I’ve quilted tons of quilts with Janoris, my longarm quilting machine and have never used a pantograph, template, ruler, computerize program or stitch regulator. I am very content with just using my hands to guide Janoris around. It’s a lot more fun that way!
I’ve seen very pretty quilting work done by a computerized machine but it’s just not the same. You can usually tell when it’s a computerized pattern and I tend to like the little imperfections in the artist’s hand when it’s done free-motion. It’s been a while since I practiced some new and different design. Today, after finishing this customer quilt…
(If you’re wondering about the random pair of scissors on the handle… that is where I keep them for clipping threads. It’s held up by a magnet. )
I decided to throw a white muslin practice quilt on the frame and try my hand at a few new filler designs. Filler designs are usually smaller in scale and are used to fill in specific areas on a quilt.
Here’s what I did:
I took a 6.5″ x 6.5″ ruler and traced around it to create some boxes. This was to help me practice focusing on two things: 1) quilting on a very small scale, and 2) staying inside a designated area.
Then I started trying to make that little bubble looking design I see quilters use often… I think they call it Pebbles or something. Ummm, yea… not so good. I have to see if I find a tutorial on how to do properly stitch them out because I know I’ve seen them done in a way that no line crosses inside the circles and even when I was super careful it still happened so, it’s very clear I will NOT be attempting this on a real quilt anytime soon. Need a lot more practice there.
This next design I kinda like. Just started making some curves with sharp points. I don’t know where or why I would use this this design but I was practicing… that’s all that matters. My third design attempt was… yup, FEATHERS! What in the world was I thinking? And just straight free-handing them without first tracing a sample. HA! Don’t look for them because I purposely did not take any pics of that hot mess. They really were terrible.
I experimented in another small block and overall it was okay. But I don’t like how you can see the dark spots in the center of those corners. Is there a way around that? I wonder. It’s because I stitch over already stitched areas so the thread builds up. Not cute. But it was good practice and more importantly… fun!