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Saturday, 14 September 2013

Machine Quilted Cushion

Out of all the sewing techniques I have tried over the years, quilting has to be right up there for enjoyment factor for me.  It's one of those things that I enjoyed right from the off, regardless of my ability, and it is something that I long to be an expert at.  However, it is also very time consuming and whilst I long to achieve the perfect hand quilted stitch I am also keen to continue quilting on my good old basic machine.

My main problem with quilting has always been marking the design onto the fabric.  Either the marks are still visible after I have washed the end product or the lines are too faint before I have finished the design.  I have tried graphite pencils, watercolour pencils, fade-away marker pens, washable handwriting pens and chalk and have not yet found anything I am happy with.  Then, I read in a magazine a suggestion of drawing the design onto freezer paper and, after ironing the paper onto the fabric, quilting through all the layers, tearing away the paper afterwards.  Good excuse to try it on a cushion thought I....

So close!  Yes, the design was very easy to see and there was no danger of any marks being left behind as all the pencil marks were on the paper and not the fabric.  However, despite a short straight stitch setting on the machine (try saying that with your teeth out!), tearing away the paper did lead to some of the stitches pulling slightly.  You should be able to see what I mean on the picture above.  (Whoops, I also seem to have gone a bit wobbly with some of the out-lining there.  Pink on white is so unforgiving!!!)

I adore the results of quilting, every wobbly time.  It is hard to photograph the undulating loveliness it creates but the photograph above is my best attempt.  I must point out the design is pure Barbara Chainey from her book 'The Essential Quilter'. 

I am going through a bit of a Welsh wholecloth quilt obsession at the moment and have been researching it quite heavily.  Fully expect to see more quilting cropping up on this blog in the future as I try to recreate the designs used by those who went before me.  Only wobblier!


  1. This is my favourite thing! I always find it hard to get all the fabric under the machine so I always give up and hand quilt. But I'd love to be able to do it as well as you!! It looks very lovely.

    1. Thank you. I have the same problem with maneuvering whole quilts under my quite basic machine which is why I like making cushions so much! I do have a hankering for making a machine wholecloth quilt though and I will let you know how I get on!

  2. Hi there! I came over from Renegade Seamstress after seeing you Plaid sew-along. I just wanted to say how very lovely and impressive this quilted pillow is!! Honestly, I barely notice the wobbly lines on the count of the overall effect and beautiful design! I can't imagine the patience and time this takes! Wonderful job. :)