Monday, October 3, 2011

Need a giggle?












Check out my lovely machine quilting on this muslin "sandwich" from my very first free motion quilting class. How pathetic is this? We did our little sample block the last 15-20 minutes of a two hour class, after learning all about the best tools to use and what settings on your machine are helpful, and where to find sources for ideas and inspiration, how to prepare the quilt and guide the fabric, etc. When we got to the actual free motion stuff we were supposed to give ourselves permission to"play" and try out some of the simple things she had demonstrated--circles, stars, hearts, pumpkins. (I think I lost my permission slip!) If you can detect a pumpkin in there you are my new best friend! I felt I did better at stars than the other things--no need for smooth, round curves on those. When I was trying the hearts, I couldn't seem to get back out of that center point well, so I pretended that I was trying to make leaves all along, not hearts.
As I looked around the class at those working near me I saw that some people really could get the stems attached to their pumpkins, and their hearts didn't look like leaves! I also began to understand all the fuss at the beginning of class about the Bernina machines with the "stitch regulator".
I haven't given up hope yet. There is still another class this week, and then there is a three-part class in November I am considering (depending on whether or not I HAVE given up hope by then). But this is obviously something that I don't take to naturally. Time will tell whether I take to it at all.

Enough of that. On a more serious note, I finally got my star blocks finished to send to John'aLee.
The block to the far right had some issues. Even on Barbara Brackman's blog there is some uncertainty
about the cutting instructions. I did lose some points in the stitching, so now I understand why there was a question about cutting measurements. I did switch out the center fabric on that block, too.
Now to get these off in the mail.

That is all for tonight.
Until next time, from the little mountain valley where the sagebrush grows,
Janet O.

22 comments:

  1. Those are some gorgeous blocks you got going there. Your quilt practice blocks is 1000 times better than when I took the class. LOL!

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  2. I see the Pumpkin and my Free-motion quilting isn't much better. I never said I was a Pro at that! That's why I quilt at the Quilt buddies on her computerized machine. I wish I could quilt by credit card like Eleanor Burns...

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  3. LOVE your star blocks....that one on the right looks great! I especially love the fussy cut flags in it! Sweet!

    And I found 4 beautiful pumpkins! You rock at FMQ! It only gets better and better....keep going!

    I gave the girls at our mini group a lesson on it, and I had them try following the lines on a drawn 2" box, then curves in the box from corner to corner, then S curves between 2 lines, 2" apart, the whole length of the sandwich..... and I think all that helped to practice the curves....you might try it. I think drawn boundaries are a little easier to encourage actual shapes for curves.....you seem to have a starting and stopping point to decide where to go. But it takes tons of practice, so don't get discouraged!

    Anyway.....good luck.....keep going.....it looks great!

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  4. Janet I think your free motion quilting is great. I'm not good, but I do enjoy it. I'm glad you showed what you are doing in the class. I may try some pumpkins tomorrow. Love your blocks!

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  5. I'm proud of you for deciding to post it Mom. I think it's cute. I'm sure you will become a pro at it like everything else you put your hand to.

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  6. I think I still have my first quilt sandwich somewhere, like you I have a giggle looking at it....but rest assured you will get better, practice and more practice!!! Even if you can spare 10 mins a day after a week you WILL notice the difference.I like your star blocks, yummy fabric.

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  7. If that is your first hand at FMQ you did wonderfully! Your a little wobbly, but your stitch length looks great. I agree with Regan's suggestion. Also, ditch the solid color fabric. Get something busy - it will look better and give you more confidence. Practice one shape at a time. Really, don't stop now! Oh, and the Bernina Stitch Regulator is like having training wheels; it helps a lot. I bought my 440 several years ago and love it - just wish it had a bigger throat space. But you don't need the BSR - it's drawback is that when you go exactly side to side it seems to loose it's ability and gives too big stitches. At least mine does with me operating it. Practice! You are doing great!

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  8. I really didn't laugh!! I think it is amazing that you are attempting it!! and The Blocks are gorgeous!!! What sweet words from your daughter!!!

    Blessings

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  9. It looks great for your first attempt, truly! That is one aspect of quilting that just takes practice, practice, and practice some more. Looks like you are off to a wonderful start. Just make a pile of quilt sandwiches and free motion until you are ready for something bigger. I started out with potholders and gradually went to placemats, table runners, wall hangings, and pillows. I still have not done a full quilt in free motion but I plan to one day. Congratulations! PS --- I saw the pumpkins and I am impressed!

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  10. I do see a couple pumpkins so I guess we are now new best friends! Machine quilting is something I am not very good at but I get by with some simple stitching. I have a Bernina with the stitch regulator. It helps a bit but not at all to the degree I would like it to.

    Check out this site.
    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/
    She has videos right on her blog posts of all kinds of free motion designs you can do. She has put many, many of them on her blog over a period of time.

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  11. I see pumpkins - and you are doing a whole lot better than I did last time I tried it! Just not my thing - that's for sure. Love your blocks!

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  12. FMQ takes lots and lots of practice. Like another commenter I drew out some patterns and stitched on those before going free-motion...it helped me get use to the motion and the speed while not having to worry so much about the pattern....

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  13. Practice is the name of the game when it comes to machine quilting. You are off to a great start!!

    LOve your quilt blocks!!

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  14. Great blocks - and wonderful fabric choices.
    Your machine quilting is good for a first project - I see the pumpkin. One tip early on is to draw on paper to get the pattern from the brain to the hand - then move to the stitching....
    Thank you for sharing!

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  15. you did a great job, we all have to start somewhere and I long arm quilt and often do the HEART LEAVES for customer, or hearts or leaves and lots of other things, but the heart leaves are cute and easy....I do see a FEW pumpkins, if this was your first, it's GREAT!! I see the tip about drawing, also if you have a dry erase board and marker draw on that and try not to lift the marker! it takes time and practice practice

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  16. Wow, Janet -- I'm actually very impressed with your first go-round of free motion quilting. I think you did a terrific job! I tried fmq for the first time recently too, and the teacher said 15 minutes of practice a day was all it took. What she didn't say was how many days in a row you needed to put in that 15 minutes of practice! Love your CWB -- I've played around with those some, too. Your fabrics are yummy! :)

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  17. I can actually see pumpkins there! I'm impressed with the variety of designs you tried - I've only ever done stippling and loop-de-doos so I need to get brave and branch out!

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  18. This is fabulous for a first try! Way to go! I think the class should be 3 hours because you were just getting your groove on there!

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  19. Janet - if this is really your first FMQ sample I'm impressed! Don't tell anyone what you "intended" and they will never know the difference. I saved my first sandwhich for when I'm getting frustrated with myself. Works every time :)

    Regarding the star block you had problems with...do you have the easy angle ruler? I have directions that can help you with the block in a block...

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  20. You shown me your first try. If I could find it, I would show you mine. I bought quilting thread just like the class asked for. Did they tell me there was a difference in hand quilting thread and machine quilting thread????

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  21. Janet, your FMQ looks great...your stars are perfect! FMQ isn't for me but now I know I can blame it my machine :)

    Johna'Lee will be so happy when she receives your star blocks. My favorite is the Richmond block on the right. I would love to make a whole quilt with that block. I'm going to try one in a 12". I found a pattern at www.mccallsquilting.com. They call it Butterfly Block and offer instructions for a 6, 9 and 12 inch block. It has been fun to visit Johna'Lee's blog and see the pictures she's posted of the blocks she has received.

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  22. Well, I think you've GREATLY improved!

    It's kind of like trying to pat the top of your head and rub your tummy at the same time!!!

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