Monday 25 April 2011

Why Do I Quilt Freehand?

A few people have asked me why I only quilt freehand. 

The main reason is that I find it more fun, and it suits my personality and style of quilting best. 

I like working from the front of the machine because I like looking at the quilt and the fabric as I am quilting.  It allows me to do a better job because if there are any problems with the pieced top I am better able to correct it.  (For example, ease any fullness between the quilting stitches.)

I have developed a large number of freehand allover patterns, and can easily change or combine these patterns to whatever looks best.  Basically, if I can draw it, I can quilt it. I can easily go around elements in a quilt like appliqué as part of an allover pattern. I can also do a different allover pattern in a wide border than in the centre of the quilt as part of one continuous allover pattern.

So apart from enjoying it more, I feel that freehand gives me more flexibility in what I am able to do.

And for customers, this means that they aren’t getting an allover pattern with exact repeating designs; rather they are getting more creative quilting where the basic elements are repeated in a changing organic pattern.  I put a little bit of me into every quilt I do.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t admire what can be done with computerised systems, nor does it mean that I won’t consider doing this in future.  I am always open to change.  But right now I feel that freehand allows me to really enjoy my work, and offers my best to my customers.


  1. Well said!! AND your freehand allover quilting is fabulous!!

  2. Agreed! I envy what computerized quilters can do now and then (when I want the same motif perfectly done 30 times), but seriously abhor doing anything from the backside. I don't know about Australia, but here many, many quilters really want pantographs for their quilts. I find them SO boring to do!

  3. I just found your blog. Your work is amazing. Thank you for showing your beautiful quilting. This post is very interesting. I consider myself a hand quilter, but I am intrigued by what people do on their long arms. Greetings, Una in Norway.