The Free Motion Quilting Project: 14. Quilting Hair With Channels and Paths

Thursday, March 7, 2013

14. Quilting Hair With Channels and Paths

With the Pipe Room fixed and four shelves built and already holding hundreds of books and DVDs, I'm ready to hop back on the machine and share another design I've used in the hair section of Duchess Reigns:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This back and forth arching design is called Channels and Paths and back in the design phase of Duchess Reigns it popped out at me as the perfect choice for her slightly weird hair area.

I had always planned to use something more wiggly and freeform, like McTavishing, but after multiple samples turned out disappointing, I realized this busy area didn't need more busy chaos, it needed more simplicity.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

So here's a super simple design that works great in narrow channels! Let's watch the video to see how this works on the machine:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
One of the things that is making this process SO much easier, or at least not horribly painful and frustrating, is my Queen Supreme Slider. 

This Teflon sheet is stuck to the machine and table surface right under the quilt and that is allowing me to make the small, controlled movements right in the center of the quilt.

Is it possible to quilt without the slider? Yes! You can absolutely free motion quilt without this tool in place, but that is kind of like going back to cutting out hexagons using cardboard templates and a pair of scissors - this tool makes the process easier.

So that's it for today! I'm off to get lost in more of Duchess Reign's feathers!

Let's go quilt,



  1. Your goddess is beautiful! This reminds me of a design I "invented" (that has probably been done a thousand times before) that I called tire tracks- exept there I put the rows right next to each other (in opposite directions) and curved them around frequently. It has a totally different look when used this way- I like it!

    Do you think the queen supreme slider is better than the supreme slider for a small bed machine? I have a supreme slider and have never noticed any difference using it, but it covers the entire bed of my machine (a queen would go onto my Gidget table as well). For small quilts, they are easy enough to move without it, for large quilts, I don't think it reduces drag at all. Is it just the size is too small to be useful?

  2. Sometimes the right answer is the simple one! I think sewing in general leads us to more and more complicated things, it's always good to simplify sometimes and then magic can happen. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Leah I have been working with your methods for two years now and just purchased the slider for myself for Christmas and I have to agree with you that it makes life easier!

  4. You are more than amazing. You have perfected your craft/art.

    Thanks so much for sharing

  5. Hi Jessim - Try this: quilt for 2 hours with the slider on in the dead center of a big quilt, then take the slider off and keep quilting from the same space. If you absolutely don't see a difference, then this might not be the tool for you!

    I can't claim that a single tool will work for everyone. While I love gloves, I know not everyone wants to wear them. Will you see a difference with a bigger slider? I have no idea. I saw a HUGE difference when I started using the smaller one back in 2009, but you haven't seen this same difference.

    This is all about personal experience. Try what I suggested above and let me know what you notice!


  6. Since I'm quilting on weird fabrics, with a stencil-painted backing, I use 2 supreme sliders on my "small" machine (a Janome MC 10000)--one under the needle and one on the left, turned vertically. Works great!

    And I got a grant to buy a new Janome 8200 so ill be ordering a queen slider! The 8200 doesn't have as many embroidery stitches or the large foot pedal but it has all the features I need and is significantly cheaper than the 8900.

    It's hard to believe my other Janome is 10 years old. Does anyone else get anxious at the thought of switching machines?

  7. Love that design for the hair...just right.

    Also bought a Slider last year. Made a huge difference and when I take it off I definitely feel the difference.

  8. Your quilt is looking amazing! Just curious, how big is it? I hope you 'show' it.

  9. amazing quilt.
    Thanks for shering !
    good luck !!!


  10. Muy interesante y bellos.



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