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Machine Minute - Curved Line Quilting

You can quilt wavy lines on your home sewing machine. Jennifer Keltner gives you tips and techniques to ensure a successful result! Download the pdf here:

Hi, I'm Jennifer, here with another Machine Minute brought to
you by Baby Lock and the Crescendo machine. "Quilt as
desired." Sometimes the words strike fear into the heart of
quilters not quite sure where to begin. And while there
are plenty of things you can do if you're comfortable
with free-motion quilting, sometimes we want a little more planning
and a little more control over our quilt, especially as
we're beginning our quilting. So today we're going to talk
about curved line designs, and yes it is possible to
do curved line designs and still use the walking foot
on your machine. So let's talk first about machine setup.
For this design that we're going to work on today
with the curved lines, you want to have your walking
foot on the machine. And your machine's walking foot basically
pulls all the layers together at an even pace, so
rather than just the feed dogs working on the bottom,
this walking foot allows both layers to feed through evenly.
Your quilt top batting and backing will travel through evenly,
preventing those wrinkles or puckers you might get if you
were using a regular foot on your machine. So put
your walking foot on, treat yourself to a new needle
(I like to use an 80/12) and then put a
50-weight thread for a good starting point in your machine
for the quilting. And once you've got that setup, the
design we're going to talk about today is one that
looks like interlocking circles. And when I first saw this
I thought there's no way I could freehand a great
circle. This design wouldn't be possible. But the more I
learned about it, these interlocking circles that are sometimes called
an orange peel quilting design, are actually just a series
of wavy lines. You don't stitch a circle at all.
You stitch down the row, making gentle curves on either
side of the seam line, pivot, and come back. Let
me show you. Now whether you are you doing this
on a single nine-patch block like I've got four put
together on my sample or across an entire quilt top,
the principle is the same. And I have a downloadable
PDF that you can print out and have next to
your machine if you're experimenting with this technique. But where
you want to start is with your quilt top or
block, and I would use a marking pen that that
is air erasable or water erasable. You want to make
sure you test it on your fabric ahead of time.
But use that marker because you want to have a
guideline, particularly for this technique. So as I said, you're
going to start stitching gentle curves and scallops, and to
make this scallop you can use the edge of a
saucer, you could use a curve like a French curve
if you have that kind of ruler. Any number of
things to make it so it goes from corner to
corner on your block, and that's where the arc is
in the center and it comes down to a point
where your intersection is on each side. So you decide
how big this scallop is based on how how your
block is laid out and how many inches there are
between point to point. The nice thing is, as you're
drawing this curve you can sort of fudge the line
and make those curves gentle if your seams don't match
up exactly. So when you start stitching, you want to
have as few breaks in your thread as possible, and
you want to pivot as much as possible so that
you don't have any loose ends that you need to
tie up. So in this case, you would start stitching
here and follow the line at the arrow and make
those gentle curves, stopping on the opposite edge of your
quilt top or block. You always want to stop with
your needle down, and then you're going to pivot 180
degrees and start heading back the other way. So you'll
start doing the opposite side of those wavy lines. They'll
intersect at the intersection of your pieces or your blocks,
come up, and go all the way back over to
where you started. And then to travel down to the
next seam, or next row of stitching, you're going to
make that sort of half scallop here, stopping with your
needle down at the bottom. And that's your means of
traveling so that you don't have to double stitch any
lines or cross over any lines that you've previously stitched.
So you'll take that half scallop there or full scallop
to the intersection point and stop with your needle down.
When you get there, you repeat the process. So first,
we're going to do up, down, up. Stop with your
needle down, pivot 180 degrees and go back, going down,
up, down, and travel down to the next row. So
you'll continue to do that until you get to the
bottom corner of your quilt top or block and then
your traveling scallop along the outer edge, and you start
going vertically then. So you're going to go up, across,
over, pivot, and back down following that wavy line, and
you travel along the bottom edge. As I said, it
can be a little bit of work to get used
to how you're traveling along your quilt top. But once
you get started, you really do get into the rhythm
and if you print out that downloadable PDF you'll get
all of these diagrams so can follow along as you're
stitching at your machine. Enjoy giving the orange peel design
a try.


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