Commission Quilt: Sky Stitching

commission30Time to machine stitch my commission quilt for the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. My first step in machine quilting any piece is to remove it from the release paper. (The entire quilt top is created on this paper.) The top is placed onto the non-scrim side of the batting and a backing fabric.

commission33A dry cloth is placed on the quilt top to protect it from those nasty irons. Then the top is steamed to the non-scrim side of the batting. This sets the glue and everything bonds like mother to child.

stitching1Free-motion stitching begins in the center of the quilt, the sky area. After dropping the feed dogs on the machine, I take a breath and hum a tune. I’ll stitch my way from the center out to the edges of the quilt so nothing shifts and I can press it flat as I go.

stitching2 Free-motion stitching is like drawing with a pencil on paper.  Only you move the fabric (think paper) rather than the needle (think pencil). Here you see cloud shapes stitched across the sky. There’s more machine work tomorrow. Please join me.

4 thoughts on “Commission Quilt: Sky Stitching

  1. I have not done machine quilting before. I am curious as to what kind of thread you are using?
    Thank you for posting the process you go through to create an art quilt. It is very informative.

  2. Hi Sherri,
    I’m using a size 40 thread in most of this quilt and a size 14/90 quilting or embroidery needle on the machine. The thread is in various brands including Madiera and Isacord.
    The key to free-motion quilting is practice, practice, practice. I’d suggest taking a class with someone like my friend Frieda too.
    Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  3. Sigh. Free motion quilting. My constant downfall. I’ve taken numerous classes and know how to do it, but as you’ve said, practice is the thing. My problem is that my other quilting skills are much better than my machine quilting so I hate to ruin my projects with jerky, spastic quilting.

  4. Hi Alice,
    I feel your pain. When I look at my earlier work, I see the free-motion stitching is uneven and jerky. But eventually it got better….. it only took 15 years. And I have a lot more improvement to make.
    My advice is to practice a lot and to view the work from about 5 feet away.

Comments are closed.