Gravity is not a quilter's friend...

Alex Anderson said that on her show, Simply Quilts in the mid-90's.  And, I've said it so many times, it's like a mantra.  And, my friend Kath remembered it.  Thanks, Kath!!

If the quilt is hanging over an edge, you can't smoothly glide the quilt on the machine bed while dragging it over a sharp edge.  Believe me, I've tried and every time I do, I stop and remember Alex's words.  I puddle my quilt around the machine so that the area I'm moving with my hands is flat around the needle.  It's hard to take a picture of this, so you'll have to use some imagination with these pics.  I keep a small, lightweight rolling drawer unit under the sewing machine cabinet arm.  I can pull it out and it gives me a flat surface under my left arm.  It's not quite as tall as the other surface, but it's tall enough to keep the quilt from hanging to the floor or sitting in my lap.

When I quilt, I'm only working a section about 18" at any time.  With very fine quilting the working section is much smaller.  I pile the extra quilt around the working section in a puddle about 3 feet across.  The part in the middle of the puddle is the working section.  That way, there's no drag when I move that working section around in any direction and I can get even stitches and smooth curves and straight lines. 

In this picture, I've pushed the drawer unit out of the way and the quilt is hanging down to the floor.  If I try to push that along under the needle, I'm going to have to push the part of the quilt I'm quilting, but also pull the quilt up as I go.  And, that's a LOT of work, especially pulling it over the sharp edge that is the front of my cabinet. 

When people say they struggle to push and pull the quilt, I suggest adding a surface under the left arm. 

Last weekend, while they were at the beach, I pulled out my set of Simply Quilts DVDs and watched.  There was a commercial for a fair with the dates, so I know I was watching episodes from 2005.  I still do what I learned from Alex and her guests.  Just about every episode I watched had some tidbit or technique that I still remember and use today, including the one I've talked about here.  I still love the colors that I saw used in quilts on the show.  I still love the patterns I saw there.  I can hardly wait to find time to watch the rest of the series.  (I have most of it on DVD).

Well, today we submit that project I've been whining about for most of the year.  The one where the grammar had to be perfect.  t's a big day.  I've done some really good work.  Especially under a serious lack of leadership.  And, only time will tell how well I succeeded.  I'm going to miss this project.

Like a kick from a donkey.

Everybody have a great Friday.  lane


Mari said...

"Like a donkey kick." Ha! Pretty sure I just laughed too much for breakfast. :) Have a great weekend!

Barb H said...

Great reminder, Lane, to keep the quilt from dragging over the side. When I have a large quilt to do up, I'll move my ironing board to the left side of my sewing cabinet. I can adjust the height to just about even with the sewing cabinet top, and thus, very little drag.

The Joyful Quilter said...

Puddling DEFINITELY works better!! Thanks for the reminder (for the next time I get around to quilting on my domestic machine.)