and here are some pictures of my loop de loop section in the book
Like most beginners, when I first started free motion quilting I learned how to stipple and I used that pattern for a long time because I was afraid I would not be able to do the more intricate designs and have them look good. When you have spent a lot of time creating a pretty quilt top you don’t want it spoiled by a poor job of quilting. Eventually you realize that stippling is not the answer for every project. The loop de loop was my next design attempt. From stippling I had learned how important having a smooth rhythm was, and that is also true for loop de loop. The transition from stippling to loop de loop went very smoothly because they both use the curvy flow to their patterns. This step also gave me now two different patterns to work with in my projects.
The loop de loop is a great design as a filler when you have small spaces. For small spaces it is much more attractive than to use stippling. To me it looks like you gave some thought to the design and were not just trying to fill in space. I often use the loop de loop in borders as it does work so well for narrow spaces. It is also a great design to use if you need to travel from one area to another.
What I didn’t realize about learning the loop de loop was that it is a precursor to learning how to quilt using cursive writing. When I first saw a project done by Molly for her father where she used all cursive writing for the quilting I was in awe. I am still not really good at it, but when I want to use the cursive pattern in my project I always start with a sample piece and practice the loop de loop and then progress to the cursive. By doing this practice I get the feeling and the rhythm going for the cursive and then I move over to my project.
As with all things we talk about, the secret is to be relaxed. That is very hard for me to remember, as I get very intense when I am free motion quilting. I have to keep reminding myself to relax because if I don’t I lose the rhythm and then the quilting gets jerky. Getting up and walking away from your project from time to time is a good way to break tension. Do whatever helps you to relax and always remember to enjoy the process.
I hope you all enjoyed what Grandma and I had to share about loop de loop stitching and just how great and versatile it is, and I hope we've inspired you all to try it out for yourself. Maybe a free copy of my book Free Motion Quilting for Beginners would help you along your journey? I am giving away a signed copy to a commenter on this blog post, so to enter please tell me what you would combine with loop de loop stitching. I will choose a winner next Friday when Grandma and come back with another topic. Thanks and have a happy and safe weekend!