Angela Walters Legacy booth at quilt market last year. Art Gallery fabrics used it (and several of the other samples I made) to make this awesome promotional video~ check it out! I tracked all the tiny but awesome Angela designs and used chain of pearls to move from one motif to another, just like I teach in the book.
Print tracking is a wonderful practice tool but also a great skill for FMQ. When I am making a quilt that has a pattern fabric in it I save the extra pieces and make a practice sandwich. This gives me the chance to practice print tracking and learn what I need to do to accomplish the skill. Print tracking takes a bit more precision than something like stippling or random quilting. Trying to follow the outline of a design you need to determine what speed in your machine and hands need to work at in order to keep the outline clean. Practicing this develops the brain memory of how to follow a pattern whether it is a design you have marked on your project or whether you are FMQ feathers or other designs that have to be exact.
Another place where I have used print tracking a great deal is when I am making a baby or child’s quilt. Most often these quilts are full of design fabric and print tracking allows the design to really stand out. Do a practice piece first to get the feel of the rhythm and then go for it. Print tracking adds so much dimension to a project. Like all things we do it just takes practice.
Grandma sure does have it right, and her advice is right on too. Print tracking takes a bit of practice, but if you have ever tried to trace a design before you know how that goes... just slow down and take your time and you will find that you end up with gorgeous highlighted fabric, and the back of your project will be perhaps as beautiful, if not more, than the front! It will also help you get the feel of designs that may be more complex, or movements that might feel to foreign to start with freehand. I say that print tracking is an excellent skill builder, and looks fantastic too, a win/win. I hope you'll try it out for yourself. In other news I have some VERY EXCITING news to share with you all next week... here is a hint... Grandma and I took a special trip this fall and got to meet someone very special in the sewing industry.... got any guesses? Leave your guess in the comment below for a chance to win my new book Free Motion Quilting for Beginners. I can't wait to share the big news, so be sure to stay tuned!