What’s Stitching? Free-Motion Stitching

windycity18

Windy City #18 by Laura Wasilowski

Yippee! Now that the hand embroidery on Windy City #18 is complete, it is bound and machine quilted. For this little fused art quilt (14″ x 9.5″) I’ve used a pillowcase binding method.

windycity18detailThen the quilt is machine quilted using a titanium or chrome coated embroidery needle and free-motion stitching. To add free-motion stitching, drop the feed dogs on the machine and guide the needle around all the organic shapes in the design while moving the quilt.

windycity18aTo compare, here is the quilt before stitching. See what a difference a stitch makes? The hand embroidery and machine stitchery bring the quilt to life. This is what sets quilting aside from other art forms: the joining of surfaces with a stitch. It’s all about the stitch!

 

Close Stitching

prettyplanet16detail2It was a near miss. Machine quilting near hand embroidery is a challenge. It’s those dang French Knots and Pistil Stitches sticking up that catch on the machine foot.

prettyplanet16But I managed to complete Pretty Planet #16 without bad words being spoken. I must confess: machine quilting is not my favorite part of creating art work. Designing and hand stitching the pieces float my boat. But after finishing this little quilt, I realize that free-motion machine work really adds another layer of texture to the piece.