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Intro to Swirl Designs

Presented by Handi Quilter. Swirls are a great design to add to your machine quilting skills. Angela Walters and Jennifer Keltner walk you through two great designs: basic swirl and a swirl with hook.

"Hi, I'm Jennifer, hear in the American Patchwork and Quilting
sewing lab and I'm here with Angela Walters., Handi Quilter's
ambassador for machine quilting. We're talking about a basic swirl
design and a hook variation. It's a great place for
beginning machine quilters to start." "It is. When I first
started learning how to free motion quilt the swirl is
one of the first designs that I practiced and really
mastered. But makes it great is it's so versatile --
you can change up the scale, the size, or even
the density with it. And you can actually add your
own variations to tweak it a little bit, as well.
So here we have an example of just the basics
swirl design. It's fluid, it really moves nicely across the
quilt. and it's really easy to do, as well." "It's
a little more exciting in your basic stipple that some
of us have learned." "Yes, and here I have the
same design. It's a swirl. The only difference is we're
adding a little hook on there just to give it
a little bit of a different look. So if you
have a quilt that you want just a little bit
of a different quilting design on it, this would be
a good one for you, too." "Kick it up a
notch." "Exactly. so should I show you how to do
this?" "I would love to see it." "Great, so what
you're going to do for this swirl is you're going
to start by swirling into the center. Now what I've
done is I've went into the center leaving myself room
to come back out." "And that's important part. Always leave
yourself room to come out of the design that you
create. And I know, Angela, one of the things you
always say is about 80% of machine quilting is knowing
where you want to go." "Very true. So what I'm
going to do is I'm going to work my way
out and I'm gonna finish the swirl, and what that
means is I'm gonna come all the way back down
about to where I almost started. When quilters get stuck
quilting swirls what they get stuck on is they're not
finishing that swirl before they move onto the next. So
you want to swirl in and finish the swirl before
you move onto the next one. So here's the basic
shape that your working with. At this point you can
continue quilting that same swirl design, alternating directions, and really
just filling in that space as you go. Now I'll
just add one more and then out. Remember you want
to finish it." "And I think in finishing the swirl
the other important thing to remember is that you're in
charge of the foot pedal. So if you get to
machine quilting and you find yourself stuck or wondering 'where
am I going to go next?', don't forget you can
let your foot off the pedal, stop the machine, and
think about where you want to go, and start again."
"Exactly. Now if you want to try the one with
the hook, it's the same basic shape, you just swirl
in. The only difference is when you're in the inside
you're going to come out and add that little bit
of a hook like that. Think of it more like
an S shape -- a gentle kind of curve. And
then you're going to come back and then finish the
swirl. So let me show you. You're going to swirl
in, you're going to put that little hook out, come
back, and finish the swirl just like that." "I love
this design. It's a great overall motif. And one that
you can practice working with. Now Angela, one thing we
haven't talked about is you could possibly use a stitch
regulator on a machine like this if you wanted to
make sure that your stitches were even. But sometimes you
suggest for curves a different idea." "Absolutely. In my opinion
I think a stitch regulator tends to add a little
bit of a drag to the quilting. So if you're
having trouble getting those nice, soft curves, then maybe try
turning off the stitch regulator can help you with that."
"Whether you like to work with the stitch regulator on
or off, these two designs are ones that can be
a regular part of your machine quilting design arsenal. Give
them a try today."


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