Skip to content

Sunday Stitches

I am ridiculously lucky to have an HQ16. Years before I bought this machine, I had the original Handi Quilter frame and used my Elna 3005 on it. It was terrific in concept, but the 5 or 6 inches of clearance limited the size of both the designs and the quilts I could manage on it. Moving up to the HQ16 was literally a dream come true, and while I’ve had some great success with using it, there’s so much more I’d like to be doing. I’ve committed to making 2011 the year I focus on those skills and I’m planning the best way to go about it.

Early in December I did some research into books, DVDs, tools, patterns, methods, workshops……holy cow! I have or have a used some of each of these, so a good place to start was with an inventory of what I already own, and what techniques I’ve used.

Pattern boards and pantographs – I have all I need of these for now.  I’m comfortable using them and I have the math figured out when need be. Because of the expense, I only buy pattern boards for designs that require accuracy and are repetitive (Baptist Fan, clamshells and scallops, concentric circles and squares). I have a nice selection of pantographs, too,  and at under $20 there’s always a chance I might find one I can’t live without (Thank you, Willow Leaf  Studio!)

Freehand designs – I have the Trillium House Designs pocket guides, and I love them.  I’ve used some of the fills (loops, peacock feathers, flame, water, pebbles) and border/sashing designs (loops, fern feathers) with good success. Usually.  But if there is any one method that benefits from frequent practice, I know this is it.

Stencils – here’s where things get shaky. I have several, including the Pam Clarke stencils and sketchbooks.  I have barely used them, although I did draft the stencils I used for the setting triangles on the Christmas quilt. Last year when I started quilting those sections, I really struggled to follow the design I had marked. Finishing the quilt was the opposite: I marked and stitched easily, thanks in part to the addition this year of  micro-handles.

Rulers – and now I’m really out of my element. I tried rulers when I first started using my machine, but I never got comfortable with them. It occurs to me now that those micro-handles might make all the difference.  I hope. Because I just ordered a couple new rulers and the companion DVD.

I’m sketching out a sort of “lesson plan” of attack. Every month I’ll focus on a technique, using it on a quilt top if I have one ready, or a practice quilt if not. I’m planning the posts for Sundays, partly because I’ll need daylight to get the best photos of the stitching. I have some prep work to do to convert to the zipper leaders (more on that later this week), but visit next Sunday and see how it’s going!

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: