Yesterday I introduced you to Donita Reeve, a quilter whose expertise in tools is laudable. This handy tool is called the Accuguide, which Donita developed in order to have something other than her fingers to guide the hopping foot of her longarm. Anyone who has gotten close to a hopping foot in motion understands all too well the possibility of sewing one's finger into the quilt, and this 1/4" thick plexiglass tool helps to prevent that.
Donita says that it can be used to stitch in the ditch around applique or curved shapes, to echo applique, to follow a stencil or to stitch in the ditch along a straight line for short distances. I tried it out today.
Chances are my technique leaves alot to be desired, but I found the Accuguide to be easy and comfortable to use. More familiarity with it should produce smooth and pleasing results even though mine were a bit choppy this first time.
As long as I have already displayed the most recent quilt on my frame, let me talk to you a bit about choosing what you want to achieve when you quilt something. For instance, the quilt above is chock full of batiks, red, white and blue. It is a Quilt of Valor and will go to a wounded soldier soon. The piecing is lovely and smooth and well pressed, and the quilt is square. But the fabric is so busy that any longarm quilting, no matter how fancy, will disappear.
Sue B usually sends me her QOV's and says to "make them sing." I love to do the unexpected with these quilts, adding lots of custom designs to them to delight the soldiers as well as to pay homage to the tireless people who make these, month after month, by bringing them to life with my designs out of respect for their work. But this quilt received a pantograph instead, because NOT EVERY QUILT NEEDS FANCY QUILTING. In this case, pretty much any design would have been lost in the intricate patterns of the fabrics.