Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sometimes, practice just makes "good practice."

Oh if any of you REAL QUILTERS are peeking in....please TURN AWAY if you have a weak stomach when it comes to sloppy stitches!
It is a rainy Saturday, Little Miss is not with us this weekend, so I was up all night and at it again early this morning working on my "free motion quilting" technique. I finally made the trip to JoAnn Fabrics last night and bought the free motion presser foot. Came home, screwed that baby in place, and set about practicing on some scraps.

Weeee!! It was so easy! And fun! And FAST! I was swirlin' and looping all OVER the place. What is all the fuss about?

Soon enough I decide I had enough practice (all that wasted thread and batting and "scraps!") - so -- still not confident enough to tackle my ORB quilt-along quilt.... I decide to free motion/stipple (is there a difference?) the quilt for my hubby, (the one that I pieced together with Surf&Sand fabric --repurposed - I had made pillow covers out of them in 2007 - but ever since Anna Maria Horner came into my life - I only want vibrant, bright colors!) SO....back to the quilt. This one is a free-style design of my own - a lap quilt a bit longer than the last one I made so hubby can really tuck in for a nap.....(about 50x84 inches).

It was all sandwiched and pinned.

And so I get it positioned on my machine and off I go. (weeee!)

First thing I do wrong is SHIFT the top away from the backing (how does this happen?? I swear I PINNED!) and so one corner has a big slice of BARE BATTING showing where BACKING SHOULD BE (whatever...I will trim it down, right?)

.....and I am rounding the bend on the second corner, I notice how much HARDER IT IS TO DO A BIG QUILT vs a little PRACTICE SQUARE....

...and then.....after I round that corner, I remember that one of the quilt-along pros said to START IN THE MIDDLE (so you don't end up with a "c cup" in the middle of the quilt when you work your way into the center.) OOPS. I did the border rows first!

...and then.....after two hours of this...I realize how EXHAUSTING IT IS! I don't know what the calorie burn ratio is....but at this rate, I should start seeing some serious EVENING-GOWN-BARING, RED-CARPET-WORTHY UPPER ARMS appearing SOON.

So now it is 3 a.m. In spite of my MANY false starts (what is with all that RAT's NESTING OF THE THREADS ON THE BOTTOM???) that had to be ripped out and redone....I finally had a nice rhythm going. By 3:30 I forced myelf to stop and get some sleep....but I was up again at 8 a.m. ready for more!

By 10 am I felt like my arms were going to fall off, so I set the little mess, er, lovely work in progress, aside. I went back to it a while ago...feels like it is taking FOREVER to get it all done. (Should have just done the border and TIED or done straight stitching for the center.....holy heck you should see all the PUCKERING! Next time I will NOT attempt closed loops...again, what was I thinking?)
(P.S. - Yes--that is my new Rowenta in the top pic! Can can I tell you I am in love with my new iron? I love it so much I bought it a nice new ironing board cover to work on. Thank you, again, Dana!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you are my quilting goddess! :)