Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., a day when we gather with family and friends, stuff ourselves with traditional foods (or their vegetarian, gluten-free, low-sodium versions), and reflect on what we are thankful for. Some of us also watch football.
When I think about it, I'm astounded by the variety of ways you can learn how to machine quilt these days. Many of us learned straight machine quilting or free-motion quilting from a family member
In my experience, quilters are a giving sort. Any occasion--celebratory, sorrowful, and everything in between--will prompt a quilter to head to the studio and make a quilt for someone else.
Here's a way to practice your free-motion stitching
skills and add a mixed-media element to your machine quilting. In honor
of Valentine's Day, it's heart art from our sister publication Cloth Paper Scissors, one of my favorite sources of fiber art inspiration.
Our foremothers knew how to make a quilt using only what they had, from scraps of fabric to natural dyes. But, quilt making the frugal and eco-friendly way was easier for them:
In this free eBook, Free-Motion Machine Quilting Techniques: 81 Tips for Free-Motion Quilting, Thread Sketching and Quilting Motifs, three highly respected quilt artists, Frieda Anderson, Robbi Joy Eklow, and Susan Brubaker Knapp share their knowledge and expertise for successful free‑motion quilting and thread sketching.
If I had to create a basic lesson plan for how to make a quilt it would be broken down into these three basic steps:
Quilt making doesn't have to be complex, with hours of cutting, piecing, and sewing tiny seams. In this free ebook, How to Quilt: 4 Free Projects to Learn How to Make a Quilt, you'll learn how to quilt using fabric scraps, craft-store flowers, a fish, and canvas and paint.
I confess: sometimes I get so caught up in the "art" I forget about the "quilting."Let me explain. An idea for an art quilt forms in my mind based on, say, a favorite TV show such as (still--and forever) Tony Soprano. Or, a new line of gorgeous fabrics hits my desk and I have to do something with those luscious colors and witty patterns. Or, I get obsessed with a new surface design technique and suddenly all I can think about in my studio is Thermofax® printing or soy wax batik.
Makers of custom quilts and people who want to learn how to make a quilt, here is an invaluable resource on free-motion stitching: Free-Motion Machine Quilting - How to Make a Quilt: 67 Machine Stitching Tips and Motifs.
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