If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know that it has been my desire to improve my machine quilting skills. I have been practicing my squiggles and loop d' loops and stippling and my results have been well, pretty much just ok. Make no mistake, I am improving, but it is obvious that more practice will serve me well.
Recently I discovered the Pretty By Hand blog, where Kristyne has been teaching herself to be a Free Motion Quilter. She recently posted that she has officially given up doing cross hatch quilting, as she feels her skills have improved enough that she is proud of her free motion skills to make that her preferred method.
I figured that if I wanted to teach myself to machine quilt, I was going to follow Kristyne's example and start out with doing cross hatching by machine. The free motion stuff can come after I master that technique. After searching for a half an hour for my painter's tape, I got started. I placed the tape diagonally across the quilt, right through the middle and sewed my first line of stitching right along side the right hand edge of the tape.
Then I repositioned the tape to the right after each subsequent line of stitching, working my way from the middle to the right hand corner. Once I got to the corner, I flipped the quilt top around and stitched the other half.
When the top was completely stitched with lines running in one direction, I repeated the process so that my stitching lines went the opposite direction, creating a cross hatch design across the entire top of the quilt.
I know this isn't the most creative process, but I was so pleased with my perfectly even one inch grid of quilting! The quilting is dense and the top will wash up beautifully and be all quilty and puckery. It is my plan to do a few more small quilts with this cross hatch technique, then branch out with more free motion patterns. I just need to get my skill level and my confidence level up. In the meantime, I am 100% happy with this method.
This little Bennington Schnibble (from the book Schnibbles Times Two by Carrie Nelson) will go on my round kitchen table, but for now I have it over the back of one of our leather chairs. Have you noticed that in the summer when you are wearing sleeveless or low backed clothes, sitting against the back of a leather chair is sticky uncomfortable? What a perfect use for a small quilt! It looks adorable and no more leaning up against hot old leather with your bare skin.