Thursday, May 1, 2014

For free-motion quilting, any sewing machine will work

I had another great group of quilters in my Intro to Free-motion Quilting class on Saturday. Interestingly, students had sewing machines representing just about all the major manufacturers including a well-loved and well-used mechanical model from the New Home brand (possibly from the 70s). See it happenright herefree-motion quilting with a mechanical [not computerized] sewing machine.
video

So, yes! YES!! Free-motion quilting can be done on any kind of sewing machine. My own free-motion quilting journey started with a 1970s Singer Golden Touch-N-Sew and my quilts won ribbons and awards. I have not tried free-motion on a treadle machine, but if you have the coordination to synchronize all those body parts and pedal while you quilt, I have no doubt it could be done. Free-motion quilting, after all, only requires a straight stitch and the ability to drop or cover the feed dogs. The rest is up to the operator (wink, wink).
Intro to Free-motion Quilting on a domestic sewing machine.
The machine on which I do my free-motion quilting these days is a Janome 6500. One of the students in class had its big sister, the Janome 6600. There were Baby Lock, New Home, Husqvarna, and Brother owners in class too.
All the students made great process and will be excellent machine quilters with a little more practice under their belts—or "under the needle," if you will. We did some pencil sketching, I presented a show and tell of several of my machine quilted quilts, and we had good class discussions about thread, needles and quilting designs.
Intro to Free-motion Quilting class at Ready Set Sew.
If you want to give free-motion quilting a try, check my upcoming class schedule or contact me to set up a class for your group or guild. As you can see, you don't have to have the latest and greatest model of sewing machine with all the bells and whistles. Provide good maintenance to your current machine, use it and get to know it, and it will perform well for you.

Then… when you are ready for the next level of sewing machine, please visit your local sewing machine dealer. They provide the knowledge, expertise, training and service you will need. You don't get that level of support (if any) at those big box marts and chain stores.

OK, that last paragraph was from up on my soap box. I'm off it for now.

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