Monday, July 4, 2011

Connor's finally finished!

Before Quilting

After Quilting

An interested thing I found out about designing, making and then quilting a piece like Connor's portrait is that the free-motion-machine quilting took as much time as did the actual making of the front. I've been quilting since 1996 and it took me 15 years to reach this conclusion.

I've always know that the quilting was an important part of the process but I think I have just realized how important it is. I've resisted machine quilting though I know how important it is to what I do.

Why? Because I never felt I was a good machine quilter, so I put off quilting as long as I can. Well, while this piece is not quilted perfectly I feel that I made a break through in my quilting.

Probably the biggest break through came when I decided to make a photo of the different elements on the quilt. I took a photo of Connor's face and while looking at the original photo I drew lines on the photo where I thought I should machine quilt. This approach worked quite well for me.

In the past I have started quilting without a plan. Because I did plan this time I knew when I got to a certain point where I needed to go next.

My next break through came when I decided that unless I absolutely can not make a portrait without Steam-A-Seam Lite I won't use it any more. I am a big Misty Fuse fan but because it doesn't have stickum on the back it doesn't stay in place as well as SAS.

It is because of this fact that I have been using SAS Lite. However, I find it to be difficult to sew through and leaves major needle holes in my face. It is tough and gums up my machine. My next portrait will be an experience in using Misty Fuse.

This are two lessons that I'm grateful for learning. Now I just have to put them in practice.


  1. Thanks for this information. Although I use my camera for every stage of composition, I had not thought about using a photo to map out my quilting. Good idea.

  2. Your portrait is love Marilyn,

    I hope you share a couple of detail pictures of his hand and the pineapple please.

  3. Beautiful! And the quilting may not be perfect (by whose definition?) but it adds depth and life to the picture.

  4. Thanks you all, and I will post more detail photos, I have had a few request for that. Now I have four teenage girls here. Smile!