Threadbenders Quilt Shop

Threadbenders Quilt Shop
Threadbenders Quilt Shop

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Free Motion is Freed Motion. Really!

We had a Stitch Vocabulary Class last week at Threadbenders. You don't know how wild these ladies are until you turn them loose with a blank piece of fabric and set of dropped feed dogs. 
A stitch vocabulary is sort of a sampler of free motion stitches in an 8 inch square. We did doodling, garnet stitch zigzag and straight, free motion zigzag at three angles, stippling and then we signed our names. Are you still breathing? That's a lot to learn. 

Much of quilting is the stitch in the ditch or echo the shape straight line quilting. It tends to conform to the piecing of a quilt. It's usually done with a walking foot with the feed dogs up. 

Free motion is done with a darning foot, and the feed dogs down. And you can move any way or where you would like. It's the ultimate stitch freedom.

Computerized quilting is a whole other thing. There are brilliant machines either for home or commercial, that will repeat a shape for you over and over and over just as perfectly as you could ask.

 Mostly free motion stitching is about filling space with rhythmic patterns of stitching.

So, what if your stitching is perfect and your piecing isn't? People don't do perfect overly well. But we do do marvelous things that aren't perfect. They're just perfectly wonderful. Free motion stitching is under that heading.

What our students did in class is amazing.  For most of them it was the first time the dropped they're dogs. Here are some of my favorite free motion quotes:

  • You drop your feed dogs and just wiggle around.
  • I dropped my feed dogs and I can't find them.
  • I'm not perfect, but parts of me are excellent.
  • I'm not going to stitch in that ditch.
Free motion stitching is akin to doodling, zen doodling, and scribbling. It's as if someone holds your pen for you and you move your paper. If you can doodle with a pencil, you're half way there.

It makes people nervous because there really are no rules. It makes people free to do just anything in fabric for the same reason. Free motion is freed motion, across the surface of your quilt. And wasn't that fun?

Is there a quilting skill you're nervous about trying? Taking a class is the easy way to get practice, help and confidence, all at the same place and time.

 If we don't offer a class in something you want to know, let us know. That's how new classes get started.

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