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.

14 comments:

  1. Wow that is some machine, I think I would have been terrified :) A x

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  2. I knew just where you were from the first pic, glad you had fun!

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    1. He he he. You were the one whom I first heard about this place from!

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  3. Wow! So lucky that you have access to such a beautiful machine! You quilt is beautiful as well!

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    1. Thanks Margo. I am lucky to have this within driving distance. Brian said that he only knows of three places that let you use their long-arm machines.

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  4. This looks like so much fun! And what a sense of achievement knowing you've made the whole thing yourself! This looks amazing. I can't see your video - might be my iPad though.

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  5. Well done you - I really must try it some day. Your quilt looks lovely.

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  6. I had a play on one st a quilt show years ago - much more logical to move the needle than moving the fabric! wish i lived nearer them!

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  7. Ooo, Stirling. Love it! Just mentioning the name brings back good memories. I always get inspired by the large amount of creative businesses in Scotland. Your quilt looks lovely, Diane is one lucky lady!

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    1. Thank you so much Marianne! Stirling is a stunning city, and on this day the sun was shining and the blossoms just starting to bloom.

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  8. So, so jealous! Looks like you had an amazing time and learnt a lot too.

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  9. That machine looks like it would certainly get the job done quickly!!

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  10. Wow, that machine is huge!!! Haha I might actually get into quilting if I had one of those. ;-) Even if you're all busy in the video, it sure looks like you had a lot of fun!

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    1. It really was an experience - the machine was so efficient and so quick, not having to re-shuffle the fabric all the time!

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