I have a new toy.
I saw various versions of the idea at the Festival of Quilts in August, but when I went to knitting and stitching in Harrogate I decided to go for it.
Basically, instead of bothering to mark out the pattern on the fabric before you start quilting, you use a stencil type piece of plastic. There are various systems available. Mine is like a tram track. You drop the feed dog, put the presser foot in the channel, and the foot is guided down your chosen path.
I’ve got basic templates: a straight line with inches and angles marked, a set of circles, and a feather.
Now this was a bit of a risk, because I’ve never been very good at free motion quilting.
But I can do it now.
And yes, I know some of them are a bit wobbly, but I’m happy with my first attempt, especially as I was trying it out on black print, which isn’t the easiest thing to see when you are stitching. The next thing I’m going to do is a flower, which I saw demonstrated with the circle template, but you need to aim for the centre, so I’ll need a paler fabric.
And in case you are wondering why I didn’t do my samples on plainer, paler fabric, it was because I needed to quilt the pieces for a bag I’m making. And as I expected, the quilted patterns don’t show up much, but that isn’t the point. I have had useful practise, and the quilting makes the fabric firmer.