and steady hands and a quick needle. These are done by more experienced quilters by using rubber fingertips on the index and middle finger on both hands, thus improving control and helps feed the fabric more smoothly.
One of the challenges that even seasoned sewers experience is creating even stitches. The length of stitches is determined by the speed at which the quilter speeding the fabric.
Free-motion quilting resembles the process of making embroidery. The quilter creates his own design as they manipulate the stitches. Free-motion quilter appreciates the freedom of creativity where in they are not tied to a pattern. In a machine or computer generated pattern, and evenly elaborated design fabric, it is ultimately the machine, not the quilter is the one executing the design. Floral, elegant loops, paisley curves are popular stitches which can be very well and easily in free-motion quilting. Where as the stipple stitch quilting which is free-hand stitching is often suggested for novice quilters to gain skills.

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