I’ve been drawing pages of continuous line “leaves” (that look more like lumpy hearts) for the past week and a half. This is January’s project for SewCalGal’s Free Motion Quilting Challenge . I must say that my leaves were looking better the more I practised them… To a point. And then they started looking awful as I began to forget what I was doing. Practise does make you better, but you need the occasional break. You can’t master a new activity overnight. Leah Day is also offering lots of fantastic free motion help and tips with The Free Motion Quilting Project at her blog.
This morning I decided to give it a whirl on my sewing machine. First I ran a sheet of paper around under the needle, just to get used to the feel of free motion. Then I divided my 24x24-inch quilt sandwich into four by drawing pencil lines. Rusty helped me by holding it down as I started to sew. Unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t move it around, so I had to shoo him away. First my bobbin thread broke. I took the bobbin out to have a look and it was the ugliest winding job I’ve ever seen. Ginger must have done it while I was at work yesterday. I unwound all the little snags and butterflies and rewound the entire thing. Then the tension was off, so I carefully readjusted that – I thought. Looking at the pictures I took of my finished work tonight, I see that I should have tightened it up a bit more. Then, the needle sounded more like a hammer coming down on the fabric… I recognise that sound now – I changed the needle, and was set to go.
The first quarter square was abysmal. I did the second and third – not bad. I didn’t exactly get into the groove, but my curves were actually curvy and not their usual lumps, and my stitching was waaay more even – even when going around a curve – than it’s ever been. Sure, my leaves looked better on paper, but I’m satisfied that I’m improving. Am I finished practising this particular design? Does it look like I am? Of course not. I did one more block when I got home from work tonight – the one in these pictures – and then loaded my bobbin with some Aurifil 50 wt cotton to try sewing some more with a different thread – tomorrow. This is quite addictive!
Until next time,