As is true for any skill, if you want to get good at quilting, you need to quilt – at least a little bit every day. I haven’t been doing that, and I think that’s the reason for being stifled about finishing several tops that are pin basted. I don’t know what I want to do and I am hesitant, because I am afraid of messing them up.
I have always had a sandwiched smaller square handy on which to warm up, check tension and practice patterns. Recently, I made up a bunch of them and have practiced at least 15 minutes every day. What I notice is that even a jumble of different patterns has its certain charm – so maybe I shouldn’t be so gripped about what pattern to use, just letting my mood guide me. Maybe there is such a thing as too much planning. I love feathers and they take a lot of practice, so I always work on several every session.
|Somehow this hodgepodge looks good to me.|
|Combing several patterns together|
|Paisley and feathers are similar and can be combined to good effect!|
So yesterday I dug out a bunch of really bad batik fat quarters I had bought a long time ago from Joann’s. I had a left over chunk of batting from another project and I have a bunch of cotton polyester fabric I bought at an estate sale (I bought 21 yards of fabric for 4$!) In the course of 2 hours I had created a simple 3’ by 4’ top and pin basted it. I also found some inexpensive polyester embroidery thread that quilts quite well. Now I have something large-ish to play with. When it’s done, I think I’ll go ahead and bind it and throw it in the car – it can be used for back seat naps as well as padding for transporting delicate stuff.
|My practice quilt.|
Besides regularly visiting Leah Day’s and Dianne Gaudynski’s sites, I have been recently taking a Craftsy class from Angela Walters on quilting negative spaces. Right now I am fooling around with outlining smaller areas to fill in. Her example uses overlapping rectangular tiles, but I am experimenting with the same technique using circles as well as irregular shapes. This definitely has some possibilities. I am figuring out what needs marking and what doesn’t as well. The outer circle and its echo look better if I mark them, for example. The photo below is the quilting from the back, which shows up better.
|Stacked circles from the back.|
Yesterday I bought some Fine Line rulers and am playing with their use as well for doing both straight line and curved cross hatching. I am having a lot of fun, feel more confident and now am looking forward to working on finishing those waiting tops…