Sunday, February 22, 2009

Quilting - Machine Quilting and Hand Quilting

leather sewing machine, witch is able to sew in any direction, used for quilting.

Quilting is a sewing method done either by hand, by sewing machine, or by a longarm quilting system. The process uses a needle and thread to join two or more layers of material together to make a quilt. Typical quilting is done with three layers: the top fabric or quilt top, batting or insulating material and backing material. The quilter's hand or sewing machine passes the needle and thread through all layers and then brings the needle back up. The process is repeated across the entire piece where quilting is wanted. A straight or running stitch is commonly used and these stitches can be purely functional or decorative and elaborate. Quilting is done on bed spreads, art quilt wall hangings, clothing, and a variety of textile products.

For many quilters, machine quilting is a way to quilt those tops that seem to go together faster than they can be hand quilted. For others, machine quilting is a means of self expression. Machine quilting can range from an almost invisible stitch outlining the quilt blocks to a combination of threads and stitches creating a one of a kind work of art and everything in beween.
All machine quilting falls into one of two catagories, machine guided (feeddogs up) or free motion (feeddogs dropped or covered). Machine guided quilting is used for straight and slightly curved lines. Free motion quilting is used for all other patterns such as feathered stars and stippling. But there are no absolute rules. Some quilters like to use free motion quilting for all their patterns including those made with straight lines while other quilters prefer using the even stitches of machine guided quilts for making feathered wreaths and other similar patterns.
With a few special feet, almost any sewing machine can be used for machine quilting. With a little practice, any quilter can master the art of machine quilting.
Tips for Machine Quilting
  • Trace the quilting design on to light weight paper. Pin the paper to the quilt and sew on the lines, then tear away the paper. Also try tracing the design on to freezer paper and pressing the paper into place.
  • Place a card table next to the sewing machine table to help hold the quilt.
  • Use a straight stitch needle plate on the machine to prevent the quilt from being pulled into the throat plate slot and puckering.
  • Use a walking foot for straight lines. It will prevent the quilt back from shifting.