Today and yesterday I attended a local quilt exhibition and had a number of my customer quilts exhibited which was a really great feeling to have my work on display and to receive so many positive compliments about my quilting.
I spent alot of time talking to other quilters and was surprised to learn how many of them actually think that my work is computer programmed. I just therefore want to explain that I don't actually have a computerised quilting system, and every single stitch that is stitched on mine and my customers quilts has been put there by me while standing at my machine and hand guiding my machine. I am taking this as a compliment though that people when seeing my work would compare it to that of a computer which would imply that I am accurate in my work.
Most of my work is based on pantograph designs, which are designs printed on paper which I follow with a laser pointer attached to my machine. I work from the back of my machine for pantograph work and hold the handles of my machine and move the machine smoothly over the design of the pantograph from one side of the quilt to the other, from top to bottom of the quilt in most cases. Of course this is a simplified explanation of how the quilting process works, and it takes alot of practice and patience to achieve good smooth results. Not to mention tension adjustments, making sure the quilt lays straight and the backing does not form tucks etc.
Some of my other work is more complex and is freehand which is achieved by working from the front of my machine, moving the machine across the quilt very much like moving a pencil over paper and wherever you move the machine quilts the design which are more likely to be a freehand design, like drawing with your machine. Occasionally using rulers for stitching in the ditch, straight lines and curved lines.
Thank you therefore for the compliment to being compared to a computerised system. Computer work of course has its place on certain quilts, particularly for more intricate quilting motifs and more intricate allover designs. I would never say that I wouldn't ever add a computerised system to my quilting machine, (maybe if I have a large win on the lottery !!!) but for me at the moment this would not seem like any fun to me, and I am pretty sure there is a large learning curve in computerised quilting also.
There are so many different ways to quilt a quilt, be it to hand quilt, machine quilt on a domestic sewing machine in straight lines, freemotion quilting on a domestic sewing machine, hand guided longarm quilting, computerised longarm quilting, aren't we all so lucky that we have so many different choices?