- South Louisiana
- I have been married for 20 years to a great husband and we have 8 children ranging in age from 1 to 18 years. I am a homeschooling mom, which can be very challenging. I love sewing, knitting, reading, gardening and have recently started oil painting. I love to create. I really want to have a blog to show off some of the stuff I create, but I also want to share about my life and family. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, November 9, 2008
My Machine Quilting Adventure
Wow, I havn't posted in over a week, time sure does fly. I have been steadily working on the quilting of my quilt. It has definitely been a learning process. First of all, I can't just do things easily the first time, no, I have to make it hard. It's just that I wanted the quilt to have a certain look to it, and just a basic quilting in the ditch wasn't going to do it. I wanted all of the squares echo quilted 4 or 5 times, which didn't seem like it would be difficult until I started to do it. I thought I could use my walking foot and stitch and turn and stitch and turn until all the squares were done. Well, maybe if I had a smaller quilt, which a smart first time quilter would have done. No, I had to make a twin size quilt for my first go at quilting. I actually sized down from a king size quilt, I am not THAT nuts LOL Anyway, you can not just pivot and turn a twin sized quilt, no sirree. I tried, and my arms were killing me after half a square. So, I thought maybe I could just stitch each side of a square in a long line, stopping for the sashing and restarting. Well, that was just a pain. I even tried to handquilt : O My efforts were not so pretty. That will definitely take some practice and I do want this quilt finished before the next decade. I finally realized my only option was to do the squares free motion. Of course, I practiced on one square before I started on my quilt. I kinda got the hang of it and while my stitches are not all even, I figure it will give a folksy look to the quilt. Anyway, that is what I am telling myself LOL I am sure I will look at this quilt in the future and think what a mess I made of the quilting.
After all of this, I thought maybe I should check some books out from the library on machine quilting. Well, there are all sorts of tips LOL And all 3 authors stressed how important it was to practice, practice, practice before starting on your actual quilt. Well, I got all sorts of practice ON my quilt LOL I don't have time to waste practicing. So, I am sure the last squares I do are going to look completely different than the first ones. But like I said, that will be folksy, right? Come on, help me lie to myself lol Even with the tips though, maneuvering that quilt is a workout! I have to conciously make myself relax my shoulders, because I am going to end up with some sort of injury if I am not careful. Oh, and I got some finger condoms (seriously, that is what they look like!) to help me grip the quilt. Still not sure if I like them yet. The gripping does help, but I hate having something on my fingers, I can't feel what I am doing. I am hoping the next time around is much easier, I guess it is like everything else, it takes hours of practice to master.
Here are my two practice squares. Of course, the square was super easy to do with the walking foot on this tiny square. You can see my first attempts at free motion. I think my flower looks pretty good considering I have never done this before lol The second practice square was to see if I could do the squares free motion. They resembled squares, so I figured I was good to go : ) Looking at it now, it looks awful, I must have been tired when I made that decision.
Here are some squares on the quilt. I didn't realize until I had done several squares that I was supposed to grid quilt in the ditch first before starting the quilting inside the squares. I should have read those dang books first! So, now I am doing my quilting in the ditch, I am almost finished, so should be able to start on those free motion squares again soon.
I included a picture of the finger *grippers* because I think they look so funny! JUST LIKE miniature condoms! LOLOLOL