I would like to open up the World Wide Web hotlines to bring you another addition of Open Line Friday– A chance for everyone to ask questions (any topic) and for everyone to answer. Let’s bring our collective knowledge together to solve a few quandaries…
I would like to start the questions today. This question is off-topic from my usual, Quilts, Photography, and Family--but I know you will have an answer...I need a new mascara—can anyone recommend one?
There were a few questions that we didn’t address in last week’s Open Line Friday. I am frequently asked if I use a stitch regulator like the Bernina Stitch Regulator to keep my stitches even? I do not. When I started free motion quilting-nearly 10 years ago-I don’t think stitch regulators existed. Later, when I tried to use one, I found it interfered with the rhythm that I have developed. It was always “beeping” at me and I was always cursing back at it.
If I were a beginner today, I might invest in a regulator so that I could concentrate on the more creative aspects of free motion quilting. On the other hand, it is quite possible to develop your own rhythm and enjoy FMQ without beeps. Be patient and practice. Start with small projects before working on large quilts. What do YOU all think? Are stitch regulators worth the investment?
This question is from JoAnn (but I know many of you are thinking the same thing…)
What to do with that big old quilt when you are quilting?
This is always a challenge for those of us who don’t have a long arm… Remember it can be done! Diane Gaudynski has quilted many award winning quilts on her domestic sewing machine!
I have quilted many queen and full sized quilts on my Bernina 150 before I purchased the Bernina 820 with the wide harp space. It does take patience and frequent breaks. It is very important to keep the bulk of the quilt supported. Place an inexpensive banquet table or an ironing board next to your work surface to keep the quilt level. All you need is a small area that moves freely in order to quilt. Work from the center out. Keep rolling and bundling so that the smallest area is to the right of your needle. This means that you will need to stitch some of your motifs right to left and some left to right and maybe even upside down. (Keep doodling!)
I recently came across this photo of Caryl Bryer Fallert’s suspension system:
Two years ago, I invested in a sewing cabinet so that my machine is flush with my work surface and that is a huge help. Before that I used a Sew Steady table to extend my work surface. I still use that when I go to a class or retreat.
Again, this is a challenge we all share. The bigger the quilt, the harder it is to fit it under the harp…So readers, please share…how do YOU handle those big old quilts??
Finally, this tip came from Roxanna, and I thought it might be helpful for everyone to see. (In the future, I will try to incorporate this into all my tutorials.)
Could you place an object next to your stitching as a point of reference for size? It could be a coin or your hand.
May all of your dilemmas be quilting related,