practice, practice, practice.

my first Stippled piece!!!!!!!!


so i forget a lot of times that the adage “practice makes perfect” is actually quite true.  it’s probably why i didn’t stick with many activities when i was younger.  if i wasn’t good at it right off the bat, i figured it wasn’t my thing and moved on.  yeah, practice could make you better … but if there was no initial spark of greatness, practice was just a big waste of time.

then i fell in love with yarn and fabric and … well, to justify hoarding craft supplies, i figured i better start making things. :)  i get frustrated a lot … but i keep at it.  and sometimes, i surprise myself!

i’ve been playing at free motion quilting for a little while now.  i put together a few “quilt sandwiches” (fabric and batting sandwiched and basted together) and every now and then, i try a little free motion.  my results haven’t been great … but i REALLY wanted to learn.  i love how it looks and not everything looks good being quilted with straight lines.  and, i have this “thing” about sending things out to a professional quilter.  i don’t think it’s bad or wrong … i just want to do everything myself. (i guess it’s a control issue?? haha!!)  if it’s something that i’ve created … i wanted a hand  in each stage of development!  and so, i kept at it.

since i have to wait for some fabric to arrive to finish piecing my autumn quilt, i started putting together something new today.  i wanted to make a wall hanging that wasn’t square.  somehow, so many of my things end up square … i am trying hard to branch out into rectangles. :)  and i knew i wanted to make something that i could practice free motion quilting.  so i pieced this little square from one of the blocks from the Farmers Wife quilt book.

so small!!!!!

again, i usually make things a little on the larger size, so today i wanted to practice piecing something a little bit smaller.  this little block finished up at 5″x5″!!!  that’s the teeniest block i’ve ever pieced!!  and i’ve finally figured out how to pin and sew so that my points and blocks match up. :)  again, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!!! :)  see how that happens??

once that was done, i knew i wanted to make something slightly more modern that i’m used to … a little off center.  so i put a little border around this block and then added some linen.  i am loving the linen!!

and then, i started to stipple!

it wasn’t love at first sight.  i was using quilting thread and it kept snapping.  i did a little online research and read that using high quality cotton thread was probably best … and i had a spool of white Gutterman’s thread lying around and decided to give it a go!  no breaks!  :)  i have a few spots where i moved too quickly and the stitch length was a little wonky … if it was too long i picked it out … and i had some loopy issues on the back that i am now reading online is probably from moving too fast (see i always thought speed was the key!!  probably why i’ve struggled for so long!  slow and steady wins the race!  ok, STOP WITH THE MAXIMS already!!!!  lol!)

anyway … i was tense, i was clenching my jaw, my hands hurt from holding them so stiff … but I DID IT!  and it’s not terrible.  :)  that’s the main thing!  i can’t wait to try again!!! :)

do you have any advice for the novice free motion quilter??  i’d love to hear it! :)



One response to “practice, practice, practice.”

  1. I could’ve written that exact first paragraph! When I was younger my mum tried to teach me to sew, but I neeeever liked the results. So I gave up! If I couldn’t make what was in my head on the first attempt.. why bother?

    Now, of course, I know better.. ;-)

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