Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Look at me Free-Styling!

Sorry, not dancing.  This week I have had a go on a HUGE sewing machine, and I loved it!  It felt like drawing or doodling but instead of a pencil I was wielding a big, purple, sparkly, computerised machine.  Sometimes I went a bit too fast and it over-revs just like when you drive a friend's car for the first time.
This sewing studio belongs to Carole and Brian at Beechwood Quilting in Stirling, Scotland.  You can leave your patchwork and backing with them and they'll quilt it for you, or like me, you can have a lesson on how to use the machine on some calico before sewing directly onto your own work.  Here you can see my practice of large, small and medium swirls.  In the end I decided to stick with large swirls for my quilt.
Carole and Brian take it in turns to stay with you in case you need help or get stuck, which is very comforting and supportive.  They of course load up your backing fabric, wadding and patchwork top into the machine for you, but they also tell you how it's done and what to look out for whilst you're sewing, like bits of fluff that Carole is checking for here on my backing fabric.
At the beginning Carole showed me how to thread the bobbin and what to do to start and to finish.  She secured all three layers together by sewing a straight line along the top at the beginning, as you can see she is about to do here:
Brian even took a video of me in action on their machine!  eek - the concentration!  Not even a smile from me, I'm so focused.
video
I learnt a lot about quilting freehand and about using such a huge machine.  It is nowhere near as scary or as noisy as I thought it would be and is very light to the touch.  And the price was very reasonable, it is an hourly rate once the lesson has finished, and you can buy your wadding there too.  If you live in the area or visiting, I would highly recommend having a go at quilting something for yourself.

I have posted about the construction of this quilt top here, and now just have to bind it, label it, photograph it, then I'll share it with you just one more time before I give it to my friend Diane.
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