Friday, September 25, 2009

Quilting in the 21st century

I took a spin on a Handiquilter today. This is a sewing machine on steroids. To give you an idea how big it is, it’s suggested that the operator have at least 12 feet of clearance. It's a monster. I’m lucky a friend who lives nearby has one and enjoys teaching people how to use it.

Quilting has come a long way, baby. When I first started (21 years ago), I hand-quilted or tied my pieces. I tacked a few with embroidery floss and did something called turkey tracks across one quilt. This all took time. It wasn’t unusual for it to take me months to finish a quilt top.

At the same time, rotary cutters made piecing faster and easier. It was very easy to make tops but not as simple to get them finished.

Then I learned to machine quilt on my regular machine. I wasn’t very good at it, I would get better, right? I took classes from plenty of wonderful machine quilting teachers. I bought different sewing machines as new technology came available. Still my machine quilting left a lot to be desired. True confession: I never really got very good.

So I fell behind on my quilting. I continue to make quilt tops, but they never made it to the finish line.

Today I quilted this top in about 2 hours, give or take. There is a learning curve to using this machine, but a lot of freedom as well. I’m looking forward to finish my quilt tops.

This quilt is going to the Philanthropy group at my local quilt guild, to be given to a child in need of some comfort. To be able to do that, fast and quickly, is something to celebrate.


beckylevine said...

Does this mean you need to empty out an entire room in your house for the one you're going to buy?

Twelve feet?!

Dru said...

Too bad they don't make mini handquilter machines.

Camille Minichino said...

Such great satisfaction, too, Terri -- sending these beautiful items off!

And -- technology to the rescue of crafts; I like that.

Terri Thayer said...

Hey, I hardly use the living room. Or I could fit one in my garage. Or I could just use Joanie's.

Betty Hechtman said...

It sounds like an impressive machine. How nice to give a quilt to a child in need. It will carry all your good thoughts with it and give them comfort.