Monday, March 9, 2015

Quilting With Your Decorative Stitches

CLMQG March Swap: Mug Rugs
Challenge: Using negative space and quilting it with the decorative stitches on our machines.

As a quilter, you may have never given all of those little computerized stitches any thought. You practically ignore them, wondering why they are even there. You most likely select the straight stitch that we all piece with...a straight line. If so, you're not only missing out on some fun, but also a great quilting alternative.

I played with my stitches on a scrap piece of fabric first. It's important to get the 'feel' of the direction that some of the stitches will take you in. Some have loops and curves and like I mentioned before..we're used to stitching straight lines! 

If you're new to the stitches, you can use them to quilt on your seam allowances. For example, I chose a dresden for my mug rug and between each of my blades I quilted with a different decorative stitch.

Echo quilting the negative space with a straight stitch is a great way to finish off the project. Echo quilting is simply stitching a uniform distance away from the design and repeating it...creating an echo effect. I outlined the dresden, then used my presser foot as a guide to "echo" the outline. Easy peasy! Echo quilting creates a big impact without a lot practice. And is perfect for beginners! 

After you've practiced using decorative stitches, you could even try quilting the negative space with a variety of stitches. This mug rug was made by Shelley over at Elsie's Girl I'd say she's got the hang of it!


Mug rugs are a great way to use up some scraps and practice your quilting skills.