Recently I've noticed a lot of questions about stitch length and stitch quality - how do you maintain even stitches and how to get them looking good all the time?
Part of this is simply down to practice. The more you quilt, the better "feel" you will have for free motion quilting and the more consistent and even your stitches will become.
But there is a tool that can help you gain better control over the quilt which will instantly improve how your stitches look and how you feel moving the quilt over your machine.
The tool is Machingers Quilting Gloves.
A super nice feature about these gloves is that they're double sided - you can wear out one side, then switch hands and wear out the other side!
Without gloves, your finger tips will be unable to gain purchase on the quilt surface. Fine movements and delicate control will be quite difficult to achieve when you can't get a grip on the quilt..
Worse still, you might get into the habit of clenching the quilt with your hand closed in a fist. This is not a good way to quilt as you still won't be able to achieve good control over the quilt, and you'll probably end up with aching hands and wrists in a very short time.
Unlike gardening gloves, Machingers are designed to fit snugly against your skin, but are made of a thin, breathable nylon, so your hands won't sweat when you wear them.
The closer fit will help you grip the quilt with the palm of your hands, which can be very helpful for large scale quilting.
Personally I've used Machingers since my very first quilting class back in 2006. I tried to stipple on a 12 inch practice sandwich and felt very frustrated by how little the quilt moved when I pushed and pulled on it with bare hands. My hands just seemed to slide right over the surface and the quilt sat still!
The teacher offered many tools for us to try, including hoops and rings designed to aid with moving the quilt. These tools just seemed to get into my way and obscured my vision from what I was stitching.
Finally I slipped on a pair of Machingers and felt like I had control at last! Now when I pushed on the quilt, it went somewhere! It felt much less difficult to get it where I wanted it to go, and I no longer felt like the my hands were sliding uncontrollably over the surface. Even now, 6 years later, I still wear these gloves for free motion quilting every day.
If you're interested in trying a pair of Machingers, click here to find them in the Day Style Designs Quilt Shop.
You can also save $5.00 by bundling Machingers with the Supreme Slider and Magic Bobbin Washers in the Ultimate Quilting Kit.
Let's get a grip and go quilt!