Monday, August 31, 2009

Free Motion Quilting - BSR vs. Me

As many of you know, I'm looking for a new sewing machine. I'm also interested in free motion quilting my own quilts. My search for a sewing machine has slowed down due to time constraints but while on vacation, I did manage to stop by a Bernina store in Austin called Ready to Sew . The lady there quickly offered to hook up the BSR to let me try it out. She knew I was from out of town, knew I would not buy there, and was so gracious. I've heard so much about the BSR that I could not resist an opportunity to try it out! I have very little experience with free motion quilting. I found the BSR a bit awkward - but I was expecting that as I've heard there is a learning curve with it. And why wouldn't there be? There seems to be with everything else - at least for me. Here are the results:

I need some practice rounding out my curves. That will come with time! Last week, I also started free motion quilting with my Pfaff Grand Quilter (no frame) a lap quilt I've been working on. I decided to take some pictures of my free motion quilting for comparision. My stitch length varies but the stitches themselves aren't too bad. This is my second FMQ project and after I got started I felt less anxiety about it all. I did get better with rounding out my curves as the project progressed. Still need to improve but it was nice to see improvement during the project. I found it more difficult to determine where I'd already quilted once the quilt passed to the back side of the sewing machine.
I apologize for the poor photos. We've been having one thing after another break down -my sons car, the frig, some flooring. This time it's my computer so I had to take pics and upload really quickly before my battery died.

The Verdict: I need some more time with the BSR. It's not as obvious to me at this point as to whether or not I'd benefit from it. My free motion quilting isn't as bad as I thought it would be. What do you think?

14 comments:

Abby said...

I think it looks great! You're a brave woman to show stitches that close, but there's not much need to hide yours! I try to hide mine as much as possible...

Pat said...

I don't see anything wrong with the FMQ you did with your Pfaff......truly I don't.

Beth said...

Wow, Jackie -- I think it looks great. I learned so much from doing a big old quilt...I would suggest doing that before you decide about the BSR. It doesn't look like you need it!

yarnjourney said...

Your free motion quilting looks great! Your Pfaff machine is wonderful. You can get such nice curves. I do not mind the different stitch lengths. I haven't tried FMQ yet and was interested in the BSR too. What did you think of the Bernina machines otherwise?

julia said...

I think your stitching looks great. I've never tried the free motion feature of my machine. Maybe I should.

QuiltSue said...

From what I can see, you're doing great work without using the BSR.

Ruth's Place said...

I think your FMQ is amazing. I haven't been game to try again since my first attempt.

Micki said...

Check out the Pfaff 4.0 Expression...the built in walking foot and free motiong quilting is incredible. I tried the BSR and loved this so much better.
Micki

Teresa said...

I will join the chorus of compliments and say I think you are doing great. I am like you - still learning this but I get so frustrated with the tension on the back side of the quilt not being right. I too have trouble telling where I have quilted, resulting in crossovers.

Loris said...

Thanks for writing a blog about sewing!

Candace said...

For just a test drive I think you did fantastic with the BSR, Jackie! Even though I've used it for several years now, unless you use it consitently, there will always be a learning curve, which is why I practice on scraps if I haven't used it in a while!
Cheers!

Susan said...

Wow Jackie...I think your FMQ looks great!

Betty said...

I am so glad to read about your free motion quilting. I have been doing my own for about a year and though I'm not always happy with it, I do too many quilts to have them quilted for me. I have found that I do better when my meandering is confined within a square. I also try to match my thread really well so the blunders aren't as obvious. The machinger gloves are a necessity. Smaller projects are much easier since you aren't fighting the weight of the quilt. I too would love the BSR but can't justify the price. Keep us posted with any helpful hints.

Simone de Klerk said...

Great job!