Saturday, October 29, 2011

Machine Quilting Made Easy by Maurine Noble

Even though this book was published in 1994, I just bought it two weeks ago.
Maurine Noble's book has lots of good information.  The exercises are well written and easy to follow.  There are even quilting tools I have never used or even heard of.   Behold the "Quilt Tak"
I have to get one these!  I would recommend this book for everyone who likes to machine quilt.

In my craft emporium, I have been working on leaves and feathers.
This leaf was traced onto parchment paper from "Machine Quilting Made Easy".
 Notice the pin basting.  Soon I'm going to own a Quilt Tak tool.
I always test seams before sewing or quilting anything.  I'm trying hard to bond with my beautiful Pfaff QE 4 sewing machine affectionately named "Big Bertha".  I bought it in March 2009, Big Bertha has had lots of issues with tension, threads breaking, thread cutter not working, most of these problems happen when free motion quilting. The Pfaff QE 4 has two free motion quilting feet.  One is Sensor Motion and the other is Spring Motion.  The photo below shows the sensor motion foot and I cut the middle of the plastic ring out for better visibility.  When I got my machine there wasn't a sensor motion open toe foot, now one can be purchased from the Pfaff dealer for $44.95 CAD.
This is the back side of my scrap to set tension.  I used purple thread for all the free motion quilting using the sensor foot.
Parchment paper is easy to trace with and sew through.  I find removing it is a bit finicky.  But I prefer using parchment paper to marking the fabric.
My favourite kind of free motion quilting is free hand.  So on this practice piece, I made one leaf with parchment paper and doodled the rest of the top.
I need to practice taking photos of my sewing machine needle area.  Big Bertha has duel lights which is great for sewing, not good for taking photos.  As you can see, there is too much shadow.
The photo below was taken with the sewing machine turned off and using a flash on the camera.  It is much clearer.
When I switched to open the toe spring motion foot, I changed the thread colour to a variegated thread that is red, orange and yellow.
I don't think there is much difference in the stitch quality between the sensor motion and spring motion quilting feet. 
The back fabric is plain white.
Leaves, feathers and loop-d-lous meandering all over the place.
 I really like the way the variegated thread looks.
Sure wish I could draw better with the sewing machine and a pencil.
I think I'll bind it and use it as a place mat.
More than anything else, mastering free motion quilting takes practice, practice and more practice!
 Have a super duper day all and quilt something!



Wendy said...

"Drawing" with a machine takes just that: practice, practice, practice. I see your stitching getting better, even through this practice piece. Good job!

Tammy said...

Thanks Wendy!

Gloria said...

Hello. I had a Quilt-tak but then discovered the Micro=Stitch gun which I find much better at holding the quilt sandwich. The staples are very short (only 4.4mm) and in my experience hold things together as well as safety pins.

Good luck with the practice.

Raewyn said...

Wow interesting post Tammy - I haven't done much practising since our challenge but know it is the only way to improve. Thanks for the inspiration.

Tammy said...

Hi Gloria,
I got a Dritz Quilter's Basting Gun with 500 quilting tacks. I'm quite eager to try it out. As soon as I get a quilt top sandwiched...I'll post about it.

Tammy said...

Thanks Raewyn,
I'm looking forward to seeing your free motion projects.

Terry said...

Drawing with a machine takes time to finish. It needs more and more practice. I see your stitching getting better, even through this practice piece.
radio controlled helicopters

Mary Ann said...

Thank you, Tammy! I have now purchased this book and find it an extremely valuable source of information as well. I'm sure I'll always use it to refer to, as I can see that it helps you make the correct choices for thread/needle/tension issues! A fabulous recommendation - thank you!!

Rockester said...

I love free motioning too. I was doing great on my machine Pfaff Quilters Expression 4.0 I see you have the same Pfaff machine I have and just wondered if you can review the steps in a blog post for setting up to free motion? This week my machine won't go around curves without leaving huge eyelashes underside and tngling bobbins. I must be not pushing the right buttons in the right order! Please also share what tensions you use and pivot heights. None of these things are in the manual. Thanks!