Freehand quilting is by far, hands down, my favorite method of quilting. It allows me to take something that I see and reproduce it with my own twist. One of my customers, Pat, called me late last month and asked me to quilt a queen size quilt for her. It’s a wedding gift for her sons’ friend.
She did such a fantastic job on the quilting! My littlest darling is in the picture for perspective but what you may not be able to tell is my husband (who measures in at 6′) is holding the quilt up above his head while standing on the little deck over our patio. Queen size is quite large!
The texture is wonderful and you can see it in this pictures. What amazes me about quilting is that it gives the quilt top a completely different look. Between thread color (believe me it really makes a difference) and the stitching designs the quilt can change. Many customers have told me that they didn’t really like the quilt when they brought it to me but when they got it back they loved it!
Freehand quilting is like drawing with a pen on paper. Except my “pen” is the sewing machine and the “paper” is the quilt. Everything done on this quilt is with one line! The question I get is, “How do you do that?” Honestly, I don’t know. Choosing a design is easy and usually done in consultation with the customer. If the customer says, “I don’t know…you choose,” (I call that ‘Quilters Choice) then I wait for the quilt to talk to me. In my mind I “try a pattern on”, usually by running my finger along the imagined quilting line. If that doesn’t seem to work then I go away and come back later when I have another idea.
Sometimes a quilt is screaming something but I’m unsure as to whether it will work or not. That’s when I trust my gut and go for it. So far no one has told me that the quilting was a bad choice!
So there you go…my version of freehand quilting. I’ll talk more about Pantograph quilting later. Unless my mind is changed at some point in the future I need to let you know that I’ve never done nor intend to do quilting with a computer. The work is very precise and is “perfect”. It takes a lot of skill to work a computerized quilting machine. However, it’s just not my cup of tea! Who knows…maybe…