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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Practise


They say practise makes perfect but I have a long ways to go on free motion quilting. I thought today that I would spend a bit of time trying some of the techniques in the machine quilting book I bought in Minneapolis. As you can see, the results are far from perfect! I have the most trouble with spacing. It is supposed to be even and about a quarter inch between rows of stitching. It looks easy in the book but is actually very difficult. I think I need to practise a bit with paper and pencil or maybe chalk on a blackboard (if such things still exist and are not all replaced by whiteboards. Don't get me started on that subject) rather than wasting all that thread.
Today I put the binding on Maggie's Farm and now I just have to stitch it down and sew on a label. I really lost my momentum on that quilt and it has taken much effort to finish it. I'll be very glad to see it done and not staring at me from the design wall making me feel guilty.

14 comments:

Melinda said...

I think your quilting looks great. Maybe from up close, you see only the problems. In the pictures, it looks really fun and lively. I'm a beginning quilter, and I always wince at the oopsie spots in my quilting, but after a few days, when I stand back and look at the whole thing, I'm usually happy with it.

Quilt Pixie said...

you're not "wasting" thread -- you're scribbling with it no different then lead in a pencil or ink in a pen -- there's nothing wrong with using thread and fabric for practice! Much of my early quilting samples have become ATC or FAPs and I must say the free motion "non-perfect" lines are part of their appeal! Only you know you were going for 1/4 inch apart, so don't tell anyone -- say you were going for the free form you got and enjoy! :-)

meggie said...

I rather agree with Pixie on this. It is not always evident when mistakes are made- to a non quilter or even a fellow quilter. I think yours looks amazing.
I seem to be permanantly stalled, so I wont criticise anything!!lol.

Libby said...

You are helping gather up the courage to try my hand at some feathers. I've been wanting to for some time . . . practice, practice, practice - just like when I was a girl with piano lessons *s*

QuiltMom said...

Joyce,
I recently attended a teaching workshop and the presenter said as a teacher, would you expect your first efforts be the best you'll do-; or will the 2nd be better and the third better yet- I think you know what you would have said to your students:) Celebrate your efforts into a new and unchartered area. By the way, I think that the quilting looked great- I have tried feathers and it was challenging. In a course I took, we tried drawing them with pencils on paper but I found them more difficult than when I was using the sewing machine.
Regards from a Western Canadian Quilter,
Anna

Anne Wigfull said...

One thing that I found made a huge difference to my results was ditching the polyester wadding. Great for hand quilting, terrific for trapunto, but death to the smooth machine stitch, even when basted really well. The cotton wadding grips the top and bottom fabrics unlike the polyester, which seems to have a life of it's own.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. I really like those feathers and the hearts are great. So what if the lines aren't spaced a quarter inch apart? Make it your own style. Practise will help though, at least it sure does with the hand quilting.

Cathi said...

I'm just starting to practice machine quilting using a book by Diane Gaudynski, and mine don't look half as good as those!! Looks great!!

Tazzie said...

I think your quilting looks just wonderful. It's definitely one of those things that we have to practice at, but yours looks great already!
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Judy said...

I don't think your quilting looks bad! Of course, most of us don't use dark colors on pink fabric when we quilt, do we? LOL!!! I think you'd be less critical of your work if you had used white thread. Practice does make perfect...just do a little bit everyday.

Colleen said...

Wow! I'm just beginning trying to learn free motion quilting also and yours looks WAY better than my practice pieces. WAY WAY better. I took a couple of different classes and I know it just takes ALOT of practice but I'm not there yet. I bought a bunch of muslin really cheap and use my leftover pieces of cotton batting (I agree with someone who all ready mentioned free motion is easier on cotton rather than polyester). I cut them into about 20X20 pieces. Then I use these "sandwiches" to practice on. I also bought some pre-printed stippling sheets that stick to your project and you stipple over them and tear them off. It helps me get a feel for spacing and speed, etc., using someone elses drawing. Keep it up, it's looking great all ready!

Rabbit Stitchings said...

I think your being way to hard on yourself,, I thought your practice looked really good!

atet said...

I'm with everyone else here -- it looks good to me, but again -- practice is the key I think. You should see MY first practice swatch. Um, can we say I didn't even TRY for good -- I went for how does this feel under my hands?

I've heard good things about using a children's Magna Doodle for practicing quilting designs. It's quick, it's easy, and it erases. I've been thinking about getting one for my daughter that I can "borrow" at need -- they run about $9.99 at Target!

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

I wish i could pop over and we could play at this together! It is exactly what I need to be doing. i am hopeless at the quilting stage, and I really want to master stippling so I can finish my free pieced roses myself, Tracey