Saturday, May 15, 2010

Progress Report

Three cheers for me! Progress is being made!

After another go at practicing my squiggles, with my arms aching and my spirits in the toilet, I decided to put my researching skills to work and find out more about free-motion quilting. Care's First Quilt Ever! series is wonderful, but I felt like I needed a wider variety of perspectives on this one aspect. I read blogs, I watched videos (this one was particularly comforting for some reason), and then I went back and looked at Care's posts again.

Now, shhhh, don't tell her, but I clicked on every one of her photos to enlarge them and get a really good look at the stitches. And guess what? There were some extra-long stitches in there every so often! And some of her curves aren't as smooth as they could be! And she's been doing this for a long time! I suddenly felt a lot better about how I'd been doing! (Sorry, Care, I know you're going to find out I said this!)

The second revelation? Quilting gloves.

One trip to JoAnn's, $2.50, and I'm the proud owner of these magic gloves. I guess they don't make a difference to some people, but they helped me SO much. If you are struggling, I highly recommend a pair of these.

Now, I still have some ultra-long stitches (many of them, to be honest), and there are some curves that are less than graceful, but I'm doing it! And I'm getting better! And if you don't look too closely, it looks FANTASTIC!

One thing I am completely unable to do is sew around the safety pins. The only thing that works for me is looking ahead a bit and taking them out. I'm also finding it much, much easier to maneuver around towards the center. I feel like I have less control towards the edges.

Oh, and when I first switched from my practice pieces to the real thing? Whoa. My practice pieces were MUCH thicker than this, and I really had to work with the thread tension to get it right. Speaking of thread, one bobbin lasted me through about a sixth of the quilt. Currently I'm about, mmm, a third of the way through. I won't have a new quilt by Monday, but I'm getting there!


Anonymous said...



Lavender Liz said...

It looks great, Susan. Quilting is soooo much prettier than tying.

Bethany said...

It looks wonderful!

Care said...

Oh, NO! You've let the cat out of the bag! Now EVERYONE knows I am not PERFECT!! ;o) Hee hee!

I'm so glad you've taken the plunge and gotten started on the quilting step!! It's looking so gorgeous! I am dying to see it completely finished... no pressure!

A few ladies have posted pictures of their quilted quilts in the flickr group. There are some really amazing quilts! You should have a look!

Julie ZS said...

You've got it! It is looking really great. So glad those gloves worked so well for you.
And in my opinion perfect stitching is easily accomplished by a machine, little imperfections show that a real live *human* made this quilt!

Sherry from Alabama said...

I'm so glad you haven't given up on your quilt. It is beautiful!

Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

langevoort said...

You are doing great! I can't notice anything. My mom made me one years ago for my birthday one year (took a year to make.) She was nearing the end of it, when I made a suprise visit one day and saw it. Boy, I guess she could have been pretty mad at me, but she wasn't. She had hand-stitched something for each of the 4 seasons and since it was the year of the bi-centennial she had the Statue of Liberty sewn on it and everything. On side was the double wedding-ring pattern (which I love) and the other side she had used a flat sheet for. All the stitching inside was her own. The binding and ruffled edges were stitched by machine, I think. I love my quilt to this day. It's always in my bedroom! Very cozy!

Megan said...

It looks great. I feel better about my quilting after reading what you posted about Care's. I might get some "quilting gloves". The quilt slipping was a problem for me. See ya at "The Quilt Show".