Little Gracie Embroidered House

This charming embroidered house was done on the Little Gracie II - a lovely example of how you can free motion quilt on the frame using your own sewing machine. We were intrigued to know more about the embroidered design and how our customer was finding using the Little Gracie and we share Maura Bangs's thoughts on the frame. Her inspiration for the embroidery came from the Enid Mason embroidery books.

"The card is a slight enlargement of an embroidery I made when I was just setting out to learn how to control the Little Gracie carriage movement. I was amazed at how sensitive it was - it really is just like drawing. I'm still trying to master quilting larger pieces - I can manage a cot-sized quilt, but the accumulation of fabric on the take-up rail makes larger quilts difficult, as the movement of the sewing machine arm is so reduced (a Bernina Activa 230PE).

I am about to invest in a Pfaff GrandQuilter, and hope that the added reach will be helpful. It will also be great to have a machine loaded up on the Little Gracie all the time - it's not hard to set up, it will just be one stage less in preparing a quilt for the quilting stage. Added features like the needle up/down setting and touch-button thread cutter are a bonus.

I am a teacher, and have just left my full-time job to concentrate more on my textile work, having reached a point where even an 8 to 6 day, plus work at the weekend and in the holidays still weren't enough to keep up with the ever-increasing demands for paperwork - and I was only teaching four and five year-olds! I'll miss the children, having seen whole families through their Reception years in the 12 years I was at the school. However, my own children are grown up and nearly independent (never speak too soon!), and I thought that if I didn't make the jump now I would always regret it. Money is going to be tighter, but the mortgage is paid, and my husband loves his teaching job (PE) and also the increased availability of clean socks and good cooking that comes from having a wife on the premises for a greater proportion of the day. I'm going to look out for a part-time teaching post during the year, but I'm not rushing into anything at the moment.

I used to write for Patchwork & Quilting magazine, quite a few years ago, but had to stop when my late mother became ill, and I had to spend a lot of time looking after her. Writing got put on hold, and I haven't had time to think about it again until now. I'm hoping that articles, or even a book may emerge over time."

So thank you to Maura for letting us post on the blog here and good luck with your future writing.

The Pfaff Grand Quilter will definitely help with doing larger quilts although we do have customers using their own machine such as the Bernina model above who are quite happily doing larger quilts. If you're thinking about buying a frame things you need to consider are planning for a 4" depth of design (this would be at the end of the quilt when there is the most amount of bulk on the rail) and whether you want to have a dedicated machine such as the Pfaff Grand Quilter which is a straight stitch machine and ideal for use on the Grace frames.

One tip from one of our staff - she uses a 1/4" tape across the quilt at the limit of the free arm movement for the section you are working on so that you can see exactly which parts of the quilt you are working on at a glance. This prevents the serious complaint of flat-bottomed circles!!


Georgina said…
Thanks for a really interesting post!
janicebotterill said…
i came here for the quilting but the tale of you leaving work for the delights of domesticity really struck a chord especially as at the moment I'm having a work/not work the embroidered house, 2 of my favourite things in one photograph

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