fabric collage art quilt in progress
Creative Chrysalis

143 – Off The Wall

August 16, 2022 By

art quilt in progress

I’ve made decisions about how the ground on the left side of the quilt will connect with the middle and the right side. The center ground fabric is in place but not yet permanently connected. This will be a good breaking point for creating a section, or “unit,” that I can take off the wall and add stitching to, for securing the separate bits and addition of details. I look for a section that makes sense to be together – where the stitching needs to be continuous or where edges can unnoticeably be joined back to the rest. As everything is pinned to the design wall, you might wonder how I can move a big swath of barely connected fabric tidbits from wall to sewing machine. I’ve done the process more than a few times so I no longer hold my breath during the process!

First, I check to make sure that the bits and pieces are connected in some fashion – either with fusible web or small dots of glue. Next, I peel back sections that will not be sewn at this time, using pins to hold the material away from the section that I will be removing. Then, I outline the outer edges of the piece that I will be removing with pins – that way, when stitching is done, I will know exactly where to place it back in position.

The free-motion stitching is done on my Handi-Quilter Sweet 16 machine, aka “mid-arm” (due to the space between needle and base of machine, or neck.) Like a standard domestic machine, the material is moved about under the needle by the sewist. I use a removable stabilizer as a base for this stitching process. The stabilizer provides support so the tension of the stitches doesn’t pucker the fabric while also giving a smooth surface for gliding the fabric around. With so many uneven and tiny bits, it would be inevitable that something would get caught and pulled into the bobbin below, causing needle breakage or jamming of the machine and ruining the top construction.

art quilt in progress
Stabilizer is positioned beneath a section of art quilt