Free machine quilting is a technique everyone should learn – so read on and you’ll be able to add it to your repertoire in no time at all…
Free machine quilting is a useful technique for countless projects as it allows you to sew together layers of fabric with decorative stitching. It’s incredibly easy to get started – just cut your fabric to the size you need for the project you’ve chosen, then read on below to find out how to free machine quilt the layers together.
You will need:
* Fusible web
* Pelmet Vilene
* 1 piece fabric for back
* 1 piece fabric for front
1. Take one of the pieces of fusible web. Place it in the centre of the Vilene with the glue (rough) side facing downwards and iron to fix in place. When ironing fusible web, make sure you press the iron down, and do not sweep it from side to side as you can distort it. Peel the paper backing off, then lay the backing fabric on top. Press again, and the backing fabric should now be fixed in place.
2. Turn the pelmet Vilene over, place the second piece of fusible web in the centre and press. Leave the paper backing on.
3. Take your piece of Vilene and place it on the ironing board with the backing fabric side facing down. Peel the paper off the fusible web. Lay your front fabric piece on top, then press till the fusible web holds the fabric in place.
4. Prepare the sewing machine. Check that the bobbin has enough thread, then attach the darning foot and drop or cover the feed dogs. If you are unsure how to drop the feed dogs, check in your sewing machine manual. Set the machine for a standard straight stitch.
5. Draw on a piece of paper the pattern you will be making as a practice run — I stitched an allover, meandering design across the fabric. With free machine quilting, think of the needle and thread as the pencil drawing the design.
6. When you are ready to start sewing, begin at the edge of the fabric, and bring the bobbin thread through to the front. Take a couple of stitches in the same spot to secure the thread, then start sewing, moving the piece of fabric to make the pattern. Go at a steady pace; the speed of the machine and how you move the fabric will dictate how large the stitches are and the design you sew. Keep the needle moving across the fabric in a meandering design and when you get to the other end, take a couple of stitches on the spot, then cut the thread. And that’s all there is to it!
Your pretty, decoratively stitched fabric can now be used for anything you like – try cutting the fabric into strips to make bookmarks, or stitch some bias binding around the edges and turn it into a placemat. If you want to try something a little more ambitious, then why not use the free machine quilting technique on a larger project? Try cushions, table runners and quilts when you’re ready.
I hope you have fun practicing your free machine quilting! We always love seeing your makes, so if you want to show us how you’ve been using this technique then submit a photo to our Share Board or use the hashtag #SCCmakes on Twitter or Instagram. If your fabric stash is running low, then check out our huge range of designer prints. Happy sewing!