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Machine Quilting as Art - Tigard

A quilt top can be beautiful all on its own but creative stitching can elevate a simple pieced block to art. The texture created by quilting adds a lot to the visual impact to the quilt. Many quilters feel hesitant about using quilting as part of the integral design of a quilt and resort to simply quilting in the ditch or all-over stippling instead. This workshop will teach you to look at your quilt as a canvas waiting to be sculpted by stitching and cover variety of methods to get your designs onto your quilt. Learn to make your needle and thread dance as you learn you think outside of the quilting box. In this class students will experiment with a variety of textures and designs created by complex quilting on small easy to handle sample blocks. Skill level: intermediate (with some basic free-motion machine quilting knowledge) 


  •      Stitching Practice Blocks:
  •      Whole-cloth Blocks: If you want to practice stitching on ‘whole-cloth’ blocks you will need a 14” square (the top) and a 16” square (the backing) layered with a 16” square of thin cotton batting for each whole-cloth block. For the best results, choose a fabric with a slight visual texture or a solid but avoid defined prints, the goal is to have your quilting be the star of this project. Make two of these layered whole-cloth blocks


  •      Two Pieced Blocks: As an alternative to whole-cloth blocks, you can make two pieced blocks following the pattern at the end of this list Layer and pin these two blocks with batting and backing making each layer slightly larger than the pieced top. The advantage of a pieced block is that the piecing creates well defined areas to fill with quilting.


  •      Sewing Machine: A good basic home machine, preferably with feed dogs that can be dropped. A Singer Featherweight is not a good choice for machine quilting for a number of reasons. Please bring your owner’s manualif you have one and are not familiar with all the functions of your machine as well as the utility tools kit(small screwdrivers, brushes, etc) as you may need to perform some minor maintenance on your machine during class.
  •      Sewing Machine Accessories:You need to bring a free motion or darning/embroidery foot for free motion quilting (this is absolutely necessary). Make sure you have the right foot! I have seen a number of students come in with an open-toed embroidery foot which is intended for zigzag stitching and will not work for free-motion quilting!You will also need a walking foot (this one is not absolutely crucial but will give you better results than trying to sew straight lines with a free motion foot). It’s also a good idea to fill and bring extra bobbins so you don’t have to interrupt your flow to wind bobbin thread.
  •      Sewing Machine Needles:Bring a package each of quilting and topstitching needles in size #11 or #12 and #14 suitable for your machine. NOTE: Microtex (Sharps) size #12 can also be useful.
  •      Stitching Test Swatches:  two 14” ‘sandwiches of muslin or other inexpensive fabric layered and pinned with the same batting as your quilt. You will use these to test quilting designs and tension before stitching on your quilt. (NOTE: These are practice squares and are in addition to your project block squares. 
  •      Regular Straight Pins
  •      Thread:100%cottonmachine quilting thread in size #50.  Do not use polyester or Rayon thread. The amount of thread you will need will be dependent on the density of the particular patterns you choose for your quilting. I do recommend bringing a generous amount of thread though (two regular sized spools of each color should do). You will need thread that is just slightly a different color or shade to match your fabric (this one can be variegated if desired), and a thread in a contrasting color as well. A variety of colors will allow you to pick and choose ones suitable for the designs you want to use.
  •      18” wide roll of‘Golden Threads’ Quilting Paper: Available at quilt shops. Note: if you can’t find 18” you can use a 12” wide roll but it will be more labor intensive to transfer the grid for a whole-cloth project.
  •      Freezer Paper:Available at supermarkets and quilt shops, a foot or two off a roll will be adequate.
  •      Blue wash away fabric pen or a Frixion™ pen: For a Frixion pen, choose a color that will show up on your fabric
  •      Hera (optional):A ‘hera’ is a small plastic tool that looks like a butter knife used to mark a quilt. You may or may not end up using this in class depending on the designs you choose but it will come in handy for future quilting projects; you can find them at some quilt shops. 
  •      Scissors or thread snips
  •      Seam Ripper
  •      18” Ruler
  •      Paper:a few sheets of 8½” x 11” paper to do some practice texture drawings on.
  •      Machine Quilting Gloves (Optional): Help you grip the quilt more effectively and give you greater control of your stitching. 
  •      Compass (optional):A compass may come in handy to draft circles for some designs.
  •      Class handout and design packet:$5 payable to the instructor in class. 

Skill Level: intermediate
Skill Details: Intermediate with some basic free motion quil
Instructor: Helene Knott
Instructor Bio: Helene Knott

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Included Materials



This class cannot be purchased online. Please contact the store for more information.


  2414 Portland Rd,
Newberg, OR 97132

12185 SW Main St,
Tigard, OR 97223


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