More Treadling with Lane

Hi, all.  Rob uploaded this three minute video this morning of me working on the treadle. 

What should I tell you about this?  I'd been working on the treadle for about 3 hours at this point so I had the rhythm down and was able to pretty much forget about what my legs were doing and focus on my arms.  I get nervous with the camera rolling and lose focus on the sewing, so I had Rob sneak up behind me.  I was listening to a book, so I was pretty much "in the zone" and didn't know he was there until I heard the beep when he turned the camera off. 

My hopping free motion foot is not adjusted right.  I didn't realize that until I saw this video last night.  It should be hopping higher, which it does when I'm using this foot on my Bernina (with a connector that lets me use short shank feet on the Bernina.)  If the foot had been hopping higher, I wouldn't have had to struggle with the roll of fabric that kept trying to form in front of the foot.  It would have passed under the foot while the foot was high and would not have formed a "hill".

If you have trouble with the throat size of your modern machine, you might consider a vintage machine.  The harp is much larger and can more easily accomodate the bulk of the quilt that needs to pass through it as you work. 

I always use a "supreme slider" on the machine bed to help the quilt slide across it.  The supreme slider is a sheet of teflon that has a slick side and a "grippy" side.  The grippy side holds to the machine bed and the quilt just glides along like butter.

There is going to be somebody that says I'm not treadling because you can't get that smooth motion with a treadle machine (there always is).  Before they can say it, I'll just head them off by saying it takes practice.  Lots of practice.  There is a lot of extra coordination involved in FMQ with a treadle and you have to build that rhythm before you can really forget your feet and focus on your hands.  In the beginning of the video, you can see my shoulders rocking with the motion of my legs and that should be proof enough that I'm actually powering the machine with them.  If you're considering FMQ on a treadle, start by piecing a quilt on it to help build up the muscle memory that lets you forget your feet.  The FMQ skills are easier to acquire on an electric machine at first, if that's what you're most familiar with and then translate to the treadle. 

That's all I can think to add to the video.  This is part of a series where I talk about feet and the stability quilting I added and how to wind a bobbin (or how not to).  The plan was to cover my thoughts on FMQ in video format and the treadle was just the tool I chose to execute those thoughts on.  It's not the focus of the video, although it is a major character.

Hope you enjoy this clip.  Now go sew because I have to go to work and I'd much rather be sewing, so you do it for me. 

Be well.  Lane


Kath said...

I seem to be the first to comment on many occasions, I'm thinking my American friends are all fast asleep when I am here reading blogs? :-)
I enjoyed watching you work Lane, I was trying to figure out where you would go next, I loved the leaf pattern. The pins you are using are interesting, I have not seen them before, but they are a good idea, I imagine they don't catch like regular pins.
Good tip about the slider, I know you have mentioned it before. As soon as I get a nice flat area set up for quilting, I shall invest in one. I have seen them for sale here in England.
Looking forward to more videos please!

mssewcrazy said...

Really great video! I have a 127 that I am learning to use so if I ever have to use it I won't be frustrated. I am not a free motion quilter being a garment sewer and machine embroiderer. How do you go about getting a hopper foot adjusted to this machine? Do you drop feed dogs on the 127 as on modern machines? Any tips on the 127 for fm quilting and using feet like this would be most appreciated. Thanks for posting a video of using the 127.

Michelle said...

Awesome! I loved watching you!

Scott said...

WOW Lane! I'm super impressed! I can treadle easily, because I learned to spin wool first. But your free-motion ease is so smooth and precise! You're a master!

Thin Man Sewing said...

Beautiful! You make it look easy. But I know it is not.

Elizabeth said...

Unfortunately, I have to go to work too. But between you and me, we're working on a plan for me to be able to get back to the stay-at-home-mom gig, and I am kind of excited about it.

I did see you rocking back & forth, but even without that, I wouldn't have doubted that you're on a treadle machine. We all know how amazingly talented you are, and that you do practice your art. A lot.

I watched the video before I read your post, and was really amazed/impressed/inspired by how you did your leaves. I never would have thought to lay in the veins first and then outline them with the leaf shape. Very clever. I'm glad I watched.

Whoever gets that quilt will not know the skill and amount of work that went into it, but I know they will forever appreciate that someone took the time to make something just for them. Lane, you have a generous heart.

xo -E

lw said...

I really enjoyed watching you quilt, you're so smooth and accurate! And Rob did a great job filming the video, a lot of videographers are either choppy or don't show details I want to see; Rob was very stable and great at showing detail.

Peter Lappin said...

Great video. I assume the feed dogs on the 128 don't drop. Do you cover them with a cover plate like you'd use for a buttonhole attachment?

Also, I'm impressed that you can start the treadle in motion without your hand cranking the hand wheel a bit to get the momentum going. You seem to just be able to pick up with your feet alone.

Well done!

Peter Lappin said...

Also, are you just improvising the leaf design? It doesn't look like you're following any markings. Amazing.