>Free-motion quilting, a tool to avoid and another to buy ASAP


free-motion practice.JPG

Well there you have it. My first efforts in free-motion quilting. It for a tote bag I’m making for my mom for Mother’s Day, based on this Sew, Mama, Sew tutorial. The quilting is far from perfect, but I’m actually pretty happy with it. It’s turning out better than I thought it would. A lot of it will be covered by pockets, and my mom won’t mind the imperfections since I made it for her. The colors are a little less Spring-y than I wanted, but I saw this fabric (thumbnail at right), and it was just perfect for the lining and pockets! The tutorial recommended using a home-dec. weight fabric for the outer shell of the bag, to give it a little more strength. I got this gold stripe on sale 40% off at Jo-Ann. The colors actually match my mom’s living room decor, oddly enough, so I know she’ll like them. Since I’m putting together the bag, my brother is going to help me fill it with gardening stuff as the rest of her gift.

finger grips.JPG

Can you see how the gold fabric is kind of shiny? This means it is slippery! I had gotten these quilters finger grips on a whim at Jo-Ann a while back and decided to try them out. I didn’t even get through quilting one flower motif before I gave up on them. They were slippery on the inside and didn’t quite fit my fingers (especially my thumb), so the grip would sort-of stick to the fabric while my finger slid around inside. Not good. I’m curious to know what (if anything) you guys use to hold your fabric while quilting.

But on to one of my most favorite notions:

kwik klip.JPG

I don’t remember where I read about the Kwik Klip, but it is an absolute lifesaver when pin-basting — or perhaps I should say finger saver 🙂 After I basted my Happy Campers quilt (which, with y’all as my witnesses, I will start quilting this weekend), my legs and back were sore from crawling on the floor hunched over the quilt sandwich, but my fingers were prick-free and not the least bit sore!

What are your favorite tools?


8 thoughts on “>Free-motion quilting, a tool to avoid and another to buy ASAP

  1. >Thanks for the tips! I've heard a few people say the kwik klip is great, so I think this should really go on my "to get" list. Well, it should really be my "to get once I have a month where I haven't spent all my money on fabric" list!

  2. >Philippa Naylor was on The Quilt Show a few episodes back. She's quite the frugal quilter. She uses those non-slip mats you buy in kitchen shops (you know – to line cabinet shelves). She cuts them into 4"x6" pieces, which is the size of her hand, and lays the piece next to where she's quilting. I haven't tried it yet but it looks like it would work. Well, duh, if you've seen her quilts, it obviously does!I've used Latex gloves – the medical kind, and I cut off the tips and just wear those. They fit better, are pretty inexpensive and my hands can still breathe. I also like the Supreme Slider.That's a pretty impressive first attempt at quilting. It looks great.

  3. >That's your first time trying free motion quilting? Wow, you could have fooled me because it looks amazing!!! I love how your flowers are turning out, and I'm sure your Mom will love the tote you're making her!

  4. >Your free motion quilting looks beautiful!I've heard of people wearing gardening gloves while they quilt… I can't do it though because my hands get too warm…I did manage to have my hand slip in January and stitch through my left index finger/finger bone twice before the needle broke off in my finger… so there is something to be said about having control 🙂

  5. >I have Machingers gloves. THey are made of a lightweight white nylon and just the fingertips are coated with gripy texture. I like them alot. They remind me of simple nylon garden gloves that have coated palms. I also have the blue cotton stretch gloves by fons and porter and like those just as well. They have a dotted texture on fingers as well as the palms. Both work equally well. I trade off if one pair happens to be in the wash.

  6. >I use Leah Day's gloves too. Lightweight, don't sweat or get hot in them, they are reversible, meaning you can put them on either hand and the back and palm aren't different. I use a crochet hook to unsnap my pins~a

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