Sunday, December 4, 2016

No thinking free-motion quilting

Ever need to just move a quilt sandwich under the needle and let the rhythm of the motion lead you in the quilting dance? Whether you call it "practice," "free-form," "graffiti" or "therapy" quilting, sometimes ya just gotta do a quilt without having a pre-conceived design or plan.
No plan, no thinking... just free-motion quilting.
This is why I so enjoy making kitty/doggie quilts:
  • they're a small format;
  • they use up scraps and orphan blocks;
  • a pattern is not required;
  • they can be totally improv—in piecing and quilting;
  • they're not a large investment in time... or materials;
  • they can be completed totally by machine... including the binding!
  • and you can just enjoy the process without stressing over matched intersections, perfect points and consistent stitches.
Improv free-motion quilting.
To me, it's like having a dance partner who is a good lead and can maneuver the dance floor with style and ease—a partner that makes the dancing interesting, a little unpredictable but smooth and enjoyable as you whirl to the music and glide around the dance floor. You know the steps... you know the cues... all you do is relinquish the lead to someone else and enjoy the dancing.

Here's my latest little quilt—no pattern and no plan. I had fun with several free-motion fillers—spirals, headbands, shells, loops, bubbles/pebbles, and curvy designs. The counterpoint was added with rulerwork and zig-zags in various places.

I have a small drawer where I keep left-over binding tails from binding other quilts. You know, the lengths of folded fabric strips that are trimmed off after the final join. This was my source for the scrappy (also quick and easy) binding on this quilt.
Piecing left-over binding scraps from other quilts.
With machine binding, just remember to first attach it to the quilt back instead of the front.
Scrappy binding totally done by machine.
Here it is...
   29" x 29"
   Scrappy.    Improv.    All by machine.   Finished.
Finished size: 29" x 29"
Thank you [curtsey] for a lovely dance.

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