Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Straight Line Quilting

Straight line quilting on Izzy's quilt by Tina M at cruzio dot com

Last weekend, was my first visit to Ally Pally in about 10 years. I was expecting to see lots of knitters and embroiderers so we brought our 4 foot Art Quilter frame that sets up like an easel. We thought that the free motion embroiderers would love it. They did. What surprised me was that so many modern quilters were interested in our larger 6, 8 and 10 foot New English Quilter frames. 

Modern quilters are essentially no fuss minimalists. They like to use solid fabrics, improvisational piecing and asymmetric takes on traditional blocks. They often use straight line quilting that can be done on a home sewing machine. Tina at the Little Blue Cottage  whipped up the beauty at the top of the page for her daughter Izzy. She won a Judges Choice Award for this piece below. Both are brilliant examples of straight line quilting.

Adrift by Tina Michalik March 2013 Judges Choice Award at QuiltCon
Straight line quilting has some excellent features. It gets people out of stitching in the ditch! Stitching over the pieced lines creates an overall pattern that holds the quilt together visually. I do like the fresh and clean look.

Tina described this straight line method as "paying homage to the walking foot" and "not for the faint hearted". Perhaps stitching line after line does get a bit tedious. The modern quilters that stopped by our stand at Ally Pally last weekend used the words "mind numbing" and "time consuming". They wanted a way to complete a quilt quickly. Several people felt that the straight line quilting was limiting and  wanted a quilting style that could be more personal and creative. When they tried the New English Quilter frames they found just the right tool for the job.

New English Quilter frame - a great tool for the modern quilter
The Modern Quilt Guilds are a young movement. They're still growing and adapting. Perhaps those straight lines may head in a curvy direction

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