Monday, December 31, 2012

A new toy, and quilting in the New Year

I was trolling various websites looking for advice on how to mitigate the herky-jerky quality of my free motion quilting, and I came across a nifty gadget called "The Fabulous Fabric Glide":

It sounded like just the thing I needed--it's a squarish open hoop with rubber nubs on the underside that help to grip the quilt top. The Fabric Glide rests on top of your quilt, and you use it like an embroidery hoop to help guide your machine quilting. I immediately ran out to buy one, and I've been playing with it yesterday and today:

The kit includes both a smaller and a larger hoop. I've mainly used the larger one, and I like it a lot. I thought the Fabric Glide might be on the flimsy side, but it's very solid and substantial, and the weight is just right. It definitely helps--my curves are bigger, bolder, and smoother, and I have a lot less hand and arm fatigue as well. I needed a little time to get the hang of it, since it's easy to hit the right side of the sewing machine and stall out, especially given that I only have five inches of clearance between the needle and the arm of the machine. Other users warn about having to reposition the fabric glide frequently, but I already had to do that even without my new toy, since before I had to reposition my hands constantly for FMQ, as well as stop and think in order to figure out where I wanted the design to go next. I try to stop when I need to make a turn, which helps to hide the breaks in motion.

Here are some of the results thus far:

As I gained confidence, I even threw in a long, flowing string of curvy leaf-like motifs. They ended up looking almost like feathering. Here are two views of that bit, front and back:

I bet you can guess what I'll be doing on New Year's Eve. May 2013 bring happy quilting to everyone!

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